Each December, we round up some of the year’s most notable successes in carrying on the fight for animal protection. For the next several weeks, alongside breaking news about animals and our efforts to protect them, I will bring you our top animal protection victories during this most unusual year.

The pandemic has loomed large during most of 2020 and changed much of how the world functions. But for us at HSUS and our family of organizations, the pandemic didn’t shut us down, it opened us up to even more opportunities to protect animals. I’m proud to report that despite the challenges we have continued to move the needle forward for animals on many fronts, including our work to end the use of fur, the intensive confinement of farm animals, and the scourge of puppy mills.

We have swiftly and surely confronted new problems and challenges too. Most notably, we have met escalating attacks against wildlife, including repeated threats to the Endangered Species Act. We are challenging each one of them through the courts, legislation and public outreach, and we are confident we will prevail.

In many respects, the pandemic has forced the world to reexamine how animals are treated. Animal welfare and human health are inextricably linked. We’ve seen this, for example, in the wildlife trade, where the virus is believed to have originated; in the fur trade where mink have contracted and passed it on to humans; and in slaughterhouses, which have been super spreaders of the virus.

We pivoted swiftly to address these issues and in July, the Humane Society family of organizations unveiled an 11-point policy plan to reduce animal suffering and help prevent future pandemics. We identified specific actions that lawmakers and actors in the private sector can take to change how we treat animals and make our world less vulnerable to another disease outbreak. With nearly 1.5 million people dead globally, and many millions more infected by the novel coronavirus, we thought it urgent that we challenge the status quo in certain key areas of concern. We have been working to push these reforms forward and to ensure they are swiftly implemented.

We have also granted millions of dollars and given thousands of pounds of food and supplies to assist animals and people directly impacted by the pandemic.

We’ve stepped up to ensure the critical work we do to save animals never stopped --- and with so many animals that need our help in so many situations, we simply cannot afford to slow down. We are reaching out because you, like all of us, care deeply for animals and their well-being. That’s why today, on Giving Tuesday, the biggest day of giving in the year, we ask for your renewed commitment to this important work. You can make a lifechanging difference for animals trapped in situations of cruelty, suffering and neglect, and any gift you make today will be matched up to $250,000, making twice the impact, so please give generously. Together we can be an unstoppable force for bettering the lives of animals --- all animals. We’re grateful, and we’re counting on you.

Be a hero for animals this Giving Tuesday