American Humane Association
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C and Los Angeles|
|Focus||Animal welfare, animal rights, child welfare|
|Mission||Ensure the welfare, wellness and well-being of children and animals|
|Website||American Humane Association|
American Humane Association (AHA) is an organization founded in 1877 dedicated to the welfare of animals and children. It was previously called the International Humane Association, before changing its name in 1878. In 1940 it became the sole monitoring body for the humane treatment of animals on the sets of Hollywood films and other broadcast productions. AHA is best known for its trademarked certification "No Animals Were Harmed", which appears at the end of film or television credits. It has also run the Red Star Animal Emergency Services since 1916. In 2000 AHA formed the Farm Animal Services program, an animal welfare label system for food products. The Association is currently headquartered in Washington D.C. It is a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Early history 
American Humane Association began on October 9, 1877 as "The International Humane Association", with the amalgamation of 27 organizations from across the US after a meeting at the Kennard House in Cleveland, Ohio. The invitation to the other groups came from the Illinois Humane Society, sent on September 15, 1877, to discuss the specific problem of farm animal maltreatment during their transport between the eastern and western US. Groups attending the meeting included associations from the State of New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. A group from Minnesota also pledge its support to the forthcoming results of the conference, though they could not attend, and a group from the Province of Quebec in Canada requested the proceedings be sent to them following the proceedings.
The International Humane Association changed its name to "American Humane Association" in November 1878. New member organizations were in attendance for their second annual general meeting, held in Baltimore, Maryland, also came from California, Massachusetts, Maine, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Canadian regions were also included in the Association. The third meeting was held in Chicago in October of 1879, and each of the following years in different cities. At the third meeting delegates came from additional regions, including Quebec, Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
By the fourth general meeting there were delegates from all prior regions, including new organizations from Nova Scotia, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The Association eventually came to serve a dual policy of protecting animal and child welfare. Examples of its causes include the uncovering inhumane conditions in cattle slaughterhouse, unclean water fed to horses, separating adult and child offenders in prison, retiring police and fire horses, and trying to abolish of corporal punishment in schools. By 1883 its work had led to the Cruelty to Children Act, the first legislation of its kind in the United States.
Red Star Animal Emergency Services 
According to the The Gettysburg Times, the "American Humane Association began offering animal relief in August, 1916, by accepting an invitation of the War Department to help animals used by the U.S. Army during WWI. The invitation resulted in the development of the American Red Star Animal Relief Program known today as Animal Emergency Services. Since its inception, American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services has responded to national and international disasters, rescuing thousands of animals." Disasters where the group has rescued animals include the 2011 Joplin tornado, Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Sandy, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the September 11 attacks. Today, Red Star Animal Emergency Services includes a fleet of emergency response vehicles customized to help animals in disasters, as well as specialized rescue equipment designed specifically for animal search and rescue.
Work in the film industry 
Film and Television Unit 
American Humane Association began its work in film in 1939, after an incident that occurred on the set of the film Jesse James. The group began protesting the public release of the film, because of a scene where a horse was forced to run off the edge of a cliff. The horse fell over 70 feet to the ground below and broke its spine, having to be put down afterwards. In 1966 the AHA’s access to some sets was diminished for 14 years following the dismantling of the Hayes Office, during which time their jurisdiction was lessened.
In 1980, following the release of Heaven's Gate, the opening of which was met with a national picketing and protest effort after complaints about how the filming of the movie had involved the inhumane treatment of animals – including the deaths of five horses – the Screen Actors Guild negotiated for the universal presence of AHA on the set as part of its union deal, forcing moviemakers to contact AHA in advance of any animal being present on set.
Today American Humane Association Film and Television Unit specifically oversees animals used during media productions, and it is sanctioned by the Screen Actors Guild to oversee a production's humane care of animals. It is the only organization with jurisdiction to do so within the United States. Because of this, the AHA may choose to issue the end credit disclaimer "No Animals Were Harmed". The AHA may also be able to report on the animal action during filming when public concerns arise or animal accidents happen on a particular set. American Humane Association acts as the animals’ safety representative, but it protects both animal actors and cast/crew members interacting with the animals. According to the AHA, they ensure that budgets and time constraints do not compromise the safety or care of the animals.
The AHA has a standard of animal care as outlined in the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media, which they established in 1988. It covers both large animals, as well as fish, insects, birds, reptiles, and any other living creature. On the set, AHA's Certified Animal Safety Representatives attempt to ensure the Guidelines are upheld. AHA's oversight includes film, television, commercials, music videos, and Internet productions. Despite animal deaths or injuries on the set, the determination of whether a film qualifies for the AHA's symbol of approval can only be made after filming is complete, all documentation submitted, and a screening of the locked picture provided.
In the late 1980s, the Association was accused by Bob Barker and the United Activists for Animal Rights of condoning animal cruelty on the set of Project X and in several other media projects. The basis of the accusation allowing a cattle prod and a gun on set, and rumored beating of the chimpanzee on set. The Association responded by launching a $10 million suit for libel, slander and invasion of privacy against Mr. Barker. American Humane Association claimed that there had been a two-year "vendetta" against them behind the accusations. In a series of public ads along with the $10 million libel suit, the Association stated that the allegations were made based on insufficient and misleading information. The suit was eventually settled by Barker's insurance company, that paid AHA $300,000.
The Los Angeles Times also reported in 2001 that the AHA Film Unit "has been slow to criticize cases of animal mistreatment, yet quick to defend the big-budget studios it is supposed to police," and that an examination of the Association, "also raises questions about the association's effectiveness." The article cites numerous cases of animals injured during filming which the AHA may have overlooked.
Recent programs 
Farm Animal Services 
In 2000 American Humane Association’s Farm Animals Services program created the first farm animal welfare label to be overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The auditing is done by the AHA, with the USDA also auditing the certifications to ensure compliance. The label informs purchasers that the AHA has found that the animals were not subjected to unnecessary pain, distress, or fear while being raised. Part of what the program demands is the implementation of minimum space requirements per animal on a farm or in farming facilities. American Humane Association currently certifies approximately 85 percent of cage-free eggs sold in the U.S.
The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards 
Each year a series of dogs are awarded the Hero Dog Awards, given to dogs that have contributed substantially to human society. There are several categories in which dogs can be nominated, including the Military Dog category. The grand prize for the American Hero Dog was $10,000, which is given to a charity that reflects the contributions of the animal. In 2011 and 2012 the awards were broadcast on the Hallmark Channel. The first winner of the national award was a dog named Roselle, who led his blind owner down from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. There were more than 400,000 votes cast in the online poll that determined the winner. Unfortunately Roselle passed away several months before the winner was announced. The award was given on November 11, 2011.
See also 
- "American Humane Association moving HQ from Colorado to D.C.". Denver Business Journal. February 14, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "American Humane Association: Tax Status". Better Business Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Claire M. Renzetti and Jeffrey L. Edleson (2008). Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Violence, Volume 1. SAGE Publications. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 1. American Humane Association. 1877. pp. 5–7. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 1, p. 19
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 2. American Humane Association. 1878. pp. 8–9. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 3. American Humane Association. 1879. p. 1. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 3, p.3
- Doings of the Annual Meeting, Volumes 4. American Humane Association. 1880. p. 2. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Rig headed to area to mark SPCA event". The Gettysburg Times. June 16, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "American Humane Association to help animal victims of Joplin disaster". State Journal-Register. May 25, 2011.
- Steve Dale (January 27, 2011). "Robin Ganzert Steers American Humane Association from a Celebrated Past Into A Promising Future". ChicagoNow. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Laura T. Coffey (October 30, 2012). "Rush is on to rescue animals stranded in Sandy's wake". Today. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Erin Thompson (July 9, 2007). "Animal rescue group shows off big rig". The Evening Sun. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Johnna Rizzo (February 24, 2013). "Dorothy Lamour never got nominated for an Oscar, while a chimp never could". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Associated Press (March 15, 2006). "Groups targeting Humane Association over treatment of apes in movies". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "HOLLYWOOD UNDER FIRE IN DEATH OF 2ND HORSE". Daily News of Los Angeles. April 28, 2005. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- The Fifth Estate. "PROFILE: American Humane". CBC News. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Lisa Wolfson (August 1, 1987). "The Humane Society keeps film set abuse down". Deseret News. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Eve Light Honthaner (2013). The Complete Film Production Handbook. CRC Press. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Empire Magazine (2012). Empire Movie Miscellany: Instant Film Buff Status Guaranteed. Random House. p. 160.
- "American Humane Investigates Horse Injury on Set of Russell Crowe's '3:10 To Yuma'". Star Pulse. October 26th, 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- American Human Association. "Protecting Your Ass* From Harm". American Human Film & Television Units. p. 4. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Steven Pinker (2011). The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Penguin Books. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Thomas Lennonand Robert B Garant (2011). Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Elayne Boosler (March 27, 2012). "Yes, Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Motion Picture". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Lucinda Smith, Leah Feldon, and Eleanor Hoover (September 18, 1989). "Speaking Up for 'Abused' Animals, Bob Barker Is Hit with a Lawsuit". People Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Associated Press (August 31, 1989). "Game Show Host Sued For Libel". The Spokesman-Review. p. A7. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "ANIMAL BOARD OFFICIAL SEEKS CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST PROBE". Daily News of Los Angeles. March 30, 1994. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Ralph Frammolino and James Bates (February 9, 2001). "Questions Raised About Group That Watches Out for Animals in Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Melinda Fulmer (September 20, 2000). "New Food Label to Certify Humane Treatment of Animals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "LABEL INDICATES HUMANE TREATMENT, 'FREE FARMED' FOODS MEAN PRODUCERS ARE KIND TO ANIMALS". San Jose Mercury News. September 20, 2000. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Catherine Price (September 16, 2008). "Sorting Through the Claims of the Boastful Egg". New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Monica Eng (September 23, 2009). "Egg confusion: A dozen-plus terms that will help you peck through the choices". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Christina Ng (September 19, 2012). "Military Heroes and Their Hero Dogs". ABC World News. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Kristin Chenoweth to host 'Hero Dog Awards' show". Tulsa World. September 26, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Linda Wilson Fuoco (October 29, 2011). "Pet Tales -- Heroes in the spotlight: Guide dog honored for leading her human to safety on 9/11". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "Denounce Wearing Of Bird Feathers". New York Times. October 23, 1923. Retrieved 2012-11-04. "Dr. Frank L. Baldwin, Vice President of American Humane Society [sic], under the auspices of Which the conference was called, characterized New York as 'the mecca of humane workers and the birthplace of the humanitarian movement.'"
- "American Humane Association, Aetna Foundation, Dave Thomas Foundation, and more". Philanthropy Journal. September 1, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2013.