Together with you, we made real progress for animals during another unusual year.

Thank you for sticking with us, so we can be there for them. Here’s what you’ve shown us in 2021.

You won’t stand for fur.

In 2020, consumers made the connection between the fur trade and dangerous diseases that pose a public health risk, including COVID-19. In 2021, we saw the fallout from that realization. Not only did some of the biggest names in fashion—including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Canada Goose, Valentino and more—ditch fur, but luxury retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus also announced fur-free policies. Weston, Massachusetts, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, became the latest U.S. cities to pass fur sales bans, while Israel made a historic announcement: It will become the first country to ban fur sales.

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Chinese fur farms were exposed in an undercover investigation by HSI
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of Americans oppose the killing of animals for their fur

Whether it is being sold here in the United States, in the United Kingdom or farmed globally, barbarism knows no borders, and this effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing a conscience to the fashion industry

Fashion designer Stella McCartney on her label’s joint campaign with Humane Society International to raise awareness about the cruelty of fur

Photo of a hen in an free-range farm
Julie Busch Branaman
For the HSUS
A white hen

You’re demanding progress for farm animals.

We’ve long believed that the most sustainable way to make real change for farm animals is by working with corporations, legislators and the food service industry. Our strategy continued to pay off this year as major companies (including Nestlé and Mondelez) announced they had fully switched to cage-free eggs in the United States, while others (including Conagra Brands and Panera Bread) accelerated their own cage-free transitions. Meanwhile, we led legislative campaigns that got both Utah and Nevada to ban the production of eggs from caged hens, with Nevada also banning the sale of these eggs. We also made great progress on the food service front: We worked with some of the largest players—Compass Group USA, Sodexo and Fresh Ideas, to name a few—to develop custom plant-based menu concepts and offer culinary trainings, making progress toward an ambitious goal: to ensure 50% of all entrees offered in dining programs nationwide are plant-based.

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states ban cages for egg-laying hens
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of egg-laying hens in the U.S. are now cage-free (up from 5% a decade ago)

Both egg producers and animal welfare advocates agree that this is the right thing to do.

Assemblyman Howard Watts of Nevada, on a law mandating that eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens

Coyote in a wildflower field
Jill Cooper
Alamy Stock Photo

You’re defending wild animals.

When misguided policies and practices threaten wild animals, we fight back. In 2021, we defeated legislation that would have allowed the hunting of bears in Connecticut, mountain lions in Oklahoma and wolves in Minnesota. We also saw positive progress: Hawaii passed a bill prohibiting the intentional killing of sharks in state waters, and Maryland passed a ban on cruel wildlife killing contests. Plus, 131 animal care and service agencies throughout the country signed on to our Wild Neighbors pledge, which encourages these agencies to use humane, nonlethal approaches to resolve conflicts with wildlife. In the years ahead, countless animals will benefit from these policies.

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states have passed bans on wildlife killing contests
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animal care and service professionals attended our trainings on humanely responding to wildlife conflicts this year
Dogs in dirty cages in a dog meat farm
Jean Chung
Dog in a filthy cage on a dog meat farm
Kristen Walker

You’re closing down the dog meat trade.

The most popular time for dog meat consumption in Korea comes during Boknal, the three hottest days of the summer. This year, Humane Society International was proud to join with Korean chefs to offer plant-based alternatives to dog meat. Shared by Korean celebrities and social media influencers, these recipes—which included a “self-care soup” loaded with veggies and healthful ingredients—reached hundreds of thousands of Koreans. Meanwhile, our work to end the dog meat trade in Indonesia gained momentum. Not only did Salatiga City become the first city in Indonesia to ban the trade, sale and consumption of dog meat, but for the first time ever, Indonesian authorities intercepted a dog meat trader and prosecuted him under animal health laws.

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dog meat farms have been shut down—and over 2,600 dogs rescued—since our campaign in Korea began in 2015
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dogs and cats were rescued from the meat trade in China this year with financial support from HSI

I didn’t know I could love a dog this much. He is so warm, and I feel so happy when I’m with him. If he wasn’t here, it would feel so strange. DeeJay is my family.

South Korean musician Annie Ko on DeeJay, the Labrador she adopted after HSI rescued him from a meat farm in 2016. Ko served as a translator during the rescue.

Puppy mill puppies
Jean Chung

You’re saying “no” to puppy mills.

For nine years running, we’ve published the Horrible Hundred, a report that exposes egregious puppy millers throughout the United States. Just months after this year’s report went public, we got good news: The Missouri attorney general was suing or shutting down multiple breeders highlighted in the report, and with support from our Ohio state director, an Ohio committee resolved to crack down on dog breeders with severe violations. Thanks to public support, lawmakers around the country are taking action, too: Illinois and Washington became the latest states to prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores, and 30 more localities passed ordinances doing the same. We’re excited to watch this trend continue in the years ahead.

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states have banned the sale of dogs from puppy mills in retail pet shops
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localities have passed ordinances prohibiting cat and dog sales in pet stores
White rabbit

You’re making animal testing a thing of the past.

Five more states took a decisive stand against animal testing this year: Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia banned the sale of animal-tested cosmetics with our backing. Virginia went further, enacting a law that will give dogs and cats a chance at adoption following their time in the laboratory. We saw international momentum as well: In September, 667 members of the European Parliament voted to end animal testing and research in the European Union—a move championed by HSI/Europe and other animal protection groups. Just four members opposed the resolution, which asks the European Commission to create an action plan to phase out animal experiments. The win came two weeks after Mexico passed a ban on animal testing for cosmetics—the first North American country to do so. This is real progress, and we’re thrilled to see it.

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countries now ban animal testing for cosmetics
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people signed a petition supporting our work to end the use of dogs in research and testing
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more companies endorsed the Humane Cosmetics Act this year, for a total of 367
Cows in a pasture
Nearly 30 once-neglected cows were rescued and brought to a sanctuary with financial support and logistics help from the HSUS.
Morgan Rivera

You’re there for animals and their people, when they need it most.

Thanks to you, our Animal Rescue Team can respond to some of the biggest threats to animals, including disasters and cruelty situations. And as the pandemic and its economic fallout continue, the work we’ve been doing for years is even more crucial: keeping people and their pets together through our Rural Area Veterinary Services and Pets for Life programs, which bring services and supplies to underserved communities.

  • Nearly 30 starving cows were languishing on a property in Sunrise, Florida, until the South Florida SPCA and law enforcement stepped in to save them in May. In addition to arranging transport and securing temporary housing, we provided a grant to care for the cows until they found a home at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida.
  • In October, our team assisted the Muncie Police Department in rescuing dozens of cats from an alleged neglect situation in Muncie, Indiana. The cats had been living in filth and many needed veterinary care for respiratory infections, skin conditions and injuries. We’re caring for the cats at a temporary shelter until they’re ready for adoption.
  • Sometimes it’s a single animal who needs our support. In August, we collaborated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Police Department and the Bronx Zoo to remove an 11-month-old cougar from a New York City home. Surrendered after her owners realized a private residence is no place for a wild creature, the cougar now resides at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.
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animals received services through Pets for Life and Rural Area Veterinary Services
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3.5 million+
pounds of pet food have been distributed by Pets for Life and Rural Area Veterinary Services this year
HSUS Rescue Team evaluating a cat.
HSUS rescuers examine a cat during a rescue in Muncie, Indiana.
Meredith Lee
Cougar in a sanctuary.
This cougar will live out her life in sanctuary after being surrendered by a private owner.
Julie Larsen Maher
Bronx Zoo

All statistics accurate as of press time.

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This was written and produced by the team behind All Animals, our award-winning magazine. Each issue is packed with inspiring stories about how we are changing the world for animals together.

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