The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today announced they received a generous donation of $500,000 from The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust to fund anti-cruelty and disaster response efforts. The donation established the new Lewyt Rescue Fund, which will give both groups crucial funding to be used in joint or individual efforts to rescue and provide care for animal victims of cruelty, neglect and natural disasters. The Lewyt Rescue Fund was made in remembrance of Mr. and Mrs. Lewyt and their substantial efforts to combat animal cruelty.
“We are proud to support the ASPCA and the HSUS and their dedicated work to save at-risk animals across the nation,” said Wendy McColgan and Thomas Amlicke, trustees of the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust. “This donation, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Lewyt, will make a tremendous impact on animals faced with cruelty, neglect and disaster, and will continue the Lewyts’ life mission to protect animals from harm.”
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team deploys nationally to assist local authorities in animal cruelty cases including blood sports, hoarding and puppy mills, as well as disaster situations such as hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and flooding. The team also provides local communities with necessary funding, training and expertise to effectively assist animals during cruelty and disaster situations. In 2017, the ASPCA Field Investigation and Response team deployed to rescue animals impacted by natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the wildfires in California.
The HSUS Animal Rescue Team division of the HSUS regularly works with law enforcement to rescue animals from cruelty including puppy mills, dogfighting, cockfighting, severe neglect and other life threatening situations. In instances of a natural disaster, the team coordinates with local emergency management to remove animals from harm and care for them. Its services run from pre-planning, sheltering and securing veterinary care to first response, transport and placement. The HSUS and its affiliates are a leading provider of hands-on services for animals and work to prevent animal cruelty through advocacy campaigns.
“Contributions like these are enormously important in our efforts to rescue and care for vulnerable and victimized animals around the country, and we are looking forward to partnering with the HSUS to save the lives of animals in danger,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust has always been an outstanding ally to animals in need, and we are proud to apply their compassionate support to victims of cruelty and natural disasters.”
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, stated: “Thanks to The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust, the HSUS Animal Rescue Team is now in an even stronger position to help dogs, cats, horses and other animals in harm’s way. Whether it’s saving pets from flood waters or protecting animals who are victims of cruelty, we’re proud to perform our rescue efforts in honor of Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt—two individuals who have been an extraordinary force of good in the world.”
The Trust’s founders, the late Alex Lewyt and Elisabeth "Babette" Lewyt, championed organizations that helped save stray and abandoned pets, and were instrumental in saving countless animals from euthanasia, both through philanthropy and hands-on work. Mrs. Lewyt was also known for personally driving her van across Long Island to visit shelters and rescue as many dogs and cats as she could. The Trust seeks to support organizations and programs that are consistent with its mission through grants and other initiatives.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About The Humane Society of the United States®
The Humane Society of the United States® is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people.