BEEF Daily

HSUS Criticized For Minimal Donations To Pet Shelters


If you want to line your pockets, go work for the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). But, if you want to help animals, you might want to seek work elsewhere. A watchdog group, Humane Watch, recently released a full-page ad in USA Today blasting HSUS for its minimal effort to support hands-on pet shelters.

HumaneWatch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, used the advertisement to warn Americans that only a tiny fraction of their contributions to HSUS actually goes to pet shelters.

With a multi-million-dollar budget, less than 1% of it actually goes to helping animal shelters. In my home state of South Dakota, for example, only $15,000 was given to help local shelters, leaving many, including one shelter in Sioux Falls, our largest city, barely able to scrape together enough money to keep its doors open.

“Despite most Americans’ belief to the contrary, HSUS is not a national umbrella group that represents community-based humane societies, and it shares just 1% of its income with underfunded pet shelters at the local level,” says Humane Watch.

“The ad features a statement from HSUS President Wayne Pacelle: ‘We never said we funded animal shelters.’ Yet the animal rights group continues to largely rely on the images of sad-looking cats and dogs to tug at the heartstrings and, most importantly, to HSUS, the wallets of America’s pet lovers. The ad goes on to explain where HSUS’s money is going: Millions into its executive pension fund, $32 million stuffed in hedge funds, and for its defense against charges of corruption in federal court.

“A new HumaneWatch study finds HSUS’s direct mail, telemarketing, and television appeals actively perpetuate the misperception that HSUS’s primary focus is to care for abandoned and abused cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and local shelters aren’t seeing much of HSUS’s donations, with several local organizations across America going so far as to change their names in order to prevent donor confusion.”

Do you think most Americans are aware of how HSUS uses its money? How many people do you know who have unknowingly donated to HSUS because they want to help animals?

By the way, if you are in Fayetteville, AR, on Aug. 9, join me at a University of Arkansas symposium sponsored by the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing, for a discussion on food animal welfare. I will be one of the speakers featured at the symposium, and I would love to visit with you at the event.

Click here for the complete speaker list and agenda. Hope to see you there!

Discuss this Blog Entry 7

john (not verified)
on Aug 8, 2012

I feel most people across America don't have a clue on how HSUS spends their money. I also wonder how they have been able to hold on to their not for profit status.

Glenn Treftz (not verified)
on Aug 8, 2012

Another great eye-opening article on HSUS Amanda! It continues to amaze me the deception this group uses to further their "cause". Think I will print and post this for some of city dwelling pet lovers that give so easily to this corrupt organization.

Keep up the great work Amanda!

Wile E. Coyote Super Genius (not verified)
on Aug 8, 2012

If you look at most of the 501 (c)(3) non profit organizations, you will find most of them do not spend their money for what the people who donate to them think it is used for. It is called propaganda! The majority of these raise miliions of dollars and spend it all on salaries, lobbying, and marketing. But before we disband ALL 501 (c)(3) non profit organizations, it might be wise to look in the mirror. A quick investigation of whom is designated as 501 (c)(3) organizations might make you want to ask for forgiveness. Thanks for listening!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 8, 2012

Charity Watch (aka the American Institute of Philanthropy) is the most respected charity evaluator in the country. Charity Watch is the watchdog organization that investigates corruption in the tax-exempt sector, working alongside major media outlets and testifying before Congress. Charity Watch grades charities from A to F based on how they spend their money. At least 75% receive grades in the A, B, and C range. HSUS gets a D. HSUS affiliate the Fund for Animals also gets a D. Even PETA gets a C+.

Yes, there are many unethical charities and questionable expenditures throughout the sector, but it's best to focus on the very worst, exposing where donations really go, reporting abuses to state officials and educating people to redirect their donations to groups that honor donor intent and do the best work.

HSUS is one of the most dishonest, greedy and wasteful charities, not just in animal welfare, but in all areas.

Terry Church (not verified)
on Aug 8, 2012

No people do not know and when they're told how the money is being used they don't want to believe it. The people that I have told just don't believe it. I always tell them to just to check the facts for themselves. It's a shame that HSUS is getting richer and richer by misleading people. Thats just wrong no matter who it is.

Mary Anne (not verified)
on Aug 11, 2012

Wow! I was just browsing through Charity Navigator for ratings on animal welfare charities and came to Fund for Animals and found beef magazine totally by chance. What an eye opener re: the comments about Fund and HSUS. Thanks all you folks who set the record straight on these "charities" and what they actually spend their donations on. I'll be giving to my local no-kill shelters in Maine where they truly need help. Also, Best Friends in Utah is supposed to be a pretty honest charity unless beef readers know differently. If so, please comment. Thanks.

on Feb 16, 2013

In some parts of world pets are treated in humanly. There is a society in U.S. for these types of pets those take care of these types of pets by collecting different types of organizations. Recently a project was opened named as Humane watch in which it was seen that pet in distress would be recovered. It was in association with HSUS. It is an American Organization for pets and it has criticized people for fewer donation towards the needy pets.
Simi Valley Vet

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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