The Humane Society of The United States HQ

We fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals.

aka The HSUS   |   Washington, DC   |  humanesociety.org

Mission

We fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, the fur trade, trophy hunting, animal cosmetics testing and other cruel industries. We rescue and care for thousands of animals every year through our Animal Rescue Team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: a humane society.

Ruling year info

1956

President and CEO

Kitty Block

Main address

1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450

Washington, DC 20037 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

53-0225390

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge (D34)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Animals are vulnerable to many forms of cruelty and abuse. Existing laws enshrine many forms of extreme cruelty as legal, including some standard practices in factory farming, raising and killing animals for their fur, poorly regulated commercial breeding of dogs for the pet trade, cosmetics and product testing, trophy hunting and the use of animals in entertainment and competition. Animals are at risk during natural disasters and because of acts of intentional cruelty and neglect, with many communities lacking the resources needed to address their needs. Animals with complex needs require permanent sanctuary. The presence of wild animals in our communities is too often and erroneously considered a problem or nuisance, with lethal results. These are the challenges that the Humane Society of the United States takes on and succeeds at addressing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

End the cruelest practices

We fight the worst, most institutionalized forms of animal abuse and cruelty around the world. Our current priorities include ending cosmetics testing on animals, reducing the trophy hunting of wildlife, ending the use of fur in fashion, easing the suffering of billions of farm animals by eliminating cruel systems of confinement, ending the dog-meat trade in South Korea, and ensuring that puppy mills can no longer sell puppies via pet stores in the United States.

Population(s) Served

We work with government agencies to respond to cruelty and disasters where the need is greatest, advance alternatives to the use of lethal and cruel animal management approaches and provide transport and sanctuary to animals in crisis. Our landmark sanctuary Black Beauty Ranch is home to animals in need of lifelong care, many representing species that shelters and local humane societies are typically not equipped to care for or place for adoption. We are currently increasing our capacity to respond to animal cruelty and natural disasters around the world.

Population(s) Served

We support the efforts of allied organizations and partners—locally, nationally and globally—to advance humane work through advocacy, direct care, education, enforcement of laws and consumer choice initiatives. Our mission includes helping those who stand with us become stronger and better and to engage them more deeply in our campaigns. In addition to our foundational education, outreach and training work, we are focusing our efforts to build capacity for agencies to use humane and effective methods for resolving human-wildlife conflicts.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2021

Awards

Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval 2019

Alliance for Workplace Excellence

EcoLeadership Award 2019

Alliance for Workplace Excellence

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total value of U.S. fur apparel imports

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

End the cruelest practices

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

We are working to end the sale of fur in the U.S. and are measuring our progress by the value of fur apparel that is imported each year into the U.S.

Number of puppy-selling pet stores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

End the cruelest practices

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

We aim to stop the sale of puppies in pet stores, since most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. We are measuring our progress by the number of puppy-selling pet stores in the U.S.

Number of states that prohibit wildlife killing contests

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

End the cruelest practices

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In our effort to end trophy hunting, we are focusing on banning wildlife killing contests at the state level. We are measuring our progress by the number of state laws.

Percentage of U.S. population living in a state that bans animal cosmetic testing and trade

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

End the cruelest practices

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are working to end animal cosmetic testing and trade. We are tracking our progress by measuring the percentage of the U.S. population living in a state that bans these practices.

Percentage of U.S. egg industry that is cage-free

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

End the cruelest practices

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are working to end the extreme confinement of egg-laying hens and are tracking our progress using USDA data on the percentage of hens in the egg industry who are cage-free.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Stop puppy mills: A puppy mill is a high-volume breeding facility that churns out puppies for profit, typically housing pups and their mothers in substandard conditions with little or no veterinary care. The majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills. Our current focus is on ending the sale of puppies in pet stores.

End the use of fur in fashion: Millions of rabbits, foxes, mink and other wild animals spend their entire lives in cramped cages, only to be gassed or electrocuted for their fur. In the wild, animals are caught in crippling leghold traps for days without food or water--all in the name of fashion. Our current focus is on ending the sale of fur in the U.S.

End cosmetic animal testing and trade: Animals are still suffering and dying to test shampoo, mascara and other cosmetic products. Rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and mice have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes or smeared onto their skin before they are killed. Our near-term goal is to secure bans on cosmetic animal testing and trade covering 50% of the global cosmetic market.

End trophy hunting: Each year, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed by trophy hunters, whose primary motivation is simply to obtain animal parts for display and bragging rights. Trophy hunters use cruel methods like baiting and hounding, shoot animals in captive hunts and participate in gruesome wildlife killing contests. Our current focus is on securing protections for seven trophy-hunted species in the U.S.

End the use of veal crates, gestation crates and cages for egg-laying hens: On factory farms, egg-laying hens, baby calves and mother pigs are kept in cages and crates so small they can barely move. Our near-term goal is to reduce the number of animals kept in such intensive confinement systems in the U.S. by 50 million.

Expand our capacity to respond to large-scale cruelty and natural disasters: Our Animal Rescue Team works with law enforcement agencies to investigate the worst cases of animal abuse nationwide. Every year, we rescue thousands of animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations, natural disasters and other large-scale situations of cruelty and neglect. Our current focus is to expand our capacity so we can provide even more support to local agencies in the future.

Build capacity for the use of non-lethal methods for resolving human-wildlife conflicts: As more natural habitats disappear due to encroachment of human populations, wild animals are being forced into smaller and more crowded spaces—including our own backyards. Our current focus is on increasing the use of humane and non-lethal approaches to human-wildlife conflicts, with the additional goal of completing cutting-edge field projects to validate the use of fertility control for deer and burros.



The HSUS addresses the root cause of animal suffering, which requires changing the legal framework governing the treatment of animals and the practices of large-scale industries, as well as winning the hearts and minds of the American public.

Strengthening public policy and enforcement: We’re strengthening legal protections for animals at the local, state and national levels in the United States, and in a growing number of countries through our global arm, Humane Society International. We defend those victories in court and press for robust enforcement of existing policies.

Improving corporate policy: We work with the world’s biggest food and apparel companies, cosmetics manufacturers and leaders in other industries to improve the treatment of animals. We make the case that caring about animal welfare is good for business, but we also use scorecards, media coverage and other channels for evaluating and encouraging further progress in the industries we target.

Training and capacity building: We invest in activities that lift up the whole animal protection movement, engaging and training volunteers, animal advocates, shelter and rescue professionals, educators and law enforcement officers across the country on issues like investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty, expanding access to veterinary care, resolving human-wildlife conflicts and effective citizen lobbying. We recently launched HumanePro, a comprehensive resource for anyone who works or volunteers with animals, from shelter staffers to veterinary professionals, including our annual Animal Care Expo, the largest conference for animal sheltering and rescue professionals.

Rescue and direct care: We and our affiliates provide hands-on care for thousands of animals every year, caring for horses, companion animals and wildlife. We respond to major cruelty cases and natural disasters, arrange veterinary care and spay/neuter services for pets in underserved U.S. communities and much more.

Education and awareness: The HSUS reaches tens of millions of people through its website and social media platforms, award-winning videos and magazines, training and educational conferences for animal advocates, national media outreach and more. We’re driving the wider conversation around animals, encouraging everyone to join us in creating a culture that lives up to the promise of our name: A humane society.

We have developed internal expertise around challenges facing specific types of animals, as well as expertise in the tactics we employ to achieve lasting change. But our staff members are our greatest strength, including:

Subject-matter experts: We employ staff specialists working on issues facing farm animals, companion animals, wildlife and animals used in research.

Corporate campaigners: Our teams include experts in corporate campaigns, who have brokered agreements with companies and institutions to make food supply chains more humane, increase plant-based options in institutional dining, go fur-free, commit to alternatives to animal testing, adopt non-lethal management strategies and more.

State public policy experts: Many laws that affect animals are generated at the state and local levels, so our state directors work to advance legislation, develop coalitions and engage with volunteers and partners in support of our policy goals. They also support the work of local humane societies and carry out public awareness and other initiatives designed to advance our priorities.

Attorneys: An in-house team of lawyers provides legislative, regulatory and litigation support to our priority programs and campaigns. The members of our animal protection legal team are responsible for helping to draft legislation and administrative rules, defending laws when they are challenged in court, submitting petitions to drive agency action, and proactively bringing lawsuits to support animal protection interests.

Investigators: Oftentimes the most insidious forms of animal abuse happen behind closed doors and out of the public view. For those situations, our team of investigators work to expose animal abuse and suffering through undercover investigations at pet stores, wildlife killing contests, slaughterhouses and more.

Outreach and training experts: We are committed to strengthening the animal protection movement and engaging more people in our work. Our outreach team provides training and resources to government agencies, animal shelters, veterinarians and individual advocates and volunteers to make sure they have the tools they need to improve the lives of animals.

Volunteers: Our robust volunteer infrastructure includes hundreds of volunteers trained and ready to engage on priority issues. We have over 750 organized by congressional district who play a leadership role in our advocacy efforts.

Communications experts: Our communications teams prepare and present compelling stories about animals with the goal of increasing awareness, influencing hearts and minds, and inspiring our membership to take action.

In 2021, we continued to adapt to new realities created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most staff members carried on our fight for all animals remotely, while those whose jobs involve community outreach, animal rescue or care continued to do their lifesaving work on the ground. Despite the challenges, we made tremendous progress on our strategic priorities:

Stop puppy mills: Illinois and Washington lawmakers voted to prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores, we supported passage of 30 ordinances, and we exposed sick and dying puppies at one of the largest pet stores in New York City, leading to a local investigation and closure of the store.

End the use of fur in fashion: Major designers and retailers, including Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nieman Marcus, went fur-free; ELLE magazine announced an end to promoting fur in its pages and online; and five cities passed ordinances banning fur sales.

End animal cosmetic testing and trade: Five states – Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia – banned the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, and we marshalled crucial industry support for the Humane Cosmetics Act, a federal bill to end the use of animals in cosmetics testing.

End the use of veal crates, gestation crates and cages for egg-laying hens: Utah and Nevada banned extreme confinement of egg-laying hens, and Utah also banned the sale of eggs from caged hens; Massachusetts upgraded its law to provide greater protections for hens; we prioritized our legal defense of California’s Proposition 12, a similar law protecting hens, pigs and calves, against the threat of agribusiness challenges; and we persuaded food corporations Conagra Foods, Denny’s and Dine Brands (parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s) to implement substantial cage-free commitments.

End trophy hunting: Maryland became the 8th state to ban wildlife killing contests and 28 localities called for a ban on such events; the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission voted to stop the 2022 spring bear hunt; and a court halted Wisconsin’s planned fall wolf hunt, citing our legal research and arguments.

Respond to large-scale cruelty and natural disasters: We deployed to Kentucky to assist the Mayfield-Graves County animal shelter with search and rescue and shelter operations after devastating tornadoes; we assisted law enforcement agencies with dogfighting investigations in North Carolina and Michigan, leading to the rescue of 115 dogs; and co-sponsored flights with Greater Good Charities to transport adoptable animals from shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi to make space for
incoming animals due to Hurricane Ida.

Increase the use of non-lethal methods for resolving human-wildlife conflicts: We advanced our field projects to validate the use of PZP (immunocontraception) for urban deer and wild burros, provided trainings for 2,826 professionals from 1,143 agencies, and persuaded 138 agencies to adopt humane approaches to resolving wildlife conflicts.

Financials

The Humane Society of The United States
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Humane Society of The United States

Board of directors
as of 03/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Susan Atherton


Board co-chair

Thomas Sabatino, Jr.

Susan Atherton

Yolanda Berkowitz

Georgina Bloomberg

J. Elizabeth Bradham

Marcus East

Carolyn Everson

Caren Fleit

Robert Greenspon

Brad Jakeman

Cathy Kangas

Sylvia Kaser

Aditya Kumar

Charles Laue

Kathleen Linehan

C. Thomas McMillen

David Niekerk

Sharon Patrick

Marsha Perelman

Thomas J. Sabatino Jr.

Suzy Welch

Steve White

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/4/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data