HumaneWatch Blog

  • Humane Society International Loses Money Fundraising

    But HSI actually paid more money to fundraisers than it received in donations from their services.  In 2016, it lost over $275,000 to Donor Services Group (DSG) and Public Interest Communications. And that’s after it lost over $125,000 after hiring DSG in 2015. Kitty Block, the president of HSI, was recently tapped to be the acting CEO and President of HSUS after Wayne Pacelle resigned in disgrace following reports of extensive sexual harassment by himself and a top lieutenant. HSUS for years has had the same issues in its fundraising campaigns—money going into the pockets of professional fundraisers instead of helping animals.

  • Lawmaker Calls For Investigation of HSUS

    Kentucky State Senator Robin Webb (D-Grayson) has called for Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the fundraising tactics of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

  • HSUS Spends More on Consulting than Dog Care

    The resignation of Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle amidst a host of sexual harassment allegations was not a turning point for the organization. Pacelle institutionalized a culture of financial mismanagement and intellectual dishonesty in his 13 years running the organization. It’s on full display with the revelation that HSUS spent $245,000 on consulting fees and $151,000 on travel costs as part of its supposed “care” of seized dogs in its custody.

  • USDA Cites HSUS “Care” Centers

    Last year the USDA cited Project Chimps, which started with seed money from HSUS and is listed as an affiliate of HSUS on its 2016 tax return, for several feed and cleanliness violations. “The ground around the pallets on the walls cannot be adequately viewed or accessed for cleaning. Storage areas shall be arranged in a manner that will protect the food from contamination and allow cleaning,” the report says.

  • New Ad: HSUS Protecting Predators

    Today, we debuted a new ad in USA Today hitting Chairman Eric Bernthal and the rest of Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) board for its egregious response to the investigation into former HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle. After it was reported that Pacelle was under investigation by his own board, several reports came out that levied specific allegations against the embattled executive. One woman, an intern, claimed that Pacelle kissed her against her will. Another claimed that he asked to masturbate in front of her. Others were paid settlements for retaliation for filing sexual harassment claims.

  • HSUS VP Josh Balk Calls Alleged Sexual Harasser “A Brilliant Leader”

    A cascade of news reports last week outed Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle and HSUS vice president Paul Shapiro as alleged sexual harassers. Pacelle resigned in disgrace on Friday while still denying any wrongdoing, while Shapiro departed HSUS at the beginning of January, having been allowed to stay on as a vice president after complaints were made in 2016.

  • Charity Navigator Downgrades HSUS

    UPDATE: Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE), another rating service, rescinds HSUS recommendation saying, “because ACE considers strong, ethical leadership and a healthy work environment to be critical components of an effective charity, we have decided to formally rescind our 2016 Standout recommendation of The Humane Society of the United States’ Farm Animal Protection Campaign.”   The Humane Society of the United States has dropped to a 2-star rating from Charity Navigator (out of 4 stars)—including a measly 1 star for its finances. And things are even worse than they appear. One of the big concerns for discerning donors is the percentage of money a charity spends on programs vs. overhead. Even using Charity Navigator’s generous algorithm for determining program expenses (groups like HSUS will claim that some portion of a direct mail or phone solicitation also counts as “education,” not just fundraising), HSUS falls way short of best practices. Charity Navigator asserts that HSUS only spends 74% of its budget on programs, but the actual number is under 50% once you factor in fundraising costs that HSUS classifies as educational “program” spending. That means that HSUS spends about 52 cents of every dollar given to them to raise more money. Charity Navigator isn’t the only rating service that gives poor grades to HSUS. CharityWatch is another service that has repeatedly given HSUS “C”s and “D”s for its wasting of donor money. The only rating service to currently give HSUS the thumbs up is the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. However, this program lacks credibility because it requires organizations to essentially purchase the seal of approval. (HSUS also likes to tout a Worth magazine article naming it a top 10 charity “a few years ago.” But that article came out in 2010—not exactly a recent endorsement.) HSUS is obviously concerned with these poor ratings and actually has a page on their website complaining about Charity Navigator and CharityWatch. HSUS’s criticisms of Charity Navigator ring particularly hollow when you consider how HSUS described Charity Navigator in 2012 when it achieved a 4-star rating. At that time former CEO Wayne Pacelle said, “Charity Navigator is the nation’s foremost independent charity evaluator.” These ratings also don’t reflect the sexual harassment scandals that exploded last week. It’s too early to tell if the latest skeleton to jump out of HSUS’s closet will drag down their ratings even further, or earn them a “donor advisory” from Charity Navigator.

  • Pacelle Resigns as CEO of the HSUS!

    According to tweets from the Washington Post, Pacelle has resigned and he has named long-time animal rights activist Kitty Block as interim President and CEO. Stay tuned…

  • HSUS Board Retains Serial Predator CEO Wayne Pacelle Amidst Harassment Scandal

    Is there no end to corruption and moral bankruptcy at the Humane Society of the United States?

  • Did the HSUS Board Rig the Investigation into CEO’s Alleged Sexual Harassment?

    Update: The board voted (after publication of this blog) to retain Pacelle. Seven (of 31) board members resigned.