A full-page ad from the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) appears in this morning’s USA TODAY, highlighting the failure of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to donate a significant amount of its members’ contributions to America’s underfunded dog and catshelters. The ad encourages readers to visit HumaneWatch.org, CCF’s website devoted to analyzing the activities of HSUS.

The Humane Society of the United States has become the animal rights industry’s most powerful player, avoiding significant public scrutiny for decades. CCF believes that HSUS donors will be surprised to learn that in 2008, less than one-half of one percent of HSUS’s budget consisted of grants to the hands-on “humane societies” that deal with the thankless task of sheltering unwanted pets. A national poll conducted in February by Opinion Research Corporation found that 59 percent of Americans falsely believe HSUS “contributes most of its money to local organizations that care for dogs and cats.”

“HSUS is a humane society in name only,” said David Martosko, CCF’s Director of Research and the writer behind the HumaneWatch.org blog. “The Humane Society of the United States raises tens of millions of dollars annually from Americans who believe their donations filter down to local pet shelters, directly improving the lives of dogs and cats. But instead, their donations support a huge staff of lawyers and lobbyists, bloated executive pension plans, exorbitant fundraising expenses, and PETA-style propaganda campaigns. Animal lovers should start holding the group to a higher standard.”

The ad is available for download at: http://tinyurl.com/HSUS-surprised. It reads:

SURPRISED to hear the Humane Society of the United States shares less than 1 percent of your donations with local pet shelters?

SO WERE WE.

The dog-watchers need a watchdog. Join the discussion at: HumaneWatch.org