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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), based in Washington, D.C.. It is the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. In 2009, The HSUS reported assets of over US$160 million. Journalist Fred Myers and three others founded HSUS in 1954 with a view to addressing what they saw as cruelties of national scope, and resolving animal welfare problems by applying strategies beyond the ability of local organizations. HSUS operates animal sanctuaries in five states. It does not run local shelters or oversee local animal care and control agencies, but promotes best practice and provides assistance to shelters and sheltering programs. It is criticized for providing the impression in its fundraising communications that a much greater proportion of the money it raises goes directly to animal assistance or other local humane societies, while instead the group primarily functions as a lobbying and education organization . The group’s current major campaigns target five issues: factory farming, animal fighting, the fur trade, puppy mills, and wildlife abuse.
HSUS publishes Animal Sheltering, a bi-monthly magazine for animal sheltering professionals. The magazine was distributed to more than 450,000 people in 2009. It also operates the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, which provides free veterinary services for animals in impoverished communities. While determined to be aggressive in the struggle against cruelty, the HSUS founders were committed to pursuing a practical, effective course that accepted incremental improvements. When it came to questions like the use of animals in research, or the use of animals for food, the HSUS would not be an organization wedded to all-or-nothing approaches. The balance of idealism and pragmatism Myers sought to institutionalize within the HSUS proved to be an enduring legacy.