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List of animal welfare organizations

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Animal welfare organizations are concerned with the health, safety and psychological wellness of individual animals. These organizations include animal rescue groups and wildlife rehabilitation centres, which care for animals in distress and sanctuaries, where animals are brought to live and be protected for the rest of their lives. Their goals are generally distinct from conservation organizations, which are primarily concerned with the preservation of species, populations, habitatsecosystems and biodiversity, rather than the welfare of individual animals.[1][2]

For organizations with Wikipedia pages, see Category:Animal welfare organizations.

These six nonprofit organizations support the ethical treatment of animals both large and small, wild or domesticated.

1. Animal Aid Unlimited

This Indian NGO runs a hospital and sanctuary for injured or ill street animals and rescues thousands a year. AAU runs an emergency rescue service for dogs, cows, donkeys, birds and cats and brings them to their hospital for medical treatment and they provide sanctuary for the disabled animals who need long time care or permanent homes. AAU was founded in 2002.

2. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

This charity that operates in the UK promotes the kind treatment of animals – wildlife, farm animals and pets who need to be rehomed – and runs a TV series, The Dog Rescuers that allows viewers to watch the rescue and rehoming of dogs across Great Britain. RSPCA also has TV campaigns against animal cruelty and works in Europe, Africa and Asia. Over 129,602 animals were rescued in 2018.

3. Sochi Dogs

Founded in 2014 during the Winter Olympic Games, Sochi Dogs works to rescue stray and abandoned dogs through an adoption program, spay/neuter initiative and education campaigns. The treatment of the stray dogs in Sochi is particularly cruel which makes the rescue work vitally important. The nonprofit runs a shelter with room for 60 dogs and a foster program in New Jersey. The dogs are placed in homes worldwide.

4. Humane Society International

Around the world, HSI is a world leader in working to ensure a better future for animals. The organization is working to save more than 100 million animals from suffering in labs worldwide and to end animal sports like bull fighting and racing and fights for the better treatment of farm animals, as well as supporting laws for the protection of comfort animals (pets). HSI supports programs in many countries and has offices on every continent.

5. Best Friends Save Them All

A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends works in five US regions is committed to helping homeless pets.  Best Friends focuses on saving lives through pet adoption, spay/neuter program, and other community support programs. The nonprofit offers long term sanctuary care for animals that cannot be rehomed.

6. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International

The SPCA International distributes veterinary supplies to animal welfare groups worldwide. This has enabled organizations in developing countries to treat and care for injured animals. SPCA International partners with rescue groups, shelters and governments to rescue, treat, rehabilitate, feed and spay or neuter more animals now than ever before.

Wild Animal Rescure Organizations

Animal Equality

Animal Equality is an international organization dedicated to improving the lives and treatment of farm animals. Opposed to large factory farms, Animal Equality advocates for smaller, family-run farms in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and India. The organization:

Investigates large facilities to ensure transparency and the humane treatment of animals

Produces educational materials to raise public awareness of the treatment of farm animals

Partners with large corporations to improve the lives of animals living on farms

Uses legal advocacy to advance animal protection laws 

Donations: Animal Charity Evaluators is an independent watchdog group specifically for animal-related organizations. It has declared Animal Equality one of the top animal protection organizations in the world every year since 2014. To help Animal Equality succeed in helping animals all over the world, a donation can be made here.

The National Audubon Society

With its nearly 500 chapters across the U.S. and over 2,500 “Important Bird Areas” (places where birds are especially threatened by human encroachment, ranging from New York’s Jamaica Bay to Alaska’s Arctic Slope), the National Audubon Society is one of America’s premier organizations devoted to bird and wildlife conservation. The NAS enlists “citizen-scientists” in its annual bird surveys, including the Christmas Bird Count and the Coastal Bird Survey, and encourages its members to lobby for effective conservation plans and policies. This organization’s monthly publication, Audubon Magazine, is a great way to encourage your kids’ environmental consciousness.


The largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the world’s oceans, Oceana works to shield fish, marine mammals, and other aquatic life from the deleterious effects of pollution and industrial fishing. This organization has launched a Responsible Fishing Campaign aimed at preventing overfishing, as well as individual initiatives to protect sharks and sea turtles, and it closely monitors the long-lasting effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coastal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike some other wildlife groups, Oceana only focuses on a select handful of campaigns at any given time, better enabling it to achieve specific, measurable outcomes.

The Wildlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society supports zoos and aquariums, while also promoting environmental education and conservation of wild populations and habitats. Its efforts are focused on a select group of flagship animals, including apes, big cats, elephants, whales, and sharks, in addition to other “global priority species.” The WCS was established in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, when its mission was, and still is, to promote wildlife protection, foster the study of zoology, and create a top-notch zoo. Today, there are five Wildlife Conservation Zoos, all in New York: the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.

The Sierra Club

The Sierra Club, a grassroots organization that works to protect ecological communities, encourage smart energy solutions, and create an enduring legacy for America’s wildernesses, was co-founded by naturalist and conservationist John Muir in 1892. Its current initiatives include developing alternatives to fossil fuels, limiting greenhouse emissions, and protecting wildlife communities; it’s also involved in issues like environmental justice, clean air and water, global population growth, toxic waste, and responsible trade. The Sierra Club supports vibrant chapters across the U.S. that encourage members to become involved in local conservation work.

The Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council is an environmental action organization consisting of over 700 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals that commands a membership of more than three million people and online activists worldwide.3 The NRDC makes use of local laws, scientific research, and its wide network of members and activists to protect wildlife and habitats around the globe. Some of the issues the NRDC focuses on include curbing global warming, encouraging clean energy, preserving wildlands and wetlands, restoring ocean habitats, stopping the spread of toxic chemicals, and working toward greener living in China.

The World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund works with multilateral and bilateral agencies to promote sustainable development2 in nearly 100 countries. Its aims are threefold — to protect natural ecosystems and wild populations, to minimize pollution, and to promote efficient, sustainable use of natural resources. The WWF focuses its efforts on multiple levels, starting with specific wildlife habitats and local communities and expanding upward to governments and global networks of non-government organizations. This organization’s official mascot is the Giant Panda, probably the world’s most famous near-extinct mammal.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy works with local communities, businesses, and individuals to protect over 125 million acres of land around the globe.1 The goal of this organization is to preserve entire wildlife communities along with their rich species diversity, a holistic approach that’s vital to the health of our planet. One of the Nature Conservancy’s more innovative conservation approaches is debt-for-nature swaps, which maintain the biodiversity of economically developing countries in exchange for forgiveness of their debts.