Washington—As the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) prepares to kiss and make up with convicted dogfighter Michael Vick, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is calling on the animal rights group to return the money it raised with the false promise that it would care for the dogs rescued from Vick’s former home.
Beginning on July 18 — the day after Vick’s criminal indictment — HSUS promised on its website that financial contributions would help it “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case.” The New York Times later reported that HSUS was not, in fact, caring for the animals. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group is recommending that government officials “put down” (kill) the dogs rather than adopt them out to suitable homes.
After CCF publicized this deception, HSUS quietly altered its online fundraising pitch. And despite HSUS’s stated desire to see the dogs killed, CNN reports that most of them are being successfully rehabilitated by genuine animal-rescue groups.
“Most Americans can’t stand dogfighting,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. “But they also can’t stand phony fundraising claims. If HSUS keeps the money it raised by promising it would care for Michael Vick’s dogs, the group is just as morally compromised as he is.”
The Humane Society of the United States is not affiliated with any local “humane societies.” The organization does not own or operate any hands-on dog or cat shelters in the U.S. Less than 4 percent of its budget in 2007 was passed through to legitimate pet shelters.
“HSUS knows that Americans are dog lovers, and it’s exploiting their emotions to build a war chest for anti-meat, anti-dairy, and anti-medical-research campaigns,” Martosko added. “HSUS should return every cent and apologize for misleading the public.”