President of The Humane Society
Wayne Pacelle waynepacelle.org is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle took office June 1, 2004, after serving for nearly 10 years as the organization’s chief lobbyist and spokesperson. Under Pacelle’s leadership, The HSUS has been approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards for charity accountability, voted by Guidestar’s Philanthropedia experts as the #1 high-impact animal protection group, named by Worth Magazine as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities, and is ranked in the top 10 for nonprofit brands. During his tenure as HSUS President and CEO, Pacelle has driven transformational change for animals and spurred major growth for the organization, which has emerged as the nation’s 138th largest charity and and most effective animal protection organization. The growth has partly been achieved through successful mergers with other animal protection organizations. In 2004, Wayne Pacelle and Michael Markarian (President of The Fund for Animals and now Chief Operating Officer of The HSUS) helped engineer the corporate combination of The HSUS and The Fund for Animals, the national organization founded by Cleveland Amory. In 2006, Pacelle was the architect of a combination with the Doris Day Animal League, which was founded nearly 20 years ago by iconic actress Doris Day, and is one of the major American animal protection organizations. Also under Pacelle’s leadership, the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights became an affiliate of The HSUS as the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.Pacelle has also dramatically grown the animal care programs of The HSUS. He arranged a corporate combination with the SPCA Wildlife Care Center (now the South Florida Wildlife Center) of Broward County, Fla.—now one of four animal care centers of The HSUS and affiliated organizations. The HSUS created Duchess Sanctuary, a safe haven for horses in Oregon, in 2008, and acquired the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Southern California, in 2005 with the union with The Fund for Animals. Together with its affiliates, The HSUS provides services for more animals than any other animal protection organization. Pacelle and his team have helped to drive enactment of 138 federal animal protection laws and provisions enacted since 1999, including a series of upgrades to federal animal fighting laws, banning imports of puppy mill dogs, incorporating animals in disaster planning, and restricting animal testing for the assessment of chemicals. He and his team have also helped to pass more than 1200 state laws since 2004, including passing more than 30 successful statewide ballot measure campaigns. In 2016, Pacelle led the effort to pass Question 3 in Massachusetts to improve farm animal welfare (the fourth straight win on anti-confinement ballot initiatives for farm animals) and to pass Measure 100 in Oregon to combat wildlife trafficking. In 2010, Pacelle championed the winning campaign to pass Proposition B in Missouri, the first statewide ballot measure addressing the problem of cruelty at puppy mills. In 2008, he led the effort to pass Proposition 2 in California, halting the intensive confinement of 20 million farm animals. He also led successful efforts to ban the use of bait and dogs in the hunting of bears, cougars and bobcats in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington; to ban the use of cruel traps in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington; to outlaw cockfighting in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma; and to ban mourning dove hunting in Michigan, among other ballot measures. In 1996, Campaigns and Elections named Pacelle “a rising star in politics,” “largely for his achievements in crafting, qualifying, and passing statewide ballot initiatives.”
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