How Much Did HSUS Spend on its CEO’s Book Tour?

The Humane Society of the United States is a wasteful charity, spending more than half of its donors’ money on fundraising-related expenses last year, according to its tax return. It also appears that HSUS spent a pretty penny on a months-long, multi-city book tour for its CEO—whose book doesn’t even appear to have sold well at all. Donor money even was spent flying his wife around.

According to the 2016 HSUS tax return, the organization received royalties of $22,172 for Wayne Pacelle’s book. Pacelle was paid $22,172 in royalties as well, and got an advance of $46,750 in 2015. Based on how authors are paid royalties and advances—details here—and the cost of Pacelle’s book, we estimate that only about 26,000 copies were bought.

Not exactly John Grisham. Keep in mind that HSUS has a mailing list of millions of people—and that’s the best he could do?

And it looks even worse when you consider that, for that measly $22,000, HSUS paid for Pacelle to crisscross the county on a book tour.

We were able to track down 18 states (plus DC) on Pacelle’s book tour, with a total of 35 days and 37 stops from coast to coast. Once you factor in flights (first class?), hotels, meals, and other expenses, it starts to add up.

We may also add in travel expenses for Pacelle Wife #2, former al Jazeera reporter Lisa Fletcher. HSUS reports on its tax return that it paid $4,181 to cover her “travel expenses” for “media support.” And it’s possible that HSUS staffers (or even a bodyguard) traveled with Pacelle.

Not long ago “60 Minutes” exposed a charity CEO for writing a book and having the charity pay for his book tour. Donors to HSUS expect their money will be used to help care for animals—not serve as a self-promotional vanity tour for its CEO—who already gets paid over $400,000 a year.

Posted on 09/13/2017 at 12:16 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Executive StaffFundraising & Money


  • al smith

    I wonder how much he was paid to speak at the AZA?

    • Marcella Covault

      He may have done that cheaply as a strategic move, because it was an introduction of the fox into the henhouse, where he then could make mileage on by claiming an allilance with AZA.

  • Muleman Jack

    I DO NOT support HSUS in ANY way. Their abuse of donors funds appalls me. If they really cared about animals they would spend a majority of their donations on animal care. Instead, they have high paid staff and attorneys, and give less than 1% for the care and welfare of animals. It is about time that people become aware of these “Funding Scams” and stop giving to these “National Funding Bandits”..

  • Gretch78

    How about dropping this story into 60 minutes lap?

  • joe

    when hurricane Harvey hit ground hsus rescue pets and sent the pets to another state Texas is a big state we have lots of shelter the money to fly the pets to other states who knows what hsus did with the animal after they got off the plane

  • MisterCadet

    Yes, donors paid for (first class) flights, hotels, meals, and “other expenses.”
    Looking at the photo above, those other expenses likely include hair, make-up, and on-the-road fillers.

    Wayne should not have accepted 50% of the royalties. Even worse is Mrs. Humane, who is employed as a journalist at a TV station in DC. Why should taxpayers (and homeless dogs and cats) subsidize her coddling of a criminal. She clearly has no class.