Perceptions of Social Responsibility of Prominent Animal Welfare Groups

J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2018 Jan-Mar;21(1):27-39. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2017.1365000. Epub 2017 Aug 28.


Nonhuman animal welfare is an increasingly important component of consumer expectations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The extent to which prominent animal welfare or protection organizations may influence people's perceptions of food industry CSR may be related to an organization's perceived social responsibility. Data from an online survey of 300 U.S. residents were used to explore relationships between demographics/lifestyle choices and perceptions of prominent animal welfare organizations (using best-worst scaling methodology). Overall, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was perceived to be the most socially responsible organization analyzed, followed by the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association (AHA). Results suggest that the perceived social responsibility of animal protection organizations in this study was not strongly linked to personally (financially) supporting them, with 2 exceptions: the perceptions of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and AHA. Improved understanding of the perception of animal welfare or protection organizations can inform decision making by organizations interested in furthering animal welfare causes.

Keywords: Animal welfare; best–worst scaling; perceptions; social responsibility.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animal Welfare* / organization & administration
  • Animals
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizations
  • Perception*
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Societies, Scientific
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Veterinarians
  • Young Adult