Topic: Main

  • HSUS Manufactures Outrage in NYC

    Making a mountain out of a molehill is nothing new for groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which are constantly looking for new outrages to use as fundraising tools or get their faces in the media. Look no further than Tuesday, when HSUS issued a statement after a passerby snapped photos of a horse that appeared to be in distress. HSUS wants to ban carriage horses in New York City and elsewhere, so this provided a golden opportunity.

    NYCLASS, a local anti-carriage organization that is reportedly a subject of an FBI probe of Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio, acquired the pictures and set out on a media smear campaign that distorted the facts for their own political gain. NYCLASS alleged that the horse, named Max, collapsed and could not get up for an extended amount of time.

    But according to the horse’s owner, Max got right up when he was unhitched from the carriage. A statement released by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene notes, “The horse returned immediately to its stable and was examined by a private veterinarian who determined Max to be healthy.” A spokesperson for the carriage industry released a statement saying “[Max] tripped and fell, and he was examined by three mounted officers at the park and was cleared to return to the stable pending a vet exam.”

    That’s the rest of the story—and it matters.

    Carriage rides are a staple of Central Park and both tourists and locals enjoy them tremendously. The owners have every incentive to treat their animals well. Nevertheless, it seems the cynical campaigners at HSUS love nothing more than to make hay out of every situation they can.

    Posted on 03/03/2017 at 11:50 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: HorsesMain


  • Breaking: HSUS Lays Off 55 Amidst Budget Crisis

    In what could be termed “Bloody Friday,” we learned late last week that HSUS has laid off 55 employees in the middle of a major fundraising shortfall. Our understanding is that the figure is at least $20 million.

    It sounds to us like a lot of charitable donors are wising up and figuring out that the HSUS ads they see aren’t aligned with how HSUS spends their money (only about 1% is given to pet shelters to help them care for animals). Or that the mail they get with branded socks or gardening gloves translates to a lot of money wasted.

    Here’s what has to be a real slap in the face to HSUS staff: Not only were six-figure-salary executives retained (and there are dozens of those around) while a lot of little fish got flushed, but HSUS has parked about $150 million into offshore funds. Apparently Wayne Pacelle, Mike Markarian, and other HSUS bigwigs weren’t willing to dip into those accounts supplied by donor contributions to keep those 55 staffers employed.

    And all this isn’t even the most shocking news to emerge from HSUS on Friday. We’ll give you the rest of the story this week.

    Posted on 10/24/2016 at 9:54 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffFundraising & MoneyGeneral StaffMain


  • Congressman with HSUS Ties Resigns After Lobbying Scandal


    Not long ago, we covered the House Committee on Ethics report on Representative Edward Whitfield, which found Whitfield provided his wife, a registered HSUS lobbyist, with “special privileges.” Politico called the report on Whitfield’s conduct “scathing.” And yesterday, Rep. Whitfield became former Rep. Whitfield.

    For readers who think Congress should represent citizens, and not interest groups like HSUS, the resignation comes as a refreshing case of accountability. Congress may have an approval rating in the dumps, but sometimes the ethics committee gets it right.

    From its failure to pass major initiatives, to its CEO providing false testimony, to our regular exposure of HSUS’s shadiness to Hill staffers and representatives, HSUS has a checkered history on the Hill. The Whitfield affair may be the freshest mark, but we’ll bet it won’t be the last.

    Posted on 09/07/2016 at 5:29 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Gov't, Lobbying, PoliticsMain


  • HSUS Staffers Hobnob with Criminals and Terrorists

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) likes to describe itself as “seeking a humane world for people and animals alike.” Okay, sounds great. But this claim loses all credibility when you look at the company HSUS keeps.

    Paul Shapiro, Kenny Torrella, Ken Botts, and Kristie Middleton – all staffers at HSUS, including a vice president – were featured as speakers at this year’s Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles. The annual conference congregates the nation’s most radical and aggressive activists in the animal liberation movement, and what they had to say was truly alarming.

    Here’s a sampling of crowd-pleasers from this year’s speakers, per the Animal Ag Alliance, which went behind enemy lines to see what these people were saying. Some highlights:

    “All of these events [agricultural fairs, eating contests, political rallies] need to be interrupted and shut down.” – Zach Groff of Direct Action Everywhere

    DxE prides itself on harassing shoppers and diners around the country, and is now expanding its disruptive activities to public gatherings wherever possible. Just last week, the Secret Service had to drag away a DxE activist who attempted to charge the stage at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    “When it is time to launch the campaign, find a vulnerable target, prepare everything for at least a few weeks and then assemble an overwhelming force to utilize from day one. The crueler it is, the quicker the fight is over. ”– David Coman-Hidy of The Humane League

    Coman-Hidy was joined by Humane League founder Nick Cooney, who has embellished his career with a conviction for making terroristic threats. The Humane League also racked up a long list of restraining orders.

    “There’s a lot of us, we’re angry, and we’re gonna win.” – Kevin Kjonaas, founder of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC), considered a terrorist group by the FBI.

    Kjonaas and fellow SHAC speaker Lauren Gazzola are both convicted criminals who have urged their extremist peers not to be deterred by their rap sheets. Before entering federal prison to serve her sentence, Gazzola told her fellow extremists to “make our conviction a victory for the animals.”

    “We terrify them – let’s remind them why.” – activist Ryan Shapiro, referring to the meat industry.

    Shapiro was arrested for burglary (and pled guilty to trespassing), and is the brother of HSUS VP Paul Shapiro.

    Other speakers included Jonathan Paul, a convicted arsonist and animal-liberation terrorist; Peter Young, a former Animal Liberation Front activist who served time in prison; and Jerry Vlasak, whose controversial remarks have included openly advocating for the murder of doctors.

    Credit must be given to the Animal Agriculture Alliance, who sent representatives to AR2016 to get an inside look at animal rights radicalism. A weekend of fitting in with this crowd surely qualifies for hazard pay.

    On television and in other fundraising campaigns, the HSUS advertises itself as a protector of life and a promoter of peace among humans and animals. So for all of the moralizing from HSUS, why does it choose to associate with violent convicts?

    Whatever the preferred methods of “seeking a humane world” are, it should be glaringly obvious that rubbing elbows with ex-cons is not one of them.

    Posted on 08/19/2016 at 3:44 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Board of DirectorsMain


  • HSUS-Backed Vegan Startup Caught Committing Fraud?

    Hampton Creek Foods (HCF), a company co-founded by HSUS food policy director Josh Balk and his pal Josh Tetrick, is aimed at eliminating the egg industry. But it appears the company’s sales data is just as fake as its vegan mayo.

    Like many socially driven companies, HCF brands itself as a healthier, greener, more ethical alternative to conventional food products. But if HSUS shows us anything, it’s that brands can be carefully crafted to hide a group’s bad side.

    Yesterday, Bloomberg published a damning exposé on how Hampton Creek hired people to buy up its fake mayo because, apparently, normal shoppers wouldn’t:

    “[T]he startup undertook a large-scale operation to buy back its own mayo, which made the product appear more popular than it really was. At least eight months before the funding round closed, Hampton Creek executives quietly launched a campaign to purchase mass quantities of Just Mayo from stores, according to five former workers and more than 250 receipts, expense reports, cash advances and e-mails reviewed by Bloomberg. In addition to buying up hundreds of jars of the product across the U.S., contractors were told to call store managers pretending they were customers and ask about Just Mayo. Strong demand for a product typically prompts retailers to order more and stock it in additional stores.”

    It goes without saying, such actions seem strange for a company based on a so-called ethical philosophy.

    This situation also reeks of investor fraud. Bloomberg continues:

    “Two former senior staff who worked closely with Tetrick in 2014 and 2015 say the Hampton Creek CEO initiated the buyouts partly to make sales look better to potential investors. One says Tetrick didn’t disclose the practice to would-be backers during fundraising pitches in 2014. Fundraising pitch decks reviewed by Bloomberg do not reference the buyouts. ‘We always comply with our disclosure obligations to prospective investors,’ Tetrick says in an e-mail.”

    Should we believe Tetrick? Why should anyone?

    We reported on some serious disenchantment over at Hampton Creek last year coming from employees who were blowing the whistle on allegedly dishonest operations. One review on Glassdoor, an employer review site, reads:

    “You will learn how to trick people and manipulate good-intentioned (sic) individuals. For example, you might create tons of fake reviews on a site like Glassdoor… or lie that you are a customer requesting products to be on the shelf.”

    Another alleges employees are told to have a snake-oil mentality about the product:

    “You are told what to say to customers who ask what’s so special about this, and dupe them into beliving it’s a healthier product… when in truth it’s just condiment with no animal products in it that tastes like mayonnaise.”

    And one from just two days ago reads:

    “[The CEO] spends the investor’s money on animal rights and political venues versus focusing on the company mission. CEO gives investment money to non-profits to further his cause for saving animals… There are many examples of the CEO manipulating the truth to gain traction with customers, investors, and employees.”

    Like Hampton Creek, HSUS also misleads its donors/investors. Surveys of supporters show a majority think their money is going to local animal shelters when only 1% actually goes to help local shelter animals.

    It shouldn’t be surprising that HSUS has invested donor money in the Hampton Creek scam. More money from well-meaning animal lovers gone to the dogs. Just not literally… unfortunately.

    Posted on 08/05/2016 at 3:39 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: General StaffMain


  • HSUS CEO’s Dark, Anti-People Streak

    Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, wants you to believe he’s on your side—a pet lover and a guy who just wants to improve lives for animals. It’s important that you think that, because it makes it easier for him to extract money from you—money that he can then send to offshore funds in the Caribbean instead of using it to help animals.

    Occasionally, his mask slips. In a Forbes piece this week, Pacelle said what he really thinks about the rest of us: “Humans are miserly, uncreative and inhumane to other animals.”

    Re-read that one.

    Certainly, some people are bad. Take Michael Vick in 2007, back when he was busted on criminal charges related to dogfighting. He fits the bill of “inhumane.” Interestingly, Pacelle happily partnered with Vick after Vick’s release from prison—and Vick’s employer made a $50,000 grant to HSUS. Pacelle went on to say that Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.”

    Think about yourself, in contrast. You may own pets, or raise livestock on a farm, or volunteer at a shelter. You’re probably a decent, humane person. But Wayne Pacelle assumes you’re bad. For no real reason. And you’re not even the one who’s chummy with Vick the convict.

    It’s not the first time Pacelle’s indicated he’s not much a fan of humankind. In an interview with Ted Kerasote, Pacelle remarked, “I don’t believe in the green revolution as a means of feeding the world, and I certainly don’t plan to have children. I take it as a very serious personal responsibility not to put another consumer on this planet.” People? Kids? Bad.

    In the same interview, Pacelle also revealed, “I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals.” And in response to whether he envisioned a future without pets, Pacelle said, “If I had my personal view perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another cat or dog born.”

    Sounds like he doesn’t really like much of anything.

    Surely, things should be brighter for Gloomy Wayne. He got a roughly $25,000 raise in compensation in 2015, bringing his package up to $450,000. Maybe he can buy himself a new outlook on life.

    Posted on 07/29/2016 at 1:32 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffMain


  • Top HSUS Ally Slapped With Congressional Ethics Violation

    On Friday, the House Committee on Ethics concluded a 13-month investigation with an official “reproval” of Representative Edward Whitfield for giving his wife, a registered HSUS lobbyist, special access to Congress. Read the 8-page report here.

    An investigative organization in the Congressman’s home state of Kentucky reports that Connie Harriman-Whitfield had been senior policy adviser for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, HSUS’s official lobbying arm, and met with her husband’s staffers over a span of four years.

    During this time investigators discovered Whitfield had blatantly “dispensed special privileges” to his wife, giving her a “unique level of access to, and influence on, Representative Whitfield’s staff.” This access resulted in Ms. Harriman “arranging meetings,” “directly advocating” for legislation supported by HSUS and getting his staff to “alter the language” of legislation. Rep. Whitfield claims this wasn’t wrong, and “that his wife’s efforts would have constituted lobbying only if she intended to influence him or his staff.”

    The House Committee on Ethics, however, thought otherwise. The committee found Rep. Whitfield had violated not one, but several rules governing the conduct of members of Congress. Specifically:

    • House Rule XXC, clause 7, “which requires that members ‘prohibit all staff employed by that member… from making any lobbying contact… with that individuals spouse, if that spouse is a lobbyist.’”
    • Clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII, “which provide that a Member ‘shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibly on the House’ and ‘shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House.’”

    HSUS’s house of cards might finally be showing signs of falling down.


    Posted on 07/19/2016 at 10:30 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Gov't, Lobbying, PoliticsMain


  • New York City’s “Really Stupid Plan”

    The Humane Society of the United States has received poor marks from CharityWatch for wasting a good portion of the money it brings in on overhead costs. Even worse, some of the money that HSUS spends on programs doesn’t go toward helping homeless pets—but instead is wasted on ideological pet projects.

    Readers might remember the absurd situation that played out in Michigan a few months ago. Now, history repeats itself in New York where HSUS and politicians plunge ahead with a delusional deer population plan.

    Staten Island’s deer population skyrocketed from 24 in 2008 to at least 793 in 2014—a 3,204 percent jump.  Deer-vehicle collisions were up, the risk of tick-borne disease increased, and tree growth was halted by the herd’s grazing. Something had to be done.

    Enter HSUS and Mayor de Blasio with a bright idea: dish out $2 million to give every male deer a vasectomy.  “It [vasectomy] is a smart plan,” asserted de Blasio.

    Curiously, the only ones who agree are radical animal rights groups like HSUS and NYCLASS, which gave $100,000 to de Blasio’s One New York Campaign (a donation now under FBI investigation).

    Scientific experts, however, can’t believe the proposal.

    “It’s an incredibly foolish idea,” said reproductive zoologist, John Rasweiler, “$2 million the first year? Absolute lunacy.”

    “This plan has very low likelihood of success,” said Paul Curtis, an ecologist from Cornell.

    Even the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) think it’s a bad idea, citing its “limited effectiveness” and “inability to quickly reduce deer-human conflicts.”

    Bernd Blossey, another ecologist at Cornell, said “It’s difficult for me to come up with all the reasons why this is a really stupid plan.”

    Sterilization only stops new births, so it doesn’t solve the problem of extreme overpopulation, which means the “spread of lyme disease, collisions, impact on native vegetation or animals—that will continue.”

    Activists can rage against the cruelty of hunting all they want. But once animals start slowly starving, they’ll need to admit: their ideology is worse.


    Posted on 06/17/2016 at 9:37 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: MainWildlife


  • HumaneWatch Back in Times Square

    Hold the Phone

    We’ve got a new billboard smackdab in the center of Times Square. For those in New York, keep an eye out around 46th and 7th avenue. For those everywhere else in the world, take a look here and spread the word.

    Too many people assume HSUS and their local shelter are affiliated. They’re not. Others think a nice sounding name like ‘Humane Society’ makes them saints. That’s certainly false: Not many saints have paid millions to settle bribery allegations.

    Such deceptions are common.  A supermajority of their donors believe donations go toward helping shelter pets. Even though most HSUS ads feature cats and dogs in shelters, only 1 measly percent of its millions actually reach local pet shelters.


    (Click to enlarge)

    Posted on 05/25/2016 at 7:00 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Main


  • We Dogged Wayne Pacelle in the Big Apple

    Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle is busy traveling the country promoting his new book, The Humane Economy, though a more honest title would be “The Vegan Economy.”  But who are we kidding? HSUS has never been about honesty whether it’s how many pet shelters it has (zero) or its agenda (ban animal use).

    Wayne had a book event on Wednesday in New York at a Barnes & Noble. And since HSUS has a serious history of hiding things, we did what any good watchdog organization would’ve done—we sent a guy in a dog costume to hand out information about Wayne.

    The costume combats the misperception that HSUS helps local animal shelters.  It highlights that while Wayne self-promotes, homeless cats and dogs remain deep in need. And since HSUS receives $125 million annually in donations, but gives only 1% of it to local shelters, it’s on us to raise awareness of HSUS deceptions and suggest that donors give local instead.

    The flyers elicited a mix of reactions. Some pedestrians politely accepted the flyer and learned a few things about HSUS. Others crumpled it up and threw it in his face.  A few kind souls thought he was an actual homeless man-dog, and offered money. (We suggested giving to a local pet shelter instead.)  The most interesting, however, was a woman who took a flyer as she stepped inside only to burst back out within seconds, returning her flyer and calling our dog a “liar” with “wrong information.”

    Guess she got a chance to talk to Wayne and his handlers, who obviously weren’t happy to have an opposing voice present.

    Being a watchdog can be a thankless job (just ask our protest pup). But when an institution like HSUS can basically brainwash its supporters, it’s a strong call to continue keeping a watchful eye out.

    Posted on 04/22/2016 at 4:28 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Book ReviewsMain