how Animal Avengers came to be...
Our Mission: To save as many animals on this planet as possible through strategic collaborations, financial aid, engagement with policy makers, hands on work in the field, education & tactical planning/execution for the future.
Animal Avengers is the brainchild of actress Shannon Elizabeth. She started it originally with her ex, Joseph Reitman, in 2001. The original mission was to run it as a dog & cat rescue in Los Angeles, California. But after 10 years of active rescuing, Shannon decided to put it on hold in search for a way that she could help more animals on a much bigger scale.
This past year, towards the beginning of 2015, Shannon became increasingly aware of the mass, illegal slaughters happening in Africa and the many animals in danger of going extinct. Coincidentally, feeling a strong calling to go to Africa for many years, she made the unilateral decision that she could not just stand by any longer. But in order to do this right, she had to go to Africa and learn for herself what was happening and come up with a game plan of how she could help.
Based on the recommendations of a few friends, Shannon chose three organizations in Africa to crowd fund for via Animal Avengers. This was the beginning of her revamping her charity in the way she had always imagined. She made arrangements through local partners already on the ground in Africa, started planning what eventually became a two-month trip, collected physical donations via an Amazon Wish List and started her journey.
Shannon arrived in Cape Town at the very end of August, celebrated her birthday there with new friends and then headed off to Zimbabwe to start part one of her trip.
Her Zimbabwe journey included Hwange National Park, Harare, Lake Kyle, Chipenge and Save Valley.
Flying back to South Africa was next on the agenda, with her research including (but not limited to) the areas of Nelspruit, Hoedspruit, Kruger, Bela Bela, Pilanesberg, Pretoria, Broederstroom, Hekpoort, Paarl, Worcester and finally back to Cape Town.
Moving forward, Shannon sees quite a few issues that need to be addressed in very different ways in order to make some sort of an impact on the animals in Africa.
She is personally working on collaborations with people in the political world for both countries, trying to approach the issues from a legal & trade standpoint.
She will also use Animal Avengers as a type of curator for people already doing what she deems to be great, honest work based on her first hand knowledge and observations.
Education is essential as well. That includes educating people locally and online about everything she learns (ongoing), as well as trying to push campaigns to educate in the East. China and Vietnam are currently where the largest demand for illegally poached rhino horns (among other animal parts) comes from.
There are so many non-profits claiming to work with and for wildlife that it's hard for anyone to know who to trust. Because Shannon was able to personally meet people, ask questions and see first hand what is happening in Africa, she will be highlighting and helping these organizations through Animal Avengers moving forward.
If you want to help the animals and the people on the ground in Africa, please visit our How Can You Help page.
Shannon's work definitely isn't limited to Africa though. She often does a lot for the animals right here at home in the US. Much of that work tends to be behind the scenes, paying for surgeries and helping animals in need on a case by case basis. It sometimes just happens that Shannon stumbles upon an animal who's hurt and that becomes the next animal she steps in and helps.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and caring about the animals with whom we share this planet. We are all connected. We're all part of an ecosystem and all life matters.
We hope you'll become an Animal Avenger with us!
-The Animal Avengers Team