We strongly condemn the violations of the HSUS’ Policy Against Sexual and Other Types of Harassment that have occurred within our organization. We thank the courageous women who came forward and reported their experiences of harassment through our investigation process. We apologize to them. We believe them, and we support them.
Over the last few weeks, we have had the benefit of hearing from many staff members, supporters and other stakeholders concerning our deliberations and the vote we took on February 1st and the decisions we’ve made since then. We’ve made some mistakes. We’re learning from these experiences and from the insights and advice of others in the HSUS family.
As a board, we are committed to providing a workplace for all that is safe, respectful, collegial and supportive. We take allegations of sexual harassment with the utmost seriousness, and we encourage anyone who has concerns to report them through our internal complaint process, so they can be investigated thoroughly, with appropriate action taken.
We embrace the opportunity to rebuild our internal culture and support our staff in creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. We are undertaking a governance review, with the help of outside experts, to ensure that we are following best practices in providing oversight to the organization and exemplifying respectful, responsible and trustworthy leadership.
Since assuming the role of Acting President and CEO on February 2nd, Kitty Block has joined with us and with the hundreds of individuals who make up the management and staff of the HSUS and its affiliates to look forward, to move with speed to heal internal wounds, and to undertake the hard work of culture change.
Our mission to end the suffering of all animals is more important than ever. Together, the HSUS and its affiliates are active throughout the United States and worldwide, working to oppose any and every kind of cruelty to animals, and consistent with our founding vision, to confront large-scale abuses – animal fighting, puppy mills, factory farming, the suffering of animals in laboratories and the wildlife trade – whenever and wherever we must, with all our energy and resources. It’s vitally important that we retain the faith and trust of those who believe in our mission, and we will do everything in our power to make that happen.
We thank our employees, donors, volunteers and all other members of the HSUS family for supporting our efforts to create a stronger, better and kinder organization.