IDA's Milestones for Animals

Since In Defense of Animals was founded in 1983, we have journeyed on a long and rewarding road as we carry out our mission: to fight for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals. For four decades, we have done everything in our power to raise animals’ status beyond mere property or things — to see all species treated with respect, fairness, dignity and compassion. This timeline charts IDA's history and contains some of our many accomplishments and precedent-setting victories for animals. 

Our work has taken the effort of IDA staff from around the world. From the streets of Mumbai, India, to the forests of Cameroon, Africa, to the dog and cat “meat” markets of Korea, to the rural parts of the Deep South. It’s taken us to our nation’s laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, fish farms, puppy mills, circuses and zoos, and to the halls of Congress. What could be more rewarding than to follow in the beliefs and footsteps of caring people like Dr. Jane Goodall, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi, Rosa Parks and Albert Schweitzer?

All this and more has been made possible by the faith and generosity of IDA supporters. Together we are making the world a more just and compassionate place for all our fellow beings.

IDA Founder Dr. Elliot Katz and renowned primatologist, Dr. Jane Goodall


Californians for Responsible Research forms and holds its first meeting following the August 1993 Mobilization for Animals event at UC Davis and other sites.

In Defense of Animals is officially designated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, making all donations tax-deductible.


The first organized, nonviolent civil disobedience for animals is held at the entrance of the UC Davis Primate Center in Calif. Sixteen activists and IDA president, Dr. Elliot Katz, are arrested and jailed.

Dr. Elliot Katz and other animal advocates arrested outside UC Davis Primate Center


IDA sues the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its unwillingness to end the gross irresponsibilities and cruelties taking place on the UC Berkeley campus in Calif. The agency responds by issuing a cease and desist order against the university and fines it $12,000.

IDA campaigns to prevent state funding of a proposed animal research facility at UC Berkeley. The precedent-setting campaign results in the legislature holding back millions of dollars until major changes in the system and animal care are put in place.

Activists march through the historic Sather Gate at UC Berkeley


In the U.S., IDA plays a major role in popularizing World Week for Animals in Laboratories, an annual week of nonviolent civil disobedience, protests, marches and educational events to expose the terrible suffering occurring in laboratories around the world.

World Week for Animals in Laboratories is the world’s longest-running annual animal rights action


IDA coordinates the largest demonstration to date at the main campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Hundreds of activists assemble to protest the cruelties of maternal deprivation and psychological animal experimentation.


IDA blocks a proposed multimillion-dollar animal research center from being built in San Francisco. It is a record-setting victory.

IDA secures the transfer of 30 primates and victims of UC Berkeley’s maternal deprivation experiments to a sanctuary.

IDA brings national attention to chimpanzee addiction experiments at Emory University’s Yerkes Primate Center. Three activists scale a building on the campus and unfurl a giant banner that reads “Save the Yerkes Chimps.”


Six activists scale a 175 ft. crane on the construction site of a UC Berkeley underground animal research facility and hold a week-long occupation of the crane, gaining international press coverage and public awareness of the issue.

IDA files a lawsuit that successfully prevents the U.S. Army from breaking the legs of 120 retired racing greyhounds, securing the release of all the greyhounds in their possession.

IDA and community activists end the University of Cincinnati’s head crash experiments on cats.

IDA partners in a lawsuit that blocks the U.S. Navy’s plans to use dolphins to guard a submarine base in Bangor, Wash.

Activists scale and occupy a crane for seven days to protest proposals to build an underground animal laboratory at UC Berkeley


The freedom of 42 additional retired racing greyhounds is won after IDA files lawsuits against UC Davis and two Arizona research facilities. 

IDA begins a high-profile campaign to end Procter & Gamble's hideous animal testing. Demonstrations are held across the country timed to coincide with P&G's annual shareholders meeting.

IDA saves 150,000 baby seals from being slaughtered off the coast of South Africa under a proposed five-year-plan.

25,000 caring people attend the 1990 March for the Animals in Washington, D.C., initiated and cosponsored by IDA. 


25,000 people attend the 1990 March for the Animals in Washington, D.C.


IDA spearheads the rescue of hundreds of frightened and injured dogs and cats after the devastating Oakland firestorm, destroying more than 3,500 California homes.

An IDA lawsuit stops the poisoning of thousands of ground squirrels on California's Concord Naval Weapons Base.

Dr. Elliot Katz urges the House Armed Services Committee to end military use of animals


IDA President Dr. Elliot Katz, and IDA investigator Suzanne Roy travel to Washington, D.C., to give testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. The hearing leads to legislation calling for increased use of non-animal based technologies by the military.

IDA defeats UC Berkeley in a precedent-setting lawsuit that challenges the university's right to heavily censor its documents and necropsy reports.

IDA opens its first sanctuary. In rural Mississippi, Project Hope conducts investigations and gives sanctuary to severely abused, neglected and abandoned animals. It will later blossom into Hope Animal Sanctuary and the Justice for Animals Campaign.

Cesar Chavez, founder of the Farm Workers Union, accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award from IDA and makes a precedent-setting speech for animal rights.



IDA blocks a plan that would allow bowhunting of Tule elk at the Pt. Reyes National Seashore; replacing the killing with a contraceptive program.

IDA begins working with Korean activists and organizations to end the Korean dog and cat meat trade.

IDA gains the freedom of 180 beagles scheduled to be killed and dissected by UC Davis veterinary students.

IDA's Suzanne Roy meets with researchers who tip her off to a pending transfer of 150 Air Force chimpanzees to the notorious Coulston Foundation in N.M. The meeting sets the stage for IDA's decade-long campaign that saves the lives of the chimpanzees and closes down the foundation.

IDA helps shut down an aerial wolf kill in Alaska.

In conjunction with Earth Island Institute, IDA stops the importation of four orca whales, who were captured during a brutal Japanese dolphin slaughter. IDA investigator Ben White flies to Japan and in the dead of night swims underwater to free 40 dolphins by cutting the nets that imprisoned them.

An IDA investigation leads to the USDA filing charges and revoking the license of Jerry Vance, a notorious Mississippi Class B dealer who sells former animal companions to laboratories. IDA begins a seven-year campaign against the “pet theft industry.”

IDA convinces the state of Virginia to withdraw $2 million in funding for animal research that involves force feeding monkeys cocaine.


IDA ends New York University's crack cocaine experiments on monkeys and prevents construction of a massive animal research center scheduled to be built within a national park.

IDA stops the killing of peacocks at California's Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

Dozens of severely-abused dogs are rescued by IDA's Doll Stanley following IDA-orchestrated raids on two Mississippi puppy mills.

IDA files a formal complaint with the National Institutes of Health and the USDA about the Coulston Foundation's terrible history of animal cruelty and abuse. The USDA responds by filing formal charges against the Coulston Foundation.

IDA establishes a sanctuary for the Deep South’s most abused animals in 1993, led by Doll Stanley: Hope Animal Sanctuary


IDA's Doll Stanley rescues 80 exotic animals, including lions, tigers, bears, and cougars held by a collector under severely abusive conditions.

IDA files a lawsuit against Oregon Health Sciences University, forcing it to release videos that document the psychological damage suffered by baby monkeys in maternal deprivation experiments.

Partnering with Sangre de Cristo Animal Protection, IDA stops a buffalo hunt scheduled to take place on New Mexico's Ft. Wingate Military Depot.

IDA takes on coordination of Fur Free Friday, an annual day of protest against the fur industry.


IDA ends a research project that involved the maiming and killing of hundreds of cats by Rockefeller University researchers in N.Y. In Oregon, IDA convinces the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon to terminate the pound's sale of animals to Oregon State University college of veterinary medicine and Oregon Health Sciences University, resulting in the cancellation of its dog labs.

IDA and partners block the Walt Disney Company's plans to capture and import elephants, hippos and rhinos from South Africa.

IDA's Project Hope files 167 counts of animal cruelty against a puppy mill in Paris, MS, rescues 153 starving hens from an abandoned egg farm, and prevents two goats from being skinned alive for a 4th of July barbeque.


IDA cancels a proposed Arizona hunting competition that would have killed up to 1,000 bobcats, coyotes, cougars and foxes in a single weekend.

IDA's Director of Investigations, Marshall Smith, and a TV crew from the show “Extra,” are shot at by the owner of a Missouri puppy mill. Fortunately, only their van is hit. The local sheriff refuses to prosecute.

Activists barricade themselves inside the UC Berkeley clock tower, setting up a rock-climbing ledge 200 feet up on the outside of the tower. IDA's Michael Kennedy ascends to the ledge and hangs a banner that reads, “End Vivisection, Animal Liberation.” Michael remains on the ledge for eight days.

IDA helps pass Taiwan's first law protecting homeless dogs from cruelty and abuse.

Based on information supplied by IDA, the USDA files a second series of landmark charges against the Coulston Foundation.

IDA establishes a sanctuary for chimpanzee victims of the bushmeat trade, led by Dr. Sheri Speede: IDA Africa’s Sanaga-Yong Sanctuary in Cameroon


IDA files an amicus brief to block the killing of two horses whose "owner" had specified in his will that they should be killed after his death. The judge rules to save the lives of the horses, including elements from IDA's brief in her findings.

IDA's Project Hope sanctuary expands with the acquisition of 64 adjacent acres of grassland with three natural ponds. The sanctuary becomes home to 140 dogs, cats, turkeys, horses, rabbits, goats, pot bellied pigs, hogs, geese, chickens and emus — all victims of starvation, abandonment, cruelty and abuse.

IDA Africa's Sanaga-Yong Sanctuary is developed deep in the forests of Cameroon, as a sanctuary for chimpanzee victims of the bushmeat trade.

IDA wins another historic victory when the Coulston Foundation is forced to sign an unprecedented legal agreement with the USDA that forces the lab to surrender 300 of its 650 chimpanzees.

IDA's Bill Dyer prevents the killing of over 100 Santa Catalina Island goats by arranging for their round up and transfer to Northern California.


IDA helps end canned hunts in the state of Oregon with its coalition partners. 

Boulder, Colo., becomes the first city to introduce the term "guardian" into all its animal-related ordinances.

IDA's Bill Dyer reaches an agreement with Boeing Corporation's Long Beach facilities in Calif. to replace the trapping and killing of hundreds of community cats with a trap, neuter and release program.

IDA's Director of Research, Eric Kleiman, testifies before Congress, asking for the immediate cessation of National Institutes of Health funding of the Coulston Foundation, a halt to breeding and experimentation on chimpanzees, and passage of legislation that would create sanctuaries for the retirement of chimpanzees used for research. IDA also sues the National Institutes of Health for its refusal to release documents covered under the Freedom of Information Act.

IDA joins a class-action suit against Kentucky counties that do not have animal shelters or whose existing shelters are essentially animal death-camps.


An Oregon Health Sciences University exposé by IDA's Matt Rossell results in the transfer of 22 monkeys to sanctuaries and zoos. The monkeys had been driven insane in gruesome psychotropic drug experiments.

IDA ends hideous brain cancer experiments on beagle puppies by an Arizona researcher. Twenty-two survivors of the experiments are transferred to loving homes.

West Hollywood and Berkeley, Calif., Sherwood, Ariz., and the state of Rhode Island incorporate the term “guardian” into their animal-related ordinances.

IDA sues UC San Francisco for illegally withholding documents in violation of the California Public Records Act. The university is forced to turn over the documents and to pay IDA thousands of dollars in legal fees.


IDA's nine-year campaign to close the infamous Coulston Foundation, once the largest chimpanzee research center in the world, comes to a successful conclusion with the forced bankruptcy of the foundation. Hundreds of chimpanzees and monkeys are saved from the horrors of vivisection.

IDA files a lawsuit that essentially blocks the importation of elephants from India, preventing a precedent that could have opened the floodgates for the import of Asian elephants into U.S. zoos and circuses.

Menomonee Falls, WI, and Amherst, MA, include the term “guardian” in their animal-related ordinances.

IDA's Marshall Smith is presented the Mercy Award for his work to end the cruelties of the puppy mill industry.

IDA assists in the rescue and care of over 420 animals removed from the abusive conditions of Oregon's Ark Animal Sanctuary.


IDA President, Dr. Elliot Katz, is inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

IDA initiates its campaign to fight for the wellbeing of elephants in zoos. Over the next 10 years, IDA secures the transfer of six elephants to elephant sanctuaries from zoos and circuses. Dozens more zoos will eventually announce the closure of their elephant exhibits. IDA joins as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service challenging the agency’s decision to issue permits to the San Diego Zoo and the Lowry Park Zoo for the importation of 11 African elephants from Eswatini.

IDA files a false claims suit against brain cancer experimenter Michael Berens.

Project Hope coordinates the closing down of two Mississippi puppy mills.

San Francisco and Sebastopol, Calif., become the ninth and tenth guardian cities.

IDA's Bill Dyer prevents 100 Catalina Island buffalo from going to auction and likely death by arranging their transfer to a permanent home on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.

Bill Dyer spearheads successful campaigns to save goats and buffalo on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles


IDA releases its first ever list of the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America. The popular list will be repeated annually and raise awareness about the plight of elephants in zoos to hundreds of thousands of people.

IDA and Animal Protection & Rescue League file an animal cruelty lawsuit against Sonoma Foie Gras. The lawsuit leads to the passing of legislation in 2012 that will later ban the production of foie gras in California.

Marin County, CA, becomes the first county to add the term “guardian” to its animal-related ordinances. Woodstock, NY; Wanaque, NJ; Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Albany, CA, and St. Louis, MO, also become "guardian" cities.

Using information supplied by IDA, criminal charges for animal cruelty are filed against an animal research facility for the first time in U.S. history.

An IDA protest of a New Jersey bear hunt results in the state's Supreme Court ordering its cancellation.


A tip from IDA leads a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigator to a furrier in Portland, Ore., who is arrested for an illegal fur sale and given a $40,000 fine.

IDA wins a lawsuit against Oregon Health Sciences University, forcing the release of thousands of their internal documents.

IDA partners with IDA India to expand ambulance services and veterinary care for the street animals of Mumbai, India, which will eventually aid 2,000 animals monthly. 

IDA deploys a frontline animal rescue response to Hurricane Katrina. Project Hope leads animal rescue efforts in Mississippi.

Through a lawsuit, IDA prevents the U.S. Forest Service from brutally rounding up and auctioning off 350 wild horses.

IDA is instrumental in retiring San Francisco’s two remaining elephants, Tinkerbelle and Lulu, to PAWS Sanctuary, and closing the zoo’s elephant exhibit. 



After conducting an undercover investigation, IDA rescues 40 roosters following a raid on a cock-fighting ring.

IDA files a lawsuit that results in the prohibition of the capture and removal of free-roaming horses within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests on the border of Ariz. and N.M.

IDA files a citizen's petition with the USDA charging U.S. zoos with violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by confining elephants in unnatural enclosures that cause severe foot and leg infections and premature deaths.

IDA teams up with “James Bond” actor, Sir Roger Moore, to fight cruelty to geese. He narrates footage taken inside three U.S. foie gras farms and several in France. The Chicago Health Committee votes unanimously to ban foie gras sales after viewing the video.

Pierce Brosnan, Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Elliot Katz at IDA’s prestigious Guardian Awards


IDA cancels the roundup of hundreds of wild horses by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nev.

After a year of demonstrations, a major victory is achieved when the 112-year-old Schumacher Fur Salon in Portland, Ore. is permanently closed. IDA protests the horrors of the Chinese fur industry with demonstrations at Chinese consulates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.

Imperial Beach, Calif., becomes the 16th city to add the term "guardian" to its animal-related ordinances.

IDA successfully campaigns to move the lone elephant Maggie from the Alaska Zoo to PAWS sanctuary.


IDA coordinates the rescue efforts of 100 homeless cats and kittens at New York's JFK airport.

As a coalition founding member, IDA files a groundbreaking petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that would mandate the use of non-animal based methods in the testing of drugs and devices.

On Japan Dolphin Day, IDA coordinates demonstrations in front of Japanese consulates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore., demanding an end to Japan's slaughter of thousands of dolphins each year.

IDA and wild horse activist Julianne French join forces to save 36 wild stallions at the 500,000-acre Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and Nevada.

IDA's Project Hope rescues and gives sanctuary to 18 emus on the verge of starvation.

IDA India stops an epidemic of equine flu, saving the lives of hundreds of affected horses, and spays and neuters over 12,000 cats and dogs.


IDA investigative work—plus tens of thousands of calls, emails and letters from IDA supporters — help seize two elephants from former Cole Bros. Circus worker, Wilbur Davenport. Elephants Tina and Jewel are taken into custody through the combined actions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and are eventually transferred to the San Diego Zoo for much-needed veterinary care. The two elephants were later transferred to the Los Angeles Zoo.


The National Center for Research Resources (the National Institutes of Health center that funds research infrastructure projects) is denied $15 million in expansion grant applications from the Oregon and Washington primate centers.

Acting on a tip, IDA frees 11 horses from horrific conditions and finds them loving new homes.

In collaboration with several other groups, IDA rescues 118 beagles and 55 long-tailed macaque monkeys from AniClin, an insolvent toxicology laboratory in Oxford, N.J. The monkeys would have suffered for decades in cramped, barren cages, for painful toxicology tests. Instead, they enjoy a second chance at life filled with fresh air, friends, and freedom from harm.

Over 2,000 dogs and cats are spayed and neutered and another 2,000 receive veterinary care for their wounds and injuries by IDA India. To educate young people, IDA India creates the “Compassionate Children’s Club.”

San Jose, Calif., the tenth largest city in the U.S., adds the term “guardian” to its animal-related ordinance. 


IDA rescues 12 dogs and one cat from the South Korean meat trade and brings them to the U.S., where they find loving homes. Asian dog meat rescue will become a key part of IDA's work to end the dog meat trade. 

The city of Parma, Ohio, becomes the 18th city to include the term “guardian” in its animal-related ordinances.

Based on records IDA acquires through its successful five-year-long lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health, the McClatchy Newspaper publishes a historic series documenting the devastating effects of captivity and experimentation on chimpanzees.

In Brazil, IDA partners with Kinship Circle to provide search-and-rescue and veterinary care to thousands of animal victims of flash flooding and giant landslides.

IDA wages a campaign that prevents dog-killing “artist” Tom Otterness from getting $750,000 from the city of San Francisco.

In California, Richmond City Council votes to end live bird sales at its farmers’ market after IDA co-organized weekly protests, petitions and action alerts to convince the city to end the cruel practice of selling live chickens.


Dr. Elliot Katz appoints Dr. Marilyn Kroplick to head IDA. She continues to lead the organization according to Dr. Katz’ founding principles while developing forward-thinking programs that are essential to support and grow the animal rights movement.

Hound hunting is banned in California with the help of thousands of IDA supporters. IDA partners with other organizations in another Fur Free Friday march on the streets of Beverly Hills, Calif., and helps to coordinate 22 protests across the U.S. and Canada.

Richmond, Calif., makes history by becoming the first city ever to not only change its own animal-related ordinances to completely replace “owner” with “guardian,” but it additionally recommends that Contra Costa County adopts the change as well.

IDA holds a press conference after a mountain lion is fatally shot in Santa Monica, Calif., urging collaboration between wildlife agencies and local experts to prevent killing. In 2013, a law is passed in California mandating just that.

IDA creates a Guardian Credo, putting into words a heartfelt set of ideals, beliefs, and principles which define the term “guardian.” It pledges to widen our circle of justice and compassion beyond the human species,oppose cruelty and injustice towards animals, and refer to animals as we refer to ourselves or to our fellow humans, among other things.

IDA conducts undercover investigations in South Korea, exposing the horrific mistreatment of millions of dogs and cats who are slaughtered each year for profit and sold as food.


IDA plays a leading role in engaging the Toronto Zoo, media, city of Toronto and IDA supporters to successfully retire the zoo’s three elephants to PAWS sanctuary.

IDA coordinates a dozen international World Week for Animals in Laboratories events, including the kick-off of monthly demonstrations at UC San Francisco.

IDA helps secure the passage of a San Diego ordinance to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in city “pet” stores, as well as a West Hollywood ordinance prohibiting the exploitation of exotic animals in circuses, carnivals, trade shows, parades and in any event forcing wild animals to do tricks, fight or perform “for the entertainment, amusement or benefit of an audience.”


Hundreds of cats and dogs as well as 17 starving horses are saved by Hope Animal Sanctuary.

IDA launches the Sustainable Activism campaign to empower animal activists and prevent burnout, while promoting empathy for all beings.


Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus retired its elephants following years of IDA protesting their brutal treatment. In 2017, it shut down its operation for good.

IDA successfully advocates for the third statewide ivory ban, in California.

Homeless animals in Mumbai, India get a night ambulance service, a new blind ward for sightless strays, and spay/neuter field hospitals, thanks to IDA's partnership with IDA India.

IDA builds alliances with local groups in Asia, amplifying their voices in the fight to end the dog and cat meat trade.

IDA launches the Animal Activist Helpline and offers webinars to support activists who fight on the front lines.

Dr Ghanawat, Dr Parab and super-volunteer Sudhendu Pandey with one of their many rescues in an ambulance at our Deonar Centre


IDA launches a brand new 10 Worst Tanks initiative to expose the cruelty inherent in keeping whales and dolphins captive, and highlight the worst facilities in North America. The list helps play a key role in securing the Orca Protection Act in California.

IDA plays a key role in halting the brutal sterilization of 225 wild mares in Oregon's Burns Corral.

IDA establishes a lasting partnership with South Korean activists at Jindo Love Rescue and saves five dogs from the brink of death. Two dog meat survivors journey to Hope Animal Sanctuary, Miss. where they live happily ever after.

Thirty-one dogs living at Hope Animal Sanctuary are successfully treated for heartworm and given a new lease on life.

IDA fights and wins against “ag-gag” laws in Australia, protecting the right to expose animal abuse in farming.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs a historic law to protect captive elephants from brutal bullhook abuse in California with the support of thousands of IDA members.



An IDA investigation into the chicken industry exposes the free-range myth and result in hundreds of thousands of people learning the truth. The findings of our investigation are shared far and wide by the Daily Mail, ABC, and Australia’s #1 TV News show, Channel 7 News.

Mexico City bans dolphinariums to end cruel marine mammal exploitation, specifically citing IDA’s work. Following IDA’s exposure of cruelty at Vancouver Aquarium, the Vancouver Parks Board votes to immediately stop all whale and dolphin performances and end beluga whale imports. 

IDA posts a reward offer to catch a Mississippi man who poisoned six family dogs. Within minutes of the offer airing on TV, two tips eventually lead to the perpetrator's capture and trial.

A lifesaving partnership is established between IDA and Jindo Love Rescue, supporting South Korean activists to save dog meat trade victims.

IDA rescues four neglected horses in dire need of medical attention in Miss. After a sensational rescue, all the horses begin the road to recovery.




Essential renovations take place at 25-year-old Hope Animal Sanctuary in Miss., thanks to IDA supporters. These upgrades will continue to allow the sanctuary to provide protection and rehabilitation to thousands of abused, neglected and cast-off animals in the Deep South.

With the support of Dr. Marc Bekoff, IDA establishes World Zoothanasia Day to honor the death of Packy the elephant at Oregon Zoo, and later places the zoo in the 10 Worst Zoos Hall of Shame for repeated failures.

Through our partnership with Jindo Love Rescue, we free 300 dogs like this one from dog meat farms.



After years of persuasion, the Oregon Zoo ceases using bullhooks and stops forcing the elephants to perform tricks after being shamed on the 10 Worst Zoos list.

IDA leads the way to passing California’s historic fur sales ban by revealing the absurdity of the fur industry’s bogus ‘humane’ certification program, emphasizing in the San Francisco Chronicle that “keeping wild animals in captivity for the sake of killing them and ripping away their fur is inherently cruel, and no voluntary certification program can change that.” 

IDA joins Korean activists to seize a dog meat truck in South Korea, saving 28 dogs from slaughter during Boknal dog meat eating days.

After receiving thousands of emails from IDA supporters, Baskin Robbins begins serving two new delicious vegan ice cream flavors.



A pandemic threatens IDA’s work but the sanctuaries and staff adapt and rise to the challenge. Despite flight delays, IDA continues to rescue dogs from slaughterhouses in South Korea, and empties an entire kill shelter to prevent dogs from falling into the hands of dog meat buyers. Generous IDA supporters allowed us to defy travel chaos and kept flying survivors to their loving homes.

Once again, IDA comes to the aid of native Tule elk. A years-long campaign collaboration begins to save the elk suffering as a result of private ranching operations in Point Reyes National Seashore.

IDA partners with SynDaver to bring cruelty-free dissection to schools. 

In Mississippi, IDA wins important new protections for animals including a new animal cruelty law to protect dog and cat victims of abuse.

In California, IDA helps pass a ban on super-toxic rodenticides which threaten the whole ecosystem. 

IDA launches the first-ever Respect For Fish Day with over 120 partners. 

IDA’s fur coalition goes from strength to strength, teaming up with Ricky Gervais, making strides with legislators, and winning fur-free pledges from major retailers including Nordstrom and Sephora. 



IDA Founder and animal rights trailblazer Dr. Elliot Katz passes away, leaving the organization and animal movement in mourning. Tributes flood in from prominent animal rights leaders and the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times publish detailed obituaries highlighting his life and many achievements.


The COVID-19 pandemic still presents challenges to the world, along with a hurricane in Louisiana, an earthquake in Haiti, and wildfires threatening the west coast. IDA and our partner organizations persevere through them all to save countless animal lives.

Sir Paul McCartney and Dr. Jane Goodall support IDA’s collaborations to end animal gifting and animal agriculture to avert the climate crisis.

Following an IDA alert, Disney quietly cancels the development of a film glorifying rodeo violence that could have had disastrous consequences for animals.

Wild animal and habitat work goes into overdrive. IDA helps to ban wildlife killing contests in the entire state of Maryland, save Arctic animals, and restore five endangered species protections. IDA invests in two major projects to support cougar coexistence in Los Angeles through the world’s largest wildlife crossing and the Compassion Barn at Kindred Spirits Care Farm. IDA fights and secures the rejection of a new disc golf course at Hilltop Lake Park in Richmond, Calif., which would have displaced and killed wild animals. 

IDA's Goose Protection Coalition saves 30 geese from being painfully gassed to death in Gloucester County, N.J.

In the Bay Area, IDA’s pressure campaign reveals half of the trapped elk have been killed in the past two years and forces the National Park Service to provide water to trapped, drought-stricken Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore.

IDA fights for justice for a beloved managed community cat colony gunned down by the East Bay Regional Parks Department and launches a national community cats program.

IDA's 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants list highlights the cruelty of transfer abuse, and a pending transfer of two elephants between the top two worst zoos is canceled.

IDA's fight to end panda neglect at Memphis Zoo  with Panda Voices became the most well-supported in our history, with over 70,000 letters sent to decision-makers.

IDA permanently shuts down an illegal dog meat farm with its South Korean partner Jindo Love Rescue and saves 16 dogs from a life of misery, along with an additional seven healthy puppies who were later born.

Doll Stanley continues to champion justice. She charges abusers with maximum sentences and helps animal victims get the happily-ever-after they deserve — including an intentionally-burned puppy. IDA ensures justice is upheld in an extremely horrifying dogfighting case.

IDA's fur campaign continues to clock up wins, with an unprecedented number of leading fashion brands going fur-free!

Discover more In Defense of Animals victories from 2021:


Three-hundred military dogs are safely evacuated from Afghanistan. Soon after, the world is rocked by the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war. IDA supporters generously support animal victims of war, providing food, medical supplies, and veterinary treatment for over 100 animals.

A fire at our Korean dog meat partner’s rescue center in South Korea claims the lives of 20 dogs and destroys the building in minutes, displacing dozens of survivors. IDA supporters band together to rebuild.

Moby and Ricky Gervais help launch the 10 Worst Zoos list, which reveals how zoos cause brain damage to elephants. Zoo Knoxville retires its three elephants to a sanctuary.

Billie Eilish steps in to help pandas, and the Memphis Zoo gives in after a two-year pressure campaign, announcing suffering giant pandas YaYa and LeLe will return to China.

One hundred rescued pigs in Rome are spared from a swine flu execution after IDA supporters speak out.

Iceland announces it will stop slaughtering whales.

IDA supporters aid an activist in rescuing abused pigs Cosmo and Newman from a dismal petting zoo in N.J. and give them a sanctuary home.

Los Angeles bows to pressure and ends 74 years of exploitation at a pony ride and petting zoo in Griffith Park, following a year of concerted efforts from IDA and local activists, with support from actress Richa Moorjani.

Los Angeles becomes the biggest U.S. city to support the Plant-Based Treaty.

IDA's long-running coalition campaign to save Los Angeles’ last coastal wetlands takes a hit as IDA is prevented from giving testimony, and bulldozing starts in Ballona Wetlands.

Thirty-five dogs dumped in Bakersfield, Calif. are rescued from scorching Fourth of July heat thanks to emergency aid from IDA supporters and local activists.

Activists clean up Lake Balboa Park of dangerous fishing “ghost gear” to celebrate the third annual Respect for Fish Day.

Seven key laws are passed in California with help from IDA supporters, protecting cats, dogs, great white sharks, and other wild animals.

Thousands of IDA supporters call for justice, and a Bay Area “rescuer” is held accountable for causing the cruel deaths of over 100 rabbits while a Monterey kitten mill is shut down for good.

Wild cow milking is banned from rodeos in unincorporated Alameda County, ending the dangerous abuse of mother cows at the infamous Rowell Ranch Rodeo.

Actor Peter Coyote records a PSA for IDA revealing harsh conditions in the drought-stricken reserve at Point Reyes National Seashore; despite his help and our continued eye-catching demonstrations, cattle ranching is allowed to continue.

IDA President Dr. Marilyn Kroplick sells the administrative office in San Rafael and buys Freedom Farms in Creston, which will become IDA’s first California sanctuary center for animals and humans.

Dr. Marilyn Kroplick celebrates the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wallis-Annanberg wildlife crossing with fellow advocates and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Dolce & Gabanna becomes the latest major fashion label to ban fur. IDA launches official Fur-Free Retailer stickers for Fur Free Friday, enabling retailers to proudly advertise their fur-free merchandise. With local activists, IDA protests fur trapping in N.H.

Two captive wild animals in Chicago, Rocky the coyote, and Spur the tortoise, get our dedicated support to free them, including from comedian Ricky Gervais.

IDA’s National Goose Protection Coalition holds demonstrations across the country and wins a killing reprieve for geese in Pennsylvania.

In Spain, a company proposes the world’s first octopus factory farm and is met with stiff opposition from IDA and its collaborators.

IDA supports local activists in their campaign to pass Mongolia’s first animal rights law.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is signed into law ending private possession of big cats, finally closing the cruel era of cub petting.

The government drops a law that would have ensured continued animal testing for cosmetics.

Some federal protections are restored for gray wolves.

IDA bears witness to pregnant mares and foals chased in 90-degree heat during a Colorado wild horse roundup, which mercifully ends early, thanks partly to IDA’s public exposure. Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden speaks out with IDA for wild horses.

After a rollercoaster ride, Buddy’s Law  finally passes in Mississippi, ensuring children who torture animals will receive counseling and treatment. Stanley continues to get justice for abused animals, including bestiality victims across the country.

IDA's beloved pot-bellied pig, Petunia, passes away peacefully at Hope Animal Sanctuary in Mississippi.

IDA celebrates saving a record-breaking 400 cats and dogs in Mississippi.

IDA India celebrates 25 years of animal rescue!