Ad exposing HSUS’s emotionally manipulative message airs in Iowa

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article wants the people of Iowa to know that very little of the money they donate to Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) actually helps those dogs and cats they see on television.

The consumer alert video calls the HSUS ads with malnourished pets and celebrity spokespeople “emotionally manipulative” and directs viewers to the website where a recent report exposes the HSUS budget.

Although the direct mail, telemarketing and television ads used by HSUS to collect donations show caring for abandoned and abused cats and dogs as a primary focus, the group’s tax returns show just 1 percent of its multi-million dollar budget goes to local hands-on shelters and rescues.

The ad by seeks to educate Iowans with a desire to help local pet shelters. A poll by ORC International determined that 71 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group, and 68 percent wrongly think that HSUS spends most of its money on pet shelters.

“HSUS uses emotionally manipulative ads to hook Americans who love their pets, yet the animal rights group gives just one penny of every dollar it raises to local pet shelters,” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “ wants to ensure that donations go to support the cause donors intend. If they want their contributions to aid cats and dogs in their community they should give directly to local pet shelters instead of inadvertently bankrolling HSUS’s aggressive PETA-like agenda.”

The ad points out the “D” grade HSUS received from the well-respected charity watchdog American Institute of Philanthropy (CharityWatch) and adds that, while 1 penny of every dollar donated to HSUS assists local pet shelters, up to 48 cents of that dollar is spent on fundraising costs., a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom, has previously run ads with the same message in the USA Today and in New York City’s Times Square.

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Maddie Cartwright    
Brooklyn, NY  |  October, 09, 2012 at 02:11 AM

Mr. Wessler: I, like many American consumers, have recently become aware of the shocking statistics behind American animal agriculture- including the welfare of animals being raised for food. After an exhaustive amount of research, I recently made the decision (and not easily) to cut animal products out of my diet. This is largely due to the treatment they endure in all stages of life- from birth to slaughter. The responsible animal husbandry that gave the industry its trustworthy reputation in generations past has been discarded in the name of "animal science" and the bottom line that corporations lay down. “Get big or get out,” right? I sought out your website in hopes that I would learn that respect for the animals we eat is still alive and well. I hoped to find a community that listened to the concerns of consumers and willingly implemented changes to improve not the lining of their wallets, but the well-being of the animals in their daily care. This has obviously not come to pass. Your article seems to perfectly embody the attitude that the entire industry has towards the majority of its consumers and supporters- decent Americans who recognize animal suffering in their pets as well as the animals that become their food- decent people that want to eliminate that suffering as much as possible. I have many problems with your article.

Maddie Cartwright    
Brooklyn, NY  |  October, 09, 2012 at 02:13 AM

First of all, in addition to, The Humane Society would also like Iowans to know where their generously donated dollars go. If you bothered to type in the web address, you'd find that on their home page they make four separate references to their concerns about confined animals on factory farms. Three of those references are specifically about gestation crates. The HSUS is not trying to keep any hidden, politically charged swine agenda from the public. Obviously, making supporters aware of these issues helps them in spreading awareness in general- which is the ultimate goal. If you took the additional time to venture onto the About Us page, you’d find the following list of goals within the organization: “We help animals by (1) advocating for better laws to protect animals; (2) conducting campaigns to reform industries; (3) providing animal rescue and emergency response; and (4) caring for animals through our sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centers, emergency shelters and clinics. Only after naming promoting animals rights legislation, conducting campaigns (exactly like this one concerning gestation crates), and rescuing animals from all dire conditions do they list their shelters as a priority within the organization.

Maddie Cartwright    
Brooklyn, NY  |  October, 09, 2012 at 02:16 AM

Any Iowan who was surprised to find that their donation was going towards helping all animals and not simply cats and dogs must not know how to use the internet, or know anything about The Humane Society in the first place. Getting peeved over HSUS protecting pigs when you really just wanted them to help cats is like throwing a couple bucks at a homeless guy sitting in front of a liquor store and then getting pissed at him for buying a fifth of Jack instead of a sandwich. I’m sorry. Did you not read the giant liquor store sign illuminated above him? Why not? It’s right there. It’s like donating money through the American Red Cross and finding out it went to save a victim of a Tsunami instead of the victim of an earthquake. All are suffering. All require compassion. All are in need of help. HSUS clearly advertises their desire to help all animals. So, pay attention Iowans! Since you all have trouble with 12 second internet research excursions- here are a couple more fast facts about HSUS and the little piggies your state is raising to “feed the world.”

Elsa Arnold    
Madison, wi  |  October, 09, 2012 at 08:30 AM

Maddie, It bothers me that you rely on statistics and not farm visits to make such horrific claims. Yes, agriculture has changed. Please take some time to visit a farm or two. The only farms I wouldn't give my pets to actually happen to be two small farms where animals are outside to fend for themselves on dirt. Newer buildings are some degree of climate controlled. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion I can't believe any statistic any more. Good luck.

Albany,NY  |  October, 09, 2012 at 09:01 AM

Keep drinking the PETA Kool-AID Maddie.

new york  |  October, 09, 2012 at 09:06 AM

Maddie you say you have cut animal products out of your diet so now you have crossed from being a consumer to someone who wants to tell other people how to live their lives.

kansas  |  October, 09, 2012 at 09:24 AM

Ms. Cartwright is Obviously yet another deceitful HSUS Troll. How else could you explain her presence here? Considering Brooklynites have 0.00 1st hand experience of any kind with livestock of any kind and don't subscribe to PORK? Her claim to be, "like many American consumers", is typical HSUS troll-talk implying that her mindless devotion to the quasi-religious ferver of the extremist animal-rights cult is more common than it really is. Her other claim of exhaustive research is Laughable on it's face, and is plainly limited to perusing HSUS and PETA recruiting materials and web sites. She is nothing more than a typical one-note, wild-eyed evangelist who has found a new soap box and street corner to screech from here at PorkNetwork. As to the excellent ad exposing HSUS as the liars and frauds that they are - Kudos! HumanWatch should follow-up or add some shots of the HSUS slick-suited lawyers and lobbyists bullying farmers and legislatures, stating that these over-paid arm-twisters are the actual "animals" being "rescued" with the millions of dollars donated to these Vegan Radicals.

Ohio  |  October, 09, 2012 at 09:35 AM

Maddie What are you doing up at 2 am reading and commenting on articles? You obviously are not really concerned about confinement or you would not be living in Brooklyn. I am also sure your are inside and your door is locked and you are not out walking around the streets with your lap top or setting in Central Park posting your comments at 2 am. You probably appreciate the protection of a locked door at this time of night. Which is one reason we put sows in stalls. Having all you people in New York City living in Central park without individual houses is like sows in a pen without individual stalls. Granted stalls have problems but the HSUS solution of simply going back to pens is not the solution. Any well thought out suggestions would be appreciates. Which to the point is not the point of the article or the add. I have never seen HSUS adds asking for funds with pictures of sows in stalls so they can hire lawyers, file suits and fund ballot issues. And if I donate to help the pets in Haiti after the earth quake, using my money to sue NPPC is not quite what I had in mind. My only question with the add is why is it being aired in Iowa and Not LA?

Sharon W    
Erie, PA  |  October, 09, 2012 at 11:01 AM

When I googled CharityWatch, the entire site was down. As you go down the search list, the first working website is Charity Navigator, which gives HSUS 4 out of 4 starts. Nice work, everyone.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  October, 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM

Hi Maddie - I certainly admire your willingness to open your mind and your heart to what is being done to these countless innocent victims via the "ag industry". I always find it laughable when these folks want to claim some kind of overt agenda by HSUS - They don't have to do an internet search - Simply looking at their logo says it all. They are interested in reducing the suffering of ALL species. Their logo includes much more than cats and dogs: dolphins, rabbits, bears, wolves, and the whole managerie of critters. These "pork" and "beef" and chicken people just can't stand that their money-lusting enterprises are being challenged by a better and more compassionate way. Thank you for being one of those who is compelled to speak on behalf of the animals.

Oklahoma  |  October, 09, 2012 at 02:19 PM

Wow Maddie, you are a night owl aren't you. At times I am too. We have a big black leather-bound book laying on our coffee table, and late one night I was browsing through that book. When I read your miltiple posts here I recalled a line from the big black book that really fits you to a "T". Here it is" When the blind lead the blind, they both wind up in the ditch". The guy that said that was named Jesus Christ. You really ought to read some of His stuff.

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  October, 09, 2012 at 03:05 PM

Moi wants the people of Iowa to know that Humanewatch is a jokesite full of dweebs.

Iowa  |  October, 09, 2012 at 03:28 PM

Many, many years ago, I too, thought that HSUS was a worthwhile organization...until I did a lot of research. I also USED to think that they were a partner to our local & very awesome Humane Societies. Oh, what serious & credible research can do to help one to understand! They are NOT partners and do NOT have the same mission. Did you know that HSUS spends less than 1% of their income on actual animal welfare? WOW! Name another charity that operates that way! The true mission of HSUS is to make all vegetarians. I am a farmer. I have great concern for the welfare of my animals. Yes, I have stayed out in frigid temps to care for my animals on multiple occasions. Yes, I have lost sleep making sure they are safe, secure, & well fed before I even think about having supper. Yes, I have taken great pains to be sure they are always well cared for even knowing that at times, these animals would NOT earn me a profit. Why? Because like most farmers, I care; it's the right thing to do & it teaches my kids great values & a strong work ethic. Are there some sorry examples of farmers? Sure. But, there are sorry examples in every profession! I couldn't agree with Elsa more; Maddie, - YOU need to visit a working farm, or many farms until you truly understand the way they are operated & the hearts of the people owning and running that farm. A vast majority are good, hard-working people. Oh, and my farm is a "corporation" solely for financial reasons. We are a fairly good-sized farm by most standards, but we are a 3 generation family farm and praying each day that we can continue to make it work! Do I own a "factory farm"? Ha - not even close

Colo  |  October, 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM

Ain't it amazing that no one ever asks a farmer about livestock, y'know the people who actually know something about the subject because they're out there every day feeding and caring for their animals. Instead they listen to the idiots with HSUS and PETA who never ever raised a piglet or calf or chick from start to finish, who wouldn't know a prolapse from colic, who never wrestled with the thin margin of overhead vs profit, and whose only agenda is to stuff their coffers. They are nothing but a huge parasite feeding off the pocketbooks of uninformed animal lovers and their stated goal is to completely eliminate animals so that everyone will be jammed into being a vegetarian. Tofu for all, yay. (Ever try that stuff? - tastes the same way it sounds - like the fu from between your toes).

kansas  |  October, 09, 2012 at 09:26 PM

Maddie, Terry, Sharon and Bea care nothing about facts or science, and their reality is an alternative one. They are HSUS trolls, commanded by their higher moral powers to spew hateful snark upon the unwashed masses and lower life-forms who dare dispute the divine commandmants of the holy Wayne. They cannot think for themselves any longer, for they have drunk deeply from the spring of pure and uninhibited emotions. "Moi" thinks they whine, snarl, snivel, pontificate, spit and drool too much to be taken as seriously as the hsus pack of lawyers and lobbyists, paid for with the blood of shelter animals who should have been cared for with the lawyers salaries and Pacelle's fat retirement account. Hypocrites, liars and animal abusers by ommission.

SD  |  October, 10, 2012 at 07:48 PM

Whatever the extend of the real knowledge of animal agriculture, the 'Maddies' on this website are here apparently more to castigate we family farmers and extol the delights of vegan living, so likely we are not going to impress them with facts. However, they truly do need to know that 98% of all farmers in the USA are FAMILIES doing work they love. That has to be the case, since for those of us dependent upon our animals for a living we make, at best 2% return on our investment. Few can get into this business without having family who have built their farm or ranch over generations, and paid confiscatory Death Tax with each previous generations' death. It is somewhat better for those raising grains such as corn, wheat, sunflowers, or soybeans in areas of rich soils and rainfall. Cattle are grown mostly on grasses and forages, often native ones which do not require replanting, which means no tilling of the soils. Our cattle personally live on such pastures, with about 25 acres for each cow and calf. So they definitely are not crowded. Have you ever given an animal mouth to mouth resuscitation? I have, and it saved the life of one newborn calf. It wasn't successful each time I did it, and at age 72, I'm not out there with my younger family members, but it is still difficult work we all love, or we couldn't do it for the financial riches, which simply don't exist unless we would sell the whole place and retire to live life of harrassing vegans!

Canada  |  October, 21, 2012 at 02:04 AM

Is amazing morons still support Humanewatch and CCF when they're lobbyists and liars founded by Philip Morris Tobacco. They are pro-cancer, pro-bribery and financial exploiters. They steals your money to built more mansion and do NOT help animals. Truth Just only 4.2% of HSUS' income goes into salaries and pensions for ALL of its employees. While for HumaneWatch 97% of income goes for PROFIT. Probably 3% goes to pay salary and 97% goes to Rick Berman and his worthless companies. HW are hypocrites who blame their problems on others. They've received funding from alcohol companies. They attack Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They've received funding from fast food companies. They attack U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for its efforts to fight obesity. They've received funding from the factory farming industry. They attack the Humane Society of the United States for working to prevent animal cruelty. They've received funding from tobacco companies. They attack the Center for Science in the Public Interest (a public health charity). Rick Berman He attacks Mother Against Drunk Drivers & the HSUS on behalf of corporate clients in the food & beverage industry. He claims tanning beds are good for you. He claims mercury in many fishes doesn't hurt you. He claims transfats cleans up your arteries. He claims secondhand smoking doesn't harm you.

Atlanta, Georgia  |  October, 25, 2012 at 01:46 PM


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