The Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund is dedicated to making the world a better place for animals — including support for animal rescue — while emphasizing programs that promote systemic change and that also benefit people.
Top 10 highlights of organizations and programs the Fund supported in 2021 are:
1 – PETA‘s campaign to end cruelty toward race horses — a major grantee of this Fund since 2016 — joined a coalition working to redirect New York State subsidies away from the horse racing industry and toward vital public education and social services. After a PETA-funded survey found 83% public support, New York State legislators introduced a new bill targeting $230 million in annual New York State horse racing subsidies, the highest in the United States.
2 – The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Exam Room Live / Podcast program focusing on plant-based health, which the Fund has regularly sponsored since 2019, logged a total of 6 million downloads of nearly 300 episodes, making it the top nutrition podcast in 79 countries. Host Chuck Carroll’s guests have included Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Kristi Funk, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Kim Williams, New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams, Olympian Dotsie Bausch, and actress Maggie Q.
3 – PETA presented its 6th annual Gregory J. Reiter Animal Rescue Award to Sheila Choi, founder and CEO of The Fuzzy Pet Foundation, which has provided more than 6,000 free spay and neuter surgeries in Southern California since 2005 and rescued and re-homed more than 2,000 cats and dogs.
4 – Physicians Committee founder and president Dr. Neal Barnard instituted a weekly Live Q&A about plant-based health for the Exam Room Live / Podcast — which the Fund sponsored throughout 2021. Popular episodes have included Foods that Lower Blood Pressure; Food, Fat and Your Immune System; and Foods that Help Fight Depression.
5 – PETA‘s Community Animal Project, the Fund’s top grantee since 2016, was the subject of two November Washington Post pieces: the feature A Dog’s Life by Pulitzer-winning journalists writer Gene Weingarten and photographer Michael S. Williamson; and the Post’s View Opinion: Why do people mistreat their dogs? Because they can.
6 – PETA’s Global Compassion Fund, a new Greg Fund grantee this year, supported international rescue responses to the Philippines’ Taal Volcano eruptions; Maharashtra, India flooding; and more. The Global Compassion Fund also donated to the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter in Kentucky, after tornadoes devastated that U.S. region.
7 – The Berkeley, California-based Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, a new Greg Fund grantee this year, filmed a forthcoming documentary, while running a full suite of education and student advocate programs to promote just and sustainable food systems.
8 – White Coat Waste Project, a Fund grantee since 2017, continued successful advocacy to mandate U.S. federal agency lab animal retirement policies. Such policies are already in place at the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health – and the bipartisan AFTER Act introduced in the 2021-22 U.S. Congress would build on those earlier successes.
9 – Faunalytics, a new Fund grantee this year, was named a top charity by Animal Charity Evaluators, for filling the important niche of research to help animal advocates become more effective and evidence-based. Its key 2021 projects have included research on animal protection in China and an analysis of US wildlife imports.
10 – The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a 2nd-time Fund grantee this year, has continued pioneering legal work for animals on many fronts. Its 2021 work included a joint lawsuit with PETA challenging the inhumane treatment of big cats and other wild animals at Pymatuning Deer Park, a Pennsylvania roadside zoo. ALDF was the first to successfully use the Endangered Species Act on behalf of captive animals.