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Adoptable dog at HRA

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About Us
Dog arriving at HRA via transport



At the Humane Rescue Alliance, we honor more than 150 years of commitment to protecting animals, supporting families, and advocating for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive. HRA serves as a national leader and local champion for all animals. 

Adopted cat


With a people-focused, community-based approach, we treat every animal as an individual and emphasize specialized care for both animals and their families. Through our five campuses in the District of Columbia and New Jersey, 19 animal control contracts, and direct care, rescue, and community-based services, we are the largest animal services provider in our region, touching the lives of over 100,000 animals annually. Our teams find solutions to both small and big problems, from providing direct care to an animal in crisis to tackling systemic barriers to affordable, pet-friendly housing.


Our reach empowers us to reimagine the traditional sheltering system and tackle the most difficult issues facing animals and people who love them. We are building a national Alliance that weaves a supportive network for vulnerable people and animals to address the challenges of today while working toward solutions for tomorrow.

We have the largest disaster response team on the East Coast, allowing us to deploy on a moment’s notice to ensure animals survive and can be reunited with their families. Our WayStation program is the nation’s preeminent transport program and has moved over 20,000 pets from areas of need to places of opportunity through a network of more than 90 sheltering organizations. Through our Give Back program, we have invested more than $350,000 back into our source shelter partners whose communities are often struggling under the weight of pet overpopulation so that they can address the root causes in their own community, based on their unique needs.


We are building an Alliance to tackle the systemic challenges facing the animals, people, and communities in our region and beyond, with the goal of saving more lives. Our Alliance organizations are committed to:

  • A highly skilled workforce that welcomes the unique contributions our team and community members make based on their diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences
  • Personalized adoption counseling and services
  • Rescue and care of homeless, abused, and neglected animals
  • Increased access to discounted veterinary services, such as low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter surgeries, and pet food support for pet guardians who are experiencing financial insecurity
  • Community support programs that help pets stay with their families
  • Advocacy work that prevents suffering and strengthens the human animal bond
  • Customized behavior and training programs
  • Comprehensive cruelty investigations and humane animal control services
  • Targeted programs that create future generations of animal advocates
  • Outreach and education to inspire peaceful coexistence with the wildlife


In 1870, the Humane Rescue Alliance (then operating as Washington Humane Society) was charged by a congressional charter to protect the children and animals of the District of Columbia, creating the foundation for the organization’s law enforcement work and its pursuit of preventing animal cruelty in the District. HRA remains the only congressionally-chartered animal welfare organization in the country. 

HRA has over 150 years of experience serving our communities, including conducting cruelty investigations, providing animal control services, and advocating for federal, state and local legislation and policies that protect animals. 

The Humane Rescue Alliance leverages the unique strengths of its legacy organizations, the Washington Humane Society, The Washington Animal Rescue League and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, to grow families through adoption, protect animals from harm, and provide programs and resources so people and pets can stay together. Our collective expands our reach and allows us to accomplish more for the animals we care for and the communities we serve. 

2022 Highlights Report

HRA highlights report cover

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