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Animals : Animal Rights, Welfare, and Services

Animal Welfare Institute

Dedicated to alleviating suffering inflicted on animals by humans

four stars


900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003
tel: (202) 337-2332   Web Site
EIN: 13-5655952

Board Leadership
Cynthia Wilson
Board Chair, Vice President

Nadia Adawi
Executive Director

Ratings History
Animal Welfare Institute has received 5 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2018-06 06/01/2019 92.92 four stars
2017-06 07/01/2018 92.92 four stars
2016-06 06/01/2017 92.92 four stars
2015-06 06/01/2016 92.92 four stars
CN 2.0
2014-06 07/01/2015 92.68 four stars
2012-06 06/10/2014 --Donor Advisory

Prior to 9/1/2016, Charity Navigator issued Advisories under the name CN Watchlist and Donor Advisory. For more information on the CN Advisory system click here. This charity was issued a DA.

This donor advisory was published on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In accordance with our policy for removing Donor Advisories, Charity Navigator removed the Donor Advisory for Animal Welfare Institute on July 1, 2015 because the Donor Advisory had been in place for more than a year and because the issues that prompted the Donor Advisory have been resolved. Specifically, the charity provided confirmation of the settlement between it and Feld Entertainment, Inc. In addition to the settlement documents, AWI informed Charity Navigator that it "has established […] a Litigation Review Committee to evaluate any legal action on behalf of animals that the organization in contemplating. The Committee is charged with assessing the potential benefits to animals of the action, potential costs/liabilities, and potential effects on AWI […]" For further information, please see the supplemental materials below:

Charity Navigator had published a Donor Advisory on Animal Welfare Institute because we became aware of the following information in connection with this charity:

  • On May 15, 2014, Feld Entertainment ended its long running legal dispute with the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals and other non-profit animal rights groups who had accused the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus of abusing its world famous elephants, in violation of the Endangered Species Act ("ESA").  As described in this February 20, 2014 decision: "The plaintiffs in the ESA action premised their case on the testimony of the late Tom Rider, who testified that he observed the mistreatment of the elephants when he worked for the circus.  [The judge], however found that Rider was not credible and that he was essentially a paid plaintiff witness whose sole source of income throughout the litigation was provided by the animal advocacy organizations, which were his co-plaintiffs in the ESA action. [The judge] therefore concluded that Rider lacked standing and entered judgment for Feld, the defendant."  Feld then sued the plaintiffs in the ESA case as well as their attorneys, arguing that the ESA plaintiffs' payments to Rider during the litigation violated the RICO Act.  After Feld's RICO case survived a motion to dismiss, and the animal rights groups were ordered to disclose the names of certain donors in discovery, the defendants agreed to pay Feld $15.75 million to settle Feld's claim for attorneys fees in the ESA case and the pending claims in the RICO action.  Media coverage of the $15.75 million settlement, in which none of the parties admitted liability, can be found here, here and here and Feld's statement on the settlement is available here.
  • The Animal Welfare Institute has provided the following statement on the settlement:
    "AWI and numerous other parties reached a settlement with Feld to end over a decade of costly litigation. 'The settlement resolved a request by Feld for attorneys' fees and costs stemming from an action brought by AWI and others over the alleged abuse of Asian elephants in Feld's Circus and resolved a related action brought by Feld.  AWI still maintains that Feld's request for attorneys' fees and costs, and the related action brought by Feld, were without merit and that AWI ultimately would have prevailed in both actions. However, the projected attorneys' fees and other costs to defend both actions would have greatly exceeded what was necessary for AWI to pay to reach a settlement with Feld.  AWI's contribution to the settlement was a small fraction of what was paid to Feld and, as part of the settlement, AWI did not admit any liability or wrongdoing."
2012-06 05/01/2013 97.12 four stars
2011-06 05/01/2012 94.91 four stars
2010-06 09/20/2011 90.71 four stars
CN 1.0
2010-06 05/01/2011 88.89 three stars
2009-06 05/01/2010 89.63 three stars
2008-06 07/01/2009 89.58 three stars
2007-06 07/01/2008 97.75 four stars
2006-06 04/01/2007 99.45 four stars
2005-06 05/01/2006 99.15 four stars
2004-06 05/01/2005 98.31 four stars
2003-06 04/01/2004 83.18 three stars
2002-06 04/15/2003 98.87 four stars

Charity Contact Info

Animal Welfare Institute
900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
tel: (202) 337-2332
fax: (202) 446-2131
EIN: 13-5655952

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Cynthia Wilson
Board Chair, Vice President


Nadia Adawi
Executive Director

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