December 31, 2010
Testimonials from Friends in the Field, 2010
From Haiti to Hancock County, Maine, communities and shelters praised The HSUS and HSI for helping animals
For more than half a century, The Humane Society of the United States has been the nation's most important advocate for local humane societies. From extensive training to disaster and financial assistance, our organization works every day to help shelters help animals.
And when the need to shelter animals who are victims of disasters or large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, horse slaughter trade, or factory farming falls outside the scope of local humane societies, we fulfill a special role here, too.
Together with our partner, The Fund for Animals, we provide sanctuary and direct care to thousands of creatures, big and small—making the duo among the largest and most diverse sanctuary operators in the United States.
Here's what some of the animal rescue groups, shelters, and other organizations had to say about their experiences working with The HSUS and HSI in 2010.
Deanne Blenkle, feline director at Almost Home Foundation, speaking out about the positive experience of taking part in Spay Day 2010 and why HSUS is a great resource to her organization
“We learned a great deal by participating in Spay Day. One of the things we learned is what an incredible resource HSUS is, and how beneficial it is to partner with HSUS. We also learned that the HSUS has an incredible amount of educational materials available to local rescues. We are now tapping into this wealth of information and using it to help educate people in our community. We look forward to doing great things together in the future.”
Paul Fowler, guardian of two dogs rescued from Haiti and delivered home by the HSUS/HSI team, expressing his thanks for our life-saving work
"I have been a grateful bystander to a Herculean effort and drama undertaken by HSUS and HSI to bring my dogs home. I am truly grateful to the phenomenal human beings and animal lovers at your organization. You all are the real heroes here, and we just the lucky ones to be blessed with passionate beings like yourselves. Thank you for sharing that passion and joy with me...To you and the others you call your comrades at HSUS this is obviously not just a job, and it is clear in the vibrant way you LIVE your profession, not just 'do it', with real connection, engagement of heart and enthusiasm!
This experience is helping reinforce in me the idealistic yet very real truth that when human beings focus on doing something, especially something heartfelt and loving towards other living creatures, (little souls that we share the planet with and in many ways depend on us to be responsible stewards of their home and well-being) that we can find a way despite obstacles, setbacks, and preconceptions of 'impossibility'. So much is possible through loving intention."
Yvette Wiite-Balsera of Veterinary Care and Human Services of the Dominican Republic, who worked with The HSUS and HSI on disaster animal response efforts in Haiti
"Working alongside HSI in Haiti has been very rewarding. It is difficult to find nonprofit organizations like HSI who will, at the drop of a dime, pull such a big project together. HSI has had no reservation when it came to reaching out to other organizations in different communities for collaboration, something that is admirable as we are all in this together and with one purpose, to help the Haitian community via the only route we know: animals."
Wonda Sullivan of Christian Veterinary Mission, thanking The HSUS and Humane Society International for their disaster response efforts in Haiti
“What a gift you all are. It is such a pleasure to network and work together and know we are all in this together for Haiti.”
Max Millien, Director of Animal Health at the Haiti Ministry of Agriculture, commenting on The HSUS' and Humane Society International's disaster response efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake
“We greatly appreciate this gesture of goodwill toward the advancement and improvement of animals in Haiti at a time most needed.”
David Betournay, president of the New England Federation of Humane Societies
The Humane Society of the United States has long been an organizational supporter of the New England Federation of Humane Societies (New England Fed). ... In support of [the group's] mission, through the years The HSUS has provided liaisons who have served as advisors and board members, speakers for our conferences and events, and been both regular sponsors and vendors helping to provide funds that make our events possible. They have also been donors of raffle items and a general resource for spreading the word about the Federation's events and we appreciate their support."
Beth Lockwood of SPCA Tampa Bay
"SPCA Tampa Bay Began a long-lasting partnership with HSUS in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. After that, through the assistance of our southeast director, we established our local Disaster Animal Response Team. Most recently, we assisted with four hurricanes that hit our state in 2004: Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. Without the support of HSUS, recovery for the animals would have been much slower. They assisted with staff and resources.
"Because of the experience we gained being in Florida, we were called on to help with Katrina and were honored to assist. Working with HSUS over the years has been a rewarding journey, not only for the SPCA but for our community as well. We are now assisting with puppy mills and man-made disasters. SPCA Tampa Bay staff, volunteers, and residents of our community assisted with time, money, and donated goods to help rescued dogs get a new lease on life. Thank you for letting us be part of the solution!"
Danni Armstrong, volunteer coordinator at Osan Air Base's veterinary treatment facility in South Korea
Armstrong, a certified veterinary assistant, had been working with shelters, rescue groups, and kennels since 1989 in places where her husband was stationed. But even so, she needed help, so she contacted The HSUS in 2007. "I've always been the little volunteer—'I'm just here to help'—but I was given the whole program to take over and I wanted to do it right," she says, "and the people at The Humane Society are the experts."
She was put in touch with The HSUS's Stephanie Shain, who sent her books, copies of the organization's Animal Sheltering magazine, and lists of online resources. The pair soon began exchanging countless e-mails. "For her to stop what she was doing just to help me get going on my program was amazing," says Armstrong.
Sara Pizano, DVM, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services
"In 2004, County Manager George Burgess requested an evaluation of Miami Dade Animal Services by HSUS. The result was a 200+ page report with more than 570 recommendations that included creating an independent department and hiring a new director. Of course, I am in support of the ASC program [now called The HSUS Shelter Services Program] since I was hired as a result of the report! Back then, as a new director, the report served as a great tool I used to begin overhauling the department.
In four years we have increased adoptions more than 250 percent, created a formal rescue program with more than 50 groups, drastically decreased the infectious disease rate and welcomed back volunteers who last year donated 11,000 hours. This year we will save more animals than ever before and are grateful for the framework the HSUS evaluation provided to improve the shelter."
Michael W. Duffey, animal cruelty investigator with The Humane Society of Southern Arizona and co-chairman of The Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona
"As the co-chairman of the Animal Cruelty Task force of Southern Arizona, I am willing to advise anyone, that the continued support of The HSUS is directly responsible for our continued success in the ongoing struggle with investigation and prosecution of animal crimes in Arizona. The HSUS representative for Arizona has also been personally involved with seeking changes to Arizona statutory laws that facilitate successful prosecution of animal cruelty suspects, and increase the quality of life for all the animal victims.
"It is the actions of the HSUS that have allowed the very many rural communities throughout Arizona to receive the assistance they have needed to train and educate the various animal control agencies, which has made a significant difference in all animals' lives."
Lisa Blenden, who works with feral cats in Texas
"For most people, spring is a time of joy. Unfortunately, I have dreaded the warm air, the budding trees, and blooming flowers each season for 16 years, as it will bring an untold number of additions to my feral colony of cats. Throughout the years I have struggled to control the ever-growing population, failing each time due to a lack of funds, an adequate number of humane traps, or a lack of availability for unscheduled surgeries at my local clinics.
"However, this spring will be different. Thanks to the Doris Day Animal Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States for their grants distributed by the Waco Animal Birth Control Clinic and the Heart of Texas Feral Friends Society, my colony appears to have been completely neutralized. I cannot thank enough those who have contributed their time and funds to give such a beautiful gift to my beloved four-legged, furry friends. We will always be grateful and thankful to have received such kindness."
Kelley Y. Durham, CAWA, executive director of Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, Ariz.
"HSUS offers to individual animal shelters what we could never do alone. Their centralized resources help us:
- Speak with a collective voice within our individual state legislatures
- Collect valuable research that guides our messaging and programming
- Gather together to collaborate and build relationships
- Attend a national conference full of the latest information, most informative speakers, and opportunities for networking
- Acquire education through their publications and university
- Tap experienced resources for disaster, cruelty rescues, and public relations
"Our shelter is a proud shelter partner member of HSUS. As a member, we don't look to them to give us handouts or cash any more than we do from our chamber of commerce. They provide tremendous value for our membership and are an international voice for animal welfare—speaking for all of us combined. Because of the efforts of HSUS, many individual shelters are in a much better position to accomplish our mission."
Cindy Wiemann, secretary/treasurer of the Georgia Animal Control Association
"The Humane Society of the United States has done so much for so many animals. Georgia would still have one of the weakest dogfighting laws in the nation if it was not for the hard work of The HSUS. They have provided training at a very low cost (barely enough for the printed material, and nothing for travel expense) to law enforcement and animal control to help recognize and prosecute dogfighting. The same is true for the disaster response training. Without The HSUS, many of the animal welfare laws (both state and federal) would still be on a 'wish list.' Training, selling and watching a dog ight would result in a slap on the hand.
"As an Animal Control Officer, I have assisted in several cases with The HSUS. I consider it an honor to assist and learn from some of the best-trained and educated animal welfare people in the nation. Each time I have worked with them, I have received valuable training. All The HSUS personnel I have known are very professional.
"National animal welfare groups and local rescue groups have different, but equally important, goals. Many of the animals taken from people for cruelty would never make it to the local shelter without good laws (and groups with money and power to persuade the legislators to pass them)."
Jerilee Zezula, D.V.M., retired assistant professor of Applied Animal Science, University of New Hampshire; campus coordinator for New England Animal Control/Humane Academy
"HSUS has been a hands-on supporter of Animal Care and Control professionals in New England for many years. HSUS has supported New England Animal Control Humane Academy since 1980 by providing professional speakers at no cost on a variety of topics. NEACHA has been very successful at keeping the tuition of the week-long academy reasonable to attract animal care professionals who could not otherwise attend. HSUS understands our goal and has worked with us.
"In addition, HSUS, through its regional office, has provided assistance and resources to area shelters, Animal Fighting Task Forces, and Humane Commissions throughout NE. Many small organizations and shelters have problems or limited resources to pull great ideas together. HSUS has used their resources and connections to help them on many occasions. While HSUS does not operate animal shelters, many of its employees and representatives have come up through the ranks and have worked at and directed animal shelters.
"I guess the best way I can describe the role of HSUS in New England is that it helps animal care professionals help themselves by providing guidance and resources. It has greatly contributed to the professionalism of the animal care and control fields!"
Douglas Radziewicz, executive director of the SPCA of Hancock County in Maine
What has HSUS done for us at the SPCA of Hancock County? I feel that HSUS has done everything we have asked for or expected. We rely upon them for everything from Humane Education; a link for shelter news (i.e. reference for the advances in animal behavior, shelter and animal health, shelter medicine, volunteerism and so on) with their magazine and online info; a source for a gathering of related organizations and professionals with their Animal Care Expo; and lastly their work with the many other shelters and Maine Federation of Humane Societies. Having a regional/state representative work on behalf of shelters and the animals we care for is so valuable to the mission of each of our respective organizations. All of the above affect our work at the SPCA and work we do as an animal shelter. We consider HSUS a friend, a supporter and a truly professionally run organization.
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