I’m proud to announce the launch of the Humane Society for Shelter Pets today. HSSP is the only national group whose primary mission is to help local pet shelters.

Does that sound like a contradiction? Yet another group in the already crowded animal-welfare world? In fact, our role is critical and unique.

We’re needed because widespread “humane confusion” exists in the general public about national and local animal groups. According to public polling, 71 percent of Americans think the Humane Society of the United States is a pet-shelter umbrella group. It’s not, and HSUS doesn’t even run a single shelter. Similar figures probably exist for the other major national group, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which isn’t affiliated with local SPCAs.

This is no doubt due to name confusion—people see “Humane Society” or “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” and reasonably assume that these national groups are linked to their local humane society or SPCA.

National groups raise boatloads of money and share little with local groups, which are struggling greatly. Local shelters don’t have the resources to clear the air, so that’s where we come in. HSSP has one simple message: Give local.

Giving locally will do the most good for shelter pets (and won’t wind up funding a lobbying agenda or wasted on fundraising).

You can help us. Here’s what you can do:

1.       Read about how you can help your local shelter.

2.       Find shelters and shelter pets near you.

3.       Join our Facebook group and share it with your friends and family.

4.       Check out our FAQ page for more information about us.

5.       Sign up to get updates from us.