One great challenge faced by pet lovers, livestock farmers, hunters, medical researchers, and others is communicating with the public that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), despite the words “humane society” in its name, isn’t affiliated with any local humane societies. Unfortunately, most Americans are under the illusion that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group that gives “most of its money” to local pet care centers. The truth, though, is that HSUS is an animal rights group bent on radically reordering society. Meanwhile, HSUS uses this public confusion to build credibility and advance its liberate-the-chickens agenda.

We’re releasing a new report today called “Not Your Local Humane Society.” It documents just how little HSUS shares with hands-on dog-and-cat shelters in all 50 states. And this isn’t just a one-year slump—it’s a trend. We went through HSUS’s tax filings for 2006, 2007, and 2008, (HSUS hasn’t filed its 2009 tax return yet.) In those three tax years, HSUS spent nearly $280 million on salaries, lobbying, advertising, fundraising, and other programs. Its grants to hands-on pet shelters, though, totaled less than $7 million—barely a sliver of the money it had at its disposal.

HSUS did spend $2.4 million on pet shelters in Louisiana between 2006 and 2008, mostly consisting of funds for constructing new facilities following Hurricane Katrina. (The Bayou State’s Attorney General mysteriously closed his wide-ranging investigation of HSUS’s post-Katrina fundraising after the group pledged a grant to build a new shelter at a state prison.)

HSUS could easily afford to follow this funding model across America, making seven-figure grants to build state-of-the-art pet shelters in every state. If it did so, those expenditures would amount to roughly half of its an­nual budget. That would be a noble goal, especially considering that half of all pets that enter shelters are euthanized every year—largely due to a lack of funding.

In fact, our very popular HumaneWatch project issued a “50 percent” challenge to HSUS two weeks ago, calling on HSUS to pledge that it will share half its income with pet shelters in the future. If HSUS agrees, HumaneWatch will vanish.

So far, though, we have yet to hear back. And the clock is ticking, both for millions of animals and for local communities (like this one in North Carolina) that desperately need help saving the dogs and cats featured in HSUS’s own television commercials.