As you read this, shelters and rescues across the country are dealing with the annual spring influx of kittens while struggling to keep up with the lost and abandoned homeless dogs and cats they take in day after day, year after year.
Annually about 6.5 million dogs and cats end up in shelters (almost a 50/50 split between cats and dogs). It’s estimated that 1.5 million of those animals are killed—either because there isn’t room, poor health or they’re too physically or psychologically damaged to be adopted.
The good news is that the number of unwanted animals continues to go down, while the number of those saved continues to rise—because, increasingly, the 44% of the U.S. population who live with a cat or dog (or both) view them as family members.
Our dogs and cats enrich our lives in countless ways and arguably make us more human and humane. Because of your commitment to Friends of Animals—and cats and dogs—we’ve been able to provide spay and neuter services for more than 2.7 million animals. Spaying/neutering is still the single most effective way to prevent animals ending up in shelters or from being killed.
Our nationwide public education campaigns reflect that notion, as well as the importance of adopting from rescues/shelters and not buying pets from breeders. Our most recent campaign delivers this straightforward message: “Don’t Litter—Spay.Neuter.Adopt.”
We’re also committed to helping vulnerable communities with spay and neuter services. We provided spay and neuter surgeries for 69 dogs and cats rescued from the devastating hurricane Florence in North Carolina (pictured below). We have also provided spay and neuter services for thousands of feral and homeless cats in New York City and for dog breed rescue groups.
Friends of Animals, thanks to your generosity and kindness, will be able to stay the course for cats and dogs. Our goal is to make sure they get adopted by families willing to make a lifelong commitment as well as to wipe out pet homelessness altogether. We know that our members care about all animals—domestic and wild—and the planet we share with them.
That’s why we’ve developed comprehensive and effective programs to prevent animal cruelty and exploitation and protect critical wildlife habitat. This mission is a win-win for human and non-human animals. Can we count on you to help Friends of Animals help more animals in 2019?
Here’s a small list of our programs that address some of the immediate needs of animals here and abroad:
- We are working on legislation to protect wildlife on a variety of fronts, including a ban on the sale of fur in New York City, which as one of the fashion capitals of the world, is currently out of step with top designers like Gucci and Versace who have stopped using fur.
- We are also working to end the importation in the U.S. of Africa’s Big 5—elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions and rhinos—with legislation in New York, the nation’s biggest port for trophies, and Connecticut. Our lobbying team is also working to ban leg-hold and body gripping traps and a ban on pesticides on public lands.
- Primarily Primates, the sanctuary we’ve managed since 2007, continues to save animals released from the vivisection industry, roadside zoos and circuses and the exotic pet trade. We care for approximately 305 animals at our 78-acre sanctuary in San Antonio, Texas—the first of its kind in the United States.
- FoA supports the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project in Africa—the only sanctuary in the world where chimpanzees are protected and live completely free on islands in The Gambia. • Our Wildlife Law Program is working to establish recognition of a right to ethical consideration for all animals so they can have legal standing in the eyes of the law; and establish a model to decommodify federal public lands and the animals—wild horses, owls, bison, wolves, prairie dogs, etc.—who call them home.
- We are taking action to stop wildlife agencies who cater to hunting clients from spreading propaganda that wildlife, such as black bears, is overpopulated and needs to be managed. A mere 5% (11.5 million people) of U.S. citizens actually hunt, yet because of the NRA and state environmental agencies that are tied to revenues gained from licenses, hunters wield enormous political power. Our efforts are working: More than 86 million people 16 years old participated in wildlife watching activities in 2016, a 21% increase from 2011.
- We tackle pressing topics like human overpopulation, climate change, plant-based eating and more—through public presentations, op-eds and through our own quarterly magazine, Action Line.
Attitudes about animals are changing for the better thanks to your love of animals and support for Friends of Animals’ work: Fashion designers (and entire cities such as San Francisco and West Hollywood and Los Angeles) are abandoning fur; and more and more designers are not using animal products at all; the number of people trying plant-based foods and diets is growing, too. But there is always more work to be done.
We have to keep animal protection in the spotlight. With your help, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
Please click here to make a donation today. With your donation, you’ll also receive another year of Action Line — which highlights our current work and offers our readers a fascinating look at diverse topics related to animals and how we all can take action to help them.
Most importantly, your donation ensures that Friends of Animals can save more animals—whether they’re cats, dogs, primates, giraffes, elephants and so many more. The only voice animals have is yours. Let’s work together to make sure we don’t let them down.