It is a well-known fact that animals are facing significant threats, with some even on the brink of extinction. Wild animals struggle to survive due to the degradation of ecosystems, deforestation, rising ocean temperatures, and the devastating impact of illegal trophy hunting. However, it’s crucial to recognize that domestic animals, pets, and companion animals are also at risk. They endure neglect and abuse, such as factory farming, animal testing, confinement in cages, and even abandonment by their owners.
The protection of animals is more vital now than ever before. Animals play an integral role in nature and deserve to be treated with care. Numerous charities worldwide are actively working to ensure that animals are liberated from pain and abuse, receive proper care, and can live freely in their natural habitats. Presented below are ten exemplary animal charities that are making a real difference!
#1 Humane Society International: Protect All Animals
Who they are: One of the leading charities for animal protection is Humane Society International (HSI), which actively campaigns to protect wildlife, put an end to trophy hunting, limit the use of animals in scientific research and product testing, find alternatives, and lessen the suffering of animals used for food, skins, and fur.
One of the few multinational animal protection groups, HSI is active on almost every continent and works to safeguard all animals, including farm animals, companion animals, wildlife, and animals used in research.
What they do: With the goal of saving those animals that are being subjected to the worst forms of abuse, HSI runs campaigns all around the world, devoting their attention, energy, and resources to causes that will make a difference.
HSI are responding to abuse and natural catastrophes in areas where there is the greatest need, creating strategies that limit the use of harsh and fatal animal management techniques, and offering transportation and shelter to animals in need. Their programs cover protection of both domestic and wild animals.
Their impact: Some of the successes of HSI in 2022 include removing nearly 4.000 beagles during the summer from a mass breeding facility in the US, winning a legal victory for Alaska’s wildlife, saving 21 dogs from a dog meat farm in Korea, saving 148 cats from a meat trade in China and much more.
Ways to get involved: You can help save animal lives around the world and donate to HSI directly through their website.
#2 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-ASPCA
Who they are: The first humane charity to be founded in North America was the ASPCA, which is now one of the biggest in the world. In 1866, the ASPCA’s founder Henry Bergh declared that the organization’s goal was “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
ASPCA was established on the principle that all animals should to be treated with kindness and respect by people, and that they must be legally protected. The charity has their national headquarters in New York City and is a well-known local animal charity with activities that spread their anti-cruelty mission across the US.
What they do: Through community involvement, preventative action, and the provision of resources and care, when necessary, the ASPCA seeks to keep more animals in loving homes by preventing animals from being put in dangerous situations. The charity takes on animal cruelty cases as necessary, from aiding initial investigations to securing the final placement of rescued animals in homes, regardless of the location or scope of deployment.
ASPCA plays a significant role in the development, promotion, enactment, and enforcement of improved animal protection laws. Some of the examples of their work include giving expert forensics and testimony before the courts, battling puppy mills, and enhancing chicken welfare.
Their impact: In 2021, ASPCA helped more than 3 thousand animals in crisis across the US, some of them being 60 dogs from a hoarding situation in North Carolina, more than 500 dogs living in horrific situations across properties in Iowa, more than 80 dogs from dogfighting in New York, and more than 2 thousand other animals endangered by natural disasters in Washington, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
Ways to get involved: You can support ASPCA by donating or adopting a pet.
#3 Humane League: For the Animals
Who they are: In 2005, The Humane League (THL) was established. THL now works to raise animal welfare standards through grassroots campaigns, movement building, vegan advocacy, research, and advocacy training, as well as through corporate, media, and community engagement.
What they do: The main activity of the charity is conducting campaigns for the welfare of animals. Humane League organized dozens of campaigns, from Baltimore to Boston, in collaboration with activists from all throughout the northeast of the US and succeeded in getting cage-free agreements at every stop. To reach the largest national corporations, they worked their way up through restaurants and campuses.
The charity is currently active in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., and Japan. They established the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) with the goal of ending the use of battery cages worldwide. THL promotes the Veganuary vegan pledge program throughout the year to reduce the consumption of animal products.
Their impact: Thanks to THL’s cage-free campaigns more than 10 million chickens ‘are now free to spread their wings’ every year beyond the confines of battery cages. They impacted more than 200 companies to commit to their science-based welfare standards for chickens raised for meat and more than 500 companies in the US have agreed to eliminate eggs from hens raised in cages.
Ways to get involved: You can give animals the rights they deserve by donating directly through THL’s website.
#4 Wild Animal Initiative: Making Life Better for Wild Animals
Who they are: In 2019, Wild Animal Initiative was established with a mission to understand and improve the lives of wild animals.
Currently, the charity works to expand the animal advocacy movement in the United States by establishing an academic discipline devoted to the welfare of wild animals. The present objective of the Wild Animal Initiative is to assist researchers, funders, and decision-makers in answering significant yet unanswered concerns affecting the wellbeing of wild animals. Their work serves as a catalyst for practical research projects that will help understand the needs of wild animals and how to improve their welfare. They envision a world where people actively choose to aid wild animals and are equipped with the information necessary to do so properly.
What they do: The charity gathers literature reviews, produces theoretical and opinion pieces, and publishes research findings in peer-reviewed publications in addition to their website. The Wild Animal Initiative’s main goals are to connect with more established fields, find and share potential study areas, and identify wild animals.
They also seek out possible collaborators through collaborating with scholars from different academic and non-academic institutions, and they just started a grant support program. Additionally, the Wild Animal Initiative co-hosts conferences and the annual Wild Animal Welfare Summit.
Their impact: In 2022, the charity funded researchers who would aid in better understanding of the good and bad experiences of wild animals with more than 600 thousand dollars distributed across the 11 projects.
Ways to get involved: You can donate to support the Wild Animal Initiative and help save lives of wild animals all year long.
#5 Friends of Animals
Who they are: Founded in the state of New York in 1957, Friends of Animals (FoA) is a charity and a global animal advocacy group. FoA fights for the freedom and domestication of animals. Their mission is to end institutionalized animal abuse and exploitation worldwide.
What they do: FoA’s initiatives include animal spaying and neutering, public awareness campaigns, and vegan lifestyle encouragement, among many more.
The charity also works to inform those who are interested in the state of animals, the cruelty inflicted on their lives, and the decreasing number of some endangered animal species. Through their Gambia Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project, the charity plays a key role in creating and maintaining a recovery program for the Scimitar-horned Oryx and Dama Gazelle. The largest bird on Earth, the critically endangered North African, red-necked ostrich, is another species that the FoA is seeking to recover.
Their impact: Some of FOA’s success include court win in a battle to stop the FWS experiment that was intended to exterminate barred owls to save spotted owls, and banning the Connecticut trophy hunters from selling the body parts of the African elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions, and rhinos they kill.
Ways to get involved: You can support and become a member of FoA by directly donating through their website or shopping at their store.
#6 Animal Welfare Institute
Who they are: The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), a charity dedicated to humanitarian work, has been reducing the suffering caused to animals by people since 1951.
AWI works to improve how animals are treated in research settings, agricultural settings, commercial settings, domestic settings, and in the wild through involvement with policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public.
What they do: AWI works to enhance the housing and care of animals used in research and promote the creation and use of substitutes for live animal experiments. They aim to end industrial farming, promote family farms that provide high levels of welfare, and get rid of cruel techniques used to kill animals produced for food.
The charity is also working on changing other cruel techniques for catching and killing wildlife and to stop the usage of steel-jaw leghold traps. They work to safeguard animals from damaging exploitation and the degradation of vital habitats, as well as to preserve species that are in danger of going extinct.
Their impact: AWI began a new campaign in 2022 to draw attention to the fact that many farm animals are not provided with pain medication during routine surgical operations such as tail docking (partial amputation), horn removal, and castration.
They are also responding to the conflict in Ukraine where they are working with organizations in and around Ukraine who are attempting to provide shelter, food, and care for animals whose lives have been disrupted by the conflict.
Ways to get involved: You can support AWI by directly donating through their website.
#7 International Fund for Animal Welfare
Who they are: A worldwide nonprofit organization called the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) promotes the coexistence of people and animals. Working across seas, oceans, and in more than 40 nations worldwide, they are professionals and regular people.
Since 1969, IFAW has given animals in need practical support, protection, and leadership on urgent issues affecting their health, well-being, and survival. The issues they face are pressing and intricate. IFAW combines original thought with audacious action to find solutions. They collaborate with regional businesses, non-governmental groups, and communities to develop fresh, cutting-edge approaches to support the thriving of all species.
What they do: IFAW’s services include animal rescue, rehabilitation, and release as well as habitat restoration and protection.
The span of their work includes for example a whale necropsy, during which their scientists are not scared to dissect their entire body. IFAW’s staff are out in the field, whether it be saving stranded seals or guarding national parks. Better outcomes are being produced for people, animals, and the environments in which we live.
Their impact: To date, IFAW has rescued, treated, and sheltered 275.598 animals worldwide, reduced poaching incidents in Tsavo National Park in Kenya by 93%, reduced wildlife trafficking by 80% and much more.
Ways to get involved: You can help save the lives of vulnerable animals across the world by donating to IFAW directly through their website.
#8 World Animal Protection
Who they are: The World Animal Protection is a London-based charity and has regional hubs all around the world. The mission of this animal charity, which was established in 1981, is to contribute to creating a “world where animal welfare matters, and animal cruelty has ended.”
The charity works to put an end to animals suffering, persuade policymakers to include animals on the world agenda, promote the values of animals to the rest of the world and motivates individuals to improve the lives of animals.
What they do: For many years, the charity has worked to prevent senseless pain inflicted upon animals. They strive to improve the lives of all animals, from the front lines of disaster zones to the executive suites of major corporations.
Currently the World Animal Protection is working to stop the exotic pet trade and keep wild animals from being pets in people’s home. They are also conducting campaigns to protect animals from the factory farming, with the most recent campaign being No Future for Factory Farming.
Their impact: World Animal Protection has always relocated to areas where there is the greatest need for animal protection, such as when they treated more than 70 thousand animals after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, trained veterinarians in Thailand, put an end to bear dance across India in 2012, and investigated animal trafficking in El Salvador.
Ways to get involved: You can support the World Animal Protection either by donating, joining one of their campaigns, or even playing their weekly lottery to help animals.
#9 Worldwide Fund for Nature UK (WWF)
Who they are: One of the most well-known animal charities in the world-WWF, is currently active in more than 100 nations, working with a goal to build a future in which people and animals may coexist peacefully and prosper. To do this, WWF seeks to change the course of endangered species’ futures, mitigate the effects of climate change, and encourage sustainable living.
What they do: The WWF’ conservation efforts are assisting in the preservation of some of the planet’s most fragile species in places like East Africa, the Amazon rainforest, and the Arctic.
While the work of WWF covers a variety of concerns related to the environment and the health of the world, it also devotes a sizable portion of its resources to aiding in the protection of various animal species. Their efforts to re-facilitate seasonal flows and enable the movement of species like the finless porpoise between lakes and the river, by reconnecting over 40 floodplain lakes to the main stem of the Yangtze River, is one example of this. By 2022, the charity has also committed to helping double the number of wild tigers, with the goal of reaching the milestone of having more tigers living in the wild than ever before.
Their impact: Since 2010, WWF assisted in increasing the number of wild tigers and mountain gorilla populations. Also, since 2015, they have been working on a reduction in rhino poaching every year.
Ways to get involved: You can support WWF by adopting an animal or donating.
#10 Best Friends Animal Society: Save Them All
Who they are: Creating a sanctuary for injured and abandoned animals was a dream that a group of friends who had been leading advocacy and rescue work for years resolved to accomplish in 1984. After 30 years, Best Friends has developed into a significant movement that aims to “save them all”. By 2025, they want every shelter and every town in the US to be “no-kill” areas.
Their national network of partners and pet lifesaving facilities have developed into places for inspiration and innovation as the charity grew. Best Friends are delivering practical lifesaving techniques to shelters and rescue organizations all around the US, affecting every community in the country.
What they do: The “no-kill” movement is led by Best Friends by providing support and training for animal shelters and rescue organizations, managing lifesaving community initiatives for dogs and cats, and rallying local communities on behalf of animals in need across the US.
They now collaborate with pet lifesaving facilities and national network partners.
Their impact: Saving animals is a daily task for Best Friend. They give a new opportunity for them to live and thrive. This was a case with a few weeks’ old kitty Herman, who needed an emergency vet care to survive.
Herman, an orphan kitty who was just 4 weeks old and barely weighed a pound, was brought to Best Friends in Salt Lake City from a neighboring shelter. The doctor was worried about Herman because he could have been affected a disorder called megacolon, which causes the colon to enlarge and become dilated. The doctors removed the blockage and Herman was able to fully recover at his foster home. He quickly reached the size required to be neutered and adopted into a new household, which is exactly what happened. He is now a happy kitty.
Ways to get involved: Your support and gift to Best Friends saves animals’ lives.