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What is American Humane?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2014
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American Humane is an animal and child welfare organization based in Denver, Colorado. It is probably most famous for the Film and Television Unit which operates out of its Los Angeles offices, auditing the use of animals in film and television productions. If the Unit is invited to audit the use of animals on set and it determines that the animals were treated humanely and used in an ethical manner, it will allow the production company to display the disclaimer “no animals were harmed” in the credits.

If it seems odd to be combining child and animal welfare under the umbrella of one organization, the founding date of American Humane explains a lot. In 1877, when the organization was founded, many humane organizations and charities bundled services for children and animals together, recognizing both as incapable of speaking for themselves. In fact, several child welfare organizations were outgrowths of animal welfare organizations.

In addition to operating its Film and Television Unit, American Humane provides a number of other resources for animals. It works nationally with shelters and individuals to provide sheltering, protection, and advocacy for animals, working with both pets and farm animals. American Humane also offers emergency services for animals, and it, like many animal welfare organizations, also has a program which is intended to reduce the number of unwanted animals. American Humane is not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), despite the similarities in the names.

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For children, American Humane supports programs designed to identify child abuse and neglect, along with programs to reduce the overall rate of child abuse in the United States. It also provides family education with the goal of promoting strong families, and works with child and youth advocates. American Humane also conducts research on child welfare issues, and the organization partners with other child welfare organizations on a variety of initiatives.

Some programs at American Human pertain to both people and animals, reflecting the intimate link between the two. American Humane sponsors and supporters animal-assisted therapy programs, along with humane education and law enforcement seminars on the link between animal cruelty and human violence. It also spearheads a program which is designed to provide sheltering services to victims of domestic violence and their pets, reflecting the connection between people and their pets and the reluctance of domestic violence victims when it comes to sheltering without their animals.

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