Washington (PRWEB) September 5, 2006 -–
Two of the nation’s top animal protection organizations announced today that they are joining forces in a corporate combination that will result in increased public policy activity and coordination on animal welfare issues and further streamline operations among national animal advocacy groups.
“The Humane Society of the United States is delighted to join with the Doris Day Animal League to create an even more powerful voice for animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. “I have been an admirer of Doris Day and her organization for many years, and it is a privilege now to be able to work so closely with her and the organization.”
The combination follows The HSUS’ merger with the Fund for Animals in 2005, which was formed in 1967 by author Cleveland Amory, and the group’s recent hiring of former United Animal Nations president Jennifer Fearing and Compassion Over Killing leaders Miyun Park and Paul Shapiro. “Our members often wonder why groups and individuals with a common purpose do not join together, and we are heeding their call to do just that,” adds Pacelle.
Legendary actress and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Doris Day founded the Doris Day Animal League in 1987 to work on animal welfare legislation at the federal, state and local level. DDAL has more than 180,000 members and supporters and has worked over the years for the passage of bills to end the sale of videos that depict animal cruelty such as fetish animal “crush” videos and to require the use of alternatives to animal tests. It has strongly backed efforts to end the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and worked to pass laws in the states to regulate the sale of puppies, require counseling for animal abusers, and reduce or eliminate animal testing for cosmetics.
DDAL has partnered successfully with The HSUS on many issues over the years, including aid for Hurricane Katrina victims, greyhound racing, animal testing of household products and cosmetics, and the addition of bittering agents to anti-freeze to protect children and animals. The Doris Day Animal League combination paves the way for increased public policy activity by The HSUS’ affiliate, The Humane Society Legislative Fund, by combining the existing organization’s membership and donor support with DDAL.
“There is no other group like The Humane Society of the United States,” Day said. “We are very enthusiastic about being part of this organization and combining our resources to help the animals.”
Day and Pacelle met recently at Day’s home in Carmel, Calif., and discussed plans for the possible combination of operations. “Our visions are in lock step now,” Pacelle said. “We both want to strengthen the capacity of the humane movement, and we recognize that we can achieve that by combining our operations, in order to eliminate duplicative programs and to create a more powerful force for animal protection.”
DDAL Executive Director Holly Hazard will become Chief Innovation Officer at The HSUS, where she will focus on new initiatives for two of HSUS’ existing programs – Wild Neighbors and Pets for Life – and develop new business ventures. Sara Amundson, DDAL legislative director, will become executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
The HSUS has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since Pacelle took over as president and CEO of The HSUS in 2004. The combination with the Fund for Animals led to the creation of a campaigns department that focuses on four major areas – animal cruelty, fur, factory farming and abusive sport hunting practices. The HSUS has also created an in-house litigation team that has more than 40 active cases in state and federal courts. The group’s list of on-line animal advocates has also developed dramatically. The HSUS’ 2006 budget is $103 million, more than double the 1996 annual budget of $42 million. The organization employees more than 400 people, a 60 percent increase from 2000.
The HSUS’ growth reflects the growing popularity and strength of the animal protection movement. With the commitment and support of its robust membership, HSUS has spearheaded successful efforts to pass more than 60 state laws this year, won several cases to protect wildlife and enforce laws banning trapping and cockfighting, and helped pass legislation in Congress to protect pets in disasters and close a tax scam by trophy hunters.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 9.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammals, animals in research, equine protection, and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy and field work. The nonprofit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives and offices across the country.