The Fund for Animals (The Fund) and The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) today announced their historic and unique alliance. This is the first time in the movement’s history that two prominent, nationally recognised groups have come together to achieve a single goal.
On November 22, 1954, the day The HSUS started operations in Washington, the two organisations issued this proclamation. The boards of directors of both institutions unanimously decided to function as one after a series of discussions over the past few months. The official merger will take place on January 1, 2005.
According to David O. Wiebers, M.D., head of The HSUS board of directors, “we groups have decided to join forces not out of necessity, but because we feel we can do more to benefit animals together than we can doing so operating independently.” “By pooling resources, the new entity will give our conflicts a level of vigour never before seen. This alliance marks the beginning of a brand-new period of enhanced animal action.”
The HSUS will serve as the umbrella organisation for the two organisations’ advocacy efforts, and a new external affairs department will be established to concentrate on important, defining problems including fur, sport hunting, industrial farming, and willful animal cruelty, including animal fighting. They will use a diverse strategy that includes research, legal action, communications, and expert campaigning to achieve these objectives.
According to Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, “through our new programmes, we will effect substantial societal change for animals.” “Our objective is nothing less than a better society, where caring people work with us to prevent animal mistreatment in both institutional settings like large factory farms and inadvertent acts of cruelty.”
The Fund will continue to provide hands-on animal protection and rescue, providing the organisations a fresh and unmatched depth.
The HSUS’s three animal care programmes, the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts, the Spay and Neuter Clinic and Animal Welfare Center in Dallas, and the Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) programme, which offers free spay-neuter and veterinary services for dogs and cats in economically disadvantaged areas, will be coordinated with The Fund’s three animal care facilities, the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in California, and the Rabbit Sanctuary in South Carolina. Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, the Fund’s primary animal refuge, will now go by that name in honour of the organization’s founder.
The organisations have also established the HSUS Fund for Animals, a new 501(c)(4) political organisation, to supplement their current work on public policy and to enable a greater investment of resources in political and lobbying operations.
The Fund president Michael Markarian said, “The new political arm will enable us to extend our public policy work, grow our network of skilled activists, and level the playing field with the companies that promote and condone cruelty to animals.” “While we may not be able to match our competitors’ spending, we will be more aggressive and successful, putting the perpetrators of animal mistreatment on the defence and advancing a variety of changes for animals. This calls for a stronger emphasis on gaining support for local, state, and federal legislation that safeguards animals, as well as more ballot initiatives and, eventually, animal triumphs.”
There is a long history of collaboration between The Fund and The HSUS. Cleveland Amory, a well-known novelist and social commentator, was on The HSUS’s board of directors from 1962 until 1970. In 1967, he established The Fund for Animals, which he ran until his passing in 1998. Today, the organisations work together to print HUMANElines, a weekly email alert with subscribers chosen from both, and the Humane Scorecard, which follows the voting histories of Congressmen. They jointly run the Humane Activist Network, which brings thousands of volunteers together and mobilises them to take crucial actions. Additionally, they have successfully worked together on lawsuits, hunting and fur campaigns, state and federal legislation, and ballot initiatives.
The Fund’s board of directors chair Marian Probst, who co-founded the group with Amory, said Cleveland frequently discussed creating a “army of the kind,” a network of animal organisations with unheard-of scale and scope. “This would be the fulfilment of Cleveland’s dream.”
The HSUS boasts eight million members and supporters, a $82 million budget for 2004, and assets worth more than $100 million. The Fund has $20 million in assets, 200,000 members, and a $7 million budget for 2004. Washington, D.C., will continue to serve as the combine’s operational headquarters.
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