HSUS Top Ten List Not So Funny

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) issued a press release last week announcing its top ten “emergency placement partners” for 2011.  Topping the list is the Guilford Co pound in NC, operated by United Animal Coalition:

“Guilford County Animal Shelter has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to come to the aid of animals in need,” said Michelle Cascio, manager of the Emergency Placement Program for The HSUS.

In 2010, Guilford Co had a 42% kill rate.  The pound has a policy dictating death for all Rottweilers, Pitbulls and Chows, regardless of health or temperament.  Apparently the HSUS standards for going “above and beyond the call of duty” are substantially lower than normal people’s.

Also making the list was the Nashville Humane Association which readers here will recall dodged and weaved and ducked and covered when we repeatedly sought answers about what happened to the 10 dogs they took of the Alabama 44.  The attorney for the group ultimately admitted they had adopted one, killed three and sent the other six to a prison program.  I don’t know what became of those six.  Nashville Humane does not disclose its kill rate.

Others on the HSUS top ten list include the Second Chance Animal Shelter in MA which charges a surrender fee of $25 – $100 per pet and sells animals for prices ranging from $50 (elderly cats) to $275 (puppies).  The kill rate at Second Chance is not disclosed on its website.  Dumb Friends League in Co has a 28% kill rate and there are other facilities on the list, such as the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, whose kill rates are unknown.

Some of the shelters recognized by HSUS on this list are failing facilities which needlessly kill healthy/treatable pets for whatever reasons they see fit.  This is why we need CAPA type laws in place in every state in this county – because we obviously can’t count on the multi-million dollar national groups like HSUS to lead the charge in protecting pets’ right to live.  It’s up to us.  We are the real humane society in the United States – small h, small sJoin us.

35 thoughts on “HSUS Top Ten List Not So Funny

  1. You know, every time when I think “ok, it can’t get worst than that” there always comes something that will top off the previous.

    1. Completely agree.

      And a ‘surrender fee’? Really? That is worse/more dumb than a re-stocking fee from Best Buy!

  2. Ugh. I guess they think that as long as no one follows up, it all looks like rainbows and sunshine. It’s all good…as long as no one asks any questions….

  3. Does HSUS actually go around to all “shelters” & spends time at them or do they just visit a few & choose from the few?

    What advantages do the “emergency placement partners” have with HSUS? Do they supply financial assistance? I’d be glad to know HSUS is helping any “shelter” rather than line their own pockets because every “shelter” needs more financial help, but just ten shelters doesn’t go far enough.

  4. And HSUS is repeatedly called upon by the media for it’s “expertise” in animal sheltering. How long are they going to get away with this?

  5. That press release also says they themselves provide care immediately after seizures, before they transfer pets to shelters, and I don’t think that’s so. Based on unaffiliated news stories & blog posts – as opposed to press releases – of large seizures, it looks to me like local ACCs & veterinarians plus Red Rover volunteers do most of the work, with maybe two-three HSUS people on-site, presumably as coordinators. Smaller cases, I don’t know. The thing with big cases is, HSUS’s screen of opacity becomes stretched & porous, allowing interviews, photos, etc. that don’t hew to the line.

    We all of us really ought to demand more information from the HSUS, from the shelter community, from everyone involved, from news media – what does happen to seized pets once the temporary shelters are struck? How many are killed, how many transferred and where, how many are adopted and how do they fare? Instead, there’s this flurry of attention and info when the bust is made, and then – pretty much – nothing. More information on the *people* involved may show up in the news if they go to court, but we’re lucky to see even so much as a follow-up on a single dog, and I’ve never seen a follow-up for cats.

    1. When they turned in a cattery in NC, oddly enough Guilford County Shelter was the receiver of the cats. HSUS was there with cameras, TV, Sheriff and AC, all before the every check the cattery to make certain the decision was correct. HSUS was involved to make a show, like they are helping save animals life when they actually are setting people up. Which I will always believe was the case with this cattery. The pictures of the animals didn’t necessarily support the charged. It was interesting no videos or picture on entry and the TV crue waiting for them to arrive at cattery. A BIG BIG SHOW to get donation and for PR. The Guilford Shelter was mad because people post negative comments about them, so they take these comments down and the director, she will attack you over the post.

    2. It’s not HSUS, but another example of a big, big show: dueling press releases on the same case, from ASPCA (who, to their credit, list everyone involved in the rescue – it’s toward the bottom), and PeTA, who appear to claim it’s all them when they’re actually not involved in the rescue at all:

      ASPCA Rescues Hundreds of Cats From Animal Sanctuary in Madison County, Fla.

      PETA: Over 100 Cats seized from Madison Co. Cat Sanctuary

      Also of note, PeTA’s release on it takes a nasty swipe at No-Kill, implying, as usual, that it inevitably leads to hoarding. The ASPCA’s does not.

      (Disclaimer: No, I’m not a fan of the ASPCA, though I am indeed pleased to see them credit all the people doing the actual work in this rescue, and am glad to see they’ve learned some discretion.)

  6. I have to wonder what HSUS charges to be placed on their list. I recently obtained the most recent 990 from my local hs. Seems under “lobbying” they donated 17K for lobbying efforts.I have a source that was present for the conversation and informed me that 17K was the “required” donation. All the while , the local hs is killing over 80% of intake.And was found to be violating the state mandatory 5 day hold law.

      1. For some reason the above link will not work but I googled lobbying and 501c3s and it was the first link that came up.

      2. I hate to ask annoying questions (you know I do, heh) but, what laws are they lobbying for that are so frikkin’ important they are willing to take $17 grand away from pet care while killing 80%?

      3. IDK, for certain . I do know he’s been active on the bear-baiting issue. You know , the one where the state is no longer issuing permits to own a bear.

  7. You’d think HSUS would have learned their lesson after the Alabama 44, but apparently not. I mean, if their communications department were competent, they could have written this blog post, or at least predicted it.

    1. The only lessons HSUS ever seems to learn all involve dollar signs, such as:

      You can fool some of the people all of the time.

      There’s a sucker born every minute.


  8. This press release is just another effort to hoodwink the media and public into believing that HSUS is a leading animal rescue organization. Terms like “emergency placement partners” also makes it sound like they are deeply involved with animal sheltering and have a very large network of local groups standing by to work with them after seizures and disasters.

    According to their tax returns, HSUS sent out over 600 press releases in 2010. HSUS is a leading press release writing organization.

  9. Guilford County Animal Shelter — this is the same shelter which REFUSES ANIMALS FROM OTHER COUNTIES — unless the H$U$ is involved. This is the same shelter which blasts through over TWO MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, yet continues to beg for money, food and supplies from the citizens of Guilford County. This is the same shelter which REFUSES TO WORK WITH RESCUES and would rather KILL an animal than turn it over to rescue. This is the same shelter which PLEADS with the citizens to adopt animals because they’re overcrowded — because they’ve taken in the results of another “raid” by their H$U$ cronies.

    This shelter is OWNED by the county but RUN by an ANIMAL RIGHTS organization called United Animal Coalition, headed by Marilyn Green. It also has Ginny Wiltsey on its board, who runs the Humane Society of the Piedmont next door — an organization which DOES NO HANDS-ON SHELTERING of animals — gee, sound familiar?


    1. I am a volunteer with the Guilford County Animal Shelter and a large monetary supporter of the shelter. I can stand here and call Robin a liar. Why, because as a large supporter I have a right to the financial records and can tell her they do not BLAST through 2 million dollars a year. I also do quarterly inspections of this shelter and did one yesterday. Also, they do work with rescues and turn large amounts of dogs over to them on a weekly basis. As I was there yesterday I saw a dog leave for rescue, in the last week and I have been a part of many basset rescues also. Many of the Stokes County dogs seized in a raid were turned over to rescue. Also, the Chows, Rotties and Pitts are turned over to rescue if they are temperament able. It is also not a shelter policy Robin, it is a County policy that these dogs are not adoptable , and as long as it is a county shelter they must operate under county policies, if you would care to pay them the money the county pays them, build them a building and maintain it so the county does not have to, so that it may be a privately run shelter, than they may maintain it according to their own rules. Let me remind you what the shelter was like before the UAC stepped in to take it. Volunteers were scarce. The euthanasia rate was 97%….YES 97%!! Dogs were killed in their kennels while their kennel mates watched and laid there for days at time. Sometimes kittens were left in the freezer to freeze to death instead of euthanized. Every county has a shelter, but citizens try to bring their pets to GCAS to surrender because they think they have a better chance at adoption, it is COUNTY policy that we can not take pets if you do not live in Guilford County. Can you imagine if we had an open door policy, we take in over 1000 animals a month including wildlife, and to clarify we adopt out over 550 of them! Thats a great success rate from 3%. Imagine if we just opened the door State wide…..I am proud of what we do, So Robin instead of spreading false lies, come spend a day with me, join one of the 300 hard working volunteers who knows what really goes on there, those of us who get down and dirty with the animals, those of us behind scenes who spend our time finding those animals a home, not sitting behind a computer saying things that aren’t true.

      1. Hmmm……Tammy Graves? How come the 60 – NOT 300 – active volunteers dont know who you are? Taxpayers and animal lovers should be VERY concerned about what goes on in this shelter. As a mantter of fact, there is a meeting tomorrow, August 17th, at 1:30pm I wish EVERYONE would attend. See how the volunteers are treated FIRST HAND and make your own decision. Look up public records on the shelter and you will see they sent 99 dogs into rescue compared to 2200 in Wake County the same year. These are PUBLIC RECORDS and you can call any rescue and find out those 99 were sick or seniors! Dont assume no one does their homework, Tammy.

  10. Thank you for this article. I will be book-marking it to be able to include the link in future replies to ignorant people who who keep insisting that the militant vegans have the best interests of animals at heart.

    We are getting the word out there, bit by bit, but only on line; the major media are just not picking up on it. I love Ellen DeGeneres but she still has an incredibly huge blind spot as far as HSUS is concerned, as does Oprah Winfrey, and their endorsements puts us 10 steps back for each step we are taking forward. Maybe (fingers crossed!) Bill Maher is finally seeing the light as he has backed off promoting PETA on his show. (Don’t know if he is still on their BOD.) The “news” media just loves all the PETA stunts with naked females so they will be unlikely to stop covering (no pun intended) them even though there is no “news” value to the coverage. We have a long, long way to go to get the truth out there and into the public consciousness.

    But thank you for this and we all must just keep on keeping on….

  11. I see no problem with surrender fees or charging more for the most desirable animals. People are paying thousands for “designer dogs” at pet stores. I do not see your argument here. If Second Chance is a private organization, then they do not have to accept owner surrenders. An option would be to refer all of those to municipal run shelters and pull from those. Most states do not have requirements for shelters to publish their rates. Perhaps this is also a place to start.

  12. They didn’t get it all wrong. Dumb Friends League in Colorado is well known for being an excellent adoption group. Sadly like many shelters they are simply stuffed and have no room to deal with the overflow despite having both a shelter and foster homes for animals. They also have very reasonable fees, they’re actually doing waived adoption fees for older cats right now to try to help cut their numbers! Denver doesn’t have a whole lot of animal shelters at all though and from my own research while searching for a vet here there are some pretty horrible ones. If I was dealing with one of those and I HAD to euthanize a pet, I’d probably do it at a shelter too.
    That aside though, glad to see someone is looking into these claims by HSUS. Even my own parents, who were smart, well educated people, supported HSUS years ago simply because they didn’t have access to the information we do in this day and age! It just further proves I’ve done right by sticking with supporting local efforts where I can see exactly where my money, time, and energy are going.

  13. Dumb Friends League of Colorado made the list with a 28% kill rate! That’s over 25 animals for every 100 they take in! That’s just messed up! I was going to volunteer with them but not now, I couldn’t work someplace where they kill animals. I sent them this link as well, letting them know they aren’t hiding from anyone anymore.

  14. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHELTERS, PLEASE. The HSUS is a joke. Most of what they do are money-making endevours for themselves and surrounded by controversy.

  15. It is very suspect and incredulous when HSUS shows up with camera crews and suprise morning visits to make sure the daily clean-up chores have not been done. Then they detain the staff in a room to make sure they can’t continue with their clean-up job and film “dirty” kennels. They also are glad to find 3 dogs out of many who are “matted” not mentioning that they are puppies of a certain breed blowing out their puppy coat that mat up every day until they are done with shedding their puppy coat. What great press they make for the HSUS. How much money flows to them with these TV episodes that are filmed portraying that they are doing such a good job. Anyone know what their leader makes per year? Any shelter that is conected with them should be suspect. There is a Philadelphia Shelter that is used that has a rediculously high kill rate. How many shelters are used by them but are not on the official list. It’s all a follow the money game.

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