Duck Defenders

Duck Defenders
— an international project of Humane Long Island — provides the first of its kind online resource center for domestic waterfowl rescue and advocacy in North America, advising community officials on how to prevent “duck dumping,” advocating for fowl exploited by the farming and teaching industries, and providing humane alternatives to cruel and ineffective lethal management of wild and domestic waterfowl.  

Adopting a Rescue

Welcoming one of our rescues into your home (or coop) not only provides this person with a safe, loving home and you with a new family member, but it helps HumaneLI save time, resources, and more animals by leaving valuable space available in sanctuaries and allowing us to only take long, expensive trips to place animals when absolutely necessary. 

Before filling out an adoption application, please read our Adoption Notes.

Can’t adopt? Foster!

Adoption is a life-long commitment. If you are not able to provide a permanent home for one of our rescues, but would still like to provide a temporary safe haven, we are always accepting applications to become a foster. Animals can be fostered in predator-proof enclosures in your backyard or indoors. 

Sponsor an Animal

Can’t foster or adopt? Another way to get involved is to sponsor an animal! From animal feed to vet appointments, those who commit to a sustainable, monthly donation make all the work we do possible.

Featured Rescues


Adoption Notes

Why buying is not rescue

A dog and cat shelter that bought puppies from a puppy mill or cats from a pet store would not be considered a rescue organization. Likewise, it is not rescue to purchase ducklings from hatcheries or spent hens from egg farms. This only puts money into the pockets of animal abusers so they can abuse more animals. 

“Rescue” by purchase is not only misguided, but wholly unnecessary. Without buying a single animal, HumaneLI directly rescues hundreds of ducks, chickens, and other animals each year. 

The best way to help our feathered friends is by no longer purchasing animal products and supporting local sanctuaries and rescues like HumaneLI.

Adopting VS Buying

Hatcheries breed birds to have “desirable” traits despite any negative effects this inbreeding may have on their health. They then ship them across the country, often in cardboard boxes via USPS, without any food or water. Mortality rates are so high that many hatcheries even provide a free replacement bird in case one of the animals dies in transit. But not all birds even make it that far. 

It’s common for sickly birds to be tossed out and left to die, while baby boys, who don’t produce eggs and are seen as disposable, are often ground up while still alive.

Doing business with hatcheries encourages them to continue to breed and hurt fowl. The only ethical way to obtain fowl is to adopt them from animal shelters or rescue groups that have the birds’ best interests at heart.

what about backyard eggs?

Some people may think that it can be a benign and natural way to consume eggs and not participate in the factory farming industry by simply keeping some chickens in your backyard, taking care of them, and eating the eggs that they lay. But it’s not that simple. 

Most people may be surprised to learn that red jungle fowl—the wild variety chickens have been bred from—naturally lay about 10 to 15 eggs a year. Common varieties of “laying hens” have been artificially bred to lay more than 300 in a single year, and the stress on their reproductive systems is often fatal. Feeding eggs back to hens is essential to ensure they are recovering some of the essential nutrients they lose by laying so often, but in the case of the most prolific layers we strongly suggest asking your certified avian veterinarian about implants to decrease ovulation.