Times Square billboard calls out HSUS

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As part of its ongoing campaign to expose the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), HumaneWatch.org sponsored a billboard in Times Square that calls attention to the organization. A news release from HumaneWatch explains that "Despite its commercials and fundraising materials featuring sad-looking puppies and kittens, HSUS gives only one percent of its $120 million budget to support local pet shelters.

The billboard (viewable here) is located in Times Square at Broadway and 46th Street. HumaneWatch is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom. 

The ad portrays an angry-looking cat with the headline, “WTF? (Where’s The Funding?),” and goes on to explain, “The Humane Society of the United States only gives 1% of its budget to local pet shelters.” The ad concludes by prompting viewers, “Find Out About the Deception At: HumaneWatch.org.”

According to the release, "the one percent figure was calculated after reviewing HSUS’s most recent Form 990 tax return from 2012 and is included as part of HumaneWatch.org’s fourth annual report, “Not Your Local Humane Society.” The full report breaks down all HSUS contributions to local pet shelters on a state-by-state basis dating back to 2009. Unfortunately for shelter pets, the one percent total is no anomaly – it’s the norm."

“The Humane Society of the United States is making money by manipulating Americans, reeling in pet lovers with pictures of sad-looking puppies only to then funnel their donations to a radical agenda,” said Will Coggin, CCF’s senior research analyst, in the release. “Instead of spending its money where it is most desperately needed – saving lives at local shelters – in 2012 HSUS spent $50 million on fundraising expenses alone, bankrolled PETA-style propaganda campaigns, maintained a huge staff of lawyers and lobbyists, and rewarded its top brass with bloated salaries and benefits.”

Coggin concluded, “HSUS has $200 million in assets. Pet shelters are struggling day in and day out to help save the lives of pets, but it appears HSUS has other priorities. Animal lovers should demand better from this self-titled ‘humane society,’ and give to their local pet shelter instead.”

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Cathy P.    
Venice, FL  |  January, 13, 2014 at 10:15 AM

HumaneWatch.org is even less credible than HSUS. Their agenda is crystal clear.

Waterloo, IA  |  January, 17, 2014 at 09:06 AM

Cathy P, I'll take an organization with a crystal clear agenda over an organization that tries to mislead donors any day of the week.

Jacksonville, Fl.  |  March, 04, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Amen, Tonia, Amen. And HSUS is not (by far) the only "animal" group with this reputation; even on local levels many groups are reprehensible in their fund raising and fund distribution. And even on local levels, Smoke and Mirrors abound, and it was brought painfully to light during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when so many groups came for the publicity and media attention, and left all the real work to the hundreds of UNPAID volunteers who came from everywhere to do the actual groundwork. People should very thoroughly research ANY group they donate money to support and know for sure if that is how they want their donations spent.

Chicago Illinois  |  March, 04, 2014 at 06:08 PM

This is why you should donate to your local shelters and rescues and Stop Pay for fancy cars / clothing and homes for HSUS and PETA members, you see those images of animals in need and a lot of it has been staged to look worse just so we open our wallets and pay then for making a good film, wake up people! their not helping the animals! so give your money to those who really are

sherry jones    
US  |  March, 29, 2014 at 01:10 AM

oh, for HEAVEN'S SAKE!! i'm sure this won't be the LAST time i'll be saying this, but HSUS is NOT AFFILIATED WITH YOUR LOCAL SPCA, SHELTER, POUND, HUMANE SOCIETY - whatever it has taken as its' designation! WHY is that so frigging HARD to understand?? b4 i retired and was able to donate, i donated to my LOCAL shelter, in addition to HSUS, whose primary focus has NEVER BEEN supporting local societies financially - THAT is the JOB of your local or state gov't and YOU. HSUS has ALWAYS focused on national animal issues - and global ones, as the need arose as it has so often in recent decades. they, and other orgs, can support ACTIONS by legal officers in a given locality - helping w/dog-fighting rings, puppy mills and some hoarding situations IF THEY ARE INVITED TO. otherwise they have no standing. they aid in rescue work, disaster relief, vet clinics, as do other orgs. they ALSO have done more than any of us could do legislatively, thru education, "farm animal" and wildlife protections etc. does your LOCAL shelter do such things? of course not - they have their hands full w/all we humans' abandoned and/or abused pets that we no longer take responsibility for! this ISN'T ONE-STOP SHOPPING, folks! YES, reearch what orgs you support - i just wish orgs such as "humane watch" [WHAT a misnomer...] would stop LYING and bad-mouthing orgs that have A+ ratings w/charity watch groups BECAUSE THE ONLY ONES THAT WIND UP PAYING FOR THAT IS THE ANIMALS, when people like yourselves withdraw your support and endanger these groups' actions for the OTHER animals! not sure why i'm even commenting - it seems people will believe whatever they read on the internet - which is TRULY FRIGHTENING! all i ask is that you try to be LOGICAL! =^,,^=

Baltimore  |  March, 31, 2014 at 09:35 AM

First, HSUS's national ads do not suggest the org donates specific fund amounts to "local" shelters. Second, HSUS, like all large 501c3, produces an annual report [google it – 2 sec to find] which outlines in detail where funds are spent. I suggest everyone willing to place a comment here read the report and come to their own "informed" opinion. Considering the size of HSUS, I'm sure the Feds [IRS] give them very little room for misappropriation of funds, likewise theirs donors are watchful! In my opinion, Humane Watch would do more for animals by using ad space to garner donations – use the funds to recuse, combat puppy mills, or promote meatless Monday.

Austin, TX  |  March, 31, 2014 at 09:53 AM

You would have a smidgeon of credibility if you stuck to the facts. HSUS commercials show SHELTER puppies and kittens in the worst possible light and asks for money to help those animals (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). HSUS absolutely tricks folks, including some of my elderly relatatives into donating to help the puppies and kitties. THAT is a lie. HSUS is about publicity and fund raising with the vast majority of their money being used to raise more money. You can choose to be willfully ignorant "sherry", but many of us have had HSUSs number for decades, when all of our donation was "gifted" back to us in the form of branded blankets, tote bags, gloves, umbrellas, cards, stickers - a myriad of crap that did nothing but attempt to increase HSUSs brand name. I saw right through it. Every penny I used to send to this organization was returned to me in straight-to-recycling, made-in-China googaws. When I asked them to stop, they sent more, so I stopped sending them money. In 30 years in rescue I have never seen a single thing done by HSUS that had any value. I have seen HSUS take credit for a lot of hard work by other people; I've seen this over, and over, and over, and over again. As for HumaneWatch, sure they have their faults, but they also are telling the truth about HSUS and not whining for money from seniors and the ignorant to do it. Like HW or hate them, the fact is everything they have printed about HSUS is the truth - and they are not the only source of information about the scam that has become HSUS. HSUS is currently the subject of a RICO (racketeering) suit for paying a witness to lie about animal care. The ASPCA has already paid nearly $10million for their part in that debacle. HSUS is on the line for much more.

IL  |  March, 31, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Thank you Sherry. Frankly I don't know how much the upper management at HSUS is paid. I've never looked it up. I do know that they pay lobbyists. Do I have a problem with that? No. As you say they work on a much larger scale than a local shelter and much of it is in DC where one is simply more effective with lobbyists. I have never seen HSUS claim to donate money to "local shelters". I have however seen them present, when invited, at the "busts" of dogfighting rings and at the dismantling of puppy mills. It was HSUS who shone the light nationally on the plight of the TN Walking Horse, on the horrific treatment of cows in CA slaughterhouses (happy CA cows my ass) and I believe they were also the ones who brought to light live chicks being dropped in grinders. I have not seen these things from "local shelters" nor do I expect to see it. They have their hands full in their scope of concern . If after reading with your own eyes their financial reports and involvement with recent abuse cases you still don't care for them, fine. Don't give money to them. But let it be based on their actual actions within their scope and not what others feel should be done with the money they raised.

IL  |  March, 31, 2014 at 11:16 AM

"In 30 years in rescue I have never seen a single thing done by HSUS that had any value." I think TN Walkers and CA cows would disagree with you about that statement.

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