Humane Society of the United States

non-profit organization in the USA

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), based in Washington, D.C., is an American nonprofit organization that does activism against animal cruelty. It was founded in 1954.[3] They do this by organizing campaigns to get laws passed[4] and by investigating companies.[5]

FoundedNovember 22, 1954; 69 years ago (1954-11-22) (as National Humane Society)
FoundersFred Myers
Helen Jones
Larry Andrews
Marcia Glaser
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[2]
FocusAnimal protection, animal rights, cruelty to animals, humane education, animal ethics, animal law, wildlife conservation
Coordinates38°54′22″N 77°03′04″W / 38.906°N 77.051°W / 38.906; -77.051
MethodPublic education, science-based analysis, training and education, litigation, public policy, direct care
Kitty Block
Susan Atherton
Thomas J. Sabatino, Jr.,
Revenue (2014)
Expenses (2014)$128,921,223[1]
Employees (2014)
Volunteers (2014)

HSUS opposes cruelty against animals used for food.[6][7] The organization works on a full range of animals, including pets, wildlife, farm animals, horses, and animals used in research, testing and education.[8]

HSUS works with another organization, the Fund for Animals, to operate animal sanctuaries in five states.[9] However, it does not operate animal shelters itself. HSUS also trains rescue groups and shelters.[10]

HSUS has been criticized for the way it spends its money.



In 1954, there were disagreements in the American Humane Association (AHA), another animal rights organization. The AHA thought that animals could be used in experiments, but some members disagreed.[11] Many of the staff were fired, including Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser, Helen Jones, and Fred Myers. These people set up HSUS in Washington, DC. At first, it was called the "National Humane Society". This organization focused on national policy.[12][13][14] Their first goal was to get laws about humane slaughter passed.

Humane slaughter legislation


In 1958, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act passed. This law required slaughterhouses to use humane slaughter methods.[15]

Exposure of cruelty in the dog trade


In 1961, HSUS employee Frank McMahon began an investigation of dog dealers around the United States. In February 1966, Life magazine published an article about some of the poor conditions he found.[16][17] Tens of thousands of Americans read the article and wrote letters to Congress members, asking them to protect animals more. Later that year, the U.S. Congress approved the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act.[18]

Recent history


Animal Protection Litigation section


In 2005, HSUS started an Animal Protection Litigation Section. This is a part of the organization that works with attorneys around the country to participate in legal cases. This group had won approximately three dozen cases by 2015. In 2010, the section estimated that it had filed more than 50 legal actions in 25 states, and won 80% of its cases.[19][20][21][22]

Hurricane Katrina animal rescue


In September 2005, thousands of animals were left behind as people evacuated during Hurricane Katrina. HSUS and other organizations rescued approximately ten thousand animals.[23]

Political and legislative initiatives


During 2013, HSUS helped to pass 109 state laws to protect animals.[24]

The HSUS has a department that focuses on pets.[25] It also wants to end dog-fighting.[26]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax – The Humane Society of the United States". GuideStar. December 31, 2014.
  2. "About Us: Overview". Washington, D.C.: Humane Society of the United States. Archived from the original on April 1, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  3. Unti, Bernard (February 16, 2005). "Fred Myers: Co-Founder of The HSUS". Washington, D.C.: The Humane Society of the United States. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2011. After The HSUS formed on November 22, 1954, Myers and the other co-founders—Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser, and Helen Jones—moved quickly to fulfill their goal of engaging cruelties of a national scope.
  4. Saturday, August 16, 2008 By Ed Anderson Capital bureau (2008-08-16). "Give cockfighting law a chance, advocates say". Retrieved 2011-03-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. Kesmodel, David (2008-02-25). "Meatpacker in Cow-Abuse Scandal May Shut as Congress Turns Up Heat – The Wall Street Journal". Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  6. "Humane Society fetes actor James Cromwell at gala". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  7. Statement on Farm Animals and Eating with Conscience July 16, 2009
  8. Simon M. Shane. (Jan. 14 2014).Interview with Wayne Pacelle president of the HSUS.
  9. "The Fund for Animals and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): A Partnership for Animals". Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  10. "Common Questions about Animal Shelters". Washington, D.C.: The Humane Society of the United States. 2009-10-26. Archived from the original on 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2011-04-19. [W]e serve local animal shelters and other groups by offering...
  11. Satanovsky, Gary. "Humane Society of United States founded". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  12. ""A Social History of Postwar Animal Protection" by Bernard Unti, et al". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  13. Unti, Bernard. Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of The Humane Society of the United States (2004), idem.
  14. W. Swallow, The Quality of Mercy: History of the Humane Movement in the United States, Boston, 1962, 165.
  15. Evans, Kim (2009). Animal Rights. Detroit: Gale. ISBN 978-1-4144-3369-1.
  16. Unti, Bernard. "Frank McMahon: The Investigator Who Took a Bite Out of Animal Lab Suppliers". Washington, D.C.: The Humane Society of the United States. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2011-04-19. The conditions that shocked the troopers were all too familiar to the man who led them on to Brown's property, Frank McMahon (1926–1975), HSUS director of field services.
  17. Wayman, Stan (1966-02-04). "Concentration camps for dogs". Life. Vol. 60, no. 5. Time Inc. pp. 22–29. Retrieved 2011-04-19. The raid was at the behest of the Humane Society of the United States, which, in its constant surveillance of places like Brown's around the country, had sent one of its agents to check conditions at Brown's twice within the past year
  18. Unti, Bernard. "'Concentration Camps for Lost and Stolen Pets': Stan Wayman's LIFE photo essay and the Animal Welfare Act". Washington, D.C.: The Humane Society of the United States. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2011-04-19. ...sparked a public outrage that had a catalytic effect, breaking through the political impasse that had seen one animal welfare bill after another fail in the U.S. Congress.
  19. "Cover Story: Animal Law". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  20. "Taking Animals to Court: A Q&A with Jonathan Lovvorn and Peter Petersan". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  21. "How The Humane Society Decides Who To Sue". Huffington Post. 2012-10-02.
  23. "President Bush Signs Bill to Leave No Pet Behind in Disaster Planning and Evacuation". The Humane Society of the United States. Oct 6, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  24. "Pa. improves ranking on animal protection". The Unionville Times. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  25. May 3, 2013. Common Questions about Animal Shelters Archived 2011-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. The Humane Society of the United States
  26. Wayne Pacelle. December 23, 2013. Our Top Achievements for Dogs and Cats, at Home and Abroad A Humane Nation. The Humane Society of the United States.

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