I am writing to correct some erroneous information in a recent letter by Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States ("Rush hour for animals," Tuesday).
Mr. Pacelle claims that HSUS only works "to curb the most inhumane abuses" of hunting. In fact, Mr. Pacelle has advocated going much further, telling the Associated Press, "If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would."
Mr. Pacelle also writes that HSUS has been the "most important advocate for local humane societies." What he does not mention is that HSUS isn't affiliated with a single local humane society anywhere in the United States. In 2008, less than one half of 1 percent of its $99 million budget consisted of grants toward hands-on dog and cat animal shelters – what most people think of as "humane societies."
While HSUS could fund animal shelters in all 50 states, its money instead focuses more on supporting an aggressive animal rights mission that looks identical to the agenda of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). HSUS supports a bloated staff of lawyers, spends tens of millions of dollars on fundraising, and runs massive lobbying campaigns. (It takes HSUS four full pages in its 2008 tax filing to describe its lobbying activities.)
Mr. Pacelle's letter shows how many Americans – Rush Limbaugh among them – mistake HSUS for a real national humane society. In truth, it's just PETA with a nicer wristwatch.
Director of Research
Center for Consumer Freedom