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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 > Animal rescue

  • 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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  • Magazine Article

    Off the market

    Changing the future for dogs in South Korea

    It’s still dark, the coming dawn a wash of paler blue in the inky sky over Namyangju, a small city outside of Seoul, when the line of vans turns off the main highway onto a gravel side road. The vans ascend the narrow drive up a brushy, frozen hillside, assembling above a cluster of ramshackle metal and tarp hangars.

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  • Magazine Article

    Breaking out

    “Orange Is the New Black” actress Adrienne C. Moore believes animals and humans have a  profound connection.

    Actress Adrienne C. Moore talks spirit and shelter pets

    In Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” Adrienne C. Moore brings humor and heart to the role of prisoner Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes, who memorably undergoes a religious awakening in season 3.

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  • Magazine Article

    Anatomy of a puppy mill raid

    The details are depressingly similar—sick, suffering dogs languishing in row after row of wire cages—but closing each puppy mill down is a struggle all its own for The HSUS and its partners.

    Many shelter and animal rescue staff have seen firsthand the scenes of filth and neglect at puppy mills: the cramped, dark pens housing terrified animals; the lack of food, fresh water, or veterinary care. Rescues are often the culmination of months of preparation, and, when they happen, they're a methodical step toward putting one of an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. out of business.

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  • Magazine Article

    Roadside extraction

    Rowdy Shaw and Adam Parascandola of The HSUS help carry a sedated tiger from Mississippi’s Collins Zoo to a transport carrier. She was among three tigers, two cougars, two leopards, two wolf hybrids, and a macaque who were rescued from the unaccredited roadside facility.

    A cooperative effort rehomes neglected exotics to sanctuaries equipped to care for them

    A cooperative effort rehomes neglected exotics kept in an unaccredited roadside zoo to sanctuaries equipped to care for them.

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