A full-page ad in this morning’s Washington Post highlights the failure of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to donate a significant portion of the public’s donations to America’s underfunded dog and cat shelters. And the sponsor of the ad, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), is pledging to shut down its popular HumaneWatch.org website if HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle donates just 50 percent of his group’s income to hands-on pet shelters in the United States. In February, HumaneWatch exposed HSUS’s practice of giving less than half of one percent of its budget to dog and cat shelters.

HumaneWatch is a CCF watchdog website devoted to analyzing HSUS’s activities. In just twelve weeks it has attracted more than a half-million unique visitors, and collected more than 42,500 Facebook friends. Messages similar to today’s Washington Post ad ran earlier this week in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Variety. CCF also plans to erect a HumaneWatch billboard next week in Times Square.

In March, CCF commissioned Opinion Research Corporation to poll Americans’ beliefs about HSUS. Seventy-one percent said they believe HSUS is “an umbrella group that represents thousands of local humane societies all across America.” (This is false. HSUS is not affiliated with a single one.) Also in this poll, fifty-nine percent of Americans falsely believed HSUS “contributes most of its money to local organizations that care for dogs and cats.”

Today David Martosko, CCF’s Director of Research, said the HumaneWatch website would “disappear tomorrow if HSUS lives up to the public’s expectations by devoting at least 50 percent of its income to the care of dogs and cats in hands-on pet shelters.”

Martosko added: “We’re not asking the impossible here. Just 50 percent. I realize HSUS has a huge payroll and gargantuan fundraising expenses. But giving just half of its income to pet shelters, instead of half of one percent, is the right thing to do. Especially when you consider all the dogs and cats in HSUS’s television infomercials.”

Today’s Washington Post ad is available for download here. It reads:

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

The Humane Society of the United States is NOT your local animal shelter.

Don’t be fooled, go to HumaneWatch.org

Keeping a watchful eye on the Humane Society of the United States