Today HumaneWatch.org, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), is calling for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to spend the remaining donations it received for Hurricane Sandy relief to finish its job in the storm-ravaged area. The appeal comes on the heels of reports from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that find as of April only 57 percent of donations given to charities after Sandy-related fundraising had been distributed to those in need.
According to a document published by the New York Attorney General, after Hurricane Sandy HSUS raised over $2.2 million from well-meaning Americans but has only spent 33 percent of the money raised on Sandy relief efforts. In the documents HSUS filed, HumaneWatch.org finds the animal liberation group only budgeted about $700,000 total for Sandy relief. So it’s making a “profit,” so to speak, of about $1.5 million off of the disaster.
“One would think a storm as devastating as Hurricane Sandy, which caused $70 billion in damage, would warrant more than the paltry amount the Humane Society of the United States has actually spent,” said Will Coggin, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst. “HSUS knows full well there is still work be done in the affected area and it’s high time the group puts its money where its mouth is.”
Animal shelters such as the Monmouth County SPCA are still experiencing an overflow of animals with many struggling to care for all the animals surrendered or lost after Sandy. HSUS, which despite its name is not associated with any local pet shelters, has chosen to keep much of the money raised after Sandy when it could be doing much more to help local groups.
This isn’t the first time HSUS has come under scrutiny following a disaster. HSUS raised a reported $34 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, funds that were supposed to help reunite lost pets with their owners. But an investigation by WSB-TV in Atlanta found that less than $7 million of this money could be publicly accounted for.
“HSUS has a sordid history of raising funds under misleading pretenses,” continued Coggin. “A disaster should not be used as an opportunity to pad bank accounts or pension plans. It’s time for the so-called ‘Humane Society’ of the United States to step it up for animals in the affected area.”