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Animal rescue

The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team works with law enforcement to investigate and assist with large-scale cruelty cases. Every year we rescue thousands of animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations, natural disasters and other situations where animals suffer from life-threatening cruelty and neglect. We are sometimes able to help local groups take on major cases. 

  • How prepared for disaster are you?

    When I sat down at my computer to write about how shelters need to be prepared for crisis, I could hear reports breaking on CNN about the historic flooding in the state of Louisiana. Of course, I quickly grew distracted and numb watching the devastating images onscreen. Reports of thousands of people rescued—and concerns of animal shelters under water. Even more news of people leaving pets behind and shelters unable to evacuate because of a lack of resources. How could this be? I thought we’d come so far!

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  • Disaster FAQ

    What shelters and rescues need to know about the Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, as well as the wildfires in Oregon and Montana.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > [rendered_entity]

  • Magazine Article

    The light at the end of the rabbit hole

    To survive the topsy-turvy world of animal rescue, you need a mission, a guide and a plan

    Alice’s tribulations in Wonderland have nothing on the stresses faced by rescue groups. But with a well-defined mission and a reasonable scope of work, you and your team will go from mad as hatters to smiling like Cheshire cats.

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  • Magazine Article

    Protecting the protectors

    Carol Misseldine of the Humane Society of the United States helps staff an emergency shelter for animals displaced by the 2018 wildfires in California.

    Safety protocols for rescues are critical—for both people and animals


    Responders tasked with saving animals from disasters and major cruelty cases make the animals their focus. But who’s protecting the protectors? Proper planning and training can improve the well-being of humans and animals alike.

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  • Magazine Article

    When animal rescue isn't

    In 2011, 150 dogs and 50 cats were seized from nonprofit Dirty Sally’s Pet Pals.

    Some groups that claim to be helping animals are actually hurting them

    At Montgomery County Animal Services in Maryland, cruelty investigator Jack Breckenridge thumps a single arrest warrant onto his desk. The stack of paper is an inch thick.

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