Friends of Animals is an animal welfare organisation founded in New York and currently based in Connecticut, but it has a worldwide reach and operates in Britain. Originally founded to deal with stray dogs and cats, it has expanded its remit to become a campaigning organisation. It operates sanctuaries and gives veterinary and pet owner support services
In 1957, Alice Herrington founded Friends of Animals in New York to deal with the problem of pet cats and dogs that had strayed and required neutering, but it expanded into animal rescue. The organisation moved to Darien, Connecticut and expanded to other countries. It now operates in Britain from a headquarters in Rhondda, Wales, where it runs a sanctuary. It has expanded its work to campaigning against animal abuse and for animal rights.
It is interested not only in pet welfare, but in farm animal welfare and animals in zoos and other institutions. There was also an important campaign against the mistreatment of Whales and Dolphins in Sea life centres, particularly in the Sea World Centre in California, where many whales and dolphins are said to have suffered. There was a documentary on this issue, called Sea World
In fellowship with other animal welfare organisations it has been involved in campaigns against the experimentation on animals. It runs a magazine to heighten the awareness of animal welfare issues, entitled Action Line, and it has produced several documentaries on issues of animal welfare. Friends of Animals operates a website Raisingawareness.co.uk .It also runs a newsletter, which can be downloaded. There is a YouTube video about its work.
While its British headquarters are in Rhondda, Wales, it operates in other parts of Britain. Pet health is a concern, so the organisation provides veterinary services. It offers help to pet owners who need their cat spayed or their bitch neutered, but who cannot afford the veterinary fees. This is to prevent stray kittens and puppies from roaming neglected round the streets.
Finding homes for animals
It takes in stray cats and dogs and provides them with veterinary treatment. The next stage is to try to find them a good home. Re-homing dogs and cats whose owners can no longer care for them, perhaps through age, ill-health, death or having to move to another area, forms an important part of the work.
Rescuing and re-homing mistreated animals, particularly cats and dogs, is an important part of the work. It works in conjunction with the RSPCA in this matter, as the latter possesses legal powers which other organisations do not have.