We have reported how the “Humane Society” of the United States (HSUS) uses misleading advertising to make donors believe that contributions to the organization will go to local hands-on pet shelters. On the contrary, HSUS seems more interested in cows and pigs than dogs and cats. The group funnels much of its $100 million annual budget to push a radical anti-farmer agenda. In the meantime, the local pet shelters that actually take care of animals are strapped for cash – and HSUS is at least partly to blame.

Case in point is the Halifax Humane Society (HHS) in Daytona Beach, Florida. In a recent op-ed, the HHS community relations director Michelle Pari discussed the difficulty of trying to raise money in competition with groups like HSUS. Although Pari didn’t specifically cite HSUS, it’s clear that’s who she has in mind.

“One of the biggest problems HHS faces, as a local private non-profit organization, is public misperception about where donations made to large national groups actually go,” writes Pari. “It is difficult to compete with multimillion-dollar organizations that have the financial means to solicit money through television, newsprint, radio and Internet advertising worldwide.” She goes on to add that people are “shocked” to learn that not a penny of the donation they send to the “national organization” ever reaches the local animals in need.

In a speech before the Animal Agriculture Alliance this week, the editor of HumaneWatch.org pointed out that that less than one-half of 1 percent of the HSUS budget goes to pet shelters: “They have about a $100 million budget, $24 million goes into fundraising, $37 million goes to salaries, with more than 30 lawyers on staff.” In addition to funding activism, HSUS believes in taking care of its own. The HSUS pension contributions of $2.5 million are five times greater than the meager grants to pet shelters.

We strongly agree with Pari’s recommendation that if you really want to help those dogs and cats in your community, give to the local shelter directly – or else they will likely never see a penny of your good intentions.