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 studyfinds 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!