The Deceptive Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States gives only 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters. Surprised? You might be, if you’ve seen HSUS’s TV ads—you know, the ones full of needy dogs and cats. You, like most Americans, might think HSUS gives most of the money it raises to pet shelters. HSUS doesn’t. You, like most Americans, might think that HSUS is an umbrella group for humane societies. It isn’t. You might think that HSUS at least runs one pet shelter. It doesn’t.
Even most HSUS donors are confused.
The good news: Public support for HSUS is down.
Here are the nuggets—lowlights, really—from HSUS tax return:
- HSUS spent less than 1 percent of its budget on grants to pet shelters.
- Meanwhile, HSUS had fundraising-related expenses of $48.1 million, or a whopping 38 percent of its total budget. If that doesn’t tell you the real priorities of HSUS, nothing will.
- HSUS paid $7.7 million to Quadriga Art, a fundraising consultant recently exposed by CNN that is reportedly under investigation in New York and California. Between 2009 and 2011, HSUS paid Quadriga about $25 million.
- HSUS also reported paying about $333,000 to Infocision Management, whose questionable practices were exposed by Bloomberg this fall.
- HSUS added another $2.4 million to its pension plan, bringing the total to about $17 million since Wayne Pacelle took over as CEO in 2004.
- Speaking of Pacelle, he pulled in just under $300,000 in compensation. That brings his total haul since joining HSUS to about $3 million.
- In all, HSUS had 24 people who received more than $100,000 in compensation.
- HSUS’s “All Animals” magazine had a circulation of about 530,000. That’s a good estimate of HSUS’s true membership size, since the magazine is included with a $25 membership. (HSUS likes to claim it has a “constituency” of 11 million, which inflates its influence greatly.)
- In short, HSUS as usual had plenty of money to spare for overhead. But its giving to pet shelters—which desperately need resources in this economy—was once again scant.
Same story, different day. Will HSUS ever reform?