Dog Fighting

Dog Fighting

Dog Fighting

Humane Society of the US

The Humane Society of the United States is the nations largest and most effective animal protection organization.

We and our affiliates provide handson care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating largescale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.

The HSUS, along with our affiliates, is the global leader in making the world a more humane place for all animals. We are also at the forefront of animal care, through our animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers, Animal Rescue Team, wildlife response units, veterinary division, international street dog defenders and other handson programs.

Stamping out animal cruelty and fighting

State laws

In 1985, malicious animal cruelty was a felony in only four states, dogfighting was a felony in 15 states and cockfighting was a felony in seven states (it was still legal in six states). As a result of our work to reshape the legal landscape malicious animal cruelty and dogfighting are now felonies in all 50 states, while cockfighting in 42 and is a felony in every state.

Federal laws

We have successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to upgrade the federal animal fighting statute four times since 2002. HSUSshepherded legislation made animal fighting a federal felony and banned the possession and training of fighting animals as well as commerce in cockfighting weapons. Our 2014 victory made it a federal crime to attend or bring a child to an animal fightallowing law enforcement agencies to crack down on everyone involved in animal fighting.

Enforcement and rescues

The HSUS has assisted law enforcement agencies with hundreds of cruelty and hoarding cases and dogfighting and cockfighting rescues (including the second largest dogfighting bust in U.S. history). Weve rescued tens of thousands of animals and taught thousands of law enforcement officials how to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty and fighting cases. We operate a tip line and offer rewards to people who help bring animal abusers and fighters to justice. And we are taking our efforts to other parts of the world: In 2014, our affiliate Humane Society International helped secure the first dogfighting conviction in Costa Rica.

Funding federal protection

Over the past 17 years, weve succeeded in boosting the annual funding for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by 205 percent (a total of more than $157 million in additional funds). We will continue our efforts to increase funding for the enforcement of the AWA and other programs that ensure basic humane treatment of animals at thousands of facilities.

Confronting extreme confinement on factory farms

The HSUS is leading the fight to combat factory farming by both reducing the suffering of animals used for food and reducing demand for meat. Weve worked with nearly 100 of the worlds largest food companies to adopt animal welfare reforms. And factory farming proponents are taking notice.

Gestation crates

Were driving the campaign to end the confinement of farm animals in crates and cages so small they cant even turn around. Weve helped nearly 100 of the worlds largest food companiesMcDonalds, Costco, Walmart and moreto develop plans to eliminate gestation crates for pigs from their supply chains. Weve worked with major meat companies such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods and Cargill to make similar progress.

Veal crates

After Arizona voters passed our 2006 ballot initiative to ban veal crates, the veal industry agreed to phase out the crates by 2017. Today, threefourths of the industry has converted to group housing. We intend to hold the remaining companies accountable as the 2017 deadline approaches.

Battery cages

The HSUS has also led the charge to reform Americas egg industry. Following discussions with The HSUS, leading food companies including Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Wolfgang Puck, Unilever (producer of Hellmans Mayonnaise) and Bon Appetit Management Companycommitted to transition completely to cagefree eggs. Earlier this year, we helped the three largest foodservice companies in AmericaAramark, Compass Group and Sodexogo completely cagefree, collectively sparing 3 million hens from life inside cages every year. Working with The HSUS, both Hilton Worldwide and United Airlines recently pledged to go entirely cagefree; Dunkin Donuts has committed to a similar goal.

In September 2015, years of dialogue paid off with a gamechanging victory: McDonalds announced a firm timeline for switching to 100 percent cagefree eggs in the United States and Canada. Once the transition is completed, 8 million chickens who once would have been virtually immobilized in battery cages will be able to walk inside a barn, spread their wings, perch and lay their eggs in nests.


Weve helped pass 10 state laws banning extreme confinement and other factory farming practices. In 2008, The HSUS was the primary sponsor of Californias Proposition 2, a ballot initiative requiring that the states producers to phase out battery cages and gestation and veal crates. It passed with 63.5 percent of the vote. Two years later, California legislators passed an HSUSspearheaded measure requiring that all shelled (whole) eggs sold statewideregardless of where they originatebe produced in compliance with Prop 2.

Federal and international efforts

On the federal level, we stymied a 2014 attempt by Rep. Steve King, RIowa, to nullify state and local laws that protect farm animals.

Humane Society International has persuaded the majority of states in India, the worlds third largest producer of eggs, to declare that confining hens to battery cages violates the nations anticruelty legislation. HSI also worked with the Retail Council of Canada to ban gestation crates nationwide.


Weve helped more than 100 school districts, 90 universities and 40 hospitals adopt Meatless Monday and other meat reduction programs. These institutions include the Los Angeles Unified School District (which serves 650,000 meals daily), the Houston Independent School District (270,000 meals daily), the Dallas Independent School District (160,000 meals daily), the San Diego Unified School District (70,000 meals daily) and the largest university in the U.S., Arizona State University.

Spreading the word

Working with celebrity spokespeople such as Kate Mara, were inspiring people around the globe to make more humane food choices in their daily lives.

Aggag bills

And in 2013 and 2014, we blocked efforts by agribusiness interests to criminalize anyone who exposes animal cruelty on factory farms in 19 of 20 states where these socalled aggag measures were introduced.

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