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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Humane Society of the United States

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty

Results: -We passed a bill in Congress making interstate dogfighting and cockfighting a federal felony -We worked with law enforcement agencies to bust abusive puppy mill operations -We continued to investigate and combat Canada’s gruesome hunt of Atlantic harp seals, and our boycott of Canadian seafood now has the support of more than 1,000 restaurants and food businesses and 300,000 individuals -We persuaded the National Institutes of Health to ban the new breeding of chimpanzees for research -We provided hands-on care to thousands of animals at our network of sanctuaries and wildlife centers -We responded to the wildfires in southern California, and helped save more than 1,000 animals—dogs, cats, horses, goats, and others -We passed the first bill in a state legislature to outlaw cruel confinement of farm animals when Oregon banned gestation crates for breeding pigs -Food industry leaders like Burger King, Wolfgang Puck, and Compass Group adopted ground-breaking humane reforms advanced by The HSUS -Our efforts persuaded leaders in the fashion industry such as Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, and Foot Locker to go fur-free, and other designers and retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory to drastically reduce the amount of fur they sell -We passed two precedent-setting bills in the New York state legislature to require accurate labeling of all fur garments, and ban the electrocution of animals in fur factories -We passed state legislation in Illinois to ban horse slaughter -We continued passing laws to ban Internet hunting, with 34 states now prohibiting the practice -In Congress, we secured language in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill to stop the imports of polar bear trophies killed by sport hunters in the Arctic -We won court victories to protect endangered right whales from being harmed by fishing longlines, to stop invasive research on Steller sea lions, and to protect wolves and Canada lynx -Our Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) program provided more than 30,000 medical treatments to animals in remote areas of the country often underserved by veterinarians -We helped pass 86 new animal protection laws in state legislatures in 2007, a record year

Target demographics: mostly women ages 40-50

Geographic areas served: USA and beyond

Programs: Advocacy and public policy, encompassing such activities as expanding the scope of corporate policies concerning the treatment of animals, urging consumers to modify their spending and lifestyle habits to favor humane products, increasing the scope and strength of animal protection statutes and regulations, and persuading their leaders to ally themselves with humane values, are important elements of the hsus' work. (continued to schedule o)

cruelty prevention program, and direct care and service cruelty prevention programs serve the fundamental hsus mission of carrying out long-term initiatives to ensure the well-being of animals in a variety of contexts and settings. The hsus's direct care and service initiatives are designed to meet its commitment to animals and their basic care needs across a wide range of issue and program areas. These initiatives involve external grants to other organizations and the direct care work that is carried out by the hsus and its staff members. (continued to schedule o)

the work of research and education, with the related activities of public education and outreach, is a core element of the hsus's programs. This work is conducted through many sections including donor care, communications, media and public relations, conferences and events, publications and content, the humane society institute for science and policy, faith outreach, rural development and outreach, humane society academy, and the hsus los angeles office. Donor care donor care, which oversees and manages the membership experience for the hsus, responds to thousands of supporter and member inquiries sent annually. In 2014, donor care fielded 75,178 telephone calls across all hsus affiliates; 138,618 emails across all hsus affiliates; and processed 150 to 200 pieces of mail per day, handling approximately 45,948 pieces of mail in the year. Communications communication with the general public and other audiences is a high priority. The content department creates print and electronic magazines, brochures, advertisements, reports, and other documents. In 2014, more than 773,000 people received the hsus's bi-monthly all animals magazine and there were nearly 57,000 recipients of the magazine animal sheltering and its e-newsletter. The combined readership of all animals, animal sheltering, and kind news was more than 830,000. The hsus communicates with many supporters via phone, letter and email, and on social networks. The hsus has more than 2. 2 million supporters on facebook, updates more than 300,000 followers via twitter, and updates more than 30,000 people via instagram. The hsus's ceo/president writes a blog about animal issues and the organization's activities, sent to approximately 6,000 subscribers. In 2014, the hsus website recorded nearly 26 million visits, and supporters took an estimated 1. 4 million online advocacy actions. Hsus online videos were viewed approximately 9. 3 million times during 2014. The hsus has a dynamic text message program, activating more than 100,000 constituents to take action for animals, directly from their mobile phones. Media and public relations the media relations department works to inform the public about animal protection through mass media. In 2014, the hsus distributed nearly 200 press releases, 50 statements, and 70 news briefs to journalists; distributed more than 300 letters to the editor, op-eds, and guest blogs; conducted interviews with news outlets; and placed related advertisements. These efforts generated more than 6,000 news stories about the hsus and its work. Conferences and events the hsus hosts a number of conferences and events for animal advocates. These include animal care expo, the major professional animal care and services conference in the world, and taking action for animals (tafa), a marquee event for humane advocates interested in engagement and training. In 2014, 1758 people from over 30 countries attended animal care expo, and 1222 people attended tafa. Humane society institute for science and policy the humane society institute for science and policy (hsisp) works to integrate the science of animal welfare into public policy and other forums. Hsisp focuses the energy and expertise of the hsus's cadre of scientists and other specialists on the most urgent public policy questions affecting animals worldwide, via conferences, consultations, and other channels. In 2014, hsisp expanded its digital asset repository - a curated on-line library - to facilitate access to useful animal welfare documents for a broad audience, and sponsored a conference on animal sentience that drew participants from around the world. Humane society academy through humane society academy, the hsus provides teaching materials and professional development to support teachers and humane educators. In 2014, the hsus reached hundreds of educators through the association of professional humane educators (aphe) conference, national service-learning conference, national afterschool association convention, online webinars, and the hsus's certified humane education specialist (ches) program. More than 565,000 students from kindergarten to 6th grade in 19,367 classrooms received age appropriate messages about animals and kindness in kind news. Through the adopt-a-classroom program, kind news remained america's number one humane education resource. The hsus also managed the shaw-worth and florence kaufelt student scholarships, and honored the national humane teacher with a special award. Faith outreach the faith outreach program engages people and institutions of faith with animal protection issues. In 2014, the program cultivated major faith leaders by co-hosting regional dinners in the midwest; creating a video series with nationally-known faith leaders; creating the hsus dharmic leadership council, and more. The faith outreach volunteer and ally program increased by 40 new volunteers and 300 allies, and hosted over 20 faith outreach events at local churches. In an effort to engage faith communities and individuals nationwide, the faith outreach program attracted 3,500 new supporters through its ongoing and seasonal campaigns including fill the bowl, humane backyard, eating mercifully, and st. Francis day in a box. The program continued to provide assistance for hsus public policy priorities by facilitating support from faith leaders for a variety of campaigns. The work of the faith outreach program was featured by a number of notable outlets including the new york times. The hsus los angeles office the hsus's los angeles office works with influential public figures from the world of entertainment, including actors, musicians, athletes, authors, and filmmakers, to raise awareness of the core campaigns and programs of the hsus through events, print advertisement and video campaigns, exposes, and other advocacy efforts such as public appeals, social media activity, opinion pieces, and endorsements for humane legislation. The hsus's dedicated celebrity supporters include james cromwell, betty white, woody harrelson, kristen bell, kaley cuoco-sweeting, kate mara, anjelica huston, martha stewart, jon bernthal, kesha, chase utley, and golden tate. The los angeles office acts as adviser for a variety of film and television projects - both documentary and narrative - to ensure and promote humane messaging, and encourages filmmakers to invest in alternatives to the use of exotic animal actors in their productions. Partnerships have included the groundbreaking documentary blackfish, through magnolia pictures, and darren aronofsky's global blockbuster, noah, through paramount pictures.

donated in-kind services reported per instructions: p&a: $21,167,406 legal services: $2,684,209 facilities rental: $4,935 advertising: $19,750 airline miles/tickets: $48,723 total: $23,925,023

Community Stories

107 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

14 Sandy85

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the last couple of years I have learned much more about what The Humane Society of the US does and am more impressed and more grateful than ever! The reach of their work is astounding! I appreciate they way they care for and seek justice for all animal species, including pets, wildlife and farm animals. They have people "on the ground" rescuing animals, meeting with corporations to promote more humane treatment of farm animals, as well as working to change laws to protect animals in all different kinds of situations. I appreciate HSUS so much and am proud to volunteer my help in any way I can!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern at The HSUS, I've seen the amazing work this organization does. They understand that change is incremental and expertly choose those causes that are important and will help end an immense amount of suffering. They are truly advocates for all animals, whether companion animals, farm animals, marine mammals, wild animals, or any other group or species. They work to end animal suffering at all levels, and I am proud to have worked with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer in Arizona, I have seen firsthand the incredible work done by The Humane Society of the United States. It works to make the world a better place for animals in so many ways, such as working for much-needed better laws to protect animals, rescuing animals from cruel situations, and educating the public about problems and issues animals have. HSUS is one of the few organizations working to improve the lives of "all animals, everywhere." HSUS focuses on helping animals in the U.S. and has an international affiliate that works to help animals across the globe. There are thousands of volunteers such as me very serious about helping animals who appreciate the backing, support and information provided by HSUS. I make a significant financial contribution every year according to my means, and work regularly with the great people at HSUS. They truly have one of the best organizations and collection of expertise in the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a member of the HSUS, when one of their agents helped get improvements made for impounded animals in my city in 1974. At the time I was impressed with the outreach and accomplishments of the organization, when it was a lot smaller than it is now. Over the years, I have been thrilled with the organization, as it grew into the effective organization that it is today.

The HSUS was founded in 1954 to do what small local or regional humane organizations cannot do, including working on state and national legislation. I have had opportunities to work on grassroots efforts with the HSUS on legislative issues.

The work of the HSUS is fully explained on its vast website, its magazines and in its official history, that was published on its 50th anniversary. As a volunteer in various aspeccts of humane work on a local level, information from the HSUS was always just a phone call away.

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2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a proud member of the HSUS since 1974 - almost 40 years. During that time, I have had the priviledge of knowing several staff members personally and many others through phone and e-mail contacts as I am also an active volunteer in local humane work and have had reasons to contact the HSUS for information or advice from time to time. There is no more transparent organization than the HSUS. They display what they do on their website and in their frequently published magazine. If the HSUS says they did this or did that in connection with a large rescue effort, you will find newspaper and TV accounts that back up their claims. No other humane organization is attacked by animal abusers as widely as is the HSUS. And that is simply because the HSUS is exposing the cruelties that are suffered by animals, cruelties that are carefully hidden from the public - puppy mills, horse soring, and abuses within factory farms, to name a few. Those who profit from those enterprises involving cruelty to animals don't want the HSUS interfering in their business. They especially don't want the HSUS lobbying for better federal and state laws. Since it was only founded in 1954, the history of the HSUS and its purpose is well documented. By the way - the money donated for the Katrina rescue was all spent in the region, some of it being spent after the fact of the actual rescue, spent helping the companion animals in that region.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience has been as a volunteer in multiple capacities. The opportunities have been numerous and various, and I have been continuously impressed at how HSUS spends its funds. Truly, they are offer support across the nation to animals of all kinds. In addition, they have staff and educational materials to help rescue groups and shelters. Their grassroots work are second to none.

It feels great to be a part of something like HSUS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Humane Society of the United States is the only national, full-spectrum animal protection organization that addresses the issues affecting all animals, from pets to wildlife to farm animals. It is tremendously effective in raising awareness of the conditions affecting animals and bringing forward workable solutions. HSUS serves as a leader in setting standards and offering grants to local shelters, proposing legislation to prevent cruelty, and working with corporations to end cruelty in their supply chains. I have volunteered in numerous capacities for HSUS for several years and continue to be impressed by its effectiveness and the sincerity of the people who work there. HSUS is exceptional in meeting the critical needs of animals.

1 Mark136

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as a volunteer has been very worthwhile - the staff and my fellow volunteers are friendly, capable, and united by a common desire to help end the needless suffering of animals. The organization also seems to be very well run from a financial perspective and I am confident that my donations go directly to HSUS' advocacy programs, which are designed to improve animal welfare through legislation as well as encouraging people to make humane choices.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HSUS does great work! They work to protect ALL animals and address the root causes of suffering. They support local shelters through their national conferences, online resources, etc. And they provide hands-on care through their rescue work and sanctuaries. But they do so much more than that! Legislation, law enforcement training, corporate outreach, public education...the list goes on and on. HSUS is a mainstream organization fighting to help create a more humane society. Their name says it all!

1 Pamela72

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The scope of work done by the HSUS is truly amazing. As a long-term supporter and now volunteer for this organization, I continue to be impressed by their accomplishments in advocacy, education, rescue and working tirelessly to prevent cruelty to all animals. Without the work of the HSUS, there would be far fewer animal protection laws passed, resulting in significantly more suffering for our animal friends. As a volunteer, the HSUS has provided me with great training and resources. As a result, I have learned a great deal about our legislative process and have the opportunity to interact with my local, state and federal legislators; allowing me to successfully advocate and be the "voice" for those who need our help.

1 wylderich

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with the HSUS to help animals in my town. Consequently, this experience led to my volunteering with them, as well as being a supporter. I am impressed by their level of professionalism, compassion, effectiveness and transparency. CEO Wayne Pacelle has effectively grown and led this organization to one that has millions of members. The numbers don't lie, and there is a reason to be supportive of HSUS - they make a difference for animals. That fact is proven by the actions of those entities who feel threatened enough to retaliate. HSUS will always have my respect and support as one of the most successful animal welfare organizations in the world and one of the most deserving charities. I never worry about where my contributions are going and I intend to include them in my final arrangements as my last gesture for animal welfare. They rock!

1 Houston W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been giving to the HSUS for at least over a year and a half now. They were highly rated on CharityNavigator and were the only animal rights charity that maintained such a status consistently each year. Their campaign is far reaching, affecting animals of all kinds and also different parts of the world and also multiple important areas of animal rights needing dire attention such as factory farming, animal fights, emergency response, wildlife protection, shelter advocacy, animal testing, meatless monday outreach, and humane population control. They are a large organization and have a powerful outreach. I strongly believe in their goals, motives, and great success in coming times.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took a lot of training to become a volunteer for HSUS, and I was amazed at the wide scope of its work. I donate money as well as time to support their many efforts to help animals. Through e-mails, I am kept informed of HSUS concerns and possible actions I can take locally to further the welfare of animals. I have met several people who work for HSUS and am always impressed with their range of knowledge about animal issues, and their passion for their work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended their annual meeting last year and was so impressed with their work I became a state council member. Additionally, I donate substantially . They also have made a grant of $100,000 to Stray Rescue in St Louis that is having a very positive impact as an outreach program.

This is a 5 star organization!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with and donate to The Humane Society of the United States because they effectively protect animals in all sorts of situations (including shelters, factory farms, etc.) all over the country (and the world, in partnership with their affiliate Humane Society International). They care about ALL animals, no matter where they are or what situation they're in. They use smart, strategic tactics to win big victories for animals in the legislative, corporate, and other arenas, and you won't find a more dedicated staff anywhere.

1 Allison40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I donate based on actual results and accomplishments.
I see the specific actions the HSUS is doing to change the world for animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

According to the dictionary the word humane means “having or showing compassion or benevolence. ‘regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals.’” There isn’t anything in that definition that has to do with sheltering. Any one that is confused about HSUS mission and goals need only visit its website for factual information. By design most shelters focus on companion animals; dogs, cats, rabbits and the like, animals that HSUS works to keep out of shelters to begin with through free neutering and sterilization programs for low income pet owners, TNR (trap neuter and release) programs for feral cats, and working to shut down puppy mills, from which a surprisingly large number of shelter pets come from. Puppy mill operators basically dump dogs that don’t meet breed standards at shelters, or dump those that are worn out by continually giving birth to litter after litter. (Many cat breeders are guilty of the same thing). HSUS has done an exemplary job in exposing and ending animal cruelty, particularly with factory farmed animals and horses, which are not the kind of animals one finds in a shelter, or could reasonably shelter, and they work to end animal cruelty in areas such as horse soaring, killing baby seals for fur coats, laboratory animal experimentation, dog fighting, and the like. HSUS is a national organization that compliments, not competes against local shelters. I don’t think anyone at HSUS is claiming a substantial portion of their revenue is going into sheltering and I have yet to find any printed or electronic material from HSUS that makes such a claim. Kelly is however correct in that if you want to know the truth about HSUS download its financials. For the year 2013 they show that 80% of revenues (that’s eighty cents of every dollar received) go into animal protection programs. Only 3% goes into administration, which includes operating costs, salaries and pension funds. If your forte is animal shelters then I encourage you to support them, but people shouldn't try to diminish the work HSUS is doing over a misunderstanding of what its goals and mission are.

3 Mary.C

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer on the HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team. I signed up because of Katrina. I've been called to help with hoarding situations and male chicken fighting. I've known Eric Sakach for ten years. He is in charge of the male chicken (I can't type that word because the obscenity filter thinks it's obscene) fighting raids. He and his organization have always done a great job. While I don't always agree 100% with what HSUS does, they still help a lot of animals.

1 suzyelectracuted

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The HSUS is simply the largest, most effective organization in the US working for real and meaningful positive change in our treatment of all other animals.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The fact that Richard Berman's front groups, Humanewatch, No Kill Nation and petakills animals sends its' members over here to try to damage the HSUS ratings is all the proof I need that the HSUS is the most effective animal welfare organization in the world.

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2 Alexis U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became familiar with the HSUS when I was 13. I was so upset about the Canadian Seal Hunt, and I wanted to do something about it, and here was a group that was doing something! The greatest thing about HSUS is even if you are a teenager or college student with no income, the HSUS still provides ways to help rather than just donating! You are actually doing work and making a difference. I have met many state directors and Wayne Pacelle and they are incredibly passionate and dedicated to their work and they are making a real change for animals in the United States.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Humane Society of the United States is a fantastic non-profit organization that has made amazing strides in the field of animal welfare. The HSUS constantly works to ensure that the lives of all animals are made better through legislation, rescue efforts, and education.

1 Lynn F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

most of the negative comments here pertain to the fact that HSUS does not fund or run shelters. That is not the objective of this organization. They are instrumental in stopping cruelty, either in hoarding, or dog & cockfighting. I am part of their field response team, have seen it first hand, and are proud to be a member.

7 Mark234

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Charity Navagator really needs to do their homework on this charity....THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES has been found guilty of corruption concerning Fields Entertainment...they are to pay millions in fines....this organization is very corrupt and giving them 4 stars only hurts charity navagators
credibility....the ASPCA was also involved and already paid their 9 million. Plus HSUS socks away more money in their retirement plans than they do to help animals....DO NOT GIVE THIS ORGINIZATION ONE DIME! please give money to help animals to local rescues...they are the hands on hard working people who deserve the help....GOD BLESS! It will not let me post this unless i select a rating...I want to give them 0 stars, but if will not do that so just to get this posted I have to give them one star....but they deserve none!

Review from CharityNavigator

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11

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Dear Charity Navigator,
I am totally upset that Humane Society of the United States get a three star Rating...I just got an email from you telling me that you revised your system...well you really need to revise it again...this rating only hurts yourself as a reliable source as a charity navigator...I will never take your work again.
As for the Humane Society of The United States, they are a fraudulant group that begs people for money, whom most people are duped into believing that it is gonna be used to feed and shelter the poor animals that are in their commercials. It does not once mention that most of the money will be used to pay off lobbiests, pay for large salaries, the the money given by these people will be taken food out of their mouths and causing their food bills to sky rocket because of their attacks on the agriculture in america...they are out to destroy america. How dare you give them a 3 star rating and mis-lead the public into giving them more money...to further push their vegan, anti agriculture, anti american agenda...SHAME ON YOU!!!!

Review from CharityNavigator