The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
and the Humane Society of the United States announce merger

After more than 15 years of affiliation and increasing partnership in mission and initiatives, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States have announced their merger.

HSVMA has operated as a separate but affiliated organization within the Humane Society family of organizations since 2008. Since it was first established as the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights in 1982, HSVMA and its members have dedicated themselves to advancing animal welfare through leadership, advocacy, education and service. Over the past 15 years, HSVMA has mobilized a growing number of veterinary professionals in collaborative advocacy, engaging them in a broad range of educational opportunities and gaining widespread recognition within the veterinary community.

This merger offers increased opportunities for collaboration across the large network of HSUS policy staff and program experts and HSVMA’s veterinary experts. The HSVMA staff, the majority of whom are veterinary professionals, will continue their work as an HSUS program team, operating as part of the Outreach, Engagement and Training department, which will provide additional opportunities to amplify the veterinary perspective. All HSVMA programs, including advocacy initiatives, the HSVMA State Representative program, continuing education webinars and the Student Outreach program, will continue under the HSUS.

HSVMA membership will be transitioned to a new veterinary professional membership category within the larger organization with the same valuable benefits including continuing education, insurance products and access to a variety of animal welfare resources. We will be sending information in the near future to all current HSVMA members regarding this new membership category. Under the new organizational framework, HSVMA will be operating under the name of Humane Society Veterinary Medical Alliance, to reflect our broader focus and engagement of the veterinary profession.  We will also be establishing a new Veterinary Advisory Council whose expertise in veterinary medicine and animal welfare will complement staff expertise.  

In announcing the merger, HSUS and HSVMA leadership heralded the transition as a key opportunity to enhance veterinary engagement in the animal welfare arena.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said:

“Amplifying the voice of veterinary professionals is key to so many of the important efforts we have underway to protect animals, from legislative and regulatory initiatives to communicating with the media, elected officials, pet owners and the public. HSVMA has been a great ally for over 15 years, working to protect animals and build a more humane society. As we more fully integrate their expertise into the larger Humane Society family of organizations, we look forward to amplifying the veterinary perspective and fostering a more comprehensive approach to animal welfare. Working as one organization will allow us to better enhance the vital voice of dedicated veterinary professionals, which is so critical as we address the access to care crisis and so many other important animal welfare issues.”

“HSVMA has a long history of successfully engaging the veterinary profession in our animal advocacy, education initiatives and veterinary student outreach programs,” said Dr. Barry Kipperman, chair of HSVMA’s board of directors and the organization’s president. “As we enter this new chapter of our longstanding collaboration with the HSUS, we look forward to the continuation as well as the expansion of these programs ably led by the HSVMA staff and made possible by the many veterinary professional volunteers participating in our State Representative, student outreach and membership-at-large network.” 

“This merger marks a significant step forward in our mission to amplify the veterinary voice in animal welfare,” said Pam Runquist, executive director of HSVMA. “The Humane Society of the United States is unique in the animal protection arena for having a membership of veterinary professionals to engage in animal protection and the merger presents a greater opportunity to enhance our commitment to our veterinary professional members and our dedication to veterinary advocacy and education. We are eager to leverage our collective strengths with the HSUS to create lasting positive change for animals.”

Contact [email protected] for any questions related to this announcement.