Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A caution about the Humane Society of the US

Farmgirl has a very timely post up about the fund-raising activities of the Humane Society of the United States. (I don't want to dignify that organization by linking to it from my blog, and the Wikipedia entry about it appears to have been written and/or edited by supporters - it doesn't give a balanced review.)

The HSUS is one of those organizations that tugs at our heartstrings with its appeals, but appears to waste much of what it receives on administration (as in, over three-quarters of donations!) and a political agenda that's often at odds with the interests of many Americans. It's anti-hunting, for a start. It's also said to be linked to a profoundly anti-firearms and liberal agenda in many places, although I've not personally encountered that.

Suffice it to say that this is one organization that won't be receiving my money. I endorse Farmgirl's recommendation of the ASPCA as an alternative, and also her comments about how to check up on any animal 'rescue' operation in your area. There are a lot of people exploiting the emotional appeal of distressed animals to make a good living - at the animals' (and our) expense.



Loren said...

There is, in case neither of you knew, a difference between the national organization, and the local ones that generally actually run shelters and such. I can't promise that your local will be better than the national, but it's a distinction to look for. Donating to and patronizing the local organizations should be taken differently.

I volunteered at one for a while, and during training they made clear that while they shared the same name, the management was very different.

erik said...

Maybe it's because of the country i live in, but I always take a very sceptical view to organisations with names tha contains words like "Humane", "Powerty", "Solidarity", "Democratic/Democracy", "People", "Friendship". All of those tend to be codewords for a political leftwing agenda. (As a teacher of mine once said; "If it really was a Peoples Democratic Republic, they wouldn't have to put it in their name")

I have to disagree with Loren. The only way to not help the national organisation is to stop supporting the local organisation, no matter how good they are. If you want to support them, tell them to quit being poster boys for the national organisation and start on their own first.
The national organisation gets it's good name from the work the local organisations do, if you support those you are contributing to the national fundraising campaign.

Farmgirl said...


If they're a shelter getting funding from the Humane Society of the United States then the management is the same. The local people may care more about the animals than the political agenda, granted, but they are still part of the national organization.

That being said, if you read my post you'll see that I included some points to check out on local shelters. If a shelter associated with the HSUS was willing to accept veterinary supplies in lieu of cash, I would say fine, donate the vet supplies, but considering the organization's money management, I would not be comfortable giving cash.

It's not a reflection on the local shelter, rather that I know many organizations of this type require all cash donations to be forwarded to the state or national offices, from whence they dole out the money as they see fit.

Oakenheart said...


HSUS is NOT your local animal shelter. They are fraudsters, capitalizing on the good work of the real Humane Society. They should be prosecuted for fraud.

skreidle said...

Oakenheart posted the link I was going to pull up.

Humane Societies in general, and SPCAs? Awesome. The HSUS? Right there with PETA--advocating animal rights rather than animal welfare, not supporting shelters, opposing all hunting and animal farming regardless of the actual care given to the animals.

smartdogs said...

HSUS is an anti-farm, anti-hunting, anti-pet lobbyist group. Less than 3% of their funds go directly to helping animals.

For some excellent information exposing who and what they really are check out Humane watch at: