Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | March 9, 2010

SCHS & HSUS

Adopt Zorro Tomorro

Second Chance staff members are often asked how Second Chance is affiliated with national humane organizations, like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  In fact, Second Chance is a private non-profit corporation under Colorado law, and is entirely independent of any other entity, local or national.

While all animal humane groups share similar missions for protecting animals, their goals and actions vary broadly.  This point is particularly true when contrasting local and national organizations.

Members of our community familiar with Second Chance’s programs understand that we shelter and rehabilitate homeless animals until loving forever homes can be found for them.  Further, we conduct community outreach and education programs, and promote spay/neuter as methods to promote homeless pet prevention and humane treatment of animals.  These programs work very well at the community level, but prove to be all consuming of the resources available to Second Chance.

By contrast national level organizations recognize that they are unable to be effective at the local level.  Using the HSUS as an example, in the 1950s its founders recognized that animal welfare organizations at the community level were overwhelmed with the day-to-day task of animal care, and that no organization gave a national voice to their mission to celebrate animals and confront cruelty.  To fulfill that mission the HSUS protects animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, science, advocacy and field work.  In short, they work to create a world that is a better place for animals and humans living together.

Such details regarding the broader and even global mission of HSUS were omitted in a recent attack against this organization for failure to provide money to local shelters.  Unfortunately, the attack pointedly mis-led the public into thinking that funding shelters was the primary role of HSUS, rather than inform and educate the public of the organization’s true mission.  This would be similar to accusing the American Medical Association for not directly funding our local public medical programs.

Rather than attempt to work at the local level the HSUS recognizes that each community shelter must have its own policies, governance and priorities.  The HSUS only provides sanctuary and direct care to animals in cases that there exist no local level organizations capable of providing such services.  HSUS does provide training, evaluations, publications and other professional services in support of local shelters.  Second Chance is an HSUS member so that we can have access to this type of support.

While the mission statements of community and national level organizations are similar, their programs are necessarily different yet equally important.  People interested in supporting animal humane programs must understand these differences when making their giving decisions. 

To paraphrase an old adage, national organizations advocate for animal welfare globally, while community organizations, like Second Chance, shelter, rehabilitate and rehome pets locally.  My name is Zorro, and I am a rolly polly adorable puppy looking for a new family.  I ask, that regardless of the level you choose to support, consider making animal welfare a top giving priority.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online: www.secondchancehumanesociety.org.  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.

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