The Humane Society of the United States has a history of exploiting situations for financial gain. In 2007, following the arrest of Michael Vick on dogfighting-related charges, HSUS raised money on the promise to care for the dogs seized—while simultaneously HSUS was advocating for authorities to kill the dogs instead of attempting to rehabilitate them (as other groups have since done). Recently, we saw HSUS kick into full gear fundraising off of a supposed “puppy mill” raid in Georgia.
The only problem? There was no “puppy mill.”
Here’s the original headline of HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle’s blog announcing the raid and begging for money, according to Google’s cache:
Since then, HSUS has quietly removed this post, and the rest of HSUS’s website appears to be scrubbed of anything describing this situation as a puppy mill or animal abuse.
Instead, HSUS now claims that there was a situation of “neglect.” But there’s more. According to local news, the owner willingly surrendered the animals and doesn’t appear likely to be charged with animal abuse (but perhaps neglect). The owner may be allowed to keep some animals if appropriate care can be provided.
That context is a bit different from the cries of “massive puppy mill” that HSUS used to solicit donations. Did HSUS refund the money obtained under those pretenses? (We doubt it.)
And helping out with the situation are a number of local humane groups, such as the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (not affiliated with HSUS), Cornerstone Animal Hospital, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement, PAWS Bryson City, that were providing care for the animals.
So what’s HSUS doing? It sent a media team to do video and pictures for its fundraising, that much is clear. But there are a lot of local volunteers offering a hand around the clock. HSUS raises millions a year and is sitting on so much money that it can afford to stick $50 million into offshore funds in the Caribbean. It doesn’t need any money.
Instead of letting HSUS hoard money in the aftermath of this incident, give to one of the local groups if you’re so inclined.