7 Animal Welfare Organizations to Support

Jane Goodall with a chimpanzee in her arms, c. 1995.
Jane Goodall with a chimpanzee in her arms, c. 1995. / Apic/Getty Images

Animal welfare organizations work tirelessly to help the critters that can't advocate for themselves. Some focus on the wild species facing substantial declines due to environmental and human factors, while others help those in captivity that are being treated inhumanely. Here are nine animal welfare organizations you can support.

1. Animal Welfare Institute

The Animal Welfare Institute was established in 1951, originally focusing on rescuing animals from experiential labs. And though many of the organization’s efforts still surround animal testing, it now also works to combat cruelty on farms, in the wild, and in homes.

2. American Humane

If you’ve ever watched a movie that paused to state “No animals were harmed during the making of this film,” you can thank American Humane. It championed an animal welfare program in Hollywood, and now also works with the military to rescue animals, eliminate animal cruelty on farms, and conserve habitats. The organization is also dedicated to its emergency first response program, which rescues and cares for animals affected by natural disasters.

3. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee was created in 1995 to raise awareness about the mistreatment of elephants. Since opening, the organization has grown to include three farms encompassing more than 3000 acres of land. It currently cares for nine elephants, predominantly rescued from zoos and circuses, and is prepared to accept more. Elephants in this sanctuary are treated with positive reinforcements and are provided with care and a pachyderm community.

4. Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center focuses on global conservation through rescue, research, and education. Since 1975, its volunteers have rescued more than 24,000 marine mammals. The organization also emphasizes research and rehabilitation. Its programs focus on sustainable seafood, ocean trash, cetacean conservation, and Hawaiian Monk Seal conservation.

5. The San Francisco SPCA

In the early 1990s, the president of The San Francisco SPCA, Richard Avanzino, began speaking out against “kill shelters,” as he viewed them as inhumane and cruel. His efforts resulted in the “no kill” movement, which encouraged shelters from around the country to seek alternative methods to euthanasia. Today, San Francisco has the lowest number of euthanizations out of all U.S. major cities. The organization continues to protect and treat animals on a daily basis.

6. The Jane Goodall Institute

In 1960, Jane Goodall went to Tanzania for the first time. This sparked her interest ing studying, protecting, and supporting chimpanzee populations. There are only around 300,000 chimpanzees left in the wild; in the early 20th century, there were around 1 million. The Jane Goodall Institute was established to continue Goodall’s efforts to research and protect those that remain.

7. Compassion in World Farming USA

British farmer Peter Roberts started Compassion in World Farming in 1967 after realizing the farming industry was contributing to the unethical treatment of animals. He and the organization campaigned against horrific practices such as using gestation crates for livestock. Today, Compassion in World Farming USA works with some of the market’s top agricultural brands to maintain cruelty-free animal methods in the farming industry.