HSUS Gets Stingy with Animals on its Own Property

GuzzlerThe Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which is not affiliated with local humane societies, gives only 1% of the money it raises to pet shelters, according to its tax return. HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter of its own. HSUS gets a “C-minus” grade from the independent watchdog CharityWatch for spending a significant amount of money on overhead. And it seems the financial waste at HSUS even extends to animals on HSUS property.

HSUS runs a 20-year-old affiliate called the Wildlife Land Trust (WLT), whose reason for existence is to inherit land from people and subsequently prohibit development and hunting—forever. Essentially, WLT seems like a disjointed effort at creating wildlife preserves across the U.S., and it claims to hold rights to property in 32 states.

One such range of land is 3,000 acres in Oregon called the Greenwood Preserve. HSUS wants to build a water guzzler there to help the wildlife out with another source of water (despite, by WLT’s admission, that the preserve “contains three year-round sources of water – a rarity in the West”). HSUS has launched a “crowd-funding” campaign to raise $12,200 to build the guzzler, essentially a contraption that collects rainwater. Crowd-funding works by collecting small ($5 or $10) donations for a specific effort.

Here’s our question: Why?

HSUS’s budget is $120 million. The Wildlife Land Trust has a $6.9 million budget. Can’t they find $12,200 in there to build a watering hole? That’s about 0.0096% of their combined budgets, or nine one-thousandths. Not exactly breaking the bank.

The trouble with the crowd-funding exercise is that it frees up more money for HSUS to waste on other things. This wouldn’t be bad if HSUS was already a fiscally responsible organization, but it isn’t one.  CharityWatch finds that HSUS spends up to 45 percent of its budget on overhead. The watchdog Animal People puts the figure higher—at 55 percent. There’s a lot of money to go around, but HSUS wants to spend it on direct mail.

So while HSUS is “crowd-funding” a project that could be easily financed using existing dollars, it can put that $12,200 it’s not spending on the water guzzler towards mailing costs and to conduct more fundraising. This might be a small drop in the pond, but it speaks volumes about the priorities at HSUS.

Posted on 12/17/2013 at 3:21 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Main


  • Thanks for sharing this. Hopefully people don’t get duped into donating.

  • Gretch78

    Another advantage to this cloud fundraising is bringing more future donors into their database. They will also probably raise more $ than the requested $12K. Kepp up the good work of holding these eco terriorist accountable

  • riffraft

    Friends, please support your local animal shelter but never the national, they just don’t support your local shelter but make you think they do!

  • syl1969

    I was done with HSUS when Wayne Pacelle was eager to see the survivors of Michael Vick’s dog fighting business put down rather than try to give them a better life. Then when he campaigned for Vick to be allowed back in the NFL, I wanted to see him ousted. Now that he gave his blessing for Vick to have a pet dog, I will never again give one dime to his sham charity. PLEASE people – give to your local shelters and rescue groups. These are the groups that actually HELP animals and find them loving homes – not this jacka$$ who just wants a raise every year to do absolutely NOTHING for them!!

  • Lori Ayers

    Doesn’t seem to me that they are try very hard to help animals.They have a budget like that that they just basically piss away and people like
    Tia and the local shelters are scraping by that is not right. the lost any support they ever had from me!

  • Darlene Burton

    This is a tragedy in so many ways. There will be people who won’t feel comfortable donating to any cause associated with the Humane Society. A real blow for the animals. I hope karma intervenes sooner than later to give these greedy people what they really deserve. And it will.

  • Rebecca Blanks

    HSUS is a lobbying group…nothing more….and what are they lobbying for? To take away our rights to have animals, especially if you raise them for breeding, show or food. They are as bad as PETA but just cover it up a bit better. Sadly, the majority of America still doesn’t realize this though…..

  • Bonnie Morgan

    what about when they go in and help during disasters rescuing and feeding animals ..or is this a sham as well

    • Anita

      HSUS goes in for the photo opportunities and then gets out, leaving local organizations to feed, house and care for the animals. A friend who went to New Orleans to help the animals after Hurricane Katrina confirmed that.