Did you know that Humane Societies are not all connected?

Each Humane Society is an independent organization; “Humane Society” is just a descriptive word — like the word ‘bank’ is in US Bank and Bank of America. They are not connected to each other. It can be confusing!

Many people even mistakenly think that the Humane Society of the United States runs all humane societies. They do not! They do help animals through legislation and in disasters, but do not have a shelter themselves.

Some Humane Societies, like the Humane Society of Loudoun County (HSLC), are “limited admission”. Limited admission organizations sometimes have their animals for many months, and use foster homes.   That means they do not have to euthanize animals to make room for new pets they take on. And many, like HSLC, have other programs that help the local animal population, like a pet pantry (Loudoun Pet Pantry) so families in need don’t have to surrender their pets simply because they can’t afford to feed them, partial help when medical emergencies arise, and resources for behavioral issues. The Community cat program is major part of HSLC, helping to reduce the numbers of feral cats while improving their health and quality of life.

And some Humane Societies are “open door” with animal control contracts, just like a city shelter, so they do euthanize to make room. Many “open door” humane societies run programs that have helped reduce pet overpopulation in the cities they serve.  They may have the pets for many weeks, and know more about their behavior and health than a city shelter.

So it’s important to understand the nature of your local animal rescues and support them for the benefit of your community. We all work together to help animals but we are separate, independent organizations.