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Testimonials from Friends in the Field, 2011

The HSUS worked with local shelters and communities to help animals—and garnered gratitude

  • In 2011, The HSUS rescued hundreds of cats in Florida alone. Julie Busch Branaman

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 in 2011.


Gina Brown, founder and director of Spring Hill Horse Rescue in Clarendon, Vt., after severe flooding from tropical storm Irene (December 2011)

(Editor's note: Quote courtesy of TheHorse.com.)

Once again, the HSUS helped us out in a desperate time of need and granted us the money necessary to purchase nice new blankets for our residents. We are so grateful for their continued support.

Shelters respond to the recognition of our ten best Emergency Placement Partners of 2011

Marsha Williams, Guilford Co Animal Shelter (N.C.)
It is great partnering with the HSUS on helping the animals.

Sheryl Blancato, Executive Director, Second Chance Animal Shelter (Mass.)
Thanks so much, that is really an honor.  We love you guys!! 

Mary Jarvis, Chief Operating Officer, WARL (D.C.)
I’m glad we have been able to help! [T]his is very nice and I know the staff will be thrilled!

Theresa Stilger, RVT, Animal Care Coordinator, New Albany Floyd County Animal Shelter (Ind.)
You are a blessing in so many ways!

Suzy Swims, Norfolk SPCA (Va.)
THANK YOU for all you do!!!!!

Wisconsin Humane Society expresses support for HSUS's advocacy for wild and companion animals

We are grateful for the educational resources HSUS offers and for their national advocacy work that seeks to improve the treatment of wild and companion animals in our community. As an organization who seeks to create a community that values animals and treats them with respect and kindness, we are grateful to groups whose efforts support that mission.

Steven G. James of the New York State Police, grateful for the expertise and help The HSUS contributed during an investigation of alleged cockfighting in Fulton County (September 2011)

The assistance provided by your personnel was instrumental in identifying items that are used in cockfighting, in light of our limited experience in dealing with and exposure to cockfighting. Your agency personnel assisted in securing the birds and ensuring that they were cared for after being seized. The personnel, who traveled more than 500 miles to assist in this endeavor, were quite enthusiastic in providing assistance. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation in the help that your agency has provided.

Austin Humane Society of Texas on HSUS help with rescue operations (September 2011)

AHS would like to send a HUGE thank you to our colleague and friend, Nicole Paquette from the Humane Society of the United States who has been working tirelessly to help our rescue operations here at the shelter. Nicole—we are so lucky to have you as a part of our animal welfare team!

T.J. Show, chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, on the wildfires that threatened the Blackfeet Nation in the summer of 2011

It is with a profound sense of gratitude and pride that I extend our thanks to you on behalf of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and the entre Blackfeet Nation for your assistance to the animals who were affected by the terrible grassland fires on our land. ... The Society's contribution of money and hay is invaluable to all those residents of the Blackfeet Nation who suffered losses of range land and feed. Without your swift and certain response, we would surely have seen the deaths of livestock and horses. ... [T]his could have been an unimaginable disaster. Thanks, however, to HSUS's generous contributions to help the horses and livestock within the Blackfeet Nation, this did not happen. Your contributions will not be forgotten!

Greg Greene, Director of Caldwell County Animal Control, praising the assistance of The HSUS during a North Carolina puppy mill rescue (June 2011)

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that for a long time I have been a person that was very skeptical of The HSUS due to things a person hears, but in saying that with the help from Kim Alboum and the rest of the crew that came in to help us has changed in my mind on what you guys are all about. Again from the bottom of my heart I appreciate so much what has been done for the animals and this facility in Caldwell County.

Video and more details on the rescue are available here.

Sheriff Chuck Mayfield of Adams County, Mississippi, on The HSUS's help when the Mississippi River flooded in May 2011

I am still in awe of the organization, professionalism and heartfelt love of the pets that the HSUS displayed. The disaster was averted and instead of stories of tragedy we can look back with joy and satisfaction that a great burden on people already overburdened with anxiety was alleviated. Lifelong friendships have been established and a new and wonderful addition to our arsenal of service to all of our community has been firmly established.

I heartily and without hesitation endorse HSUS in any endeavor they see that fits their mission!

Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes, praising The HSUS during a press conference held after a recent Alabama hoarding rescue (February 2011)

There is no way that we could have undertaken an investigation of this magnitude without the help of The HSUS. They brought in personnel and resources that we didn't have access to, and their assistance was a tremendous help to us in this case.

See full video of press conference here.

Captain Bob Johnson of the Marshall County Sheriff's Office, commenting on The HSUS' assistance with a Tennessee puppy mill rescue (February 2011)

I would like to thank the Humane Society of the United States for their recent help with a puppy mill here in Tennessee. When I first arrived at the scene of the puppy mill I was overwhelmed with what I saw. The dogs were in bad shape , and we had no facility to house them. This was my first puppy mill and I had no experience in dealing with such a task. Both the Tennessee state director and puppy mill task force at The HSUS were extremely helpful in this case. After The HSUS removed the animals from the scene and transported them to the emergency shelter I understood that their work to help these animals had just begun. I was very impressed with the dedication and professionalism that the entire HSUS team showed during this rescue. You should be proud of this group of professionals, without their dedication this puppy mill would still be in operation.

Tim Blatt, deputy Park County attorney, commenting on The HSUS’ assistance with 2010's large cat hoarding rescue in Wyoming, in a Powell Tribune news story (January 2011)

The Humane Society of the United States, which helped capture, treat, feed, process and transport the many cats, did not seek reimbursement for its costs in the rescue operation. Blatt said the Humane Society’s aid was crucial. "We wouldn't have had the funding to put in what the Humane Society did."

Steven G. Rogelberg, PhD, professor and director, Organizational Science and editor with Journal of Business and Psychology.

Thanks to funding provided by The Humane Society of the United States, we can provide five shelters with a "scholarship" to receive [a Volunteer Program Assessment] completely free of charge from soup to nuts.

Editor's note: The Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA), a volunteer assessment system designed to maximize the quality and impact of volunteer programs outreach initiative, was created to help animal shelters and nonprofit organizations more broadly. The HSUS is helping to fund the VPA's development, is providing input, and will help market it when it launches.

Gary Weitzman, executive director of The Washington Animal Rescue League, commenting on WARL's relationship with The HSUS during a recent WJLA-TV news story

The Washington Animal Rescue League actually gets a lot of support from The HSUS. A lot of shelters do—and it is more than financial support.

Dickson County Sheriff Tom Wall, commenting on The HSUS' assistance with animal rescues in Tennesee, including three puppy mill rescues, one animal hoarding case, three cockfighting operations, a farm with starving horses, and a post-tornado animal rescue across a devastated community

(Editor's note: Quote courtesy of The Tennessean)

"They have all those resources we don't have," said a grateful Wall, who gave money as well as thanks. "After they came down here, I went on the Internet and joined, and set up an automatic deduction out of my paycheck for them," he said.

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!


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