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6 organizations that protect animal rights

Who doesn't love animals? We keep them as pets, see them in zoos, and look at cute photos of them on the Internet. But the grim reality is that animals face abuse and exploitation every day. This is a delicate issue for many people, and it is often overlooked in news coverage.

Many charitable organizations dedicate themselves to improving the welfare of animals. Here, we tell you about some of the best. These six organizations have four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, along with at least $13.5 million in total annual expenses.

By , Contributor

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The Best Friends Animal Society, founded in 1984, is headquarted in Kanab, Utah.

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1. Best Friends Animal Society

Dogs are man's best friend. And the Best Friends Animal Society wants to keep it that way. The Kanab, Utah-based organization was founded in 1984 with the purpose of providing safe and loving homes for dogs and cats; its mission today is still "no more homeless pets." But the other crucial part of Best Friends' work has been its no-kill mission. At the time of the organization's founding, 17 million animals were being killed in shelters every year, despite the fact that 90 percent of them were adoptable or would’ve been adopted with the right health and behavioral treatment. Thanks to the work of Best Friends, that number today is 4 million. Other campaigns include stopping puppy mills, saving cats, and ending breed discrimination. All of Best Friends' operations are conducted with the following guiding principles in mind: the Golden Rule, kindness, positive influence, leadership, authenticity, and transparency.

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