Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 22, 2014
Humane Society logo

Humane Society logo

November 22, 1954: The Humane Society is founded. Originally known as the National Humane Society, it is today called The Humane Society of the United States or HSUS. Fred Myers, Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser, and Helen Jones moved to address issues of animal welfare. They saw that local organizations were not equipped to handle the far-reaching problems. The HSUS formed after a schism with the American Humane Association due to disagreements over pound seizures, rodeos, and other policies. Their guiding principle, as issued in 1954 was “the Humane Society of the United States opposes and seeks to prevent all use or exploitation of animals that causes pain, suffering, or fear.”

The humane movement began in the 1860s with the idea of kindness to animals making great strides during the Civil War. The most influential source in 1954 was Dr. Albert Schweitzer. In his 1952 Nobel Peace Prize speech, he advocated for compassion as the root of ethics and including not just all men, but every living thing. Joseph Wood Krutch was also influential and his writings indicated a deep level of appreciation for wilderness and nonhuman life. With these inspiring forces, the founders of HSUS devised a society to be founded in Washington, D.C. to help confront and combat cruelties nationwide.

The Humane Slaughter Act was passed in 1958, just four years after their founding. This law covered the entire nation rather than all the local laws passed in prior times. An early issue for the HSUS was animals used in research, testing, and education. Biomedical research was becoming more widespread and it was hoped that animals could not be obtained from pounds or shelters. While local humane societies tried to protect animals from pound seizure, the clout brought by a national entity helped to curb this operation. By the 1970s the issue was gathering far more attention and animal rights were moving forward.

In 2004, Wayne Pacelle was appointed CEO and president. Since then, the HSUS has been working on a number of initiatives including greyhound racing, puppy mill cruelty, and animal trapping. They have worked for Animal Protection Litigation and have partnered with other humane organizations. They helped during Hurricane Katrina with animal rescue and saved about 10,000 animals (along with the help of other organizations). They advocate for the rights of all animals, not only for those forced to fight, but also for abused animals used for display such as in circuses and zoos or aquariums. They have questioned the pet industry and have a program, Pets for Life, to ensure proper treatment of companion animals. Their efforts are ongoing and extensive, reaching out for a human treatment for all nonhuman life.

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. – Jacques Deval

The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham

Personally, I would not give a fig for any man’s religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility. – S. Parkes Cadman

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. – Albert Schweitzer

Also on this day: Blackbeard – In 1718, Blackbeard the Pirate (alias for Edward Teach) was tracked down and killed.
10 – In 1928, Ravel’s Bolero was first performed.
China Clipper – In 1935, airmail service began.
The Ship – In 1869, Cutty Sark was launched.

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Randy Janssen said, on November 23, 2014 at 6:47 am

    This is the type HSUS propaganda is done to get people to donate to the HSUA and not your local shelters. It contains a lost of accusations and no documentation. The HSUS is an urban concentrated vegan cult that wants to change our eating habits and how our food is produced. It raises over 150 million dollar by pretending to take care of dogs and cats while it spends less then 1 cent on the dollar to feed and shelter cats and dogs. The HSUS is being investigated for fraud for the ways it raises money and how it is spent. ( ) It was disqualified as a charity by Charity Navigator. It complains about AG Gag bills but it was convicted of racketeering in Florida for paying someone to lie about animal abuse. The HSUS IS AGAINST RODEO AND HUNTING. IT IS FOR A VEGETERIAN LIFE STYLE AND AGAINST EATING MEAT. ( This was posted on a report about a statue of Gandhi that the HSUS helped pay for. “ God bless Sadhu Vaswani and the HSUS for taking this opportunity to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s vegetarian philosophy!”) The HSUS says it spends 79% of its money on “animal welfare programs”, but it does not say what they are. (You probably can assume some of the money went to make a statue to Gandhi) The HSUS has been accused of paying employees to abuse animals and videoing the abuse as proof that meat production should be stopped. The HSUS wants to stop seal hunting, contending someone should pay the hunters to stop, but it will not use any of the 20 million dollars it stashes off shore to pay the hunters. The HSUS is bad for America so don’t applaud its lackeys. If you want to support something think about giving to the child fund, St. Jude, the Wounded Warriors, or you local food bank. If you want to help animals, give money to you local animal shelter. Giving money to the HSUS is throwing money away on a bloated bureaucracy that waste it on salaries and litigation. It claims to do good but if you really look at what it does, it only piggybacks on the work of local organizations.

    • patriciahysell said, on November 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

      I would like to point out that no one pays me to write this. I am not a propaganda machine. I appreciate your reading and taking the time to write a response.

  2. Karen said, on March 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

    This article is chock full of lies, especially about helping 10,000 animals during Hurricane Katrina. The H$U$ showed up and used the backdrop of other, real organizations’ efforts at saving animals as a photo op, took their pictures, stayed about an hour and left! They did NOT help any animals, nor help the ppl who were helping the animals. That is a FACT. The H$U$ are liars!

    • patriciahysell said, on March 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you for your interest. When writing this article I did not have access to your experience. Apparently you were there and I hope you and your pets were safe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: