Like clockwork, CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) has yet again given the Humane Society of the United States a poor mark in its latest Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report. The report gave HSUS a C-minus grade in part because HSUS spends up to $42 for every $100 raised. Considering that the extreme animal rights group raked in more than $120 million in 2013, that’s a lot of dough that goes to fundraising instead of caring for animals.
Of course, this cash certainly helped out the bank accounts of HSUS fundraising vendors such as Quadriga Art. You may recall that last year Quadriga entered into a $25 million settlement with the New York Attorney General over deceptive fundraising for veterans’ causes (perhaps the same case could be made for HSUS-Quadriga and animal causes). And while CharityWatch did note that up to 45% of HSUS’s budget is spent on overhead, the report didn’t mention that only 1 penny of dollar goes to local pet shelters, leaving the public and HSUS’s own donors feeling misled.
CharityWatch says, “Selecting a charity to support is a bit like playing God. Ideally it should take into account your most deeply held concerns and convictions.” So if you want to help pets find homes and not pay for, say, a $5.7 million racketeering settlement or to help fill off-shore Caribbean accounts, we suggest you donate to pet shelters in your area instead of HSUS.