A decade ago, few of us could have predicted the monumental progress for animals we would see in the years ahead. The U.S. government effectively banned the use of chimpanzees in research; Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus removed elephants from its shows and ultimately closed for good; SeaWorld announced it would stop breeding orcas in captivity and eliminate circus-style shows. These were just a few of the watershed moments of the past 10 years.
We’re headed into the next decade with incredible momentum from another victory-filled year for animals. Below you’ll find highlights of the amazing progress you helped us achieve in 2019. Together, we’re fighting—and winning—the big fights to end animal suffering. With you standing with us, we’re already focusing on what we can achieve for animals in the years ahead.
Cracking down on puppy mills
We have now helped enact 320 local ordinances that ban the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores. In 2019, we successfully pushed for the enactment of ordinances in some states that traditionally have not had progressive animal protection laws, including Alabama and South Carolina.
Our undercover investigation exposed a Petland store in Fairfax, Virginia, for letting rabbits die rather than take them to the vet. This led to a police search warrant during which law enforcement found 31 dead rabbits and a dead puppy in the store freezer. The store closed and two managers were charged with animal cruelty.
A second undercover investigation found mistreatment of animals and rampant disease at a Petland location in Frisco, Texas. Police cited the store owner for failure to provide proof of veterinary care.
After we released our Horrible Hundred report in May revealing neglect and mistreatment at commercial dog breeding facilities across the country, at least six of the listed breeders shut down or have been brought to court.
The New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against Chelsea Kennel Club, where a 2017 HSUS investigation uncovered the mistreatment of puppies. The store closed two months after we released the findings.
Just months after partnering with us on a training session regarding fraudulent puppy sales, the Michigan Office of the Attorney General brought its first legal action against a puppy mill accused of selling sick puppies.
Advocating for equines
We worked to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to end the cruel practice of soring Tennessee walking horses by a margin of more than 3-to-1 in the U.S. House of Representatives and are pressing for passage in the Senate.
We successfully fought to keep horse slaughter plants in the U.S. shuttered despite an attempt by some members of Congress to allow them to reopen.
As a result of our work with the racing industry to improve horse welfare, including our support for the Horseracing Integrity Act to end race-day doping, we were the first animal protection group invited to speak at the Jockey Club’s annual Roundtable in the event’s 67-year history.
More than 30 rescue groups joined our Forever Foundation/Plan 4 Progress program, which provides equine trainers and volunteers with a video-based learning program and hands-on training to help them efficiently work with their horses to find homes.
Rescuing animals in need
We closed two more dog meat farms in South Korea and transported more than 300 dogs to the United States, Britain and Canada for adoption. To date, we’ve shuttered 15 dog meat farms and rescued more than 2,000 dogs from winding up on someone’s dinner plate.
Through HSI, we assisted the Busan, South Korea, government and local Korean animal welfare groups in shutting down one of the largest dog meat markets in the country—and rescuing 85 surviving dogs.
We transported more than 800 homeless animals out of harm’s way and to our shelter and rescue partners in other parts of the United States, including 400 adoptable animals from shelters in Florida and South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Dorian and 120 dogs and cats from a Texas shelter in the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda.
After Hurricane Dorian, our HSI team responded to Abaco Island in the Bahamas to assist in the search and rescue of hundreds of dogs and cats.