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ASPCA vs. HSUS — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 9, 2023
ASPCA stands for American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, focusing on local animal rescue and protection. HSUS stands for Humane Society of the United States, a broader advocacy group for animal welfare.
ASPCA vs. HSUS — What's the Difference?

Difference Between ASPCA and HSUS


Key Differences

ASPCA, or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is an organization primarily dedicated to rescuing, sheltering, and adopting out animals in need. HSUS, or the Humane Society of the United States, while also concerned about animal welfare, is more about nationwide policy, advocacy, and education.
Founded in 1866, ASPCA was the first humane society in North America and is headquartered in New York City. HSUS, on the other hand, was founded in 1954 and is based in Washington D.C., with its focus being more on large-scale efforts rather than direct animal care.
When people donate to the ASPCA, they are usually supporting local rescues, shelters, and direct animal care initiatives. In contrast, contributions to the HSUS are more likely to fund legislative campaigns, educational programs, and broader animal welfare initiatives.
ASPCA has a specific mission to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. HSUS has a broader mission, aiming to confront all forms of animal cruelty globally, beyond just direct care.
Both ASPCA and HSUS are vital to the animal welfare community, but they serve different primary functions. While ASPCA is hands-on with animals in need, HSUS is more focused on creating a larger impact through advocacy and policy change.

Comparison Chart

Foundation Year



New York City
Washington D.C.

Primary Focus

Rescue, shelter, and adoption of animals
Nationwide policy, advocacy, and education

Typical Use of Funds

Direct animal care initiatives
Legislative campaigns and broader welfare initiatives


Primarily United States
National and global animal welfare issues

Compare with Definitions


An organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty.
I adopted my cat from the ASPCA last year.


A group promoting humane practices across sectors.
HSUS provides guidelines for ethically raising farm animals.


A U.S.-based animal welfare group.
The ASPCA has played a significant role in animal rights since the 19th century.


An advocacy group for nationwide animal welfare.
HSUS's campaigns have resulted in several legislative changes.


A society focused on rescuing and sheltering animals.
Local ASPCA shelters offer a safe haven for abandoned animals.


A leading voice against animal cruelty in the U.S.
The HSUS is known for its educational resources on animal rights.


An institution advocating for humane treatment of animals.
The ASPCA often partners with other organizations to amplify their impact.


A society confronting all forms of global animal cruelty.
With its extensive reach, HSUS addresses issues from factory farming to wildlife conservation.


A pioneer in the fight against animal abuse.
ASPCA's campaigns have brought attention to numerous cruelty cases.


An organization focusing on broad-scale animal issues.
HSUS works diligently on policy changes to protect wildlife.

Common Curiosities

When was ASPCA founded?


Does ASPCA primarily focus on rescuing animals?

Yes, it focuses on rescue, shelter, and adoption.

Is HSUS more about policy and advocacy?

Yes, it emphasizes nationwide policy, advocacy, and education.

Where is ASPCA headquartered?

New York City.

What is HSUS's full form?

Humane Society of the United States.

Which year was HSUS established?


Where is HSUS based?

Washington D.C.

Do both organizations have shelters?

ASPCA directly operates shelters, whereas HSUS works with a network of shelters but doesn't operate them directly.

Can I adopt an animal from ASPCA?

Yes, ASPCA has adoption centers for animals in need.

Does HSUS work on wildlife conservation?

Yes, HSUS addresses a range of issues, including wildlife conservation.

What does ASPCA stand for?

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Is ASPCA older than HSUS?

Yes, ASPCA was founded in 1866 and HSUS in 1954.

Do both groups work internationally?

ASPCA primarily focuses on the U.S., while HSUS addresses global animal welfare issues.

Are both ASPCA and HSUS non-profit organizations?

Yes, both are non-profit entities dedicated to animal welfare.

What's the main difference between ASPCA and HSUS?

ASPCA is more hands-on with direct animal care, while HSUS is broader in advocacy and policy change.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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