The Humane Society of the United States’ website encourages readers to “get to know your local shelters” and to “give a hand to the groups that do so much for animals, people, and your community.” But it seems this may just be talk.
While it is likely that HSUS created this portion of its website to supplant the meager financial assistance they provide local animal shelters with a dash of public support, recent events make this page appear entirely disingenuous. HSUS now appears to be mounting a full-court press against our efforts to promote local animal shelters.
Within the last week, we have received a handful of emails from animal shelters that we promote on our website asking to be removed. That’s a pretty odd request—we ask our readership to help local animal shelters—so the groups have nothing to gain by getting delisted.
This leads us to suspect that HSUS has launched a coordinated attack on us with local shelters we’re trying to help. In addition to the fact that HSUS was referenced in some of these requests, we have another reason to suspect that they are behind the latest messages—the sentiments expressed in the emails run contrary to the opinion of the vast majority of shelter professionals. In 2011, a national survey representing 400 animal shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies revealed that “84%” of shelter professionals agree that “fundraising by HSUS and the ASPCA makes it harder for my shelter to raise money.” Additionally, “71%” agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.” Since the overwhelming majority of shelter professionals have frustrations with HSUS, we are left to suspect that HSUS is behind the latest emails.
We find it very peculiar that HSUS claims to support the work of local animal shelters, yet it seems they are going out of their way to prevent these facilities from receiving free publicity on our website. HSUS appears to be very bothered by the exposure that we provide to local animal shelters throughout the country—no doubt because HSUS knows its own donors want their donations to help local shelters directly and would stand to lose a lot of money if donors knew better. These shelters should ask for more from HSUS. They deserve it.