HSUS Lies to Congress

There were some fireworks this morning at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing about the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, a bit of legislation that would help hunters. At the hearing, Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma used the opportunity to confront HSUS CEO Wayne “I love my pension plan” Pacelle, who was testifying against the legislation, about some matters involving Oklahoma’s investigation into HSUS’s fundraising. And Pacelle lied.

Inhofe zeroed in on the fact that HSUS raised $1.7 million in Oklahoma between 2011 and 2013 and yet only gave $110,000 back to Oklahoma groups (according to HSUS’s general counsel). In response to Inhofe’s inquiry about the nature of HSUS’s advertising—those ads full of poor dogs and cats—Pacelle retorted that “Those ads say that we’re not giving the money to animal shelters” and that there is “explicit language” to that effect. (Watch the full exchange below of Pacelle getting grilled. The key moment starts around 6:00.)

That’s a lie. Here’s why:

  1. HSUS ads do not contain such a disclaimer. Period. Case closed.
  2. Some—but only some—HSUS TV ads do contain a disclaimer that “Local humane societies are independent from HSUS.” That does not say that money given to HSUS will not go to such local groups. In fact, our polling of HSUS donors from 2013 found that 84% of donors think “HSUS misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters.”
  3. Some TV ads contain this disclaimer that HSUS is independent from local humane societies in tiny print for a few seconds. And we mean tiny. (A screenshot is below.) We doubt all those little old ladies who are writing checks to HSUS can read it. A very small portion of HSUS TV ads have a slightly larger disclaimer.
  4. Not a single piece of HSUS direct mail contains a disclaimer that HSUS is independent from local humane societies so far as we’ve ever seen. We’ve looked at dozens of pieces from the last few years.
  5. None of HSUS’s fundraising has a disclaimer that HSUS does not run a single pet shelter. When you call yourself a “humane society” and know that you are confused with pet shelters, that’s quite the sin of omission.

Our survey found that 87% of HSUS donors think HSUS should be required to disclose in ads that it only gives 1% of the money it raises to pet shelters; 88% of donors think HSUS should be required to disclose in advertising that it isn’t affiliated with local humane societies.

HSUS Ad Screenshot DisclaimerGuess what? HSUS doesn’t do the first one at all. And it only does the second one in some ads—probably solely out of “CYA” concerns. It’s a recent addition; our review of HSUS TV ads that ran between and Jan. 2009 and Sept. 2011 found a disclaimer in less than 1% of HSUS’s ad airings. So HSUS did as little as possible for as long as possible, and it’s continuing that trend.

Let’s not forget that HSUS is an organization that secretively paid a witness who lied under oath and then paid $6 million to settle the subsequent bribery and racketeering lawsuit it was slapped with. HSUS relies on deception to raise $100 million a year to attack farmers, hunters and others, because Americans don’t support HSUS’s vegan agenda. Pacelle himself admitted in a talk that “I think there is some confusion among the general public and I think there’s occasional confusion with, with donors.” He needs his donors to be in the dark or he’d probably lose tens of millions in revenue to local pet shelters.

Wayne Pacelle must think he’s slicker than everybody else. But today his pants were on fire in front of Congress.


Posted on 03/17/2015 at 3:05 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Fundraising & Money


  • Overleas

    I bet the media buy was exactly timed reaction to the tornado. Without question it was created to show tornado damage, so they imply by the visual experience as to what the commercial is for. Ford advertises a Ford pickup truck and they show pictures of Ford Pick up trucks so you know they are advertising specifically Ford Pickups, Not hamburgers or Pizza.. Just goes to show how dishonest these people are.

  • lilredhsb

    Shut that org down. Thank you, Okllahoma!

  • Lauri

    hahahhah you’re done wayne the bane!!! I told you!

  • fearnot

    it gives the 1% ers a whole new meaning

  • fearnot

    wow wayne needs that deodorant now!

  • Outsider

    I would be interested to see how a body language expert would interpret this video.

    • Marcella Covault

      Agreed. To me, his flapping, floundering hand and arm gestures were very distracting—but then maybe they were supposed to be that. He didn’t sound “strong”, just like his nickname, whiney Wayne. He didn’t look healthy–gray faced and haggard, but perhaps he’s ill.

    • Bruce Walters

      The kick is good!

  • Seer Kennel

    Slowly the truth is coming to light.. but this is a big *ss wealthy ‘bear’ we’re baiting.

  • chienblanc4csi

    Bait and switch, changing the subject, throwing out dozens of meaningless points (advertising slogans, really) that the Senator cannot hope to wade through in the time available. Pacelle is a master of these tactics, and in the end, he STILL lies. But Inhofe is a tough customer, good for him.

    Just to be petty for a moment – Wayne isn’t looking so good lately, his skin looks grayish, the five-o-clock shadow is down to two-o-clock, his face is haggard – for heaven’s sake, give that man a decent meal! This is almost as bad as the orange spray tan.

    I found a very interesting blog post that describes Pacelle’s debating techniques. I think you will recognize him here: http://www.skepticink.com/smilodonsretreat/2014/08/24/gish-gallop-and-goal-post-shift/

    • MisterCadet

      Wayne is about 50 years old and looks more like the Wax Museum Wayne Pacelle Exhibit than an actual human being.

      • MadameMidlifeCrisis

        Holy crap! I think I’ve got it figured out; Wayne & Ingrid are CYBORGS!!! Probably sent here by aliens from Uranus. *giggle*

  • potol

    ….video give new meaning to deer caught in headlights. You are watching a man who believes that there is no value in animal research, despite cures, using mostly rats. That people should not eat meat and go vegan, or that in one generation pets will be gone from human hands. No hunting, no sports using aminals period. What is about this which people do not understand? If you go back and look at the CEO of Humane Society of the USA you will see lies in congressional testimony and please not the source, usually written by those involved in the animal rights movement. You are seeing a man who majored in enviromentalism who knew nothing of science of animals and has caused a almost a generation to swallow the propaganda from kindergarden through college.

  • Clay Fitzgerald

    Wayne Pacelle is a lying sack of canine scatology.

  • freedom farmer

    I so enjoyed watching Pacelle squirming so much in his seat as he worked so hard to dodge the bullets & TRY to avoid the TRUTH!!

    • Terry Vourantonis


  • KaD
  • Terry Vourantonis

    I agree with most of your opinion, but why call people who know that this organization is nothing short of a pile of lies Democraps? I support the party that balances budgets and believes in a just society (Democrats) but I HATE HSUS. Am I screwed now? Please stay on this important subject and do not water this down with your political opinion!

  • Walter White

    Attempted misdirection and deflection. So where is the balance of 1.6 million? Its on this and that and blah, blah… So the ad is for helping suffering animals, but the money doesn’t go for that…So that ad was a lie… The Humane Society is full of lies. Pitbulls are as safe or even safer than any breed, they got a six year old killed by their lies. Humane society takes their cleaverly worded name to take advantage of the public. This slick bastard sits up there and lies through his fake smile and pleasant disposition. Cheif Executive lyiing prick!