The Humane Society of the United States – healing the animal world
“It’s the moral obligation of humans to protect the animals, whose habitat we share” indeed a wise thought. Well, it is actually the belief of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – an organisation wholeheartedly dedicated to animal welfare. Here’s some more on The HSUS and HSI – the international arm of The HSUS. Celebrating glorious 50 years…of animal welfare With over 5 decades of compassion for animals, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been successfully serving the cause of animal welfare. They have redefined the meaning of animal welfare by following the holistic approach for animal welfare and care. Established in 1954, the society today has nearly ten million members and constituents. The unwavering faith of the people associated with it is actually the driving force behind the success of The HSUS.
In early 1950s, a few likeminded young men, who were of the opinion that animal cruelty is a national problem, formed a group, to work at the national level and chosen destination was Washington, DC, the nation’s capital. This decision led directly to the first major national successes ever achieved in the history of American animal protection, the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958 and the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966. With the sole aim to transform our earth into a better place to live…for us as well as our four-legged companion, the organisation has established several benchmarks. This makes The HSUS the largest and most powerful animal protection organisation, working in the United States and abroad to defend the interests of animals.
Setting benchmarks… step-by-step
The HSUS is well-known for its initiatives to protect animals, while making the social changes for mute creatures by advocating public policies, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about the issues, and conducting hands-on programmes, such as assisting animals during disasters etc. The organisation builds its advocacy efforts through four signature campaigns (factory farming, animal cruelty, hunting, and fur) and seeks constructive partnerships with both traditional and non-traditional corporate and NGO partners.
A humble beginning…
It was not a grand beginning for The HSUS also, like most other welfare organisations world over, but grit and never-say-die attitude had helped them go further. Today, it has evolved from its modest beginnings, to become a virtual “learned faculty” on humane issues, covering hundreds of issues, expanding its influence both within the United States and abroad, and gaining an unmatched number of supporters. So far, so good… nine regional offices, four affiliates, an international arm, and nearly 400 staff members including veterinarians, wildlife biologists, lawyers, animal behaviorists, and other professionals further strengthen its position.
Humane approach… holistic too
The HSUS people have planned and executed several campaigns, but Pets for Life and Wild Neighbours are prominent amongst them. These two campaigns celebrate the benefits of the bond between people and animals who live within the communities, and teach people how to solve human/animal conflicts humanely. Besides providing direct care for thousands of animals at sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics.
Stargazing…a welfare way
In The HSUS’s endeavor to fight against cruelty towards animals, they have won the support of celebrities too, which include Anjelica Huston, Ali MacGraw, Dave Matthews, Mandy Moore, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Victoria Principal, Alicia Silverstone, Britney Spears, Jerry Stiller, Barbra Streisand, and Betty White… and the list is getting more glitzy with time. Going beyond borders… The HSUS has set its sights beyond national borders, offering other nations their expertise in finding practical, culturally sensitive, and long-range solutions to common animal-related problems. The HSUS is dedicated to protect animals because it’s not just our world …it’s their world, too. HSI, the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, was founded in 1991; and has expanded The HSUS’s animal-protection activities into Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. HSI’s Asian, Australian, and European offices, as well as offices in Costa Rica and Canada, help carry out field activities and programmes.
The Indian way…
HSI has joined several groups in India as well on various programmes. The issues such as rabies control, sterilisation clinics, training clinics for vets, farm animal welfare etc gets an extra emphasis by them. In India HSI works mainly with three groups – Help in Suffering (HIS), Jaipur; Animal Aid Society, Udaipur; and Animal Help Foundation (AHF), Ahmedabad. All these groups work diligently on sterilisation of stray dogs and cats, implementing the TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) method to control over population and eradication of rabies etc.
If we look back, we will find innumerable tales of compassion for the animals cherished by The HSUS people. Every year brings best for them, thus, making them more content. And in 2006 also, there are a few rewards like:
- Nearly 300 dogs and several cats were rescued by the HSUS’ Disaster Animal Response Team from a Tennessee breeding facility where they were hoarded in October 2006.
- Pets and service animals will no longer be separated from their families in disasters for lack of official planning, as tens of thousands were last year in Hurricane Katrina. With The HSUS leading the charge, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which requires state and local agencies to include the animals in disaster plans.
A noble cause…
The efforts and dedications put in by the volunteers of any animal welfare organisation is outstanding. It’s only because of them, that thousands of strays and other mute creatures get some relief and respite. The organisation seeks to promote itself as one that develops mainstream positions using mainstream tactics to achieve social reform, while continuing to extend its historic commitment to raise the standards and the prospects for success of local humane societies and other local animal organisations. Also, it is committed to ending companion animal overpopulation through all appropriate measures. We wish them all the best for the endearing efforts to safeguard humanity.