December 19, 2009
It has been a remarkable year for animals. Here is a summary of some of our major accomplishments for 2009:
HSUS Animal Rescue Team rescues more than 10,000 animals
The HSUS has deployed our Animal Rescue Team all over the nation to help animals in distress. Our team has worked with both national and local animal welfare groups and all levels of law enforcement officials on more than 40 rescue missions in 2009. Overall, our Animal Rescue Team has rescued more than 10,000 animals in 2009—and we have no plans to slow our life-saving work.
“Crush” video evidence provided in Supreme Court case
We investigated the availability of horrific animal “crush” videos after an appeals court struck down the federal Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of United States v. Stevens in October.
100-point “Change Agenda for Animals” submitted to Obama administration
We released a 100-point “Change Agenda for Animals” to the Obama administration and began campaigning for these reforms in Congress and in executive agencies with jurisdiction over animal issues.
121 new animal protection laws passed
We passed 121 new laws to protect animals, including groundbreaking reforms on puppy mills, factory farming, animal fighting, and fur labeling.
Broward County SPCA Wildlife Care Center joins HSUS
We joined forces with the Broward County SPCA Wildlife Care Center, which for 40 years has provided rescue, rehabilitation, and release services for wildlife and selected domestic and farm animals in South Florida. The Center admits about 14,000 injured, orphaned, abandoned, or abused animals each year. The WCC is our fifth animal care center and makes us one of the largest, most diverse providers of direct care for animals in the United States.
San Nicolas cats given permanent home
With assistance from state and federal agencies, along with DoGreatGood.com, we relocated more than 50 cats who were slated to be killed from San Nicolas Island to a permanent home at our wildlife rehabilitation center in Ramona, Calif.
New website launches
We launched a newly redesigned website, www.humanesociety.org, to better engage our supporters in our efforts to protect all animals.
Adopt a Shelter Pet project unveiled
The HSUS, along with the Ad Council and Maddie’s Fund, launched a three-year advertising campaign encouraging people to adopt shelter pets. The Shelter Pet Project is the first animal-related campaign by the influential Ad Council. Our goal is to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats.
Chimp abuse revealed in undercover investigation at research laboratory
A nine-month undercover HSUS investigation at one of the nation’s largest primate research laboratories documented a wide range of abuses of chimpanzees and monkeys, and numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. As a result the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an investigation of the facility.
End Animal Fighting program expands
Our End Dogfighting campaign expanded to a second community in Chicago and launched dog training classes in Atlanta.
50th animal fighting reward given
The HSUS’s animal fighting reward program marked the disbursement of its 50th reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an animal fighter.
Michael Vick offered role in HSUS anti-dogfighting programs
We gave Michael Vick the opportunity to perform community service in our anti-dogfighting programs, connecting with young people at risk for participating in dogfighting who we would not otherwise be able to reach.
Landmark factory farm animal protections gained
Maine became the sixth state to ban pig gestation crates and the fourth to ban crates for veal calves. We reached a landmark compromise with agriculture interests in Michigan when the state enacted an historic bill to phase out intensive confinement of veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens. California followed up on 2008’s passage of Proposition 2 with another measure to protect farm animals, this time prohibiting the painful, unnecessary tail docking of dairy cows’ tails.
Cage-free victories scored
We scored a victory in our long campaign against Wendy’s after it agreed to begin selling some portion of eggs from cage-free operations, and we launched a campaign to urge IHOP to implement a cage-free policy.
Vermont slaughter plant closed after HSUS investigation
We investigated a slaughter plant in Vermont and documented cruel treatment of infant veal calves. In response, authorities launched criminal investigations and closed the facility.
HSUS and U.S. Department of Justice join in fraud lawsuit against California slaughter plant
The HSUS and the U.S. Department of Justice joined to pursue a $150 million federal fraud lawsuit against a California slaughter plant that used sick and injured downed animals in the federal school lunch program.
Passage of Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act pursued
We are working to pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act to spare horses from being transported to foreign slaughterhouses.
Partnership with Parellis formed to highlight horse rescue
We partnered with natural horsemanship experts Pat and Linda Parelli to highlight rescued horses at events across the country, demonstrating to equine enthusiasts that these homeless animals can be wonderful companions.
More than 200 neglected mustangs rescued from Nebraska ranch
We helped to rescue more than 200 neglected mustangs from a ranch in Nebraska and announced the Doris Day Horse Adoption Center at Black Beauty Ranch to offer horse rehabilitation and adoption services. We rescued another 84 neglected horses who were found starving in Tennessee.
List of fur-free retailers and designers grows close to 150
Our list of fur-free retailers and designers drew close to 150.They include Overstock.com, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, BCBG Maxazria, Tommy Hilfiger, Footlocker, JCPenney, and Ed Hardy.
Fur use and labeling practices reformed
Fashion designer Andrew Marc and retailer Lord & Taylor agreed to phase out all use of raccoon dog fur and to reform their garment labeling practices so consumers have more accurate information about what they’re buying.
Fur labeling lawsuit underway
The District of Columbia Superior Court issued a long-awaited ruling clearing the way for an HSUS lawsuit accusing several of the nation's largest retailers—including Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue—of engaging in false advertising and mislabeling of fur garments.
Markets closed for seal products
The 27 member nations of the European Union banned the import of seal products, dealing a major blow against Canada’s seal slaughter. Our other work to close markets to seal skins dropped the value of pelts, and Canadian seal hunters killed only 70,000 seals, even though the federal government set the kill quota at 330,000. In short, our efforts helped save 260,000 seals.
Canadian seafood boycott grows to 600,000 individuals and more than 5,000 food-related businesses
Our boycott of Canadian seafood to pressure the government to end the commercial seal hunt grew to include some 600,000 individuals and more than 5,000 food-related businesses. The boycott has cost Canadian fisheries $750 million (CAD) in lost snow crab exports to the United States since it began in 2005, while the value of Newfoundland fishing and seafood preparation industries decreased by 44 percent based on 2007 figures. We also launched the seafood boycott in the member countries of the European Union.
16 puppy mills raided and more than 3,000 dogs rescued
We have made monumental strides in our goal to end the cruel puppy mill industry—raiding 16 operations with law enforcement and rescuing more than 3,000 dogs from these mass dog breeding facilities.
Class action lawsuit shuts down notorious puppy mill dealer in Florida
Our class action lawsuit against notorious South Florida puppy mill dealer Wizard of Claws resulted in the bankruptcy and closure of the facility, and the rescue of its remaining 32 puppies, who were adopted to new, loving homes.
Largest ever class action lawsuit filed against Petland
We joined with hundreds of former Petland customers to file the largest ever class action lawsuit challenging the sale of puppy mill dogs to unsuspecting consumers in more than 40 states.
HSUS legal analysis leads to ban on import of polar bear trophies
Based on an HSUS legal analysis, the U.S. Interior Department banned the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies. The agency has also proposed stronger international trade restrictions for polar bears at the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Legal victory over trophy hunting of endangered species
We won a federal court order striking down a Bush administration rule that allowed trophy hunting of endangered species in canned hunt operations.
Sport hunting of wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin halted
A coalition of wolf advocates led by The HSUS reached a settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region, which has stopped the sport hunting of wolves in the states of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.