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February 15, 2013

Friends of Humane Society International

For the protection and conservation of animals

  • Kisses—rescued from a commercial breeding facility. HSI

  • Commercial seal slaughter must end. Skerry/HSUS

  • Shark finning is cruel and wasteful. Chris Dascher/istock

  • Cage-free. David Paul Morris

  • Before it's too late. Alamy

The primary mission of Friends of Humane Society International (FHSI) is the protection of animals, the prevention of cruelty and relief of suffering to animals through unbiased education and hands-on programs.

To achieve our mission, we:

Undertake and promote the conservation of animal habitats and the environment throughout the world;

Cooperate and collaborate with national and international organizations with similar objectives;

Organize international and regional conferences for educational purposes to inform the public about all aspects of animal welfare, including humane education;

Study national and international legislation relating to animal welfare, and promote efforts for the protection of animals and the conservation of their environment through stronger municipal, provincial and federal laws.

What we do to help animals

Friends of Humane Society International has active programs in many areas to help protect animals and to stop animal cruelty wherever it occurs.

Puppy mills and animal sheltering

Tens of thousands of dogs are suffering in commercial breeding operations and other facilities due to inadequate and overcrowded housing, often with poor sanitation.

As part of the Stop Puppy Mills campaign, FHSI, in collaboration with HSI/Canada, assists the Quebec government in rescuing neglected dogs from inhumane conditions in commercial breeding facilities. HSI/Canada and FHSI are jointly responsible for operating an emergency shelter for rescued dogs, which includes providing daily care, shelter supplies and equipment, and assisting with the adoption process to help find forever homes for rescued animals.

Education is a key component of our work to stop puppy mills. In tandem with HSI/Canada, FHSI works to raise awareness of the cruelty of puppy mills, and to promote shelter adoptions by distributing educational material, tabling at special events, and providing web and social media content to our sister organization’s website.

FHSI also works with pet stores throughout the country to encourage them to go “puppy-free” by signing HSI/Canada’s Puppy-Friendly Pet Store pledge [PDF].


Every spring, the government of Canada authorizes the killing of hundreds of thousands of seal pups on the sea ice off of the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

FHSI works to promote the unique ecotourism spectacle that is the harp seal nursery, and to educate Canadians about the conservation, animal welfare, ecological and economic aspects of commercial sealing.

FHSI commissions studies on the impacts of climate change on the harp seals’ sea ice habitat, seals and fisheries interactions and the economic solutions to commercial sealing.

Shark finning

Tens of millions of sharks are killed every year for their fins. Shark fins have a high commercial value due to high demand for shark fin soup. The practice of shark finning, which involves cutting the fins from live sharks and then throwing the animals back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death, has become a common practice in our oceans.

Not only is finning inhumane, but it is also causing profound damage to our ecosystems. Sharks are apex predators, meaning that they are at the top of the ocean food chains and play an essential role in maintaining balance in marine ecosystems. In a few short decades, many shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent.

FHSI works to end shark finning through unbiased public education and business outreach, which includes educating restaurants and other businesses about the issue and encouraging them to pledge not to consume shark fin products.

Farm animals

Canada raises 700 million animals for food annually. Millions of these animals are raised in intensive confinement systems so restrictive that they cannot even turn around or extend their limbs. These animals also suffer painful and mutilating practices, such as de-beaking, teeth clipping, castration, and tail docking—usually without the benefit of pain-relieving medication.

FHSI works to protect farm animals from cruelty, and to educate the public about the impacts of their food choices to animals and the environment. Every meal offers a chance to make a compassionate choice and bring about positive change for animals.

In our work to promote ethical eating, FHSI supports the increasingly popular Meatless Monday movement, which offers everyone the chance to stand up for animals, the planet, and their health—simply by sitting down to eat.

Protecting polar bears

Each year, trophy hunters kill about 600 bears around the world, 400 of which are killed in Canada. While climate change presents the most urgent threat to the survival of polar bears, the international commercial trade in bear parts is the second biggest threat to the species.

Collaborating with HSI/Canada to protect polar bears is one of our top priorities. FHSI works to educate the Canadian public about the threats posed to polar bears, such as climate change, commercial hunting and the international trade of polar bear parts.