• International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR)


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Mission Statement

Over two decades ago,Harvard University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs sponsored an in-depth study of the animal rights/welfare movement, including its goals and strategies.

In its Report, Harvard noted that "[P]hilosophically, animal rights/welfare groups can be classified as abolitionists or regulationists. The abolitionists, such as ISAR...constitute a minority within a movement. They are, however, also the most diligent, tactical and clear thinking. They use the law; publications and education to work for their ultimate goals."

What Harvard said then about ISAR remains true today.

International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) was chartered in theDistrict of Columbianearly a half-century ago, making our organization one of the oldest humane education organizations in theUnited States.

ISAR is a tax exempt non-profit corporation, and contributions to it are tax deductible.

ISAR was the first organization in theUnited States(and probably the world) to use in its corporate name the moral principle of "animal rights." The first federal and the first state court legal decisions to invoke the moral principle "animal rights" were in cases brought by International Society for Animal Rights.

ISAR’s founder, the late Helen Jones, was one of the few pioneers in what would decades later become known as the animal rights movement. She fervently believed that humans have a moral responsibility to animals that could be satisfied only by working for an end to their suffering and exploitation. In furtherance of that goal, Helen Jones originated dozens of innovative educational programs and campaigns on behalf of animal rights, one of the most prominent being International Homeless Animals’ Day.

One of Helen Jones’s most profound insights led to an ambitious program that for its audaciousness was unique to ISAR. Miss Jones, whose father was a small town lawyer, understood that an essential strategy for securing rights for animals was through the American legal system--a strategy that ISAR has employed for over three decades.


ISAR is committed to five law-based programs. They are: Legislation, Litigation, Articles, Monographs, and Commentary and Interviews.

ISAR is actively engaged in drafting animal rights legislation and filing amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs in important animal rights cases. We are pleased to make our work available to animal rights activists, upon request.

We also counsel and consult with lawyers who are working in the animal rights field.



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