HumaneWatch.org, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), is running a full-page ad in Friday's USA Today that highlights the failure of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to share its multi-million dollar budget with local hands-on pet shelters.
Despite most Americans’ belief to the contrary, HSUS is not a national umbrella group that represents community-based humane societies, and it shares just one percent of its income with underfunded pet shelters at the local level, according to HumaneWatch.
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 heart strings and, most importantly to HSUS, the wallets of America’s pet lovers, according to a HumaneWatch press release. The ad 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.
In comments to Pork Network on the ad, an HSUS spokesman questioned the funding used to pay for the ad and predicted the HumaneWatch campaign may fail. "The CCF's misleading campaigns would be almost funny, since they virtually always fail - if it weren't for the fact that the group takes money from hard-working farmers and struggling companies to wage them," said Matthew Prescott, HSUS food policy director.
“HSUS uses emotionally manipulative ads to hook Americans who love pets, yet it gives just one penny of every dollar it raises to local pet shelters,” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “It’s time Americans realize their hard-earned dollars aren’t going to care for cats and dogs in their communities but to support a huge staff of lawyers and lobbyists, executive pension plans, fundraising expenses, and to bankroll a PETA-like animal rights agenda that attacks modern farming.”
HumaneWatch, in the group’s news releases and its Website, urges readers to give their donations directly to local pet shelters instead of HSUS,
A new HumaneWatch.org report 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.
“HSUS continues to mislead the public with multi-million dollar ad campaigns,” Wilson continued. “With over $200 million in assets, HSUS could clearly afford to live up to its undeserved reputation as a major contributor to local shelters, but it appears to have other motives.”