10 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Welfare (Complete 2024 List)

10 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Welfare (Complete 2024 List)

By
Carla Shaik

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Animals around the world are languishing in horrific conditions. For example, 77 billion farm animals are slaughtered every year, the vast majority of which are factory-farmed, where they are confined in tiny cages and subject to unnatural environments. Furthermore, over 100,000 big cats are kept in captivity in the US alone, with the wildlife trafficking industry now recognized as the 4th largest global industry. Fortunately, charities are working to improve the lives of vulnerable animals around the world. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for animal welfare?

The best charities that fight for animal welfare are The Humane League and the Animal Welfare Institute. Furthermore, other charities such as Faunalytics and Morris Animal Foundation utilize research to better the lives of animals around the world. 

Whether you want to protect endangered wildlife from exploitation, improve standards for farm animals, or simply advocate for better animal welfare legislation around the world, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for animal welfare 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 Welfare 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, improving the lives of animals.

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on advocating for the end of harmful activities that impede animal welfare including the wildlife trade, animal testing, and circus performing. Others focus on improving existing standards in some of the world’s largest animal industries such as farming and companion animal shelters, as well as researching better treatments for common diseases.

The majority of these charities use advocacy, research, and public engagement to improve animal welfare, whereas others take a more direct approach through rescue and rehabilitation.

Yet, they all share the same goal; to improve animal welfare standards on a global scale.

These Are the 10 Best Charities That Fight for Animal Welfare in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that fight for animal welfare (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

The Humane League: For the Animals

Logo for Humane Society International
How We're Working To End The Abuse Of Animals Raised For Food

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Humane League holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We exist to end the abuse of animals raised for food. Together, we are here, for the animals.”

The Humane League

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What they do:

The Humane League fights animal abuse and raises awareness of veganism to improve farm animal welfare through advocacy. For example, they provide informative articles on their website to help people transition to veganism, such as top vegan swaps for school lunches and common fears about going vegan. They also founded the Open Wing Alliance to work toward eliminating battery farm cages for chickens. As well as this, they hold protests and billboard campaigns, exposing the cruelty of specific corporations and calling for meaningful, institutional change by holding companies accountable.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, The Humane League’s advocacy efforts have saved over 10 million chickens from battery cages and improved the lives of countless other farm animals. For example, some of the world’s biggest corporations have enacted welfare policies thanks to their activism, such as Starbucks, Burger King, General Mills, and KFC. Moreover, their work with Open Wing Alliance has seen over 90 partners collaborate to distribute over $8.2 million in grants to vegan organizations, and earned over 2,200 animal welfare commitments from corporations.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Humane League through their website. You can also help support the charity by volunteering, fundraising, or purchasing merchandise from their online shop.

2

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 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.

3

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

4

Born Free Foundation: Keeping Wildlife in the Wild

Logo for Born Free Foundation
Trapping Exposed: Explore the Dark World of Animal Trapping

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Their transparency & ratings:

Born Free Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“A co-existent future where humans no longer exploit wild animals.”

Born Free Foundation

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What they do:

Born Free Foundation is dedicated to improving animal welfare by ending captive trades around the world through their hard-hitting campaigns. They also rescue vulnerable animals from low-welfare establishments and either release them back into the wild or care for them at one of their sanctuaries. In addition, the charity works to end the wildlife trade by exposing the harmful impacts of the industry on wildlife populations and by working with local governments to improve the global response to illegal wildlife trafficking. For example, in South Africa, they are working with officials to close down the lion breeding industry

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, Born Free Foundation works in 14 countries around the world to improve animal welfare practices and protect endangered wild species from exploitation. Across their 13 wildlife sanctuaries, the charity now cares for over 1,200 wild animal species, including 17 rescued lions and leopards and over 120 species of birds, as well as monitor lizards, hippos, and bears. For example, in 2022, they launched a major new project to track and protect 46 elephants and giraffes from wildlife conflict situations in Kenya. In the same year, they provided conservation education to 6,346 students across 97 schools in India. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Born Free Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by symbolically adopting an animal or by purchasing items from their online shop

5

Humane Society International: Protect All Animals

Logo for Humane Society International
44 dogs saved from slaughter in Viet Nam

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Their transparency & ratings:

Humane Society International holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We are endeavoring to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people, through education, advocacy, and the promotion of respect and caring.”

Humane Society International

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What they do:

Humane Society International advances the welfare of animals around the world through their various campaigns. For example, through their Be-Cruelty Free campaign, they work to outlaw cosmetic testing on animals as well as fight for a ban on the sale of cosmetic products or ingredients that have been newly tested on animals. In addition, they lobby governments to strengthen law enforcement surrounding dog fighting and publicize comprehensive reports to improve farm animal welfare and end all forms of factory farming.

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, Humane Society International is improving animal welfare standards in over 50 countries to end animal cruelty. For example, in 2022, their animal rescue team removed nearly 4,000 beagles bound for animal testing laboratories from a mass breeding facility in Virginia. In the same year, they successfully encouraged Arizona to become the 10th state to ban cages in the egg industry and their campaign efforts led to the creation of the Puppy Mill Pipeline Act, preventing the flow of cruelly bred puppies to New York pet stores. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Humane Society International through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or joining one of their campaigns.

6

Faunalytics: Research for Effective Animal Advocacy

Logo for Faunalytics
About Faunalytics

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Their transparency & ratings:

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

“To empower animal advocates with access to research, analysis, strategies, and messages that maximize their effectiveness to reduce animal suffering.”

Faunalytics

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What they do:

Faunalytics conducts research studies and shares knowledge to help animal advocates effectively improve animal welfare conditions around the globe. For example, they are running a study to evaluate the reliability and consistency of animal surrender data across US shelters and how this impacts the welfare of animal residents. Furthermore, they provide a factsheet to help consumers accurately evaluate the ‘humaneness’ of animal products and publish effective social media tactics for successful animal advocacy. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Faunalytics has remained dedicated to empowering animal advocates to improve animal welfare standards. For example, in 2023, their research led to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcing plans to strengthen oversight of animal welfare claims. In addition, the European Commission committed to phasing out animal testing and Canada banned all cosmetic testing on animals. In the same year, the charity published 262 new study summaries and gave 63 presentations to over 1,300 advocates around the world. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donat directly to Faunalytics through their website. You can also stay up to date with the work of the charity by signing up for email alerts

7

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 welfare standards 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.

8

Compassion in World Farming: Ending Factory Farming. Ending Animal Cruelty.

Logo for Compassion in World Farming
Stop the Suffering, End the Cage Age

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Their transparency & ratings:

Compassion in World Farming holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Campaigning peacefully to end all factory farming practices.”

Compassion in World Farming

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What they do:

Compassion in World Farming advocates for the welfare of all farm animals worldwide through education, research, and lobbying for changes in legislation. For example, they launched their ChickenTrack tool to encourage transparency in the marketplace and assist companies in their transition to higher welfare farming methods. In addition, they educate the public on sustainable food choices and how the food that goes onto your plate can negatively impact the welfare of farm animals. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Compassion in World Farming has worked tirelessly to improve the welfare standards for farm animals and end cruel practices. For example, in 2023, media coverage of their campaigns hit over 19.5 billion opportunities to be seen or heard. In the same year, their lobbying efforts led to the advancement of a first-of-its-kind bill to ban octopus farming in Washington state, as well as the implementation of a historic ban on live exports by sea in New Zealand. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Compassion in World Farming through their website. You can also support the charity by joining one of their campaigns or by joining their team

9

Morris Animal Foundation: A Healthier Tomorrow for Animals

Logo for Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation Celebrates 75 Years of Helping Animals

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Their transparency & ratings:

Morris Animal Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Bridging science and resources to advance the health of animals.”

Morris Animal Foundation

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What they do:

Morris Animal Foundation is committed to improving animal welfare by fighting animal disease worldwide. For example, they invest in science that will help develop more efficient diagnostic methods and treatments, and offer grants to promising researchers. For example, they run the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases. They also run a Veterinary Student Scholarship Program that provides students with the opportunity to conduct mentored research on a range of species.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Morris Animal Foundation has invested over $160 million into more than 3,000 health studies to improve the health and welfare of dogs, cats, horses, and wildlife around the world. This research has contributed to the parvovirus vaccine, as well as the genetic tests for seizure disorders, eye disease, and heart disease in dogs. They have also developed genetic screening tests for multiple equine diseases including lavender foal syndrome and established in-the-field medical care for mountain gorillas in Rwanda. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Morris Animal Foundation through their website. You can also make tribute donations to the charity by purchasing items from their online store

10

Marine Mammal Center: Rescue and Rehabilitation

Logo for The Marine Mammal Center
An Introduction to The Marine Mammal Center

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Marine Mammal Center holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Advancing global ocean conservation through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.”

Marine Mammal Center

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What they do:

The Marine Mammal Center fights to improve animal welfare through their 24-hour hotline, responding to calls from the public about marine animals in distress. The animals are then given veterinary care at the sanctuary until they are ready to be released back into the wild. In addition, the charities’ research experts work to create new innovative medical techniques and cures for a range of marine animal illnesses, including leptospirosis and cancer. Moreover, their education programs connect students of all ages with marine mammals to inspire a love of the ocean.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Marine Mammal Center has rescued and rehabilitated over 24,000 marine mammals through the assistance of their 13,000 volunteers. For example, in 2022, they provided more than 111,559 hours of service to rescue and care for sea mammals in need. In the same year, they inspired 22,100 students and visitors through their marine mammal science and conservation courses and conducted 16 whale surveys and training sessions to prevent entanglements in fishing gear. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Marine Mammal Center through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering at the center or by symbolically adopting a released seal through their Adopt-a-Seal program

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for animal welfare. 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 welfare—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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