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 initial 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.
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 (which she paid for out of her own pocket), 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.
Then in April of 2016 Shannon planned another trip back to Africa and started with attending the ivory and rhino horn burn in Kenya. She traveled around Kenya for 2 weeks meeting as many people as possible in the field before traveling back to South Africa. This time she spent much of her time in the Kwazulu Natal area and Kruger National Park.
In July 2016 Shannon traveled to Malawi to attend the very first week of a 500 elephant translocation headed up by African Parks. It was an unbelievable experience, yet extremely emotional and physically taxing. It's not an easy feat to relocate elephants. The expenses are high and the preparation and execution is a science. Shannon knew she was experiencing something truly special.
In November 2016, Shannon decided to move to South Africa full time. She put all of her stuff in storage in the US and moved to the other side of the world with her only dog at the time, Peanut. They are now residing in Cape Town while working hard everyday on finding ways to make a difference in the lives of the animals at risk of being slaughtered at the greedy hands of man.
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