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Contributing Author

Animal & Wildlife Welfare: CLASSY Awards Top 5

Animal & Wildlife programs believe that no animal should be abused or exploited by humans and maintain appropriate standards of protection, accommodation, feeding and general care. These programs address problems that animals, both domestic and wild, including marine mammals, face: abuse, cruelty and neglect, testing and experimentation, factory farming, industrialization, overhunting, or reckless population management practices. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.


Modernizing Medical Training
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Despite the existence of superior medical simulators, many military and civilian trauma programs around the world continue to shoot, stab, dismember, cut into and kill tens of thousands of animals each year in medical training drills. This persists even though more than 80% of NATO nations don’t use any animals for military training, 98% of civilian programs in the US have ended animal use, and studies show that people trained on simulators are more proficient than those using animals.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Modernizing Medical Training
Program Name

United States
Location

1983
Start date

Justin Goodman
Program Director

@peta[/su_pullquote]

Outside of the US, the main obstacle preventing medical training programs from supplementing animal use with modern and humane methods is the high cost of initially purchasing simulation equipment. Working in partnership with Simulab, Modernizing Medical Training donates TraumaMan surgical simulators to use in civilian trailing programs. The simulators replace animals, sparing them from being used in cruel or inhumane ways during military exercises. Working with doctors, medical organizations and government officials, PETA helps prepare trainees to better treat injured people. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Justin Goodman, Program Director” class=”top5″]Greater use of simulation technology in civilian and military medical training will spare tens of thousands of animals each year from horrible abuse and improve medical training for doctors and soldiers, who will in turn be better prepared to treat human victims of accidents and violence. [/su_quote]
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Captive Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation & Education
The Wild Animal Sanctuary
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING There are over 20,000 large carnivores living outside of the zoo system in the U.S., with the majority being kept as pets or by breeders who are continually breeding and selling Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivore cubs. Big cats and other dangerous exotic animals are being found in everything from apartments, to basements, and garages everyday.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Captive Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Education
Program Name

United States
Location

1980
Start date

Pat Craig
Program Director

@animalsanctuary[/su_pullquote]

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720 acre refuge in Colorado for more than 320 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores that have been rescued from illegal or abusive situations. The facility is one of the only with a refined rehabilitation system that enables groups of large carnivores to transition from abusive captive situations into living in large acreage natural habitats as highly-social and harmonious groups of similar species. In 2002, the Sanctuary created a paradigm shift in how captive wildlife is kept and viewed by the public by implementing elevated viewing systems throughout the Sanctuary. In addition to the Sanctuary itself, the program has fostered a national movement toward educating both the public, law enforcement and legislators, as well as creating new and better ways to rescue, rehabilitate and care for captive wildlife. The Sanctuary rescued 54 animals and is currently caring for 320 large carnivores. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Wild Animal Sanctuary Volunteer” class=”top5″]I treasure my job as an educator at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. I drive just over 100 miles each time I volunteer. I have never regretted this journey. Seeing the visitors fall in love with our magnificent rescued animals and embrace our philosophy of saving captive wildlife is incredibly fulfilling. [/su_quote]

The Mile Into The Wild walkway at the Wild Animal Sanctuary
Once completed, the Mile Into The Wild Walkway will be over 15,000 feet long and will provide visitors to the Sanctuary with nearly three miles of unparalleled viewing and learning experiences.

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Spay & Neuter
Halifax Humane Society
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Pet overpopulation is a nationwide problem that is especially significant in Florida, where the warm climate encourages year-round animal breeding. Area shelters are overwhelmed with incoming animals. It is estimated that approximately seven pets are born for each human.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Spay & Neuter
Program Name

Florida
Location

2012
Start date

Isabelle Roese
Program Director

@Halifax_Humane[/su_pullquote]

Research shows strong positive results from Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs. Specifically, the proactive spay or neuter of a female cat can prevent the birth of 100,000 homeless kittens over the lifespan on the original F1 generation and her offspring. Though there are strong indications that TNR is the best method for reducing feral cat populations, many municipalities in the United States have been slow to embrace the programs. The Redinger Clinic operated by Halifax Humane Society opened in April 2012. Even with adoptions on the rise, reducing intake must be a top priority. To do so, the Clinic provides easily accessible, affordable sterilizations for all pet owners regardless of location, income, or any other factor. They also developed a mobile vehicle for the Clinic to reach distant areas and specific population groups. With a Geographic Information System (GIS), they’ve been able to to effectively target where areas seem to be most saturated. 21,000 total sterilization surgeries have been performed between the Redinger Clinic and the HHS infirmary since the opening of the clinic in April 2012. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Isabelle Roese, Program Director” class=”top5″]Pet overpopulation is a global issue. While Halifax Humane Society’s program targets the Greater Daytona/Deltona and Central Florida regions first, the organization will be able to use these results to educate other organizations, and be a leader in the global fight to control the pet population. [/su_quote]
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No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA)
Best Friends Animal Society
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING 9,000 pets are killed everyday in U.S. shelters. 17,000 healthy and treatable dogs and cats were euthanized in city shelters in Los Angeles in 2011.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]NKLA
Program Name

Los Angeles, California
Location

2012
Start date

Marc Peralta
Program Director

@NKLA[/su_pullquote]

Beginning in 2000 with the formation of a statewide coalition in Utah and working steadily throughout the state over the last 15 years, Best Friends reduced shelter deaths across the state to the point where more than 20 communities have achieved a 90% or greater save rate. Using their success in Utah as a foundation for Los Angeles, NKLA formed a coalition of more than 70 rescue organizations to address the number of animals being killed in LA shelters. With endorsement from the LA City Council, the program operates two high volume pet adoption centers and a spay-neuter facility, as well as managing shelter surrender intervention programs, providing subsidies for incentivized adoptions, economically targeted spay/neuter services and transportation programs. By increasing collaboration between local rescues, spay/neuter organizations and passionate individuals, NKLA has brought the death rate at Los Angeles Animal Services shelters down by 50% in less than two years. NKLA is on track to make Los Angeles a No Kill City by 2017. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Brenda Barnette” class=”top5″]Best Friends is providing the leadership, funding and heart to transform LA into the largest no kill city in the nation. [/su_quote]

The No Kill Los Angeles campaign increased cat & dog adoptions by 3,788 in 2013. Photo credit: Flickr user Dan DeLuca
The No Kill Los Angeles campaign increased cat & dog adoptions by 3,788 in 2013. Photo credit: Flickr user Dan DeLuca

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Veterinary Field Service Programs
World Vets
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING In Granada, Nicaragua, an estimated 90,000 street dogs suffer from malnutrition, starvation and disease as a result of overpopulation. These dogs pose a major public health threat to humans through the transmission of parasites and diseases like rabies. 79.9% of the population of Nicaragua lives on less than $2/day. Because of this, veterinary care for animals is cost prohibitive to most of the population which results in thousands of stray and starving dogs roaming the streets.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Veterinary Field Service Programs
Program Name

Granada, Nicaragua
Location

2006
Start date

Cathy King DVM MS Phd
Program Director

@Worldvets[/su_pullquote]

Backed by research by the WHO and WSPA, the Veterinary Field Service program first addresses overpopulation by providing free spay/neuter services at local clinics within Nicaragua. Then, in partnership with the six veterinary schools in the country, provides free courses in surgery and anesthesia techniques to Veterinarians and upper level veterinary students. Understanding the problem factors within the area, the program has established a proven system for “Field Condition” spay and neuter surgeries that can be adapted when conditions are less ideal. Before World Vets, a typical Nicaragua veterinary practice was nothing more than a vet pharmacy and feed store with no hands-on animal care. Now, veterinarians are able to offer surgeries and consults. In 2013, the program trained 298 veterinarians and students and performed 1,980 surgeries at the Latin America Veterinary Training Center. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Cathy King, Program Director” class=”top5″] To have a long term impact [on overpopulation], the solution needs to be [driven] by local veterinarians working in the country. Those veterinarians need training, and involving local animal welfare groups, vets, government agencies and local citizens is crucial to success. [/su_quote]
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The Animal & Wildlife Experts

The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

LC_animals-1- FINAL!

Photo credit: World Vets

  • Pingback: World Vets Drive Progress for Animal & Wildlife Welfare | The Collaborative Exchange()

  • jennifer tierney

    Please look into and consider for next year an organization called Soi Dogs. They provide a home for homeless dogs of Thailand and victims of the illegal meat trade. Thanks.

    • Bonnie Towles

      I agree … I’ve been supporting Soi Dog for at least 10 years … They started with such overwhelming odds but have remained fighting the worst possible assaults against dogs …

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