HSUS Spends $20 Million on Local Shelters?

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS, writes in to the Coloradoan:

We provide direct care to more animals than any other animal welfare group in the nation, spending more than $20 million annually supporting local animal shelters, running our own hands-on animal-care programs and providing other direct-care services.

I’m not sure how Wayne Pacelle’s math adds up to $20 million dollars exactly.  When I look at HSUS’ financial documents, it seems like Humane Watch has got the math right:  HSUS spends less than half a million bucks on local shelters each year.  Mr. Pacelle may be counting on the “running our own hands-on animal-care programs and providing other direct-care services” part of the equation to take up the slack for the missing $19.5 million, but to me, that’s terribly misleading.

42 thoughts on “HSUS Spends $20 Million on Local Shelters?

  1. I know, right?
    Logic dictates that if I spend $14 on a sweater, $5.50 on a skirt and 50 cents on a pack of gum every year – I do not turn around and say, “I spend $20 a year on gum, sweaters and other stuff”. That makes no sense. I spent my $20 on clothes – the gum was such a small portion of that figure, it’s almost meaningless to even mention it.

  2. To be fair, they DO run operations like the Black Beauty Ranch, which Pacelle is undoubtedly including… it’s just that they don’t care for companion animals like dogs and cats. It is an animal-care, direct-care program… just not of shelter animals.

    I’m not sure if Pacelle knows this or if he’s been talking out of both sides of his mouth for so long that he no longer understands the distiction. At best it’s extremely misleading.

    1. When HSUS acquired The Fund for Animals and its Black Beauty Ranch, the sanctuary had a $20 million endowment, so that was a whopping asset to HSUS. Whatever HSUS says it spends, its sitting on possibly 10 x that amount with money in the bank. The bulk of what they realized from Hurricane Katrina — $30 million — is unspent.

      If HSUS’s influence at shelters was to emphasize No Killl strategies, no one would complain, but they undermine those efforts, which gives any of Pacelle’s claims a deeply hollow ring.

  3. Even the operations they do run aren’t exactly what they claim. Take a look at the Duchess Horse Sanctuary in Douglas County, Oregon, which the HSUS holds up as a “model” of equine sanctuary. Mud up to their knees, feces, dead trees laying all over… the HSUS has illegally confiscated many people’s horses for being kept under far better conditions.
    And their much-touted “rescue” operations? Look up people like Denisa Malott, or that guy in Hawaii, or the hunting dogs in South Dakota (dogs now returned by the court with apologies but no restitution). Denisa’s horses were confiscated on trumped up charges (all felony counts now dropped in hopes that she’ll plea to a single misdemeanor charge, which she rightfully refuses to do) and then the HSUS abandoned them without bothering to make provisions for routine feed and care. That’s right, the HSUS manufactured a completely bogus “cruelty” case, soaked up the publicity, and then abandoned the horses without food.

    Wayne’s a creep, and his organization is the biggest scam in animal activism history. I don’t much like PETA either, but at least they’re honest about who and what they are.

  4. I’m not at all sure that decrying the killing of animals while you operate a shelter with one of the highest kill rates in the US is exactly being honest about who and what you are. :)

  5. Haha, well, you’re absolutely right there. I just think that most average people aren’t fooled by the bullshit rhetoric PETA spews. Most people seem to understand that they’re hypocrite “vegan” activists with little real-world application, and I think that most people who donate to PETA know what ideals they’re helping to fund (celebrities aside, who mostly do it for the publicity). On the other hand, a huge portion of society donates regularly to the HSUS because they believe their money is going to fund local animal shelters or to help actual animals in some way. Most people don’t know that their money sent to the HSUS mostly goes to pay salaries, pension funds, and political lobbying efforts.

    I really detest both groups.

    1. @Sam: What does “hypocrite “vegan” activists with little real-world application” mean exactly? It seems to me that an ethical abstention from exploiting nonhuman animals can be revolutionary, and this necessarily begins with individuals choosing to abstain. In other words, while an individual animal may not be rescued by my veganism necessarily, the paradigm that unjustly relegates that individual animal to the status of property or “thing” (i.e., speciesism) can be chipped away at by individual after individual and so on becoming a vegan activist.

      1. What it means is that your so called “ethical abstention from exploiting nonhuman animals” is absolute and utter bullshit. It’s a feelgood platform that speaks exclusively to people who have little or no actual concept of how food is produced in the real world… people who can pretend that their organic veggies did not cost any animals their lives. I often wonder, where do you people think food comes from? How do you think your food is grown, protected, fertilized…?

        All your so called “vegan” food comes at the cost of hundreds of millions of murdered innocent wild animals killed during the cultivation, production, harvesting, storage, and protection of all that wasteful plant food. All that so called “vegan” food in pretty packages at the grocery store is produced with earth-killing, petroleum-fed machinery, and does absolutely nothing whatsoever to “save” animals… particularly when we note that all your so called “vegan” food is fertilized almost exclusively through either the animal waste byproducts of factory farming or through… petroleum based fertilizers. Food that comes from ethically grass-pastured meat and dairy animals does not contribute to either factory farming, murdering innocent wildlife in atrocious numbers, or the billions of gallons of oil now spilling into the Gulf of Mexico… however, your “vegan” grains and veggies do. Let’s not even begin to get into synthetic textiles.

        I am as close as it gets to an extremist against factory farming, I deplore the practices seen in feedlots and other industrial animal farming and seek to live a life with as little impact on non-human life as is possible in this world. I see all non-human lives as sacrosanct; I take full responsibility for every life lost to fill my family’s bellies, and I do not dismiss the wasted lives of wild animals as “irrelevant” because they “just happened” to get in the way of the food I eat. I may take the life of a cow to feed my family for a year, but we cannot even begin to count the number of animal lives lost in putting an equal calorie (and vitamin) count worth of industrial vegan food on your table.

        You, my friend, are far more entrenched in the “unjust paradigm” of “specisim” than I as an ethical omnivore will ever be. We are omnivorous primates as designed by nature. No amount of wishing and hand-waving will dismiss that reality. You cannot cheat your way around nature. The laughable part about veganism is how hard you people try to do so… and in so doing, are promoting a grossly unsustainable and horrifically murderous philosophy on behalf of a largely meaningless theoretical ideology. I’m sure animals appreciate your theoretical struggle against the “unjust paradigm”, but not so sure they’re excited about the real world effects. We could ask a few oily pelicans and dead sea turtles though, and see what they think.

      2. @Sam: Your argument is a straw man. Nobody claims that “so called vegan food” DOES NOT cost animals their lives. You just made that up and argued against it. You won, well done!

        Now to the ACTUAL argument. A vegan diet causes LESS harm and death than the alternatives because nonhuman animals are neither directly killed for the purpose of exploitation nor is plant matter fed to them so that we can exploit them later. So any harm and death that occurs in the process of getting vegan food is added onto the harm and death that occurs to the animals directly to get non-vegan food.

        Now to “nature”: well, we are also violent and prejudiced as designed by “nature” and “No amount of wishing and hand-waving will dismiss that reality. You cannot cheat your way around nature”. But we STILL don’t think rape and racism is ethically/morally acceptable. So, as to your appeal to “nature”, what you have there is a logical fallacy and you need to try another way to justify exploiting animals.

      3. Nope, try again.
        Not a strawman when your entire philosophy is predicated on the precept of doing less harm. That is the entire crux of the argument you put forth, as we see in your next paragraph.

        “A vegan diet causes LESS harm and death than the alternatives because nonhuman animals are neither directly killed for the purpose of exploitation nor is plant matter fed to them so that we can exploit them later. So any harm and death that occurs in the process of getting vegan food is added onto the harm and death that occurs to the animals directly to get non-vegan food. ”

        Bullshit put forth by someone who has no concept of where his food comes from… or does, but happily excuses the wasteful murder of millions of wild animals as “indirect” so that you can shift the blame for your food onto “non vegans”. Bullshit, and laughable bullshit at that. I seriously cannot even believe that you’d try to argue with a straight face that the harm caused by your wastefully inefficient food choices should be a guilt carried by omnivores who do not eat factory farmed meat or dairy products. That’s vegans for you, shift the blame, deny reality, and construct a world of theoretical bullshit to comfort yourself with.

        Many many times moreover animals are killed “indirectly” to fill your belly than are killed either directly or indirectly to fill mine. Ethically grass pastured animals are not fed “plant matter” raised by industrial means and thus no bunnies are killed to fill the belly of the cow that fills my family’s belly. No rats are killed to protect soy and corn stores on my behalf, because ethically raised ruminants do not eat grain foods. Nope, in fact, bunnies and deer and rats and snakes are welcome in my farmers’ cattle pastures. Not so for the bunnies and deer murdered to protect your “vegan” veggie fields, the rats and mice murdered to protect your industrial grains. Not so for the feedlot cows exploited to feed your “vegan” organic broccoli.

        “Now to “nature”: well, we are also violent and prejudiced as designed by “nature” and “No amount of wishing and hand-waving will dismiss that reality. You cannot cheat your way around nature”. But we STILL don’t think rape and racism is ethically/morally acceptable. So, as to your appeal to “nature”, what you have there is a logical fallacy and you need to try another way to justify exploiting animals.”

        Bullshit. We are community-oriented primates which have evolved with cooperative natures. This is precisely why we are more successful than, say, chimpanzees. The laws and standards we have which govern civil behavior within our own species are designed to reinforce that evolutionary means to keep society running smoothly. This is precisely in line with “nature”.

        We cannot subsume our biological status as omnivores. This is not a logical fallacy, it’s biology. Everything you do to try to get around that truth results in far more wasteful and wanton killing. So much for your theoretical bullshit.

  6. I think Sam means that PETA states regularly that they do not think animals should be used for any purpose including companionship. They spend their money and time on changing the world to their liking and don’t hide what they want. Those who agree can support them confidently because it’s clear what they want to do.

    1. @Didi: I’m still not clear about the “hypocrite “vegan” activist” part though. And I might add that PETA merely logically extends our basic moral principles about the wrongness of causing harm and death and the ethical/moral non-issue that is biological distinctions (like race or species) TO nonhuman animals. And therefore, it isn’t so much “changing the world to their liking” as it is being ethically/morally consistent.

      1. No, it’s not ethically or morally consistent in the slightest. There is no logical explanation for how and why killing many… many times moreover animals is “better” because you can pretend like you “didn’t mean it”. Because you didn’t “intend” to murder all those bunnies and rats and sea turtles, and of course to the hypocrites at PETA, “intention” matters more than real-world harm.

        It’s bullshit and hypocritical to an absolutely laughable degree.

      2. @Alex – can you explain exactly why your basic moral principles don’t seem to apply to animals who enter PETA’s SHELTER? ‘Cuz it seems perfectly okay with PETA to kill them in the deadliest shelter in the country, where few escape alive. Why is the killing of a cow tragic but the killing of a dog is so noble that PETA is happy to do it themselves? If there’s a basic moral principle of “the wrongness of causing harm and death”, well then – hypocrisy, you haz it. PETA is in no way ethically or morally consistent with what they preach.

        Stop killing animals while you publicly decry the killing of animals. It’s a clear and obvious violation of your basic stated morals and principles. Then maybe someone with half a brain will listen to you.

      3. @James: Because PETA is taking a consequentalist perspective (i.e. $ and resources spent on a shelter can have greater net benefits elsewhere). Now, I do not agree with their reasoning. However, it follows, logically, and DOES NOT mean that PETA is hypocritical. What you have done is make-up their argument for them and then found some inconsistencies. But that is not fair.

        @Sam: You have no evidence that a vegan diet kills MORE animals than the alternative.

      4. I think Sam may be referring to the fact that many PETA members object to others killing animals, yet kill animals themselves after taking them from their owners under false pretenses.

        Not exactly ethically/morally consistent. Though I’m not sure why every blog post about HSUS ends up discussing PETA…

      5. PETA performing shelter killings is like the NAACP hosting a lynching.

    2. Thanks, that’s exactly what I was trying to say.

      I detest the HSUS to a far greater degree than I detest PETA, because the HSUS lies to the general public about who they are and what they’re after. Although, that’s sort of like saying I detest both rapists and pedophiles. I think both groups are disgusting, it’s just that the HSUS is better at hiding it.

  7. Lets get real here, HSUS is trying to make it so that no one owns animals….by doing this they would rather kill them…with the money the generate with their lies. Do not donate to these liars! PETA and HSUS kill animals, plain and simple. Poison, euthanize, “set free” from their captors. You don’t control animal abuse by killing innocent animals.

    1. @PetLover: If you are not vegan, you “kill animals” too. You merely arbitrarily and irrationally pick-and-choose which animals you want to kill and which animals you “love”. And, I might add, those cows, pigs and chickens are JUST AS innocent as dogs killed by PETA.

  8. Thanks to the internet people are beginning to realize what HSUS is. They gave a “grant” to a humane shelter in Iowa and part of the stipulations included propaganda to local school children on the goodness of a meatless life.

    1. @Jan: Is there no “goodness” to a “meatless life”? Is that why you call it propaganda? Or is information now called “propaganda” and if that is true then doesn’t the counter-claim necessarily hold: any and all food advertisements and the like are mere “propaganda”?

      1. It’s propaganda if most of the claims made about vegetarianism have very little basis in fact. I would be really pissed if my children came home from school with a bunch of propaganda leaflets handed out by a organization with such an agenda.

      2. @Jennifer: You seem to be making two different claims. First, the information “has no basis in fact”. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), veganism is healthy at all stages of the life-cycle and helps reduce the threat of several diseases. So, there are benefits to a vegan diet and therefore THIS information is not “propaganda”.

        Your second claim is something about “an agenda”. What do you mean?

      3. @Alex–claims of veganism being inherently healthier than a responsible omnivorous diet are unsubstantiated. Exactly what I said. And you know EXACTLY what I mean by “agenda”. Don’t be specious.

      4. @Jennifer: Where was it stated that veganism is “inherently healthier” than the alternative? The point is that veganism is a REAL choice, according to the ADA, not that it is “inherently healthier”. Most people reject the reality of that choice, thus PETA and HSUS must respond.

        Is the “agenda” to ADD additional relevant information into the public discourse or something else?

  9. A couple of months back, some folks in my circles were sending around the link to a youtube video about Katrina and the HSUS response. A troll sent an email to our local HSUS rep who then sent out an email blast defending her employer. I wonder to this day if it was something she was given to use in the event of criticism or if she wrote it herself. Of course, it made no mention of the investigation launched by the Louisiana Attorney General into the funds collected by HSUS following the disaster. I have no use for PETA, the HSUS or the ASPCA (listed in order or disdain) and await the day when John and Jane Q. Public “get” what these groups really do with all those millions.

  10. @Alex Melonas – You only comment on this blog in order to promote veganism and bash anyone who isn’t a vegan. That’s what YOUR OWN blog is for. That is NOT what this blog is for. I keep comments open for the purpose of discussion related to the posts. If you continue with your efforts to hijack the comments for your own purpose, I’m going to have to ban your IP which I honestly would hate to have to do. I’ve never banned anyone. Please consider this a fair, friendly, and one-time only warning.

    1. @YesBiscuit: How do you justify allowing comments that lambast PETA and HSUS for offering “hypocritical “vegan” activism” and so on OR try to defend dairy consumption AGAINST vegan challenges AND THEN say that those who disagree (i.e. the vegans) cannot respond? On the face of it, you seem to have a contradiction.

      1. I’m not saying vegans can’t respond. I’m saying YOU, who only visits this blog to create arguments about veganism, can’t respond. This is not a vegan or non-vegan blog. It’s primarily a pet blog. If the subject of veganism comes up, fine. But I am not going to be bullied by you or anyone else here.
        For the record, if anyone came here only to promote their eat-10-hamburgers-a-day agenda, I’d give them the same warning and then follow through with a ban if they continued. It’s not that you’re talking about veganism, it’s that you’re being a troll.

  11. cyborgsuzy, Sam –

    No worries. I figure that’s going to happen as people respond to comments within the various nests.

    Sooooo, does anyone think the Wayne Pacelle statement about the $20 mil is misleading? :-P

    1. Oh yeah, purposefully dishonest to a ridiculous degree. All it takes is a peek into their own legally filed tax returns.

      I loved your analogy about the pack of gum, it’s completely apt. That Wayne thinks anyone is going to take him seriously with public accounting practices like “we spent a documented half million… plus another nineteen and a half on other stuff which we can’t actually account for, just trust us on this one” is hilarious. It’s even funnier when you take a peek at the accounting for where their one-half of one percent in hands-on money is actually spent… not at various local humane societies, but almost exclusively at shelters and projects run by former HSUS staffers. Their so called animal sanctuaries… well, I’ve already commented on that.

      Their donation practices remind me a whole lot of Wal-Mart, which counts the bulk of their charitable donations to education not in giving to local schools, but to the Sam Walton College of Business. Even in laundering their donors’ money, it’s always done for profit, nepotism, or publicity that directly benefits them in the end.

      Like someone else said above, if they’d spread some of their donor money around supporting the no-kill shelter movement and helping to fund community education on responsible pet ownership and dog training (etc), I’d feel a whole lot better about them. It’s just unfortunate that what they’re after isn’t about true animal welfare and helping animals live better lives so much as eliminating the human/animal connection.

      I also want to applaud someone for bringing up the ASPCA in all this, too. They too accept enormous sums of money in the name of saving puppies and kitties and yet run some of the highest kill-rate shelters in the country. See also: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=3187

      1. The ASPCA only operates one shelter that I know of (in NYC) and it’s very, very low kill – I believe it actually meets No Kill criteria. They do that by being very selective in which animals make it into that shelter. I don’t like them either – but the statement about them running multiple high-kills isn’t true AFAIK. Their numbers are available on their website, which is admirable.

      2. You’re right, I’m sorry, I misspoke. I should have said “supported” rather than “runs”, which they don’t. This article talks about the NYC shelter dogs starving due to lack of food right down the street from the ASPCA.

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