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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Born Free USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: Mission is to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife — including highly endangered species — in their natural habitats, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. .

Geographic areas served: National and International

Programs: Advocacy for animalscontributed to the protection of elephants, lions, dolphins, gorillas, and other imperiled species both in the wild and in rescue and rehabilitation centers in their countries of origin. Promoted the international protection of lions and the listing of the african lion under the us endangered species act, and similarly advocated for lion protection at meeting on the convention of migratory species. Continued campaign to protect furbearing animals from the cruelty of fur farms and wildlife trapping. Coordinated nationwide fur donation drive to promote awareness of anti-fur campaign; sent donated fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers for baby and orphaned animals. Worked with states to combat wolf trapping bills and used litigation to restore protection for wolves in the great lakes region under the endangered species act. Engaged fully in the meeting of the animals committee of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (cites). Campaigned on conservation of threatened and endangered species and the protection of elephants from the ivory trade, bears from the gallbladder trade, and rhinos from the horn trade. Published two reports on the international trade in elephant ivory, one looking at poaching of elephants in africa and the other movement of ivory from africa to asia. Worked on legislation across the country to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn at the state level. Gave speeches at three march for elephants events across the country.

born free usa primate sanctuaryborn free usa continues to rescue, rehabilitate, and retire hundreds of primates at our accredited texas primate sanctuary. We continue to take in new animals in need, who otherwise would face a life of captive misery or premature death, and give them a home in as naturalistic conditions as we can provide.

public educationborn free usa continued efforts to educate the public on the dangers of keeping exotic animals as pets. Used social and popular media and educational outreach materials including an interactive database of deadly and dangerous captive wild animal incidents to help shed light on the magnitude of the issue. In addition, born free usa worked to educate the public about the need to protect live animals from commercialization in pet stores. Held public presentations on wildlife trade and animal rescues in numerous states. Held a press conference with members of congress and chimpanzee attack victim, charla nash, to promote the captive primate safety act. Held national event to call attention to the plight of wild birds and the needs of birds in captivity.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am also a volunteer and a donor. This is a remarkable, highly efficient, motivated, skillful advocacy group. The DC-based EVP is well-known within the field. I have neve seen so much as a dollar's worth of waste leak from this organization. The USA operation has the strong support of senior UK management.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Excellent charity working to conserve wild animals and rescue captive animals in horrible conditions. Born Free are brilliant at raising awareness for animal welfare causes and educating people about protecting species.

1 LoraKim J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working with Born Free for a couple of years now. Their message for addressing avian welfare issues is really needed in the community and I appreciate that they approach this so professionally and thoroughly. They also make connections to the welfare for wild birds, which is an important link as health is interconnected no matter where the birds live. Furthermore they have been fantastic in supporting the people and parrots of Honduras - vitally important work for the ecological and human communities there that would not be happening without them. Thank you!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A highly effective organization with a knowledgeable, dedicated, responsive staff. Born Free USA is among the few animal welfare organizations that is addressing the captive bird and exotic wildlife trade in a meaningful way!

The Avian Welfare Coalition is a small group, and we have been fortunate to partner with Born Free USA on several successful campaigns, including National Bird Day, a day of action and education for captive birds now in its 10th successful year. They truly understand the scope of the issues, and approach the solutions with finesse. Their guidance and support have been valuable assets to our efforts.

Denise Kelly, President & Co-Founder, The Avian Welfare Coalition


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This review is based solely on the campaign work that the organization is doing, I don't know much about the business side of the organization. This organization's campaigns are well thought out, targeted and yet diverse. They approach issues with creativity and professionalism, backed with science and investigations. They are a small staff but turn out a huge amount of work. They fill an important niche in the wildlife conservation and animal protection movement in that they blend the two. They prove that you can be a conservationist and believe that individual animals matter. Compassion and Conservation together.