It is an understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, full of unexpected twists and turns—not to mention pain and grief. It is our sincere wish that you and your family have stayed safe and will remain healthy during the pandemic.
While things are still unpredictable, we hope it is reassuring to know that Friends of Animals will always be there for animals when they need us.
As we ring in the New Year, we are looking forward to continuing our work to stop the importation of the trophies of Africa’s Big 5—lions, leopards, giraffes, elephants and rhinos— in Connecticut and New York, which is the biggest port of entry into the U.S.
We are already in contact with the Biden transition team to ensure the future of wild horses on federal public lands. And we got an early Christmas present last week when we found out that five beluga whales will be given their day in court to allow a judge to rule on the legality of importing them into the United States. After Friends of Animals moved to enjoin the import, Mystic Aquarium agreed not to move the belugas until at least March 31.
Your support is the lifeline that makes these efforts and successes possible.
Here are some of the ways Friends of Animals stepped up for domestic and wild animals here and abroad in 2020:
- Pet adoptions are soaring because of the pandemic, but many shelters were forced to suspend their spay and neuter programs, creating problems for people trying to rescue cats and dogs. Our low-cost certificates have been a boon to families who had to get their pets altered on their own. In the last year, we have provided close to 25,000 certificates, a 30% hike from the same period last year. And our spay-neuter program, the most effective way to prevent pet homelessness in America, has surpassed 2.8 million procedures.
- We won a lawsuit filed against the Environmental Protection Agency. The ruling forces the agency to consider new scientific evidence that demonstrates the need to cancel the registration of PZP, a fertility control pesticide used to “control” the population of America’s wild horses.
- We participated in the heroic rescue of 12 animals who are now safe at our Texas primate sanctuary, Primarily Primates. The primates were rescued from a “Tiger King” affiliated roadside zoo in Indiana that was shut down by the government. We will provide lifetime care for them in addition to the 300+ animals who already reside at the sanctuary.
- We began a project in Africa to reintroduce critically endangered, red-necked ostriches to the Ferlo North Wildlife Reserve in Senegal. This is part of a much larger project that includes rehabilitating 12,355 acres of land decimated by livestock for the benefit of wildlife, a greater focus on plant-based diets through a community garden project and the reintroduction of oryxes who had gone extinct in the wild. Today there are 550 oryxes—a project we started two decades ago—providing a beacon of hope for ostriches.
As 2020 comes to an end, please consider making a tax-deductible donation at friendsofanimals.org. Despite the uncertainty ahead, rest assured that your donation directly helps animals—from cats and dogs, elephants and whales to primates, wild horses and owls, plus so many more.
Friends of Animals will always be there for animals. Can we count on you to help? Please click here to make a donation.
Happy New Year!
President of Friends of Animals