What the HSUS Does

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s most effective animal protection organization. We advocate for better laws to protect animals; conduct campaigns to reform industries; provide animal rescue and emergency response; investigate cases of animal cruelty; and care for animals through our affiliates, sanctuaries, emergency shelters and clinics.

In 1954, Fred Myers, Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser and Helen Jones formed the HSUS because they recognized that the animal welfare professionals serving in local organizations were consumed with the day-to-day tasks of community animal care and control. There was no organization to speak out on a national level against cruelty or to celebrate the human-animal bond. Thus the founding mission of the HSUS was established: to support the work of local humane organizations by providing that national voice.

Today we continue to confront the largest national and international problems facing animals. These are problems which most local shelters and organizations don’t have the reach or the resources to take on, such as puppy mills, the fur industry, horse slaughter and soring, trophy hunting and the wildlife trade, and factory farming. More than 65 years later, we’re still leading the charge to fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals.

The Humane Society of the United States is approved by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance for all 20 of its standards for charity accountability, which address charity governance, finances, effectiveness reporting, appeal accuracy, website disclosures and donor privacy. The HSUS has Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency for providing donors with information on our strategic plan, impact, leadership demographics and other metrics.

While we come to the aid of animals in crisis, we also attack the root causes of problems. We take a mainstream approach and combat the most severe forms of cruelty and abuse. Our most important goal is to prevent animals from getting into situations of distress in the first place. The HSUS drives transformational change for animals—bringing a wide set of tools to take on the biggest fights, confronting multi-billion dollar industries, and staying the course until we achieve reform. It is because of our effectiveness that we have opponents who target us. Many try to remain nameless by funding operations like the ones described on this site.

Nevertheless, we continue to make positive change for all animals. You watch us in action below, rescuing animals from a Florida property in 2020: