Written by Amanda Delgado
Known as “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization,” the Humane Society focuses on providing hands-on care to animals in the United States and across the world. Its primary goal is to prevent cruelty before it happens.
Since it was founded in 1954, the organization has sought to make animal-related cruelties a national issue, addressing issues that not only apply companion animals, but also to farm animals and animals used for research and education purposes.
Rather than running local shelters and overseeing local animal care, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) promotes practices and supports local humane societies through training, publications, and other services. They protect animals through legislation, investigation, education, science, advocacy, and field work; they also organize events that reach out to the community.
Local humane societies and SPCAs are independent and run by other boards of officials or local officials, meaning they’re not run by the HSUS.
The HSUS states on their website that, “Our role is not to duplicate the efforts of local organizations, but to supplement them by advocating for tougher laws, innovating programs to keep pets out of harm’s way in the first place, and by providing education and support to help shelters and rescue groups do the best job possible.”
The HSUS and its partner, The Fund for Animals, has its own system that provides rescue operations and ensures emergency care and homes for animals. Together they operate the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in east Texas, which is home to more than 1,300 rescued animals, as well as the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center and Duchess Sanctuary.
They also operate three wildlife centers, one of which is in South Florida. The South Florida center, located in Fort Lauderdale, is responsible for providing medical treatment to injured animals. The sanctuary supports local, state, and national law enforcement and local shelters and wildlife agencies when wild animals are in need or when large-scale animal cruelty is being faced.
Before volunteering with HSUS, it’s vital to consider the decision to help and determine the time and level of commitment that is ready to be given.
It’s also important to think about the outcome and goal of any volunteer effort in order to learn more about the opportunities that are presented when volunteering.