Retired military dogs deserve a new leash on life

Mankind has always had a special relationship with dogs.

For thousands of years, dogs have comforted us, protected us, and given us their unconditional love. Time and time again through the ages they have proven why they are considered our best friends.  And nowhere is that remarkable bond between dogs and people been more critical than on the battlefield. Continue reading

Animal welfare: There are three humane choices for egg-laying hens

The egg has always generated conversation, beginning with its debatable role preceding the chicken. Recent news and legislation advance the chicken-egg relationship further by defining space requirements and additional welfare considerations for egg-laying hens and other farm animals.

Unfortunately, some important issues have been lost in the debate.

Many egg producers, retailers and consumers are concerned that mandating only one type of egg production as meeting humane standards could create serious issues. For example, mandating cage-free eggs as the only type of humane eggs could increase the cost of eggs to the point of being unaffordable for many people. Continue reading

The National Provisioner : Animal welfare is about much more than animals

pigs, pork, animal welfareThere was a time in our culture when many consumers were more connected to food and agriculture. Citizens knew a farmer or grew up near a farm, milk was delivered directly to people’s doorsteps, and consumers regularly visited their neighborhood butcher.

Yet business consolidation, innovation and technology dramatically changed this way of life, seemingly right before our eyes.

Similarly, animal welfare in food production is no longer just about farmers and ranchers and the way they treat their animals. It is now part of a comprehensive food system that includes consumers, retailers and restaurants, government and regulatory agencies, NGOs, auditors and certifiers, and educators. Our food system is predicated on a model of safety and affordability while aspiring to a balance that is moral and defensible. Continue reading

A New Year for Compassion

Thank you to all our supporters for helping make 2013 our most successful year ever in building a more humane world for children and animals. Together, we touched more than one billion lives with programs that brought comfort, caring and hope to the most vulnerable in their times of greatest need. In the year ahead we are working to do even more. Here are just a few of the exciting projects we have slated for 2014:

  •  American Humane Association will be releasing the first “State of America’s Children” report, exploring the most pressing issues and threats to the nation’s young people. This will be a companion piece to our yearly “State of America’s Animals” report
  • We are launching the full clinical trial of our “Canines and Childhood Cancer Study” with Zoetis to explore the healing power of the human-animal bond in helping children with cancer Continue reading

Celebrate #GivingTuesday by Giving Back

It’s Giving Tuesday, Celebrate by Giving Back

#IGiveFor #GivingTuesday
We hope you had a wonderful, stress-free holiday weekend. I’m sure many of you braved the crowds at your local stores, or went online to take advantages of the deals offered up by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And after the dust has settled on some of the busiest shopping days of the year, we turn our focus to Giving Tuesday, the day that celebrates giving back.

Organizations like American Humane Association depend on the generous contributions of supporters like you. And thanks to you, we’ve been able to carry on our mission of spreading compassion, caring, and hope for a more humane world since 1877. Just this year, we were able to give back to America’s children and animals in many meaningful ways.

Ways American Humane Association Gave in 2013

  • Following the terror attack that struck the city of Boston in April 2013, we provided the healing power of the human-animal bond through animal-assisted therapy to children, students, families, first responders and anyone needing comfort and hope around the city.
  • Launched the pilot chapter of the LIFE Humane Heroes Club at a Florida elementary school. This new after-school program features a curriculum that will teach children the importance of being humane and making a more compassionate world for people, pets, and the world we share. This program will soon be implemented at schools nationwide.
  • Through our Second Chance® Fund we helped to pay the medical costs for 20 Chihuahuas that were stuffed into a coffin and left to die in the scorching sun. With love, care and medical attention, they are slowly learning to trust again and that not all people are bad.
  • In May 2013, following a devastating EF 5 tornado, our Red Star™ team deployed to help the community of Moore, Oklahoma. During our 30 days in Oklahoma—our longest deployment since Hurricane Katrina—we rescued and sheltered more than 200 animals. This deployment marked the debut of our new Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle, which traveled from its home base of South Florida to help the animals of Oklahoma in need.
  • Our Red Star™ Animal Assisted Therapy volunteers provided therapy dogs to 15 summer camps and family retreats hosted by National Military Families Association for children and families of our nation’s military.
  • In August 2013, we concluded the pilot trial of its Canines and Childhood Cancer study, a groundbreaking research effort to evaluate and document the benefits of animal-assisted therapy for children with cancer. A full clinical trial is expected to begin in late 2013.
  • In August 2013, our Red Star™ team worked in collaboration with other state and national animal organizations, caring and sheltering more than 250 animals rescued from a dog fighting ring spread across four states.
  • In September 2013, as part of a coordinated response to the flooding in Colorado, Red Star deployed to assist pets in need and to help provide emergency rescue operations. Working feverishly to help those in need, Red Star  and other animal rescue groups rescued over 146 animals, including dogs, cats, ducks, chickens and turtles.
  •  The 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ campaign named therapy dog Elle—a pit bull who teaches children how to read and about dog safety—as this year’s top Hero Dog.
  • In October 2013, the country’s first National Fire Dog Monument, honoring the brave work of arson dogs and their handlers, was unveiled and dedicated in our nation’s capital.
  • Held the first ever Cat Health and Welfare Forum, tackling head-on many of the issues that face America’s most popular pet.


But Giving Tuesday is more than just giving charitable contributions to organizations like American Humane Association. There are so many ways you can help and give back to your community.

  • Support American Humane Association’s mission and programs, protecting both children and animals by Donating
  • Pledge to help create a better, more humane and compassionate world for all of us
  • Share our message with your friends and family – Be sure to tag @AmericanHumane #IGiveFor
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Find your local pet shelter using PetFinder
  • Volunteer to read to children at your local library. Find your local library here
  • Donate grocery store gift cards to your local homeless shelter. Find your local homeless shelter!
  • Donate food to your local pet food pantry. Find your local pet food pantry here
  • Sponsor a child by participating in a holiday tree in your local mall or at a local school
  • Become an American Humane Association Red Star volunteer
  • Serve a “Humane Table” this holiday season
  • See if your pet has what it takes to become a registered therapy animal, brightening the days of hospital patients, the elderly, and more. Click here

Thank you for all you do to make Giving Tuesday such a special day for so many.

What We’re Thankful For

Thank You!On this day of giving thanks, it’s important to reflect back on what’s important to you. I’d like to take a moment to tell you about 10 things American Humane Association is thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  1. Hero Dog Elle and Hero Dogs Everywhere. This pit bull was named the American Hero Dog at the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, and it’s easy to see why. She took home top honors in the Therapy Dog Category because of her constant visits to a local retirement home, but she also helps children learn to read and teaches children the importance of dog bite safety. American Humane Association is against breed specific legislation, and Elle is doing wonders to breakdown negative stereotypes for her breed. Truly, we are thankful for all of the Hero Dogs in our lives.
  2. Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 2.31.25 PMOur dedicated Red Star™ volunteers. We couldn’t deploy to some of America’s most dangerous disaster zones without these extraordinary volunteers who give selflessly to rescue and care for animals in distress. This year, Red Star™ traveled to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma and flooded Colorado to save the lives of animals in crisis.
  3. The progressive farmers and ranchers in our American Humane Certified® Humane Heartland Program.  This year, American Humane Association announced that our program now ensures the welfare of nearly 1 billion farm animals, which is 10 percent of all animals raised on America’s farms and ranches! Now it is even easier than ever for consumers to make humane choices at the grocery store. getting-certified
  4. Military families. We salute the service of all men and women in the armed forces, but are also appreciate their families who support them on the home front. We are grateful that the National Military Family Association invites our animal-assisted therapy teams to visit their nationwide Operation Purple camps year after year. It is the least we can do to help brighten the days of the families of America’s bravest. It’s a wonder what a wag and a hug will do to brighten the day of the kids whose parents proudly serve our country!
  5. Scientific Advisory Committee members. These preeminent internationally respected animal welfare experts guide and shape the ever-evolving guidelines for our American Humane Certified® Humane Heartland and “No Animals Were Harmed”® programs, the latter of which has monitored the safety of animal actors on set for more than 70 years at an astonishing 99.98 safety rating. We thank the scientists who give of their time and talents to our humane initiatives.
  6. Our fabulous celebrity supporters. Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars are counted among our most loyal fans. Such luminaries as Betty White and Donny Osmond help us to spread our enduring 136-year old message of compassion, caring, and hope.
  7. Wonderful corporate partners. Through their generous sponsorships we are able to continue our vital work of saving America’s kids and animals, including our groundbreaking humane research initiative on Canines and Childhood Cancer and our recent Cat Health and Welfare Forum. Through their generous support, American Humane Association has led the way in humane research for children, animals, and the power of the human-animal bond.
  8. Child and animal welfare workers. These local heroes do so much every day in our hometown communities rescuing our most precious in time of need and crisis. American Humane Association has long supported their efforts through training and research, and salutes their valuable contributions to making our hometowns more humane. A shout out to our Humane Hero Manny Maciel from Massachusetts for being a special hero to so many!
  9. African American military father hugging familyOur own families and friends. They know the importance of American Humane Association’s 136-year old mission and are always there for us through thick and thin. We cherish getting to spend our holidays with them.
  10. And finally, the support of people like you. We remain ever grateful for the support we have been afforded by the American public since 1877. Every day we go to work to protect billions of the country’s children and animals from cruelty, abuse, and neglect, and we couldn’t do it without you. Whether it’s through generous contributions, liking our Facebook posts, or helping to spread our message of compassion, caring, and hope, thank you.

I hope you enjoy your long weekend, whether you’re spending it with family or friends, watching football, shopping, or even sneaking that extra piece of pie.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at American Humane Association.