HSUS Wants the Accused Guilty Until Proven Innocent

GavelThe extremist animal liberation group calling itself the Humane Society of the United States is engaging in a multi-state lobbying effort to take away the rights of animal owners who are accused of abuse before they’ve had a trial. An HSUS-supported measure in Montana—which appears to be dead—would require animal owners who have animals seized over pending abuse or cruelty charges to pay for the animal’s care before the owner is found guilty. Similar legislation has been introduced in at least three other states this year, including New Hampshire, where Dog Owners of the Granite State interim president Elin Phinizy says the HSUS-backed bill “turns the New Hampshire justice system on its head.”

HSUS says it supports the legislation because shelters and localities can’t afford to pay for the care of animals that have been confiscated from owners who await trial. That’s certainly a burden on local groups. But the solution isn’t to make the accused front the costs for care. That simply violates the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty and opens the system up to abuse of false accusations.

While HSUS has made no mention of how much it is spending on its lobbying effort to take away the rights of animal owners in New Hampshire and other states, shelters in the Granite State (and ten others) didn’t receive a single dime from HSUS to help them care for pets in 2013, according to HSUS’s most recent tax return.

That’s not a surprise, considering that according to its tax return, HSUS only gave 1% to local pet shelters even though it raked in more than $130 million in revenues. And a charity watchdog recently gave HSUS a poor mark for spending millions on fundraising instead of programs.

Animal abusers should definitely be prosecuted under the law, but it seems outrageous to change such a basic tenet of our legal system.

Our suggestion to HSUS: Help shelters care for animals instead of blowing money on solicitations featuring socks and garden gloves. HSUS could cover the up-front costs for the cost of care of animals in far more cruelty cases than it does currently. But it apparently has other priorities for its money than providing direct care.

Posted on 02/17/2015 at 2:22 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

Topics: Main


  • Charlie G.

    NC had such a law until the NCLEG cleaned it up in 2014. It denied animal owner “due process” (GS# 19A, Article 1). HSUS was duping local dog catchers, with badges” into seizing herds of cattle, horses, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats, hogs, dogs, cats and exotic birds.

    Up front, before trial, two elder commercial dog breeders were re required to post a cash bond of $30,000 to care for 80 small dogs. Because they didn’t have the money–they lost their dogs–months before trial. The HSUS person that lead the raid–took a small dog, Billy, and paraded him to meetings, all over the nation–until he died a few weeks later (apparently from exposure to the sudden changes in climate).

    These bills that deny “due-process” are unfair to animal farmers and ranchers. Such bills should be DOA. NC has been there and done that. We learned the hard way.

    Take this for what it’s worth.

    • Lucinda Jezzebelle Blackletter

      Civil asset forfeiture is completely legal. The government can take your stuff even if you are never charged.

      • Ruby

        But Hsus is leading MOST of these raids and they are NOT government anything!!

        • Lucinda Jezzebelle Blackletter

          Sorry, just saw this reply. IF the HSUS raids are backed by animal control, then they can get away with it.

  • Kathy Bittle


  • Lucinda Jezzebelle Blackletter

    This is the law in the state of Illinois and technically everywhere. Civil Forfeiture is completely legal regardless if you are EVER charged or convicted of a crime.

    John Oliver does on AWESOME segment explaining how it works.