9 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Protection (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Protection (Complete 2024 List)

By
Carla Shaik

Read Time:21 Minutes

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Animals around the world are under threat from a multitude of activities including poaching, animal testing, habitat loss, slaughter, and other forms of cruelty. For example, more than 400,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters and 115 million animals are abused in laboratories every year in the US alone. Wildlife is faring no better with the wildlife trafficking industry’s worth estimated at up to $20 million annually. Fortunately, charities are working to protect animals from further suffering. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for animal protection?

The best charities that fight for animal protection are the IUCN and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Furthermore, other charities such as Birdlife International and Panthera focus on the protection of specific animal groups that are under threat. 

Whether you want to ensure a lonely companion animal finds its loving forever home, restore wild habitat to protect endangered species, or end exploitative activities such as poaching, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for animal protection are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Animal Protection Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, implementing protective measures to stop the suffering of animals

Many of the charities on this list run conservation projects and anti-poaching patrols to protect endangered wild animals. Others focus their efforts on advancing the lives of domestic animals by improving healthcare and actively searching for forever homes for vulnerable individuals. 

Yet, they all share the same goal; to ensure all animals are treated with the kindness and respect they deserve.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Protection in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that fight for animal protection (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

IUCN: Enabling Society, Economics, and Nature to Thrive Together

Logo for IUCN
Celebrating 75 years of IUCN around the world

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, the IUCN spent 51% of their expenditure on operating costs and 35.2% on education and support. 

“Generating, utilizing, and publishing sound, evidence-based research to advance nature conservation and sustainable development.”

IUCN

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What they do:

The IUCN provides science-based knowledge, tools, and support to animal welfare and conservation organizations, as well as government agencies to protect wild animals. For example, their IUCN Red List is a globally recognized tool to determine the health of the world’s biodiversity. In addition, their Contributions for Nature Platform allows IUCN members to document where their conservation projects are being conducted, creating a database to identify areas in need of support. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, the IUCN works across 600 sites in 60 countries to improve the protection of wild animals. For example, they have pledged to actively protect and restore more than 210 million acres of natural land and have assessed 157,190 species through their IUCN Red List. The charity has also been integral in the creation of numerous international conventions including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the IUCN through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming an IUCN Member or by joining an IUCN Commission

2

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Animal Rescue and Protection

Logo for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Through Their Eyes | The Full Journey | LP

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We are their voice.”

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

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What they do:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers training and support to shelters, rescue centers, and clinics across America to improve animal welfare and prevent further neglect of companion animals. The ASPCA also conducts large-scale rescue operations of vulnerable animals and assists law enforcement in building cases against abusers. Moreover, through their advocacy center, the charity works with local, state, and federal legislators to improve animal welfare legislation, including ending puppy mills

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has remained committed to protecting companion animals across America. For example, since 2001, they have distributed more than $200 million to over 3,500 animal shelters, rescue groups, universities, and government agencies. Furthermore, in 2022, the ASPCA Disaster Response Team helped more than 6,700 animals that had been displaced due to natural disasters. Moreover, their Learning Lab attracted more than 28,000 enrollments, reaching animal welfare professionals and students from 1,200 organizations worldwide.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals through their website. You can also support the charity through planned giving or by joining their Heroes Circle

3

Re:wild: Protecting and Restoring the Wild

Logo for Re:Wild
Re:wild is here!

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Their transparency & ratings:

Re:wild holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

To protect and restore the wild to build a thriving Earth where all life flourishes.”

Re:wild

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What they do:

Re:wild protects and restores populations of wild animals through collaborations with governments, like-minded organizations, and local communities. They particularly focus on restoring land in the world’s Key Biodiversity Areas, which are essential for the survival of numerous endangered species and ecosystems. They also work with Earth Guardians on the ground, including park rangers, to tackle wildlife crime and habitat destruction. For example, they are working with the Maya Forest Corridor Coalition to identify and conserve vulnerable forest areas in the Maya Mountains to protect endangered jaguars and Baird’s tapirs.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Re:wild has protected and conserved over 460 million acres of land that has benefited more than 33,000 wild species, including over 200 severely threatened species. They have also created more than 100 new conservation areas, covering 90 million acres, through their collaborations with 500 conservation partners in over 80 countries. Today, the charity actively focuses on the protection of 193 endangered species across 24 wildlife programs

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Re:wild through their website. You can also support the charity by attending one of their awareness events or Re:wilding your life

4

Best Friends Animal Society: Save Them All

Logo for Best Friends Animal Society
Foster-Win! Cat with a broken jaw heals and finds his forever home

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Best Friends Animal Society holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“A world in which every pet has the chance to know love and companionship.”

Best Friends Animal Society

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What they do:

Best Friends Animal Society cares for and actively finds forever homes for vulnerable or abandoned companion animals at their sanctuary in Utah, including horses, cats, dogs, rabbits, and pigs. They also partner with shelters, spay/neuter organizations, and welfare groups across the US to work toward their goal of ensuring the entire country is a no-kill zone by 2025. In addition, Best Friends Animal Society acts as an online resource for pet health and training and provides how-to guides for shelters. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Thanks to the efforts of Best Friends Animal Society, 57% of all shelters in the US are now no-kill. That equates to a 63% reduction in the number of unwanted pets euthanized within a 10-year period. For example, by 2022, the charity had partnered with over 4,200 shelter and rescue centers across all 50 states, with over 550 joining in that year alone. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Best Friends Animal Society through their website. You can also support the charity by adopting an animal from their sanctuary in Utah or fostering a companion animal in need.

5

Animal Welfare Institute: Ending Animal Cruelty Inflicted by People

Logo for Animal Welfare Institute
Take Action for Animals!

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Animal Welfare Institute holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“We seek better treatment of animals everywhere – in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.”

Animal Welfare Institute

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What they do:

The Animal Welfare Institute engages with policymakers, scientists, the public, and animal industries to end cruelty on a worldwide scale, including the abolition of factory farming and protecting animal species from exploitation. For example, they encourage research institutions and laboratories to adopt the 3Rs (replacement of animals with alternatives, reduction in the number of animals used, and refinement of practices) through education and support. In addition, they are campaigning heavily for the end of inhumane slaughter methods used on livestock for consumption. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Animal Welfare Institute has been integral to the implementation of numerous animal welfare and protection wins, including the establishment of the Animal Welfare Act, the commercial banning of whaling, and the banning of steel-jaw leghold traps. For example, in 2022, the charity encouraged the American Veterinary Medical Association to strengthen the recommendation for pain relief during and after painful procedures such as tail docking in livestock. In the same year, they funded over 12 organizations that support or fund animal shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, and rehabilitation centers in Ukraine, to provide desperately needed food, supplies, and care to displaced animals during the Ukraine conflict

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Animal Welfare Institute through their website. You can also support the charity by joining one of their animal welfare campaigns.

6

Birdlife International: Protecting Birds and Nature

Logo for Birdlife International
We are BirdLife

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Their transparency & ratings:

Birdlife International holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“To conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.”

Birdlife International

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What they do:

Birdlife International protects all bird species around the world through their network of bird watchers, scientists, and volunteers. For example, through their innovative Data Zone tool, they track endangered bird species and identify vital biodiversity areas to formulate effective conservation management plans. Furthermore, they have developed AVISTEP, an Avian Sensitivity Tool for Energy Planning that can be used to determine where renewable energy could negatively impact bird populations so that plans can be amended accordingly.

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, Birdlife International is a global organization consisting of over 115 national and international partners and 2 million scientists and bird lovers, working together to save all bird species. Since their founding, they have identified and documented over 13,000 key bird biodiversity areas and are now the official scientific source of information on bird species for the IUCN Red List. For example, in 2021, the charity established 595,000 km2 of ocean as a new Marine Protected Area along the North Atlantic Current, which is home to nearly 5 million birds from 21 species. This area is also one of the most important ocean habitats for migratory bird species in the world

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Birdlife International through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming a Species Champion or by fundraising.

7

Panthera: Protecting All Big Cats

Logo for Panthera
Panthera’s Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

Panthera holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Ensure a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend.”

Panthera

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What they do:

Panthera partners with like-minded organizations, scientific institutions, and local communities to implement protective strategies for wild cat species in over 35 countries, through their various conservation projects. Their main focus is on the seven species of big cats; pumas, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, snow leopards, and cheetahs. For example, through their Tigers Forever Project, the charity monitors tiger populations across 5 countries and supports counter-poaching efforts to secure protected habitats and corridors. Furthermore, they have partnered with the African Congregational Church to replace the use of leopard skin hats in ceremonial regalia. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Panthera has partnered with over 45 government agencies, including 7 counter-wildlife crime information hubs, across more than 35 countries to protect the world’s 40 wild cat species. For example, they have established the creation of 19,000 synthetic fur products, sparing the lives of thousands of servals, lions, and leopards. In addition, they have taught over 2,100 children about the importance of jaguar conservation and installed over 30,000 motion-activated cameras to track the movements of threatened cat species. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Panthera through their website. In addition, you can support the charity by purchasing items from their online shop or setting up an online fundraiser

8

Four Paws International: For Animals Under Direct Human Influence

Logo for Four Paws
2 Million Strong: Ending Dog & Cat Meat Trade in Southeast Asia

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Their transparency & ratings:

Four Paws International holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. 

“A world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.”

Four Paws International

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What they do:

Four Paws International advocates for the improvement of legal standards surrounding the care of captive big cats and bears, as well as calling for bans on trophy hunting, canned lion hunting, and the use of wild animals as circus performers. They do this by liaising with governments around the world to update animal welfare legislation, and by calling for transparency among the companies involved in these activities. Their 12 sanctuaries now care for a vast variety of abused and abandoned animals worldwide, as well as animals that have been rescued from disaster and conflict zones. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, Four Paws International works in over 30 countries to improve animal protection worldwide. For example, in 2022, their bear sanctuary in North Vietnam expanded to care for more than 100 bears rescued from the bear bile industry. In the same year, the charity cared for 143 lions, 300 horses, and 24 apes. In addition, the charity rescued and rehabilitated more than 5000 wild animals in need and provided food for 110,000 cats and dogs in Ukraine

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Four Paws International through their website or show your support by signing any one of their petitions.

9

World Animal Protection: Ending Animal Suffering 

Logo for World Animal Protection
Do you think that I'm thinking? | The Thoughtful Pig

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Their transparency & ratings:

World Animal Protection holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To create a better world for animals.”

World Animal Protection

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What they do:

World Animal Protection advocates for the end of cruel industries that cause needless suffering to both wild and captive animals, including the entertainment trade, wild animal tourism, and the global wildlife trade. The charity also provides disaster relief for animals in conflict zones or areas affected by natural disasters. They do this by providing emergency veterinary treatment or by evacuating animals to safer areas. In addition, World Animal Protection runs two sanctuaries in Romania and Pakistan for bears rescued from the bear bile industry and the entertainment trade.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, World Animal Protection has highlighted the cruel industries that expose animals to unnecessary suffering. For example, as a result of their campaign efforts, the chain restaurants KFC and Nando’s have updated their chicken welfare policies, benefiting over 72 million chickens. In 2020, the charity assisted over 3 billion animals after 15 bushfires raged through Australia. Furthermore, they developed the Travel Back Better website which helps companies to avoid cruel wildlife tourist venues. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to World Animal Protection through their website. You can also support the charity’s work by symbolically adopting one of the bears at their sanctuaries, or by playing the charity’s weekly lottery

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for animal protection. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to fighting for animal protection—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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