Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is fighting back against the Humane Society of the United States’ attempt to stonewall his investigation into the group’s deceptive fundraising practices. HSUS sued Pruitt instead of cooperating and providing documents he had requested under the Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act. AG Pruitt’s response to the lawsuit said HSUS “cites little to no law’ to support its request for an injunction to stop Oklahoma’s investigation.”
In its 22-page response to HSUS’s lawsuit, AG Pruitt’s office stated:
Yet there are serious concerns that HSUS makes only paltry expenditures related to such shelters. Those concerns, along with the representations made, led the office to initiate an investigation of HSUS fund-raising practices and whether the expectations created by those practices have been met. Instead of cooperating with that investigation, the organization has decided to challenge a statutorily authorized civil investigative demand.
Courthouse News Service says Pruitt’s office became concerned with HSUS’s fundraising after reviewing a mailer that “’created the expectation’ that the money would be spent supporting local animal shelters”. As we have documented, only about 1% of HSUS’s contributions support local pet shelters even though it takes in $130 million in annual revenue. HSUS’s tax return shows that it gave only $13,000 to help Oklahoma pet shelters care for animals in 2013 — this from a group that probably raises hundreds of thousands every year from Oklahomans, if not more than $1 million.
One of Pruitt’s duties as attorney general is to protect consumers from fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive business practices. HSUS’s lawsuit against him is nothing more than an attempt to prevent him from carrying out this responsibility on behalf of Oklahomans.