Humane Watch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), released a second 50-state report, “Not Your Local Humane Society,” exposing the failure of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to share a significant portion of its multi-million-dollar budget with local animal shelters.
HSUS advertises the plight of homeless and abused dogs and cats to tug at the heart strings and wallets of America’s pet lovers. But a CCF analysis finds HSUS is a “Humane Society” in name only, sharing just $527,566 or 0.4% of its $120 million budget with animal shelters nationwide in 2010. HSUS spent $47 million on fundraising and $32 million in hedge funds.
“The Humane Society of the United States would like Americans to believe it provides significant monetary support to local hands-on shelters, but their financial records tell an inconvenient truth,” says Rick Berman, CCF’s executive director. “As local shelters struggle to keep their doors opens, HSUS is raising millions of dollars a month from unwitting donors to bankroll an animal rights agenda and fund a huge staff of lawyers and lobbyists, a bloated executive pension plan and exorbitant fundraising expenses. Meanwhile, HSUS doesn’t run a single shelter for the abandoned dogs and cats that are so plentiful in its ads.”
HSUS raised a staggering $131 million in 2010, mostly from Americans who trusted the organization to use the funds for local pet shelters. A recent poll found that over 71% of Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet-shelter umbrella group, while 59% mistakenly believe HSUS contributes most of its money to local pet-care groups.
“With over $215 million in assets, HSUS could clearly afford to live up to its undeserved reputation as a major contributor to local shelters,” Bierman says. “By continuing to drain precious resources from local shelters, HSUS is only proving it’s not a true humane society.”