The HSUS supports many animal rights groups. It's affiliated with eight specific organizations: the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the Doris Day Animal League, the Humane Society Youth, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society University, The Fund for Animals, the Center for Respect of Life and Environment, and the Wildlife Land Trust.
You'll notice that none of these are animal shelters. While many people associate the Humane Society with local shelters, the two may not have anything to do with one another. The HSUS works to support local humane societies and has become their most important advocate. In 1960, local shelters began to affiliate with the HSUS, but they had to measure up to some very strict standards of operation [source: Funding Universe]. The HSUS wanted to ensure the organizations it was helping were truly looking out for the best welfare of animals. However, even if the HSUS is affiliated with a local shelter, that shelter remains an independent entity, with its own policies, rules and priorities.
Local humane societies that meet the standards of the HSUS receive some serious perks. The HSUS works to give its local shelters:
- Animal Services Consultation (ASC) programs providing in-depth training and recommendations for evacuations
- An assortment of training programs
- Access to its bi-monthly magazine and Web site
- Education for citizens wishing to support their local shelters
- Classroom support for education programs in schools
- Discounts on products and services
- Disaster assistance by way of evacuation, recovery and rebuilding
- Spay and neuter programs
- Fundraising and other financial assistance
So although affiliation with the HSUS requires a shelter to meet rigid requirements, the shelter gets help and support that it wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. For more information on the Humane Society of the United States, local animal shelters and related topics, follow the links on the next page.