The Humane Society of the United States relies on guile. When HSUS advertises to the public, it implies that it is a cat-and-dog group, one that will “rescue animals now.” Yet only 1 percent of its budget goes to pet shelters, and HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter despite having $200 million in assets.
HSUS’s deceptive attitude was on display after the group recently took part in a $15.75 million settlement of a racketeering lawsuit. HSUS told the public that donor money would not go to pay the settlement. Yet HSUS was denied liability insurance for the settlement—a fact it willfully omitted from its statements.
Here’s another: HSUS claims that it cares for more animals than any other group. But many of these animals HSUS itself isn’t even caring for.
Recently, Humane Society International, an affiliate that works (as you might guess) in other countries, sent out a fundraising letter (warning: 10 MB file) asking for money to sterilize street dogs in places like India. Yet HSUS is taking credit for this “direct care” for animals, even though this program appears to be entirely separate of HSUS operations—separately managed and separately funded.
In fact, this seems to be true for half or more of the animals HSUS “provides” care for. The HSUS affiliate Fund for Animals has run a few animal care centers since before it merged with HSUS in 2005. A recent fundraising letter for the Fund states “We care for thousands of animals daily at our animal care centers.” Yet, once again, HSUS takes the credit for caring for these animals, even though the fundraising is separate.
This double-dipping is just nauseating. And it runs both ways, with HSI claiming to have “11 million” supporters, an inflated figure that HSUS first conjured up when talking about it’s members.
It begs the question: What does HSUS actually do? Here’s the sad truth: Besides getting caught up in racketeering and bribery litigation, HSUS spends close to half of its money on overhead, such as fundraising and publicity tours that are heavy on back-patting.