ISAR's Quarter-Century Battle Against Dog and Cat Overpopulation
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ISAR International Society for Animal Rights
May 2018

It is a fact of biological reality that birth of unwanted kittens and puppies will forever swamp humans’ ability to care for, warehouse, and kill them. They must never be born.

Read the entire report here: ISAR's Quarter-Century Battle Against Dog and Cat Overpopulation (PDF)

spay neuter

Helen Jones, a founder of Humane Society of the United States and later founder and decades-long president of International Society of Animal Rights was a Twentieth Century visionary and relentless warrior in the moral crusade for animal rights in the United States and abroad.

Over a half-century ago, after several years with a now-national humane organization she had help found, Helen Jones reluctantly concluded that it had become impotent to properly advance the principle of animal rights. In reaction, she created the not-for-profit corporation that is today International Society for Animal Rights.

When Helen died in the summer of 1998, ISAR’s chairman, Professor Henry Mark Holzer, wrote:

She was an indefatigable fighter for the rights of all animals, opposing vivisection, factory farming, overpopulation, zoos, rodeos, circuses, hunting, and every other form of cruelty, abuse, and exploitation.

Helen’s was a loud, often lonely, voice—but not for the tired, unsatisfactory idea of animal welfare. No—from the beginning, Helen Jones espoused and fought for the then- radical principle that animals had rights. As a friend of her noted not long ago, in advancing the idea of animal rights Helen Jones “provided the intellectual predicate for recognizing that nonhumans had interests beyond their admitted interest in not suffering.” He added that “if there is one person who can be credited with making the issue of justice (rather than merely reduction of suffering) front and center in the animal controversy, it is Helen Jones.

Professor Holzer met Helen in 1972. He had brought a culturally and politically sensitive animal rights lawsuit. While every national animal welfare organization disassociated itself from the case, Helen Jones offered to help. That federal lawsuit challenging a loophole provision of the Humane Slaughter Act, in which Helen Jones was herself a plaintiff, became the first reported legal decision in the history of the United States to
refer to the concept of “Animal Rights.”

Much of what today the Animal Rights Movement takes for granted is attributable to the vision of Helen Jones.

Her broundbreaking contributions include:

  • Articulating the difference between animal welfare and Animal Rights;
  • Recognizing the role of law and lawyers in the fight for Animal Rights;
  • Helping to establish “standing to sue” for animals in federal and state courts;
    Publishing and distributing books on Animal Rights and related subjects;
  • Identifying and attacking abuses of animals that no one had addressed before, such as “pound seizure”;
  • Initiating National Homeless Animals’ Day, the annual event which today
    heightens the consciousness of countless Americans to the plague of dog and cat overpopulation;
  • Organizing international symposia on the overpopulation problem.


Unlike in baseball, for example, when a home-run can be seen landing in the far end of the park, or in an election where someone won and the other candidate lost—it is very difficult for Animal Rights organizations like ISAR to see the concrete results of their efforts.

Anecdotally, ISAR does know that breeding has been reduced by laws relating to mandatory spay/neuter, adoption sterilization, retail sales, and abandonment—yet the overpopulation problem continues.

We know that ISAR has raised public awareness of overpopulation because of our use of the Internet, the spay/neuter postage stamp, billboards, and other programs—yet overpopulation persists.

ISAR knows that promotion of low-cost spay/neuter, chipping ID, limitation on the number of companion animals owned, chemical sterilization, and catch-and-release of feral dogs and cats have been effective—yet overpopulation still rages.

PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND READ this great document! ISAR's Quarter-Century Battle Against Dog and Cat Overpopulation (PDF)

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