We’re making life better for farm animals.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread and legislatures across the country ended sessions early, we didn’t let up—and in July, after a year of campaigning, we celebrated as Colorado’s governor signed our cage-free egg bill into law. We also adapted our in-person plant-based food trainings to virtual events, offering three-week workshops for chefs across the country. One major food service company—Fresh Ideas—agreed on an impressive goal: to implement one plant-based option for every animal-based option. Progress like this will save millions of farm animal lives, and we’re proud to lead it. 

“As we are well aware, our food systems and public health are inexorably linked. This law means healthier animals, which means healthier products … for consumers.”
—Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

28.5%
of egg-laying chickens

in the United States are now cage-free, up from 3% in 2008 when we began our cage-free legislative campaigns.

100
major food companies

received grades in our innovative Food Industry Scorecard, which audited companies’ progress on their animal welfare promises.

happy dog running outside in the grass
Bigandt_Photography
/
iStock.com

We’re cracking down on puppy mills.

Our undercover investigation last year was shocking: Video showed dozens of dead animals in a freezer at a Petland store in Fairfax, Virginia. This August, we breathed a sigh of relief when the franchise’s former manager was convicted of animal cruelty. Petland is the only national chain that still sells puppies, kittens and rabbits instead of adopting a more humane model, such as offering animals from local shelters. We’ve helped 25 independent stores across the country transition to this model, but that’s just part of our work. This year, with our support, Maine became the third state to ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores, paving the way for a future without puppy mills.

366
localities

in 26 states have passed ordinances prohibiting cat and dog sales in pet stores—including 25 ordinances in this year alone.

3
states

now have laws restricting the sale of dogs in pet stores (Maryland, Maine and California).

icon of a puppy
1,300+
advocates

registered for our free virtual Puppy Mill Action Boot Camp in October and learned how they can work to end puppy mills in their communities.

arctic fox sitting in snow
Josef Pittner
/
Alamy Stock Photo

We’re putting an end to the fur trade.

The news broke on Sept. 29: After working closely with the HSUS, U.S.-based retailer Nordstrom was implementing a new policy. The company’s nearly 600 stores would stop selling products made with animal fur and skins from exotic species, including kangaroos, snakes and alligators. The same day, a minister speaking for the National Assembly of France announced that the country would ban mink fur farms by 2025. Two landmark announcements that together represent a global trend: Fur is—decisively, undeniably—on its way out.

“Over time I realized that whatever soundbites we devised to reassure consumers, retailers and politicians, neither welfare regulations nor any industry certification scheme would ever change the reality of these animals being stuck in tiny wire cages for their entire lives.”
—Mike Moser, former head of the British Fur Trade Association, on why he resigned from the role and now supports Humane Society International’s #FurFreeBritain campaign

50%
decline

in fur apparel’s value in the United States this year.

fashion model wearing a beautiful blue faux fur coat with flowers, designed by Pelush
300+ 
brands and retailers

have adopted fur-free policies.

A mink in a cage from a Finnish fur farm
3
countries

announced bans on fur farms, in part because of coronavirus outbreaks linked to fur farming.

Jean Chung
/
For HSI

We’re shutting down the dog meat trade.

In our work to stop the South Korean dog meat trade, our most powerful allies are the millions of Koreans who also want to end this practice. That’s why we were so excited to launch an awareness campaign this past summer during Bok Nal, the hottest days of the season and the most popular time for people to consume dog meat. We partnered with two of South Korea’s most popular web cartoonists, whose art exposed the tragic life of dogs on meat farms and their journey from farms to family, showing how “meat” dogs are no different from “pet” dogs. Our social media campaign reached more than 300,000 viewers in South Korea, and we’re glad to have their support.

Daniel Henney with Juliette.
Donna Gadomski
/
HSI

“I consider myself very lucky to have gotten her. She is an angel, an absolutely wonderful dog. It’s really, really amazing watching her navigate her new life.”
—Actor Daniel Henney on Juliette, the golden retriever he adopted after Humane Society International rescued her from a dog meat farm in July

icon of dog
300+
dogs

were rescued from the meat trade this year.

icon of upward trend
59%
of South Koreans

support a ban on dog meat (up from 35% in 2017).

17
dog meat farms

have been shut down since our campaign began in 2015.

Cameilia
/
Shutterstock.com

We’re keeping animals out of laboratories.

The first day of 2020 ushered in more than just a new year: It brought a new era. Three state bans on the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals went into effect, making California, Nevada and Illinois leaders in our fight against animal testing. As we continue to push for passage of the Humane Cosmetics Act, federal legislation that would prohibit the production and sale of animal-tested cosmetics, we’re also working to end unnecessary toxicity testing on dogs—and we were thrilled to work with advocates in three Wisconsin localities to pass measures that ban the breeding of dogs for research.

300+
companies

independently endorsed the Humane Cosmetics Act.

12
states

have passed bills that require adoption of dogs after their time in the laboratory.

Robert C Paulson Jr
/
Alamy Stock Photo

We’re defending wildlife. 

In 2020, wild animals faced threats across the country—and we fought back. We stopped a proposed bear hunting season in Oregon’s Rogue River region, halted a fall mountain lion hunting season in Colorado and won an appeal that keeps grizzly bears protected in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With our backing, Washington and Colorado banned wildlife killing contests, cruel events in which participants compete for cash and prizes for killing the most, the heaviest or even the smallest coyotes, foxes and other species. And after our 2019 undercover investigation revealed a thriving market for elephant ivory in Washington, D.C., we were thrilled to see the District pass a law combatting the ivory trade—and for Vermont to follow suit in October.

“We’re protecting these threatened species for future generations by ending the senseless trade of their body parts.”
—Barry Londeree, Animal Research Issues Program manager and former HSUS Vermont State director, on a new state law banning the sale of elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and parts and products of other imperiled species

12
states

and Washington, D.C., have banned the ivory trade.

states

have outlawed wildlife killing contests.

We’re keeping people and their pets together.

As millions of people faced economic hardship during the pandemic, we fought to keep pets with their families. Thanks to the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust and other generous donors, we gave emergency grants to local organizations supporting their communities. And our Pets for Life team continued the work they’ve been doing for years: helping underserved communities access the resources and care they need for their pets. 

“When my cat Ginger got sick with a life-threatening urinary obstruction, I had no idea how I was going to pay to have him treated and I was terrified I may lose him. Pets for Life saved him by covering the veterinary care needed, and having him healthy and happy has saved me further stress.”
—Veronica Davila, Pets for Life client

REACHING ACROSS THE GLOBE: Thanks to a $1 million grant to Humane Society International from Mars, Incorporated, we provided emergency aid to more than 125,000 companion animals in 28 countries. This map shows the countries where we’ve worked as of November 2020, with more to come in Phase 3 before the year ends.
268
organizations

in 48 states received $1,420,908 in COVID emergency grants.

600,000
pounds of food

were distributed by our Pets for Life team.

From our magazine

This story originally appeared in our award-winning magazine for members, All Animals. Get informative and inspiring content like this delivered right to your door.

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All Animals Winter 2021 magazine cover showing a bobcat