What the HSUS Does

The Humane Society of the United States fights the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, the fur trade, trophy hunting, animal cosmetics testing and other cruel industries. We rescue and care for thousands of animals every year through our Animal Rescue Team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: a humane society.

Some of the specific approaches include advocating for better laws to protect animals; conducting campaigns to reform industries; providing animal rescue and emergency response; responding to cases of animal cruelty; and caring for animals, including through our Pets for Life and Rural Area Veterinary Services programs, and through our affiliates and sanctuaries.

A group of advocates formed the HSUS In 1954 because they recognized that 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. 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 local shelters and other 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. Nearly 70 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 rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator, 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. We bring 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, including nearly 4,000 beagles removed from a Virginia facility that bred them for laboratory tests: