HSUS and Real Humane Societies: Apples and Oranges

dogThe Humane Society of the United States talks a big game about the importance of caring for animals, but when comparing HSUS’s track record with real humane societies, it is abundantly clear that providing direct care to animals isn’t something the organization does efficiently. The numbers provided in the most recent HSUS report show that this organization is falling far short of its donor’s expectations.

According to HSUS’s annual report, last year the organization and its affiliates took in $186,145,633 in total revenue and “cared” for 115,851 animals. For now, let’s assume this “care” is something substantive—we’ll get back to that in a moment. At face value, that breaks down to a cost of roughly $1,500 in revenue per animal. At a price like that, there is no doubt that HSUS donors aren’t getting much of a bang for their buck.

But in order to really visualize how far the organization missed the mark on direct animal care, we examined the figures at 17 local shelter organizations who have a combined revenue that is similar to HSUS’s.

In our analysis, we found that these shelters were able to provide care for a total of 528,346 animals. Donations to these local animal shelters will provide over four times the amount of direct care for animals (412,495 more animals received care) for a smaller price.

But it gets worse. These shelters are operating by providing potentially long-term care for animals. How exactly does HSUS define its own “direct care”? Digging a little deeper, it’s apparent the HSUS figure includes spay/neutered animals in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and the remote Asian kingdom of Bhutan—not helping animals in the United States, in other words. And HSUS’s biggest international program, so to speak, seems to be shoveling money into offshore Caribbean funds; HSUS has sent $50 million to the Caribbean over the last two years.

While HSUS claims that it is the “most effective animal protection organization,” the evidence to the contrary is staggering. The bottom line—if HSUS wasn’t siphoning money away from local humane organizations, there would be more donations flowing to the facilities that provide meaningful direct care to animals across the country.

Here is a breakdown on how many animals these 17 shelters were able to care for:


Shelter Animals Cared For  Revenue $$                            
Earie County SPCA 14,000  6,518,821
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society 6,000  2,266,746
Houston SPCA 50,000  7,413,578
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA 9,397  14,926,686
The Marin Humane Society 10,000  10,779, 107
Humane Society of Missouri 90,000  25,860,840
Arizona Humane Society 31,135  18,473,227
Animal Humane Society (Minnesota) 23,858  15,689,095
SPCA of Texas 50,000  12,852,704
Wisconsin Humane Society 24,000   8,333,825
Denver Dumb Friends League 20,218  21,907,000
Washington Humane Society (DC) 51,000   7,103,765
Humane Society of Tampa 25,857   5,372,813
Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA 11,479   7,759,266
Oregon Humane Society 11,402  12,163,190
Michigan Humane Society 100,000  17,388,764
Total: 528,346 Animals Received Care    $184,030,320             Revenue