Everyone that lives on this world has rights. And yes, that includes animals. But who will fight for their welfare and protection? Here are some of the biggest animal rights organizations in the world.
Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute is a non-profit charitable organization that was established in 1951. It aims to reduce the pain and fear dealt by humans to animals. It also has a specialized division that deals with legislative matters called the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, or SAPL. This division pushes for the passage and implementation of laws and ordinances to safeguard the rights of animals. It particularly fights for the needs of animals being used for experimentation. It is also vocal against factory farms and its cruel methods, preferring instead small and humane independent family farms. It also urges the use of testing methods that do not make use of animals.
Best Friends Animal Society
The Best Friends Animal Society was founded in 1984 and is based in Kanab in Utah. It works through outreach programs across the United States with its members, shelters and other animal rescue groups to help promote pet adoption, spay and neuter services and humane education programs. It also publishes the bimonthly magazine called Best Friends, which features articles on animals, animal welfare and activities in the sanctuary. The magazine has more than 200,000 subscribers. It was also heavily involved in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by serving as the primary animal rescue organization.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is an animal rights organization founded in 1981 and based in Acton in California. D.E.L.T.A. stands for Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals. The organization has two hospitals and over 150 acres of sanctuaries, making it the largest no-kill, care for life sanctuary for animals in the United States. It is funded through private donations that have amounted to around $5.5 million each year. It is the only organization that rescues animals abandoned in the wilderness. None of the rescued animals are put up for adoption in order to ensure their safety and longevity.
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International was originally called The Digit Fund. Dian Fossey established the organization in 1978 to help finance anti poaching patrols that would prevent the killing of endangered mountain gorillas. It was named after Digit, Fossey’s favorite gorilla who was decapitated for the amount of $20 by a merchant who sold gorilla heads as trophies and gorilla hands as ashtrays. The Digit Fund was renamed to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in 1992. The organization has destroyed poacher’s traps all over their research area in Rwanda. It also operates the Karisoke Research Center that monitors gorillas on a daily basis.
The Farm Sanctuary is an organization founded in 1986 that aims to champion the rights of farm animals. It supports vegetarianism and veganism and promotes policies to promote animal rights and protection. It has sanctuaries in Watkins Glen in New York, Orland in California and Los Angeles where it houses over a thousand cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and burros. Originally funded through the sale of vegetarian hotdogs at Grateful Dead concerts, it now has a budget of over $5 million, with most of the money coming from donors.
Friends of Animals
Friends of Animals is an animal rights organization founded in 1957 and based in Darien in Connecticut. It was originally intended to reduce the number of stray cats and dogs through low cost spaying and neutering. It subsequently expanded its focus to assist in the preservation and protection of wild animals. It also advocates the development of alternatives to animal testing when conducting research.
The Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center is a private organization established in 1975 and based in California. It aims to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine mammals who have been injured, abandoned or stricken with disease. It also provides environmental research and education on marine mammals, namely whales, dolphins, seals, fur seals and sea lions. The Center provides specialized veterinary care by diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating the animals before releasing it back to the wild. It also provides care for sea turtles, the only non-mammal that the Center takes in.
Performing Animal Welfare Society
The Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, is an animal welfare group that seeks to help abandoned or abused performing animals. It also helps victims of the exotic animal trade. The organization aims to ensure that the performing animals are adequately protected through the enactment of relevant ordinances and local laws. It also sees to it that the Endangered Species and Animal Welfare Acts are implemented fully and followed to the letter. It maintains three sanctuaries for captive wildlife. These are located in Galt, Herald and San Andreas, all in California. These facilities have specially designed equipment for the animals, including a Jacuzzi for the older elephants.
PetSmart Charities is part of PetSmart, Inc., a retail chain that sells pet supplies and services in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It provides space for local rescue groups, as well as food and other supplies for the rescued animals. It also helps stray pets find new homes. It has already matched over 5 million pets with new families to take care of them. It also assists other organizations involved in the spaying and neutering of feral cats. It also runs Rescue Waggin’, a program that operates trucks to help transport dogs from overpopulated areas to shelters where the demand is high.
United Animal Nations
The United Animal Nations was founded in 1987 in Sacramento. It provides emergency sheltering, equine rescue, humane education and even financial assistance for urgent veterinary care. It helps rescue animals displaced during disasters, including 2,100 animal victims during Hurricane Katrina. It also provides funding to animal rescuers and good samaritans.
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society was founded in 1895 and is based at the Bronx Zoo. It aims to conserve 2 million square miles of wild places worldwide. It runs around 500 field conservation projects in 65 countries. It also has five facilities in New York, all of which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
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