10 Things You Should Know About HSUS


If you’re visiting this site for the first time thanks to our ad in USA Today–welcome! Here’s the full list of things you should know about the so-called “Humane Society” of the United States, starting with the three in our ad. It’s a story of financial malfeasance and misrepresentation. But the local humane societies across America are not affiliated with HSUS. So, do your research, but please try to help your local shelter. Click on the links for more information.

10 Things You Should Know About HSUS

1. HSUS raises millions of dollars from American animal lovers through manipulative advertising. An analysis of HSUS’s TV fundraising determined that more than 85 percent of the animals shown were cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and only gives 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters while sucking money out of local communities.

2. HSUS’s own donors and local shelters feel wronged. A poll of self-identified HSUS donors found 80 percent thought HSUS “misleads people” about their connections to pet shelters and 75 percent were less likely to support the group when they found out the truth. And according to a poll of animal shelters most agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.”

3. HSUS puts more into its pension plan and Caribbean hedge funds than it gives to pet shelters. Between 2012 and 2014, HSUS put over $100 million in Caribbean investments while also putting nearly $10 million into its pension plan.

4. While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS’s then-vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS’s goal is to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry” and that “we don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed.”

5. In May 2014, HSUS was part of a $15.75 million settlement of a federal racketeering lawsuit. Feld Entertainment sued HSUS, two of its in-house lawyers, and others under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for bribery, obstruction of justice, fraud, and other torts. Court documents indicate that HSUS sent several checks as part of an alleged witness-payment scheme.

6. HSUS’s senior management includes others who have voiced support for terroristic acts. HSUS chief policy officer Mike Markarian has written that “A perfect example of effective rebellion is an Animal Liberation Front raid on a laboratory.” HSUS food policy director Matt Prescott, meanwhile, has written that “I also believe in the actions of the ALF and other such groups.” (Prescott is a former PETA activist.)

7. HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California meat processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.”

8. HSUS receives poor charity-evaluation marks. CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) has issued several “D” ratings for HSUS in recent years over the group’s wasteful spending practices. Additionally, the 2013 Animal People News Watchdog Report discovered that HSUS spends 55 percent of its budget on overhead costs.

9. HSUS’s CEO endorsed convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick getting another pet. After Vick got out of prison, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle told the press that he thought Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” This startling comment came after Vick’s new employer, the Philadelphia Eagle, made a $50,000 “grant” to HSUS.

10. Given the massive size of its budget, HSUS does relatively little hands-on care for animals. While HSUS claims it “saves” more animals than any other animal protection group in the US, much of the “care” HSUS provides is in the form of spay-neuter assistance. In fact, local groups that operate on considerably slimmer budgets, such as the Houston SPCA, provide direct care to more animals than HSUS does.

Posted on 01/26/2016 at 8:38 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Animal AgricultureAnimal FightingAnnouncementsFundraising & Money


  • nytw

    It’s a liberal organization what did people expect. No doubt his organization has the Obama seal of approval.

    • Atomic Man

      Because Conservatives are somehow better? idiot.

    • Jessica Curtis

      Wow, nytw! That is very ignorant of you! Not everything can be blamed on political views, and Obama has nothing to do with HSUS.

    • phatkhat

      Don’t drag politics into it. People of ALL political persuasions love animals equally, and it is beyond inflammatory to try to derail the discussion into liberal vs conservative. Sheesh.

  • Bonnie Buzzanca

    I didn’t know this about the Humane Society. Luckily, I always give to my local shelters.

    • foodforthought et

      How can they be shut down!!!!! and where are all the other animal advocacy organizations on this.

  • Cindy Broenner

    well..the real remedy to this…since we can not fight city hall-so to speak…give locally…and no matter how tempting to may be to give to the HSUS…charity does begin at home…so make it locally…every year…first hand you can see what and to whom you have made it better…

    • Cal2

      Maybe you cant fight city hall but you can fight con artist like Wayne Pacelle and his crew.
      Take to ‘ twitter’ and bring him down with a million hash tags–since he likes ‘rebellion and aggressive actions’ give him a taste of his own medicine re:

      ”HSUS chief policy officer Mike Markarian has written that “A perfect example of effective rebellion is an Animal Liberation Front raid on a laboratory.” HSUS food policy director Matt Prescott, meanwhile, has written that “I also believe in the actions of the ALF and other such groups.”
      As an animal rescuer for 20 years I have had to go up against all kinds of ‘city officials’ and I can tell you the way to get them is make it ‘personal’ , hit them politically where it hurts. When trying to reform a ‘ entity’ whether private or government you cant attack the whole herd you have to cull out some of the individuals ‘ , separate them from the protection of the entity herd and go after them individually.

  • john

    I was president of a Humane Society for over 8 years and during that time, i never got so much as a dollar from hsus. Nor did I ever submit one document to them on the number of animals that we took in and placed or the number that had to be put to sleep. When the wife and I ran an animal rescue group in Michigan for over 14 years, one of our volunteers that owned a five star restaurant and his wife went to Alaska when they had the big oil spill up there. They saw the adds on TV showing all the work hsus was doing to help the animals. When they got there, they could not find one hsus person up there. After they got back to the states they contacted hsus about it… They were told that there was a big dinner party coming up and that they would fly them out to it in New York. All expense paid for the flight and the hotel accommodation. They told hsus what they could do with their dinner party.

    • HoneyBare’s Keeper

      You are the type of folks we need as humane society keepers, I thank you for your wonderful post. See my recent post about HoneyBare today.

  • foodforthought et

    How can they be shut down!! and where are all the other animal advocacy organizations on this?

  • SeRiOuSLy!!??

    you’re quick to call names all the while proving just how stupid you are for lack of reading comprehension.

  • Liz Brown

    I am happy I just read this article. HSUS has been sending me renewal reminders, but I haven’t renewed yet. Now I won’t. It never occurred to me that they are a bogus charity, but just reading the item about Michael Vick is enough to make me stop supporting them. If someone would like a better organization to support, the group that actually took in all of the dogs that were rescued from Vick, Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org) is a much better choice. I also support my local shelters, and a few other national animal welfare groups.

  • HoneyBare’s Keeper

    Here in Ann Arbor’s humane society or “Humane Society of Huron Valley” I was railroaded with threats of being arrested and my dog HoneyBare, being killed by them, HSHV.
    Someone called in and said my HoneyBare was abused, she was 20 yrs old and most folks have never seen a 20 year old big dog. HoneyBare was still walking, just not fast and for sure its no fun to be 20 yrs old or X 7 in dog years, that would be 140 years old, but HoneyBare was all too happy to be alive, just moving real slow. So after HSHV came out and HoneyBare and I was not home, I called them back to clear up the misconception of HoneyBare’s abuse that never happen. HoneyBare was cared for 24-7 and never left alone, as I suffered with her for her old age. So I went down to this so called Humane Society and talked to the manager and he said he understood. But then the Humane Society director woman parked next to my car with HoneyBare in it. HoneBare was sitting up and all the window were down and it was 10am in the morning and 75 degrees outside, a perfectly pleasant morning for HoneyBare to be alive. Well, the director accused me of dog abuse when she saw me. I said HoneyBare is 20 years and I am asking for a letter of writ so folks that call in against HoneyBare, can understand HoneyBare’s extreme old age and that she is under a Vets and my endless care. The director said HoneyBare should be put down. I responded by saying that, I am a seniors’ caregiver, where the 82 year old senior has suffered from cancer, heart attack stroke and that I just got her out of the hospital and she is doing fine. The humane society director responded to my senior care, “We should put seniors down too” (like HoneyBare). These organizations seem to have a killer mentality. During HoneyBare’s life, a book was written for her, called “NOAHDogs”, with HoneyBare’s many pictures and central message – a command by GOD to “Replenish Life, every living creature for perpetual generation”, which is from Genesis 9, in the bible. The book NOAHDogs ends on the last page with this scripture from Revelation 22:14-15, “blessed are they that do the commandments, for they may enter into the city and in through the gates, for without are dogs”. meaning, if you don’t replenish life, instead of killing it, well you figure it out. Point is Replenish life, don’t kill it, just because animals and folks need your help and don’t farm out your communities animals needs to rogue, high paid assassins calling themselves humane.

  • Mary Mahaffey

    These people attempting to make a political statement out of a very serious subject are nothing short of trash.

  • Jessica Curtis

    I came here because of the direct mail I received in my post office box today. I used it as an example of how the humane society lies to the people of America on my Facebook page. I also came here to check out the site, and I’m glad this is becoming public! Thank you for putting yourself out there like that and spreading the word!

  • Gloria Johnson

    thank you so much for the mail I got today!

  • Deb

    I visited your site due 2 the direct mailer I received, thank you for the information. I commend you 4 taking the initiative 2 get the information out 2 the public so they know not 2 support fraudulent organizations. I also wanted 2 let everyone know that donating 2 your local shelter doesn’t mean you have 2 give cash. Shelters need and will accept donations of pet beds, pet food, paper towels, printer paper & many other things that they use on a daily basis! I recommend you visit your local shelter Wed site or give them a call 2 get a list of supplies they accept as donations. They also need volunteers, so if all u have is time 2 donate that would be great as well & the furbabies will be thankful 2! Thank you for taking the time 2 read my post and lets get out there and help our local shelters any way we can!

  • Rhonda Braybrook

    So Who’s watching them? I received a post card too. What can we do? It said that HSUS’s CEO, endorsed Michael Vick, so he could get another dog. Is this the money going.They just do as they want with all this money we know nothing about.All these Millions don’t go to helping all the animals in shelters. Shame on this Humane society of the United States…

  • marleenandlouie

    Isn’t that just what Obama has done for his entire administration? He’s still blaming Bush for Heavens sake!

  • K.A.

    I have read that the HSUS is also ‘ working ‘ with government i.e. : USDA .
    I also have read that the HSUS is directly affiliated with our government… I’m tired of trying to CONVINCE people that the HSUS is not trustworthy!
    Additionally would like to know about the HSIUK.org . They are (obviously ) in the UK. They stipulate that they are all about no-kill (which I agree with) yet don’t seem to do much in the UK…
    Are they also affiliated with the government-as they state that they are not!
    Thank you

    • MisterCadet

      HSUS is NOT affiliated with our government, though the CEO brags about HSUS state reps (aka lobbyists) working with local government wildlife departments and similar stuff. The USDA has one or two ex-HSUS lawyers working there and the USDA’s top dog Tom Vilsack and his failed political candidate wife have received huge donations from HSUS. So, while HSUS has some influence there, it is not nearly as much as they want people to believe. Largely because HSUS has no real expertise in agricultural issues – just animal rights campaigns. Agriculture trade associations do have influence and that is appropriate. I don’t think animal agriculture is evil like HSUS does but I do support welfare reform, just not HSUS’s version of it. As far as HSI-UK, it is a lobbying branch largely working with the European Union to influence policy. It’s a tiny branch and does nothing for dogs and cats – definitely not shelter pets. If HSI-UK is pretending to be involved in animal sheltering, that needs to be exposed as a lie. It wouldn’t be the first lie told by HSUS, which has told countless falsehoods over decades in order to rake in the dough and divert money from high quality animal charities here and all over the world.

  • We simply said the HSPCA provides *more* direct care than HSUS. That’s it…

  • NewOrleans143

    Thank you for bringing out the Truth about these organizations! I am so disgusted….I cancelled HSUS and also ASPCA!!! I approached them about it (ASPCA) in cahoots with HSUS and they denied it. I support only my local Humane Society! Am also an animal rescuer – 30 years,… 20 cats and 3 dogs,….some live out their lives, and then more come. Serious animal lover!!