Want to Help Animals in Nepal? Here’s What (Not) to Do.

Nepal_CNNThe huge earthquake in Nepal has caused a lot of damage and suffering. Thousands of people are hurt and homeless. If you want to help the Nepalese, Charity Navigator has a list of screened charities that you can give to.

A lot of people also want to help the animals in Nepal, whether personal pets, street dogs, or others. That’s fine, too. But be wary of the profiteering Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its international arm, Humane Society International, which are allegedly en route to help out.

In our report “Looting in the Aftermath,” released last fall, we detail several incidents in which HSUS profiteered off of high-profile events. After Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York, HSUS raised over $2 million—yet according to documents it filed with the NY attorney general, HSUS only spent one-third of that money on Sandy relief. HSUS also raised money after the 2010 Haiti earthquake because “Haiti’s animal survivors desperately need care”—despite admitting elsewhere that “no animal issues are here that are related to the event of the earthquake.” (The aforementioned Charity Navigator has issued a “Donor Advisory” against HSUS, by the way.)

You may see slick ads with heart-wrenching pictures from Humane Society International. But if you give to them, your money may not go to help out in Nepal at all.

So who can you give to? Consider giving to local groups. Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Animal Nepal are two such groups. We can’t vouch for them ourselves, but at least your money will be in the country. But you also may want to wait for a few days while a chaotic situation gets more in order. Then there will be a better idea of how best to help.

Posted on 04/28/2015 at 2:50 pm by Humane Watch Team.

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  • MisterCadet

    The greed of these hustlers knows no boundaries. Humane Society “International” is just another (“help us help them”) money-making scheme created two decades ago for the purpose of diverting money overseas and enriching a couple of global direct mail behemoths. One of them, Quadriga Art, paid a $25 million fraud settlement to the New York Attorney General last year.

    After receiving another fundraising letter from HSI, I noticed that the return envelope for donations actually goes to “Humane Society International-US” in . Another one was addressed to HSI-US via a P.O.Box in Phoenix, Arizona. In other words, HSUS’s DC headquarters controls donations intended for victims of earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, and Nepal; victims of the 2014 tsunami; and global animal stories covered by major media, most recently the Sochi Olympics stray dog problem. As always, HSUS and HSI are the first group/s to send out press releases and videos begging for money while claiming credit for the work of far more experienced and qualified groups and individual rescuers on the ground. HSUS did nothing meaningful to help the Sochi dogs, but their U.S. based HSI Companion Animal hack was all over the media promoting their alleged international work on behalf of stray dogs. .

    If HSI had a meaningful presence and track record abroad, it would not have to transport HSUS personnel, volunteers (and videographers) to disaster sites. A little research on HSI shows that most HSI employees – and almost all full-time HSI staff members – are based in America. Some activists are involved in lobbying against battery cages in India, animal testing in Asia, and puppy mills in Canada and Puerto Rico – the same issues as here. Most of the international staff members are part time lobbyists. That is fine, but the HSI and overlapping HSUS fundraising pitches, like the TV ads, are filled with homeless, starving dogs and cats living in misery around the world. HSI is saving millions of them, according to HSI, HSUS and Donor Services Group, which tele-fundraises on behalf of HSI’s street dog rescue. DSG agents strongly urge people to donate by credit card because the need is so great and the money needs to be put to work IMMEDIATELY. In reality, the “HSI veterinary teams” saving disaster victims and sterilizing street dogs are mostly contracted workers, providing temporary services on behalf of HSUS/HSI. The HSI volunteers obviously aren’t paid and HSUS even convinced an airline to fly them to Korea for free recently for a big-time photo op with Korean dog farm victims. A little money goes a long way in most countries and HSUS pockets the rest. Meanwhile, the few medical professionals, animal scientists and experts working full time for HSI can barely make a dent in these cases.

    Reputable animal charities like Animals Asia, International Alliance for Korean Animals, Soi Dog Foundation, and countless smaller ones need and deserve our support. The Nepal-based groups mentioned above definitely do. HSUS/HSI may or may not make grants to these groups, but the amounts are never significant, especially in relation to it’s financial resources. Animals Asia, on the other hand, is an ideal middle-man, sharing resources with tiny shelters in Asia, some without websites and others with websites in other languages. As Katrina veterans know, HSUS’s track record in disasters is itself a disaster. Millions of dollars in profits from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are still sitting in HSUS bank accounts. HSUS knows that animal lovers respond to emergency relief fundraising campaigns to help animals NOW – not for the “Disaster Relief Fund as a whole” and definitely not for “future disasters.” How many major disasters have occurred since Sandy anyway? How many are predicted for 2015? Very few. Now is the time for HSUS to shut up and cough up some of that dough. Quietly. No press releases and no exploiting for future fundraising purposes. No Nepal fundraising.

    HSUS’s only big overseas project is the $52 million stashed in Caribbean hedge funds.

    Even Bill and Hillary Clinton are disgusted by this chicanery.