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Accomplishments in 2008

Here are some of the highlights of our work in 2008:

California votes "Yes" on Prop 2 to protect farm animals

We drove passage of Proposition 2, a California ballot initiative mandating more humane treatment of some 20 million animals on state factory farms.  The measure halts extreme confinement of egg laying hens, pregnant pigs, pigs and veal calves—and agribusiness spent nearly $10 million against us to defeat the measure.

Largest meat recall in American history

HSUS undercover video of gross cruelty against dairy cattle at a California slaughter plant led to a federal ban on the slaughter of downed cows for human consumption.  The investigation prompted the largest meat recall in American history, eight Congressional hearings, the shutdown of the slaughter plant, and a new state law on the topic in California.

Corporate cage-free egg policies

Safeway, Denny’s, Starbucks and others adopted corporate cage-free egg policies. Colorado banned pig gestation crates and veal crates.

More federal protections for animals

The Federal Farm Bill incorporated three major HSUS-initiated provisions: 1) a federal ban on all animal fighting and possession of fighting animals, if there is any interstate nexus, 2) a ban on the import of dogs from puppy mills, and 3) an upgrade of penalties for Animal Welfare Act violations. 

Record number of pro-animal state laws passed

A record 93 pro-animal state laws were passed, 53 animal unfriendly laws were defeated, and 18 major legal cases were won.

2,000 puppy mill dogs rescued

More than 2,000 puppy mill dogs were rescued in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee West Virginia, and Quebec.

Regional spay/neuter campaign launched

Three years after our massive deployment to Hurricane Katrina, we launched a $3.5 million initiative in Mississippi and Louisiana to underwrite a major spay/neuter campaign, provide grants to more than 50 animal shelters, and help fund an emergency shelter and a veterinary hospital.

Animals saved from hoarding, fighting, and natural disasters

The HSUS Emergency Services team deployed to 40 natural disasters, puppy mill raids, hoarding/neglect cases and animal fighting raids. 

No more greyhound racing in Massachusetts

An HSUS-backed ballot initiative ended greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

Crack downs on captive hunting events

Indiana, one of the country’s largest exporters of live coyotes for wildlife penning events in which dogs tear coyotes or foxes to pieces, cracked down on the cruel trade. Vermont and Oregon added new restrictions on captive hunting game farms, and pigeon shoots at two major gun clubs in Pennsylvania were halted.

More than 70,000 animals cared for

More than 70,000 animals received direct care services. They included animals rescued from puppy mill and animal fighting raids, cruelty and hoarding cases, and natural disasters.

33,000 cats and dogs sterilized

Some 33,000 cats and dogs were sterilized during our annual Spay Day program. To date, more than 1.5 million companion animals have been spayed or neutered through this event.

Lifetime care center for horses established

A horse sanctuary was established in Oregon, increasing our national network of animal care centers to four. More than 4,700 injured animals were treated and released, or were in lifetime sanctuary at the centers.

HSVMA provides free treatments worldwide

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, working with 500 volunteer vets, provided 26,000 free treatments to more than 7,200 animals in impoverished communities here and overseas.

Investigation into Petland Inc.'s connection to puppy mills 

An HSUS investigation refuted claims by Petland, Inc., the nation’s biggest puppy retailer, that it sold dogs only from reputable breeders. HSUS investigators documented the fact that many of the pet chain’s outlets were supplied by puppy mills.

Dogfighting penalties secured  in all 50 states

A long-time HSUS objective, we secured felony-level penalties for dogfighting in all 50 states, after Idaho and Wyoming adopted new laws. The HSUS assisted law enforcement at 57 animal fighting raids that netted 301 suspects and 2,649 dogs and roosters.

A legacy of legal victories

Our legal team racked up 18 victories for animals in the courts, or roughly one courtroom win every three weeks. We secured court orders to combat Japanese whaling; block the killing of sea lions; knock animal-fighting paraphernalia off Amazon.com; protect endangered whales from ship strikes and fishing gear; halt major water pollution at an egg factory farm; and block the slaughter of endangered wolves in both the Rocky Mountain and Great Lakes regions.

We also helped prosecutors win the conviction of scores of animal abusers and animal fighters—assisting with cases involving dog fighting, hoarding, farm animal abuse, and puppy mills.

Training provided to more than 57,700 professionals

More than 57,700 law enforcement officers, educators, shelter professionals, emergency services personnel and veterinarians attended HSUS training and education classes. 

See accomplishments from 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

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