ABC News in Atlanta is taking a cue from us and following the money donated to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). And the results aren’t pretty. The animal rights industry leader with the misleading name gives less than 4 cents of every dollar of its budget to support local animal shelters. The rest of the money, as WSB-TV Channel 2 News confirmed? It funds the group’s activist projects and lobbying for vegetarian-minded legislation.
Reporter Amanda Rosseter spoke with staff members from Atlanta-area animal shelters. She discovered that while HSUS talks a big game about stopping puppy mills, the heavy lifting required to care for rescued puppies falls on the shoulders of local humane societies – most of whom see nary a cent from HSUS to support their work.
Rosseter also attended a meeting of the local HSUS chapter to see for herself what was discussed. The agenda was just as we’d expect:
The two hour discussion was about activist plans and lobbying. The Georgia director for the HSUS agrees that’s mostly what she does.
“I think that in all of our literature, it is very explicit as to what our campaigns are and what we are doing,” said Cheryl McAuliffe, Georgia Director for HSUS. “We help where we can and focus on our programs, which are national and international.”
McAuliffe said there are just too many local shelters to help.
“I always tell people, contribute to your local shelter first,” said McAuliffe.
When asked how much her budget is for the state of Georgia, McAuliffe said she didn’t have a budget and neither did other states. McAuliffe said all money is controlled from headquarters in Washington, D.C.
(Click here to watch the whole TV segment.)
McAuliffe says donors should give directly to their local shelters first – and we totally agree. In fact, our own polling shows that many donors who give money to a national group with “Humane Society” in its name think their gifts are directly helping rescued pets. But with HSUS, that isn’t the case.
HSUS has a lengthy track record of raising money for one cause and spending it on unrelated programs. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, HSUS used the high-profile disaster to raise a reported $34 million to reunite lost pets with their owners. Yet WSB-TV reported last night that less than $7 million of that money was actually spent on Katrina-related activities.
The sad truth for needy pets is that HSUS is far more interested in using its bloated budget to go after meat and dairy producers; ban the use of animals in biomedical research labs; blast pet breeding, zoos, and circus acts that involve animals; and denigrate hunters as bloodthirsty lunatics. Every year HSUS spends more than $20 million on salaries and $2 million on travel expenses, just to keep its agenda fed.
Want to learn more about the deceptive HSUS? Contact us directly or visit HumaneWatch.org.