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Inspiring young advocates

Humane Generation/Friends of Finn members drive change for animals—and meet a few, too

All Animals magazine, May/June 2017

by Emily Smith

From left: Amanda Hearst, Tripp Callan, Courtney Stroum Meagher, Black Beauty’s Kim Sella, Katie Sturino and Liz Dee. Photo by Black Beauty Ranch.

When HSUS board member Amanda Hearst invited her fellow young philanthropists to join her fight against puppy mills, she believed it would have powerful results. And, boy, was she right. Since The HSUS started Friends of Finn (named for Hearst’s dog, who came from a puppy mill) in 2010, the New York-based committee now known as Humane Generation/Friends of Finn has raised more than $2.3 million for the HSUS Puppy Mills Campaign. The concept has been so successful that The HSUS expanded it this year into a Humane Generation program that will recruit young donors in select cities to focus on a single campaign. Humane Generation Los Angeles, which supports the Farm Animal Protection Campaign, launched in January. “The HSUS is the only organization I know of that deals with virtually every animal protection issue on the planet,” Hearst says. “I feel so honored to work with them.”

FIELD TRIP

When you work hard raising money and spreading awareness, you deserve a little time to recharge. That’s why some members of Humane Generation/Friends of Finn recently traveled to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas. There the team made enrichment toys for primates, played with pigs, socialized with goats and even encouraged a few budding artists. “The animal painting therapy was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” Hearst says. “From tigers to pigs to chimps, they all enjoy painting!”

MAKING NEW FRIENDS

While usually protecting animals of the canine variety, committee members Katie Sturino (you might know her dog Toast, a puppy mill rescue and social-media starlet with 375,000 Instagram followers), Liz Dee, Courtney Stroum Meagher, Tripp Callan and Hearst got to learn about the dozens of species who live at the ranch. Rowena the donkey earned a special spot in Sturino’s heart—“I didn’t know that donkeys could be so beautiful and charming!” she says—while Dee’s favorite moment came watching Sarah, a gibbon ape, share grapes with her daughter, Princessa. For Stroum Meagher, it was snuggling the pigs. It gave her a chance to reflect on the similarities between farm animals and companion animals like her dog, Almond: “These animals can give and receive love just the same way.”

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