Humane Societies
Topic Thread:      Pets & Companion Animals   »   Pet Adoption & Rescue   »   Humane Societies

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Humane Societies




People have come together worldwide to assist a special class of friends unable to speak for themselves — our pets and companion animals. These people have formed humane societies and adoption and rescue agencies of local, regional, national and even international scope. Most humane societies and animal rescue agencies are not-for-profit organizations, relying upon donations, grants and volunteer assistance.

The focus and goals of humane societies may vary, but as a group they serve to perform and promote the following important functions:
  • Protection, rescue and placement (through adoption or return to owner) of lost, endangered and abused domestic animals;
  • Education of pet owners and prospective pet owners regarding the health, safety and proper care of pets;
  • Operation of clinics to insure that even low-income pet owners can have their animals innoculated against common diseases;
  • Sponsorship of humane programs to limit or reduce populations of domestic animals that have, through abandonment and subsequent overbreeding, become feral (wild); such programs typically include sterilization (neutering) and redomestication;
  • Introduction and sponsorship of legislation regarding protection of animals.

If you would like to become a pet owner and believe you can do so responsibly (See our Pet Health & Safety Tips.), please consider pet adoption from a humane society or an adoption and rescue agency. Pet adoption places an animal that requires love and care but might otherwise never find a home. Thousands of abandoned or lost pets are euthanized annually because no one comes to their aid and the cost to maintain them in shelters is simply too high. Dogs and cats are, of course, the preferred pets of Americans; sadly, this makes them the most abundant and hence, as a group, the most neglected. Let’s each do our part to help all of our “fur-footed” friends find the good homes they so richly deserve.


Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 23 January 2004, updated 16 March 2006.


Follow links to the right to learn more about humane societies. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to pets and companion animals. View the Pet Adoption & Rescue SiteMap for a complete list of animal adoption agencies, humane societies and pet placement topics.


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