Ranked Nonprofits: Local Animal Welfare, Rights, & Protection 2011

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"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." - Alice Walker
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." - Alice Walker

The Cause: Animal welfare, rights, and protection is one of the most popular issue areas to which individual donors give and is an area in which colleagues working in the field are extremely passionate. Many experts spoke of the importance of protecting animals similar to protecting the marginalized in society. Without human support, many animals face abuse, neglect, and suffering.

The Scope: Experts were asked to recommend nonprofits that work in one or more of the following categories, protecting: companion animals, farm animals, animals used for research, and wildlife animals. The reason why we included different types of animals, and didn't only focus on companion animals was because the welfare of other types of animals (factory farm animals, animals used in laboratories, and wildlife) were equally as important. Different nonprofits approach the issue area differently. Some nonprofits emphasize on fighting for the well-being of animals (animal welfare), while others fight for the rights of animals (animal rights). Types of nonprofits might include advocacy, legislative, education, regulatory, or direct services (shelters, animal rescue, and sanctuaries). This was part of our research to identify nonprofits working on animal welfare, rights, and protection on a national level, because we recognized that it was important to highlight both national and local nonprofits working in this cause. You can read more about the scope of the research here.


169 Local Animal Welfare, Rights, & Protection experts recommended the following 16 outstanding nonprofits.
Meet the experts and read more about this research.


Top Nonprofit Mission
1 Medal-small-2011 Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pitbulls (BAD RAP) (California)
Securing the future of the American PIt Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.
2 Medal-small-2011 Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) (Texas)
The mission of the Texas Humane Legislation Network is to promote the humane treatment of animals through legislation, education and advocacy.
3 Medal-small-2011 Marin Humane Society (California)
Mission Statement: Improving the lives of animals and people through advocacy, education, and support. The Marin Humane Society, organized over one hundred years ago, is a progressive animal shelter offering refuge and rehabilitation to nearly ten thousand animals each year through a myriad of community services including: adoptions, foster care, humane education for schoolchildren, lost and found pet services, low-cost spay/neuter services, and more. The Marin Humane Society finds homes for over two thousand animals every year.
4 Medal-small-2011 Emancipet (Texas)
Emancipet works every day to make spay and neuter affordable, accessible, and understandable to all pet owners. Emancipet believes this is the key to ensuring all pets live long, healthy lives free of pain.
5 Medal-small-2011 Animal Place (California)
Animal Place provides sanctuary for abused and discarded farmed animals. We promote compassion, respect and responsibility for all life through education and outreach activities.
6 Medal-small-2011 Humane Alliance of WNC (Humane Alliance) (North Carolina)
Our mission is to provide the non-lethal solution to the homeless, abandoned, and feral animal populations so that euthanasia is no longer an acceptable means of population control.
7 Medal-small-2011 Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (New York)
The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals is working toward the day when no NYC dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home. Our goal is to make NYC a no-kill community by 2015 and to sustain that success. To achieve this goal, the Alliance, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, has formed a public-private partnership with the City of New York (100% privately funded) to develop creative solutions to deal with issues of animal care and control in New York City. We have united 150+ not-for-profit animal care groups, small and large, already working effectively to place NYC's dogs and cats. These groups range from the ASPCA, a founding member and major supporter of the Alliance, to all-volunteer, neighborhood-based groups. In accordance with our 10-year strategic plan, we continue to help these groups work to their highest potential, while also implementing key initiatives to both support the efforts of these groups and achieve our overall mission. Among our key initiatives are (i) Wheels of Hope for NYC's Homeless Pets, our transport program (driving dogs and cats from Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), our city shelters, to the no-kill groups participating in the Alliance); (ii) the Picasso Veterinary Fund (helping to pay for life-saving vet care for homeless pets taken in by our city shelters); and (iii) the New York City Feral Cat Initiative (working via the humane method of Trap-Neuter-Return to address the feral cat overpopulation crisis in NYC and decrease cat intake and euthanasia at our city shelters).
8 Medal-small-2011 First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP) (Florida)
The mission of First Coast No More Homeless Pets is to end the needless killing of cats and dogs in Northeast Florida and, eventually, the nation, with programs designed to decrease the number of animals entering the shelters, increase the number of pets leaving the shelter alive and to keep pets in homes and out of shelters.
9 Medal-small-2011 Erie County SPCA (New York)
The mission of the SPCA is to create a caring and king community that encourages fair and humane treatment of all creatures. Our knowledgeable, caring, and open-minded team of staff and volunteers achieves that mission through proactive efforts to address the current status of anirmals in our community, education of adults and children, rescue and sheltering of animals in need, and placement of animals into appropriate homes.
10 Medal-small-2011 Animal Protection of New Mexico (New Mexico)
APNM's mission is to advocate the rights of animals by effecting systemic change, resulting in the humane treatment of all animals.
11 Medal-small-2011 Houston SPCA (Texas)
The mission of the Houston SPCA is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and to free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation.
12 Medal-small-2011 Denver Dumb Friends League (Colorado)
The Dumb Friends League is committed to the welfare of animals: · We shall provide shelter and care for animals · We shall provide programs and services that enhance the bond between animals and people · We shall be advocates for animals…speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves As the leading animal welfare organization in the Rocky Mountain region, the Dumb Friends League has been helping pets and people in the Denver metro area and beyond for 100 years. The League is committed to the welfare of animals, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. They welcome tens of thousands animals each year at two shelter locations: the Quebec Street shelter in Denver and the Buddy Center in Castle Rock. In addition to providing care and shelter for homeless pets, the League provides other services, including pet adoptions, lost and found, humane education, foster care, behavior training, animal cruelty investigations and donor-subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for pets in underserved areas.
13 Medal-small-2011 Austin Humane Society (Texas)
The Austin Humane Society (AHS) offers comprehensive, humane, life-saving animal services, transforming the lives of animals and those who love them. Because we believe homeless animals deserve a chance to thrive in a loving environment, we offer innovative, nationally recognized programs that save the lives of thousands of dogs and cats each year. AHS’ approach to addressing animal homelessness encompasses both finding animals homes through adoption as well as preventing future homelessness through spay/neuter programs.
14 Medal-small-2011 The Humane Society of Boulder Valley (Colorado)
It is the mission of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to protect and enhance the lives of companion animals by promoting healthy relationships between pets and people. Since our founding in 1902, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley facility has assisted tens of thousands of homeless and neglected animals. Over the last 100 years, we have developed a local and national reputation as a leader in animal care and humane education. Our approach to animal welfare has created an extremely high rate live-release rate - in 2008 89% of the animals we received were adopted out or returned to their guardians. In comparison, the national average of live-release cases is approximately 47%. In addition, we are proud that we do not euthanize animals due to lack of kennel space or their length of stay. Because of our success, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley has earned a nationwide reputation for leadership and frequently works with struggling companion animal facilities in Colorado and beyond through mentoring and animal relocation.
15 Medal-small-2011 Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) (Massachusetts)
The Mission of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals & Angell Animal Medical Center is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.
16 Medal-small-2011 Nevada Humane Society (Nevada)
As a non-profit, charitable, no-kill animal welfare organization, Nevada Humane Society's mission is to find homes and provide care for homeless animals, bringing people and animals together to make Washoe County a no-kill community. This is accomplished through quality animal care, comprehensive adoption programs, accessible low-cost spay/neuter services, and a free Animal Help Desk.


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