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Fighting for animals, people and the environment… since 1983

Who We Are

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 valued supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi. Our main headquarters are established in San Rafael, California.

Our History

In early 1983, veterinarian Dr. Elliot Katz was contacted by animal activists and discovered scandalous conditions inside UC Berkeley’s animal laboratories — an event that changed animal protection history. Living in cramped and filthy facilities, animals were sick and dying while campus veterinarians were prevented from providing treatment to those in need. Dr. Katz formed Californians for Responsible Research, which filed a lawsuit against USDA, forcing them to issue a cease and desist order against UC Berkeley. Ultimately, Berkeley was fined $12,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Californians for Responsible Research was renamed In Defense of Animals, and for over 33 years it has become a force to reckon with — foremost in animal advocacy.

Dr. Katz today advises the organization as President Emeritus, while Dr. Marilyn Kroplick, a medical doctor and psychiatrist, serves as President. Since 2011, Dr. Kroplick has applied her unique knowledge and fresh approach to become a visionary animal protection leader.

The Need

Sadly, animal suffering and exploiting is the status quo. Millions of animals around the world suffer as objects of entertainment, food, experiments, clothing, or throwaway creatures pushed out of habitat, by human expansion.

Most people denounce animal suffering. In Defense of Animals has developed a unique approach to sow seeds of compassion to end cruelty. We strive to instill a new balance, in awaken awareness, and foster harmony -- between animals, humans, and the environment.

Our Mission

Our mission: to defend animals, humans and the environment from abuses and exploitation, and to foster peace between all life. We educate and expose animal abuse as a root cause, symptom, and early predictor of wider societal violence. We advocate change in laws, human behavior, and enlightenment in the need to protect lives, advance rights, improve welfare, and steward environmental protection. We care for and rehabilitate lost, orphaned, abandoned, and abused animals inside three main sanctuaries. 

We believe communication is essential for sustainable activism. In Defense of Animals models relaxed tenacity, determined compassion and peaceful transformation: within the individual, within organizations, and within the movement of animal protection. We work together to challenge the status quo and replace a world-view of innate human domination, violence, and superiority of a higher human identity over other sentient beings.

Our Vision

Our vision is to transform the world, elevate everyone’s innate potential, and teach sacred respect for all life forms. We promote harmony and peaceful relationships between humans, animals, and the environment that sustains all life forms.

We commit ourselves to awaken the world to life free of exploitation — of animals, humans and the environment; a place where conflicts are rarely expressed. In Defense of Animals aims to become a role model that acts from a balanced center of creative compassion, adapts with empathy, and fosters harmonious relationship between animals, humans and the environment.

Compassion resides in every human heart. As we spread our positive message, our movement grows stronger. This positive feedback cycle encourages more and more people to join our animal advocacy, grows our political power, and reduces all life suffering worldwide.

With help like yours, we are making the world a better place for animals, humans and the environment.

CONTACT

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"As a youngster, my life saving work focused on rescuing abandoned or lost dogs on the beaches and sand dunes of Long Island, NY."

Elliot Katz, DVM

In Defense of Animals Founder and President Emeritus

"Before persuading anyone else or trying to change a social movement, activists must develop skills of self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-compassion.

Marilyn Kroplick, MD

President In Defense of Animals