Our mission is to end animal exploitation, cruelty, and abuse by protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals, as well as to raise their status beyond mere property, commodities, or things.

Founded in 1983, In Defense of Animals (IDA) has long been at the forefront of the fight for animal rights. Our efforts over the years have resulted in some exceptional accomplishments and achievements both at home and abroad. Some of our victories include:

  • Playing key role in the relocation of Maggie the elephant to a sanctuary in California from the Alaska Zoo.
  • Liberating 40 dolphins off the coast of Japan when IDA investigator Ben White swam underwater to cut the nets that imprisoned them.
  • Closing the infamous Coulston Foundation, once the largest chimpanzee research center in the world, saving hundreds of chimpanzees and monkeys from the horrors of vivisection.
  • Securing the transfer of eleven bonnet macaque monkeys – the subjects of cruel alcoholism and maternal separation experiments at the University of Colorado – to a Texas sanctuary.
  • Preventing the U.S. Army from breaking the legs of 120 retired racing greyhounds.
  • Closing down puppy mills, dog fighting rings and abusive sanctuaries and shelters – saving the lives of thousands upon thousands of animals.
  • Saving the lives of hundreds of Catalina Island goats and buffalo.
  • Creating a chimpanzee sanctuary and education center in Cameroon, Africa and a sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals in rural Mississippi.
  • Freeing 180 beagles scheduled to be dissected by UC Davis veterinary students.
  • Spearheading the rescue of hundreds of dogs and cats after a devastating "firestorm" swept through the Oakland/Berkeley hills, destroying more than 3,500 homes.
  • Preventing the bow hunting of Tule elk at the Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Canceling a proposed slaughter of thousands of baby seals off the coast of South Africa.
  • Ending NYU's crack cocaine experiments on monkeys, Rockefeller University’s vomiting experiments on cats, and Michael Berens’ brain cancer experiments on Beagle puppies.
  • Coordinating hundreds of protests and nonviolent civil disobedience actions including sit-ins, lock downs and banner hangings.
  • Convincing sixteen U.S. cities, two counties and one state to officially recognize their citizens as animal “guardians” by incorporating the term into their city ordinances.
  • Blocking the construction of an animal research facility within the National Park system.
  • Pressuring the San Francisco Zoo to close its exhibit and transfer its elephants to a sanctuary and convincing the L.A. Zoo to send Ruby the elephant to a sanctuary.

We are proud of our efforts and delighted to share our victories and program highlights with you. We hope you will take pride in our successes – we could not have achieved so much without the active participation and support of caring people like you.

Congratulations letter from Dr. Jane Goodall

IDA's 2007 Victories & Highlights

IDA Animal Rescues