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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Nonhuman Rights Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: The Nonhuman Rights Project is focused on establishing legal personhood and fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through three key pillars: litigation, legislation, and education. Through them we aim to create a robust framework for the recognition and protection of fundamental nonhuman animal rights grounded in longstanding values of principles of justice. The first stage of this work is a legal fight for great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales’ fundamental right to bodily liberty.

Geographic areas served: USA and worldwide

Programs: Litigation: Filing groundbreaking lawsuits to recognize and protect nonhuman animals’ fundamental rights. Legislation: Working with local governments to enact the world’s nonhuman animal rights laws. Education: Raising awareness of the importance of and legal basis for nonhuman animal rights and providing resources to empower people to join the fight.

Community Stories

98 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of NhRP for several years in its efforts to use the court system to establish that species such as elephants are sentient beings entitled to legal rights.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been following the groundbreaking work of the NhRP since it began in 1996, and am so grateful for the essential role they have achieved in the animal protection movement. Their strategic efforts to move animals from having the legal status of inanimate objects/property to attaining legal personhood and fundamental rights as sentient individuals leading lives of value to themselves (not their usefulness to humans) are the foundation for advancing all of our efforts for animals.

2 Sherry R.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I first met the staff of the NhRP during a demonstration to free Happy the elephant outside of the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
I began following them and soon learned how important the NhRP is. There is no other organization like them. They argue year round to gain rights for sentient beings.
I wish them all the success in their fights. I am there with them.

1 LisaScharin

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I became aware of NonHuman Rights Project Inc. I have been extremely impressed and enamored by their expertise, their commitment and dedication to pursuing Justice for Animals that have no voice.
I have followed their successes with Hercules, Tommy, Kiko, Leo-chimpanzees in need of freedom in a sanctuary. They were relentless and Hercules, Leo were transferred to a sanctuary after years of appeals and court cases. The case for Kiko is ongoing and is a testimony of how tenuous this organization is.
Also the fight for Happy the Elephant in the Bronx Zoo has been long and frustrating-as with other Elephants-like Minnie, Billy-but this organization will NEVER give up and will only fight HARDER for those who have a voice and for that-I give them GREAT PRAISE!!!! I will continue to FIGHT with them!!!!

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The NonHuman Rights Project is relentless in it's pursuit of Justice for Amazing Animals trapped in abusive situations-like Happy, Minnie, Hercules and many others that cannot speak for themselves.
They are tenacious in getting Happy removed from the Bronx Zoo and hopefully SOON this will be reality!
Also Minnie from the Cummerford Zoo and ALL other animals deprived, exploited by selfish, cruel humans.
These animals and all supporters can completely trust and count on NHRP to fight until there is a Victory!!!

Orang Utan Republik Foundation

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As someone who also advocates rights for nonhumans, I support and applaud the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Groups like NRP are rare and deserving of our support.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a monthly contributor to this fine organization for several years. I believe in their mission 100%, that all animals are sentient beings and deserve the same protection under the law as human beings. Legal rights for great apes and elephants are just the beginning. These people work tirelessly to secure the right to live in a sanctuary for Happy the 50 year old elephant languishing alone and depressed at the Bronx Zoo . I just pray that their hard work will be rewarded by our " conservative" legal system and that Happy might truly be happy one day. Thank you so much for all you do for Happy and all other animals.

Donor

Rating: 5

An essential organisation that works tirelessly to protect nonhuman animals by securing their legal protection and entitlements

We're so grateful for the existence and extraordinary work of this pioneering organisation, and it's our privilege to support their work

Donor

Rating: 5

These tireless, dedicated people are among the finest groups working on behalf of animal welfare and I am happy to be a donor.

Donor

Rating: 5

I starting supporting the NhRP because I like, and believe in, the work they are doing. Over the years I have gotten to know the staff through webinars and other forums. I am impressed with their dedication, professionalism and friendliness. More than other organizations I support, NHRP makes me feel valued. The concern they feel for the animals extends to we humans who support their work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is a great organisation. They are changing perceptions and breaking legal barriers. I am proud to be part of their work in a small way, signing petitions and making donations.

Stacy Y.

Donor

Rating: 5

All systematic abuse begins and ends with the legal system. This organization understands that and is relentless in their pursuit of justice for all of God’s creatures who deserve respect, dignity, and to be happy. NHRP does an excellent job in keeping their donors informed about their progress and their needs, and are dedicated to changing the fate of these beautiful souls.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Superb organisation that is relentless in pursuit of justice for animals.

snewman1

Donor

Rating: 5

I had no idea how difficult life is for wildlife confined to zoos until I began following NhRP. They have been instrumental in opening my eyes to the inhumane plight of these magnificent creatures - especially elephants. They have been tireless in their efforts to establish a different legal status for these complex, highly social beings. Zoos are literally killing them, and this cruelty must stop. NhRP recognizes this travesty and has taken it to the courts. I have immense respect for this organization.

Rique R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have learned so much about nonhuman rights through witnessing the greatness of the work of the NHRP. I have been following along Minnie and Happy and other elephants' plights and intend to keep checking in about any progress made. Thank you for raising awareness of this important issue of nonhuman rights!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am grateful for and respect this nonprofit. I like the fact that NRP challenges the legal status
of animals in court and also surprises people with a new perception of nonhuman animals. I, myself, can never have eye contact with a suffering animal and think of it, or its' pain, as less than.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a beautiful org, the Nonhuman Rights Project. ImagIne lawyers working for the right of animals. #ActiveForAnimalRights

terrid

Donor

Rating: 5

Nonhuman Rights Project is one of my top causes for many reasons but my top three are:
1. Excellent leadership, starting with Steve Wise who has devoted his life to this important cause.
2. Impact in bringing awareness to this cause from fighting in the courts to grassroots efforts
3. Financial transparency - using their funding appropriately and strategically.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This effort to protect animals from a legal perspective is crucial. The heartbreaking stories we read every day about humans abusing/torturing animals must stop. Thank you to the Nonhuman Rights Project for taking on this important mission. The work you do for nonhuman animals is difficult, to say the least, but you are doing a magnificent job protecting animals from human cruelty. Thank you, and keep up the great work!

Donor

Rating: 5

Dedicated to giving animals a legal voice . Fighting for the rights of animals to be freed from human imprisonment and their right to live out their lives in peace.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Outstanding non profit! If are working to make changes thru the legal system that could have a monumental domino effect for animals globally. It will let the world know that there are laws in place that protect non humans from being exploited, imprisoned and horribly abused. ..as they have been for centuries due to human greed, their belief system and ignorance.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organisation whose members work tirelessly to help animals - I’ve been moved to tears watching their rescue videos!

Saza S.

Donor

Rating: 5

The work they are doing is INCREDIBLE. Couldn't be more honored to support this amazing non-profit.

Jimmy S.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization and I love the work they are doing for the animals!

Meryl P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is such a wonderful organization!

Gooseneck Farm

Donor

Rating: 5

Absolutely support this organization. Sanctuaries, volunteers, all must be backed up by laws. NHRP fights in the court system for justice and full prosecution of offenders, criminals against animals. Animals held captive by zoos, aquariums, circuses and individuals have inalienable rights to their freedom. Attorneys fight for these animals who otherwise would have no voice in the legal system. Every case they win sets a precedent which will lead to more laws protecting animals.

1 anniepan

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. They work to end looking at animals as something we can use and dispose of... They do so much good...Please consider donating to them.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This Organization is unbelievable. They fight so hard for animals that do not have a voice. Maybe some day we humans will stop thinking we own the animals that live in the wild. We do not have the right to take them from their homes for our so call enjoyment. If we do not stop this behavior their will some day be a generation that will only know of these Beautiful gifts from God in books and history.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Unique and incredible.
Taking legal action and trying to make a permanent change is truly important and that is what makes them stand out

Donor

Rating: 5

The Non Human Rights Project is doing some of the hardest work there is - challenging and changing the dominant values of our culture. They are tireless, clear sighted, clever, imaginative and respectful. I am informed and inspired by what they do - and deeply grateful.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is a wonderful organization that leads in giving a voice to nonhuman animals. They help to fight for justice and protection of their interests. Fighting to give all nonhuman animals a better life is so important and meaningful. Our world is a better one thanks to their determined efforts.

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing, dedicated organization with a unique approach to our relationship to animals. Love what they do.

Sami T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such a fantastic organization. We need more like it! I wish there were more Nonhuman Rights' projects. So many people don't acknowledge non-human animals as sentient beings who can suffer, feel pain, and subsequently deserve the same rights as human animals. I am so grateful to this incredible organization for doing this important, life saving, life changing work.

Donor

Rating: 5

I admire the without egual work of NhRP, an amazing legal team for animal rights, these voiceless everywhere so abused... Saving non human persons in distress and fighting to finally have their rights recognized: eduvation, change minds, change laws. Their pleas are as remarkable as it is moving, and carries so much hope. I wish I could help them much more financially, more than any other association. I feel immense gratitude for their essential fight, their advocacy against speciesism. Let us be many to support them, donate, signing petitions, receive newsletters..., they have the best long-term plan for the respect of the living with whom we share the planet.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

How to say enough good things about my experience with NHRP for years now, the most important work for non human animals, for their legal rights. NHRP do great advocacy work and they do their email campaigns in a way that actually makes me look forward to know how to help them as best I can. Their approach is unique and I wish the possiblity of their changing the course of history for all sentient beings. Please donate to this great organization who help elephants, primates, and other nonhuman clients they serve.

Donor

Rating: 5

We learned about NhRP through their advocacy for Happy the elephant imprisoned at The Bronx Zoo. Though we have supported animal charities for some time, we decided NhRP provides the best value/impact for our dollars - they are going to the root of the problem via the courts and establishing rights for all creatures. We donate monthly. NhRP is a significant part of our estate planning. The are doing pioneering work. The staff is very responsive. We are sad it takes so long for attitudes to change though we think NhRP has the best long term plan.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is a stellar organization that stands up for nonhuman animals in courts to protect them from torture, imprisonment and injustice. They fight in these courts and through education for justice for nonhuman animals. I’m so thankful for their work and the successes they achieve.

Donor

Rating: 5

For anyone who is considering making a donation or volunteering to an animal charity, this is a GREAT one! They are using our legal system to make real and lasting changes for animals. Once the courts legally see these animals as the beautiful sentient beings they are, change can follow. Plus this organization does so much other great work! They give me hope that real change can happen if we never give up!

MurryCohen

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project just might be the most important animal rights group around today, and I have been a supporter of Steve Wise's work for many years. One of the major impediments to improving the lot of animals is that they have no legal standing in court, and, therefore, lawyers are often unable to argue their cause. The Nonhuman Rights Project opposes this state of affairs by finding ways to obtain legal standing for animals, and thereby be able to argue their case in court. Ever since his seminal book, "Rattling Their Cages", Steve Wise has been on the forefront to improve the legal status of animals. The group has as their clients elephants and chimpanzees, and they have achieved some success in improving animals' legal status and in not considering them mere property. One of the major impediments to successfully advocating for animals is speciesism, the notion that the human species is unique and, thereby, superior to all the other species on earth. This notion often underlies every argument against granting animals rights and legal standing. It is this very notion that The Nonhuman Rights Project fights on a daily basis. As sentient creatures, who can suffer and experience great pain, and also experience other emotions once thought to be uniquely experienced only by humans, speciesism has no place any longer in our view of animals. Currently The NhRP is trying to get Minnie the elephant out of the zoo in which she is being held captive and abused and into an elephant sanctuary. The NhRP has also had some success in representing chimpanzes in court. Until the basic fallacy in our understanding of nonhuman species is corrected, all other attempts are often doomed to failure. I have listed The NhRP in my will, and it is one of 5 animal protection groups that I regularly contribute to. I have nothing but the greatest praise for this group, and I advise people interested in animal welfare and rights to similarly support this wonderful group.

Murry J. Cohen, M.D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project has a highly important mission that needs to be grown. The organization advocates for the voiceless animals who are totally at the mercy of humans. I love the guts and determination of The Nonhuman Rights Project to speak out and make a difference.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I consider NHRP to be the top animal rights organ in the world. They are always in there standing for them. They were first in promoting animal rights in general and separating them from "human" rights. Most people had no concept of a non-human having rights.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is an organization that we support financially and through advocacy. The work that they do is amazing and not replicated by any other advocacy organizations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched and supported this organization over many years and have the greatest trust and respect for their work and dedication!

lisagdance

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so impressed by their work and dogged determination to help animals languishing in bad conditions. They are truly the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is addressing a major cause of the mistreatment of animals, namely that animals do not have rights as individuals but instead are considered property.
Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the quote, "The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

Until animals have rights, that time will not come which is why the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project is so critically important.

Donor

Rating: 5

What an extraordinary organization. Their purpose is beyond noble and their efforts tireless. EVERY organization should operate so selflessly. Speaking up for those with no voice, is the noblest work in the world and they do it with untold dignity and grace. Additionally, all of their donors are celebrated and their donations go directly to the cause.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great organisation who's purpose is to promote animal rights who are just as capable of all the feelings we have to. A great education on captivity and enslavement of Nonhuman creatures.

Roo V.

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the only nonprofits that have been able to get the courts to listen. Namely that non-humans think, feel and love just as much as we do, and that a just human society should have laws that recognize this.

JoAnn A.3

Donor

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is the voice for the voiceless. They are working hard to give the animals who have no voice or rights a voice and rights. Anyone who believes in equal rights should support them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The NHRP are doing an amazing job fighting for the rights of helpless and defenceless animals everywhere. They are heroes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

it's wonderful that they use the legal system to help gain secured rights for animals. they're helping an elephant who's being held in my state, one of the few organizations actively trying to free her. it heartens me that there's an organization dedicated to actually changing animal rights laws.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so overwhelmed and impressed with the work of the NHRP and the voice they provide for those who don't have one. It sickens me that in this day and age there are people that see fellow living creatures as objects that they can manipulate for their own pleasure or gain and not as fellow sentient beings. The NHRP are not just fighting for the basic rights of nonhuman beings but are also shouting loud and clear that this is how it should be, all nonhuman beings should be viewed with the same basic rights as human beings, this should be a basic standard throughout the world. Well done for everything you are doing, you are all amazing and inspiring, Thank you.

Annelies H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been following The Nonhuman Rights Project Inc for a while now from the other side of the world. I feel like they are truly making great strides forward, successfully defending the rights of the "non-humans" who cannot speak up for themselves. Their success in getting a hearing for Happy the elephant is unprecedented and makes an important precedent for future cases to come and for law enforcement. Their work is truly very valuable and deserves all the credit they can get!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Dedication for a much-need effort. You think animal rights are a quirky side show? Think again. There is no logical reason why sentient animals should not enjoy at least certain rights. The Nonhuman Rights Project stand out in their willingness to fight this cause, with tenacity, eloquence, and good legal argument. The moment will come that jurisprudence will side with its cause.

2 mylesmom

Donor

Rating: 5

Our non-human animal friends have been looked upon as inanimate objects to be used and abused for profits for way too long. The Nonhuman Rights Project is seeking to change that archaic mindset as they take on non-human clients who have no voice as they suffer day in and day out in zoos, circuses, labs, backyards, etc. I admire all the people in this great organization who work tirelessly on behalf of their clients and never give up even when the courts try to keep the cruel status quo intact. ❤️

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an extraordinary organisation - its compassion and persistence in its efforts to free elephants from heartless captivity is legendary.
It is leading the way with groundbreaking and far reaching advocacy.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

NhRP is an outstanding organization changing the world for nonhuman animals by challenging their legal status. One small step in challenging the legal standing or "personhood" of nonhuman animals will potentially improve the lives of millions of animals, so supporting NhRP's work is truly effective altruism in practice. I am a proud supporter of this excellent organization. If you are new to NhRP and its vital work, please read Steven Wise's books Drawing the Line and Unlocking the Cage, or watch the documentary Unlocking the Cage to watch Wise and his team fight the good fight.

1 Holly Elizabeth Ross F.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m so proud of my association with the NHRP. It’s high time that animal rights we’re recognized fully. And NHRP fights, very often one animal at a time, levering the force of law to defend animals. I only wish I had more to give to this most noble of causes.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

So impressed with the dedication of this organization to attempt to secure rights for non-human animals. It is such important work, and they are a terrific non-profit; I couldn't be happier to support them.

3 Andrea S.12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Stephen Wise is my most favorite advocate for Nonhuman rights project. In my opinion, he is a genius! Although I cannot donate because I'm on a fixed income, I admire what he is trying to do.

2 Diana B.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The NhRP Team is not only thorough and detailed in their research, reporting, and the tireless work they do on behalf of those whose voice is callously ignored by the vast majority, but as an organization they're unique. They offer the human animal, those of us willing to listen, a chance to walk in the feet of other sentient beings. In so doing, they generate empathy for "the other". This gift, bittersweet it may be, can effect change, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. Each of us can do our part and the beings NhRP courageously and with great determination serve as painful as it must be, is not in vain, even though at times it must seem that way... if it means one less day of pain, sorrow, and torment, and a further step towards freedom. My heartfelt thanks to the team and my commiseration - having to research and witness cruelty to innocent, intelligent, sensitive beings at the hands of a primitive, selfish primate whose veneer of civilized behavior is at best, paper thin. Thank you NhRP...best wishes...DTBlack B.Sc., M.Sc.Ed, B. Creative Arts.

Donor

Rating: 3

I'm changing my 5 Star Rating to 3 stars and reducing my donations to The Nonhuman Rights Project. I absolutely believe in the mission of this charity but I do not see enough action not enough court cases and I not so sure they will ever accomplish their mission. Steve M Wise is taking home over $200,000 a year which is the highest of other animal charities. Also I have a huge problem with Jane Goodall who has served as Director and board member. Recently Miss Goodall came to the hideous decision that Lucy the elephant at Edmonton Zoo in Canada SHOULD stay where she is living in several feet of snow instead of at elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. Ms Goodall made this so called opinion knowing full well that Lucy has breathing problems and is made to paint pictures with toxic fumes and knowing that this zoo has done absolutely NOTHING but exploit Lucy and even deny her oxygen for her breathing problem. Lucy belongs in sanctuary and I think the Nonhuman Rights Project cares more about making PETA and animal activists look bad than they care about animals. They think they know it all but they have zero wins under their belt after years of being at this project and money pit.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Nonhuman Rights Project is possibly the most innovative nonprofit today. They have carved out a mission undertaken by no other organization—seeking to establish the legal precedent of personhood for nonhuman beings. Through a series of legal actions and court cases, they are prying open the door that has denied the billions of nonhuman sentient beings their fundamental rights to autonomy and thus better treatment. Please further their ground breaking work by selecting them as top charity.

1 Marcia K.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I first found about about Nonhuman Rights Project, my first thought was: finally. Someone, an organization with guts and legal knowledge, has recognized that animals should have rights and wants to make it official in our legal system. To me, this is an indication that the plight of our animal friends is getting more serious recognition--and on a different front than usual. It means that now battles for animal rights can be fought and won where it most seems to matter in our country (unfortunately)--the courts. Very grateful for the tireless efforts and the resounding consciousness of this organization.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Totally approve of Nonhuman Rights Project. Many studies over the last three or four decades have demonstrated broad-based qualities in nonhumans like self-awareness and kindness and this organization helps to bring home the human impacts to the ecosystem at large. It's about time to grant other creatures actual standing and rights protection!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the most positive experience with this nonprofit.They are dedicated, sincere, and have the highest integrity towards their clients. I like the fact that they are not new on the scene, and that their position is well thought out, based on the common law tradition of expanding rights. I have donated and will definitely consider a legacy gift. To learn more about their philosophy you can check their website or watch their documentary.