HSUS is There—Padding its Bank Account

Of all the self-serving promotions that the Humane Society of the United States churns out—and it puts out a lot, with CharityWatch finding that HSUS spends up to a whopping 48 cents to raise every dollar—the most nauseating is perhaps HSUS’s new motto of “We’re There,” which is the slogan of a defensive radio ad in the D.C. area that comes on the heels of our hard-hitting D.C. Metro and Roll Call ads. If you wonder about our distaste, just look at the latest news coming from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman regarding Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

We noted before that Schneiderman asked about 100 charities, including HSUS, that engaged in Sandy-related fundraising to report to his office how much they were spending on Sandy relief efforts. On Wednesday, Schneiderman reported that as of April some nonprofits were still holding donations. In the case of HSUS, a more appropriate word might be “hoarding.”

The 89 charities reported to Scheiderman’s office that they raised more than $500 million, yet only 57 percent of that money has been spent on Sandy relief. The most recent documentation for HSUS, an April letter signed by its general counsel, reports that HSUS raised over $2.2 million for its Disaster Relief Fund in the months following Sandy and had spent only 33 percent—or $731,000—on Sandy relief. That’s roughly on par with what we reported about previous HSUS filings showing that HSUS had spent 35 percent of the money it raised on Sandy relief. We don’t know if they’re counting the money spent on camera crews and video personnel that HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle had in tow when he visited affected areas to document any possible good deed he performed.

HSUS is excusing itself by saying it never solicited for Sandy specifically and that it honored donations that donors–on their own initiative–earmarked for Sandy relief. And that may be correct. But this is a $70 billion disaster. There are still groups in the affected area, like the Monmouth County SPCA, that need help. And yet, according to the latest data, $1.5 million that HSUS raised has not been spent on Sandy relief.

HSUS certainly is “there” when disasters happen—looking for a cash haul. That’s called taking the low road.

Posted on 07/19/2013 at 11:57 am by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Main


  • Ella B Bartlett

    well that just shows the public where the money really went .hsus , while people need help a bunch of crooks are filling their pockets & people & places are in direr need .they are a bunch of low down thiefs & not wishing anything on anybody i’m hoping karma gives them everything that’s coming to them & then some .

  • Karenh

    Well, at least he’s consistent – think Katrina and Haiti. Mr Scheiderman has the clout and maybe he can pry some funds loose for that shelter – better yet, nail Wayno’s (and the rest of the gang’s) hide to the wall.

    • MisterCadet

      Maybe if enough people write to the New York Attorney General with information about HSUS’s track record of disaster profiteering, deceptive factory fundraising – and the damage done to honest animal charities, donors, and taxpayers, Mr. Schneiderman and his charity investigators will take action.

  • Dennis Foster

    They will continue to get away with these shams unless their connections with our government are exposed. All the hype on the connections between IRS, take the fifth Learner and HSUS and we still don’t see HSUS being audited or any investigation of her connections with HSUS.

  • Anita

    didn’t solicit funds for Hurricane Sandy? Bullcrap. HSUS emailed me at least
    four fundraising appeals specifically mentioning Hurricane Sandy:

    29, 2012: “We do not know what the consequences of Sandy will be, but we
    know we must be ready. Will you help ensure we are there to provide assistance,
    rescue, and relief for animals affected by making an emergency donation to our
    Disaster Relief Fund today? . . . Please make an emergency gift to our Disaster
    Relief Fund today to make our preparedness, rescue, and relief work possible
    during this and future disasters.”

    5, 2012: “As expected, animal needs are becoming even more apparent in the
    days after Sandy. . . . We are responding right now, but we need your help.
    Please make a donation to our Disaster Relief Fund. . . . Will you please make
    an urgent donation today? Your generous gift
    will help us continue our life-saving work for pets and pet owners in this and
    other disasters. . . . Your gift today will help people and pets who critically
    need relief during this and future disasters.”

    6, 2012: “Jennifer, one of our field responders, emailed you yesterday
    about the terrible situation in New Jersey. I was there, too — on the ground
    with our Animal Rescue Team. . . . See our moving video from the weekend; then
    please help by donating to our Disaster Relief Fund today. . . .Will you
    consider making an emergency gift to our Disaster Relief Fund today? . . .
    Please watch it, and then help us rescue and care for disaster-affected animals
    in the days and months ahead.”

    10, 2012: “For some who have lost everything, we are caring for their
    animals in one of our temporary shelters — giving families a chance to
    rebuild, knowing their pets are in good hands. And they can come and get their
    pets, even just visit, whenever they are ready. See our powerful rescue video.”

  • John

    Sad. I only give to my local (or other local) Humane Society and advise others to do the same.