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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have served on the board of Born Free U.S.A. for four years. The board and the organization are committed to both the protection and welfare of animals and to being good stewards of donations recieved. The CEO, Executive Vice President and the entire staff are dedicated and work hours way past what would be the norm. I have been involved with animal protection and welfare for many years and continue to be impressed with what BFUSA does. Our primate sanctuary in Texas is like none other in the U.S. and gives primates rescued from labs, zoos, pet owners, etc. a chance to live as close as possible to how they were meant to live....in the wild. Open enclosures of 50 plus acres are a huge step forward from 4X 4 cages or dressed up as dolls in homes or submitted to terrible testing techniques in labs. The joy of seeing them finally putting their feet on grass or climbing and swinging from trees is heart warming beyond description. The knowledge of the staff in regards to exoctic animals in captivity is tremendous and was demonstrated by the sad incident involving exotic cats, etc. in Ohio in 2011. BFUSA was the leading authority on the tragedy and gave excellent advice on how to keep it from happening again. These are only a few of many examples of what an excellent job this non profit does. Mary Trimble

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member for two years, but a donor to this organization and its predecessors for nearly 40 years. The organization is well run, and has staff members who are true believers in the causes they serve. I've been thrilled to be a part of BFUSA and will continue to donate both my time and money to their wonderful work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Prior to joining the Board, I had heard of the goals of Born Free, and thought that its mission was a noble one, particularly given that it did not have the resources of a Humane Society, etc. Since joining the Board, I am pleased to learn that it truly attempts to achieve its goals. Merely by way of example, when the recent animal tragedy occurred in Ohio, Born Free found itself in the middle of much needed discussion about legislation to assure that the tragedy does not occur again in Ohio and elsewhere. It did so by making itself available, and informed on the topic, for the media - resulting in media opportunities to get this issue out to the public. The goal here not being to get in the spotlight, but to get the public engaged in a covnersation about much needed legislation. It is that quality that sets Born Free apart - pushing its mission without regard to its limitations.