NGO Spotlight: In Defense of Animals – Africa

In Cameroon, habitat destruction and the illegal commercial ape meat trade are pushing chimpanzees towards extinction.

image-1.doHaving spent her whole life committed to working with animals, veterinarian Dr. Sheri Speede founded In Defense of Animals – Africa (IDA-Africa) to make sure endangered chimpanzees are able to thrive in their natural habitat. IDA-Africa partners with Dr. Speede’s Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center and the government of Cameroon to rehabilitate orphaned chimpanzees and enact policy changes to protect these magnificent animals.

Within the Mbargue Forest of Cameroon, IDA-Africa houses chimpanzees that are victims of illegal trafficking and rehabilitates them to return to the wild and is working to bring eco-guards to protect chimpanzees from future abuse.

IDA-Africa also strives to create meaningful and lasting change through the promotion

image.doand support of law enforcement, habitat protection and education. They work closely with the locals of Cameroon to foster a healthy and connected community that benefits both the residents and the chimpanzees. IDA-Africa employs local residents, purchases local fruits and vegetables to support a village market economy and funds a sustainable agriculture project that improves the diet of both local children and chimpanzees. Additionally, they sponsor education programs for village farmers to learn about sustainable agriculture and agro-forestry and others for children to learn about chimpanzees and why they need protection.

To learn more about opportunities to partner with In Defense of Animals – Africa and adopt an orphaned chimpanzee, volunteer in a chimpanzee sanctuary or fund a youth education project, look for them on UniversalGiving.


NGO Spotlight: Pandas International



Pandas International (PI) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit to help the magnificent Giant Panda. Unlike other organizations, which serve many animals, Pandas International is exclusively devoted to the Giant Panda. As part of PI’s mission, they work closely with Chinese scientists, doctors and keepers to determine what types of support are most needed. In particular, PI has been assisting the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) by providing both funding and personnel/sponsors to support Chinese research focused on how to more effectively respond to health and habitat challenges – both known and unknown.

At the CCRCGP’s Dujiangyan Giant Panda Research Center, Pandas International supports research that focuses on several areas including pandas rescued from the wild who are sick or injured so they can receive medical care and rehabilitation. Another major focus area is senior and disabled pandas, serving as a panda “nursing home” where pandas are able to receive specialized geriatric care. For elder pandas, it is important to ensure that, as they reach their twilight years, they are provided with the necessary care to keep them comfortable and as healthy as possible. At the Dujiangyan Base, the older pandas are housed in a separate wing where the staff prepares special meals such as formula with ground bamboo (since they are not able to chew due to tooth decay and loss.) Formula helps them live a healthy life and meet all of their nutritional requirements. Once such geriatric panda, Hero Father Pan Pan was the oldest CCRCGP Panda living at Dujiangyan. Sadly, on December 28th, 2016, he died after a battle with cancer. He was 31 years old, sired over 30 cubs and is related to over 170 pandas (estimated to be one quarter of the panda population today). The staff at Dujiangyan began studying the elder Pan Pan’s health and behaviors to be better equipped to not only help him but other elder pandas as well.

The Dujiangyan Base also supports the CCRCGP’s important efforts to both raise awareness with and educate the public about the need to support Giant Panda Conservation. The base includes a Giant Panda Rescue and Education Center.  The Center includes interactive displays that help to inform the public about the lives of Giant Pandas.  There are also exhibits that provide a look at how Giant Pandas are rescued and brought to the panda base for treatment.

Pandas International supports the Dujiangyan Base and Staff by supplying formula for sick and elderly pandas and supplying vaccines and other medications to both prevent and treat panda related diseases.  PI also sponsors technical experts and scientists who travel to the base to conduct training sessions and assist with research projects.  In addition, PI assists in sponsoring conferences and studies to raise awareness and better understand the challenges that Giant Pandas face during their lives including diseases and how to treat them, the re-introduction program into the wild and how to assist in “reconstructing” panda habitats to support efforts to increase genetic diversity.




NGO Spotlight-Let Kids Be Kids

Speak for those without a voice!

Along with “advocating for those that are sick, homeless, displaced or looking for assistance with making their lives slightly better” Let Kids Be Kids uses their voice to support animals who cannot speak. Michael Barrett Miller, Co-Founder of Let Kids Be Kids writes about a cause he is passionate about!

Support “Endangered Species” across the globe! 

Let Kids Be Kids, Inc. financially supports, volunteers, and advocates to protect endangered and threatened species across the globe. We were very involved with the passage of Washington State Initiative 1401, which passed with a greater than 70% margin in every county. It is now a crime in Washington to sell or trade elephant ivory, shark fins, parts of elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, sharks, rays, and pangolins.

Our involvement with organizations like the Woodland Park Zoo, Audubon, Earthwatch, Save the Elephants, and others in the United States, Australia, and various countries around the world allow us to advocate for animal protection and animal rights at different venues. We stress conservation, preservation, and education in an attempt to build empathy for our fellow creatures, who are often in dire situations. Depending on the geographical location, the Gray Wolf and Arctic Fox are considered threatened or endangered. The Lowland Gorilla is severely endangered with the realistic potential of ceasing to exist in the wild.

screenshot-2017-01-24-19-00-20Another way we promote empathy for endangered species is through the photographs and videos that we distribute on many social media sites, articles, and blog posts. By June I will have completed a collection of photographs that will be included in a book entitled “Friends.” This will be our fourth book on the work of Let Kids Be Kids, Inc., “Advocacy for those Seeking a Voice” as described on our website.

We are extremely thankful for the wonderful work many people do to ensure these amazing animals are allowed to continue to share the planet with us.

Support Let Kids Be Kids! 

NGO Spotlight: San Francisco SPCA

If you care about animals and making an impact in your local communities, the SPCA is a great place to start. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was begun in 1824 in England, but each SPCA is an independent charity, and the SFSPCA has a particularly long and rich history.

The San Francisco SPCA was opened in 1868, the first animal welfare group in the West. Its founder started the organization after he witnessed men cruelly dragging a pig along a cobblestone street.

The group has been an active participant in animal welfare ever since; after the 1906 earthquake they built water troughs for horses working in the search and rescue teams, and in 1994 they became the first no-kill shelter in the country.

The SFSPCA does a lot of work in the city: just last year they completed 4,919 adoptions, and spayed 1,024 feral cats. They recently were found to have the highest live release rate for any major American city, at 93%.

Among their many programs, they have a therapy animal group that travels to schools and hospitals, and a mobile vet clinic that spays and neuters stray cats and dogs.

A therapy dog visits a local school through the SF SPCA Animal Assistance Therapy program.

There are many ways to get involved with the SFSPCA. If you love animals and have the time and space, you might consider fostering a puppy or kitten in your home, until it’s old enough to be adopted. Or, if you can’t foster yourself, you can  help to sponsor a foster puppy or kitten on our website.