As a series of Category 4+ storms battered some of the most densely populated parts of the United States, our Animal Rescue Team has been all-in while preparing for the storms and responding in their wake. While we’ve been firsthand witnesses to so much loss and tragedy, we take solace that so many of you have stood with us and enabled such a robust and durable response. We’ve been at it for more than 40 days straight, and we’ll continue to work aggressively in the days, weeks and months ahead.
On the main island of Puerto Rico, we have an assessment team determining where people and supplies are most desperately needed. We are working with shelters there and transporting hundreds of homeless animals to the U.S. mainland—specifically to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, one of our top Emergency Placement Partners. We’re there to work alongside its staff members and teams from other animal welfare organizations to care for the animals and to get them ready for adoption. On the island of Vieques, we delivered humanitarian aid, treated injured horses and held veterinary clinics to treat pets. We’ll also work diligently to help animals on the streets who are in distress, and to provide food and emergency care to them. We’re striving to fly a planeload of supplies to the island each day and to fly out animals in need.
Meanwhile, we’re not taking our eye off the other lifesaving work of our organization.
We’ve filed landmark ballot initiatives for this election cycle in Arizona to stop trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats, in California to upgrade protections for farm animals and end the era of extreme confinement on factory farms and to crack down on puppy mills in Ohio.
We worked to enact a new law in Illinois to ban the use of elephants in circuses, and we celebrated British Columbia’s leaders announcing that this year’s grizzly bear trophy hunt would be the province’s last one.
An HSUS undercover investigation of a delinquent pet store in Manhattan got enormous social media attention, and just days later, the store shut its doors to business. No more puppies will be trafficked there from Midwest mills. Read more about this victory on my blog.
And we’re leading the fight to help animals in other ways, too—like calling upon L’Oréal to #BeCrueltyFree and join hundreds of companies in the movement against animal testing for cosmetics. We’re building momentum for legislation in both Canada and the United States to ban all animal testing for cosmetics.
While L’Oréal claims that it “no longer tests any of its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule,” it continues to sell its products in China, where animal testing is required for most cosmetics. Cosmetics testing in China is estimated to inflict suffering and death on as many as 375,000 rabbits and other animals each year. We easily surpassed our goal of 100,000 messages sent to L’Oréal chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon to urge him to support new legal measures to bring a final end to animal testing in the beauty industry worldwide.
Perdue Farms, the nation’s fourth largest chicken producer, announced with The HSUS a series of game-changing standards for broiler birds, to give them more space, enrichments and to establish more humane slaughter standards. Our Nine Billion Lives campaign continued to rack up commitments from major retailers, with pledges from Sonic, Subway, Boston Market, Ruby Tuesday, Focus Brands (Moe’s Southwestern Grill, McAlister’s Deli), Dunkin’ Brands, Caribou Coffee and MMI Dining systems.
At a time when our nation is grieving so many losses, animals are a comforting presence in our lives and with your support, we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect them from harm.
We can only create this much transformational change for animals with you by our side. Thank you.