HSUS Execs Live High on the Hog

According to its tax return, last year the Humane Society of the United States spent about 50 percent of the money it raised simply trying to raise more money. It’s a case of “factory fundraising”: A charity that cares more about its bottom line than its mission. And with the amount of money its executives make from this scheme—and the houses it affords them—it’s no wonder.

HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle has taken center stage in HSUS ads begging for cash. “63 cents [a day] can make all the difference to an animal, like this little guy,” he says, petting a dog. It can also make a difference to Pacelle’s bank account. Pacelle pulled in $411,000 last year. On top of that, he apparently got to travel around the country promoting his poorly performing book—which he personally profited from—on HSUS’s dime.

Some others:

Mike Markarian, Chief Operation Officer: $251,945

Tom Waite, CFO: $244,547

Andrew Rowan, CIO: $235,319

Betsy Liley, CDO: $222,242

Judith Reed, VP Human Capital: $224,682

In total, 44 staffers at HSUS earned over $100,000 a year in compensation.

Pacelle recently purchased a house for $1.1 million in cash in Chevy Chase, Md., just inside the Capital Beltway. Another exec lives in a $1.7 million estate in Potomac, Md., the most affluent town in America, with another exec in Potomac owning a home valued at close to $1 million. Another has a $1.4 million mansion in Falls Church, Va.

Who says nonprofit work can’t be lucrative? Unfortunately, it comes at a cost: Less money available for the animals.

Posted on 11/03/2017 at 4:59 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Executive Staff


  • Mary, Mom and Grandmom

    Many people think that the HSUS is an umbrella organization for all the animal shelters in the United States because of its name. This is one of their biggest lies for people see the sad animals in their TV ad and donate to them, thinking that they disperse funds to local animal shelters which they definitely do not, save for a few photo-ops following disasters. Go to your local Humane Society, Animal Control, and donate to that shelter where you will see the sad-eyed dogs and cats up close and personal, all wanting help and furever (misspelling intentional) homes.

    • Peggy Sue Tyler

      I also worry about the shelter critters getting the benefit of cash donations. I try to take a 80 pound sack of quality dog food, good cat litter and several sacks of dry cat food, to our local pound, each month. I swear some of the critters know the sound of my car because I get a lot of barks and tails wagging.

  • Liz Lufrano

    Especially when it’s TAX FREE!

    • CommonSenseDem

      Their salaries are taxed the same way they would be at a for-profit organization. Facts are your friend.

  • Steffanie Goltra Byrnes

    Great article! Keep exposing them for the disgusting thieves they are!

  • Susan J Juergensen

    My dog is a Katrina survivor and this makes me sick

  • Ken

    Non-profit does not mean poor. It seems like the generic term humane society is very useful for fund raising and excessive leadership salaries.

  • george wells

    As a person who has spent his life as auditor, the high salaries raises a red flag. Take a look at the income and determine what percentage of the income is spent directly on the animals and how much is spent for indirect cost such as salaries. A nonprofit organization can become nonprofit if it spends all its money on salaries. I wrote about an non-profit organization here in Huntsville, Al (this was years ago) that spent 97 percent of its income to support its self leaving only 3 percent for charity. What kind of helping the needy is that?

  • kennethwbaguley

    So sorry they don’t have the dedication to the animals that has to be there. Self-serving it is.
    If true…