Despite its name, the Humane Society of the United States only gives 1% of its budget to pet shelters, and the organization doesn’t run a single pet shelter. Last year we polled over 1,000 self-identified donors to the Humane Society of the United States to figure out just what they knew about the group. As it turned out, many donors—like the general public—had a false impression about how their money was being used. They still do.
We have a new poll of over 1,000 HSUS donors asking them how they think their contributions are being used. Once again, we ask them if they think HSUS’s advertising has misled them. But this year, we are also asking new questions about whether they think HSUS’s advertising needs to have a disclaimer.
The full poll results are below, but here’s the bottom line:
- Nearly two-thirds of HSUS donors support the group to help HSUS care for animals in shelters or to reduce the number of animals put down in shelters.
- 59% of donors are less likely to support HSUS now that they know HSUS only gives 1% of its budget to pet shelters.
- 84% of donors think “HSUS misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters.”
- 87% of donors think HSUS should be required to disclose in ads that it only gives 1% of the money it raises to pet shelters; 88% of donors think HSUS should be required to disclose in advertising that it isn’t affiliated with local humane societies.
In today’s partisan environment, you don’t see many polls where 90 percent of people agree on anything. Yet nearly 90 percent of HSUS donors think HSUS should be required to include disclaimers in its advertising. That’s telling.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS, often has responded to our education campaign by saying that donors know what they’re funding. We find it hard to believe that an organization that spends $50 million a year on marketing doesn’t have a firm grasp of what their members know and don’t know. With this new polling, he and HSUS can’t hide behind that farce anymore. It’s time for them to come clean to the public, and to HSUS’s own donors.
Full Poll (PDF):
What is the primary reason you support the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)?
|36.5%||To help HSUS care for homeless dogs and cats in animal shelters and humane societies.|
|4.3%||To help HSUS’s animal rescue team.|
|16.7%||To raise awareness about animal cruelty.|
|29.9%||To reduce the number of animals put down in shelters each year.|
|3.1%||To support HSUS’s farm animal protection programs.|
|9.2%||To support HSUS’s political lobbying for anti-animal cruelty legislation.|
Were you aware that HSUS gives just 1 percent of its budget to local pet shelters?
Were you aware that HSUS is not affiliated with any local humane societies?
Were you aware that HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter?
Now that you know that HSUS gives just one percent of its budget to local pet shelters, do you think the HSUS misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters?
|6.1%||Not at all|
Now that you know that HSUS gives just one percent of its budget to local pet shelters, are you more or less likely to support HSUS?
|35.7%||Much Less Likely|
|59.3%||Net Less Likely|
|7.5%||Much More Likely|
Do you think HSUS should be required to disclose in its advertising the fact that it is not affiliated with local humane societies?
Do you think HSUS should be required to disclose in its advertising the fact that just 1 percent of the money it raises will go to local pet shelters?
Poll of 1,050 HSUS donors conducted September 16-27, 2013. Margin of error ±3%.