Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Where do all those millions of dollars of charitable donations to the Humane Society of the United States go? If you think H$U$ uses those monies to help improve the lives of animals, think again!


Seven Things You Didn’t Know About the Humane Society of the United States:

  1. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a “humane society” in name only, since it doesn’t operate a single pet shelter or pet adoption facility anywhere in the United States. During 2007, HSUS contributed only 3.64 percent of its budget to organizations that operate hands-on dog and cat shelters. In reality, HSUS is a wealthy animal-rights lobbying organization (the largest and richest on earth) that agitates for the same goals as PETA and other radical groups.
  2. Beginning on the day of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s 2007 dogfighting indictment, HSUS raised money online with the false promise that it would “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case.” The New York Times later reported that HSUS wasn’t caring for Vick’s dogs at all. And HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group recommended that government officials “put down” (that is, kill) the dogs rather than adopt them out to suitable homes. HSUS later quietly altered its Internet fundraising pitch.
  3. HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California veal processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.” That same year, Goodwin was arrested at a UC Davis protest celebrating the 10-year anniversary of an ALF arson at the university that caused $5 million in damage. And in 1998, Goodwin described himself publicly as a “former member of ALF.”
  4. According to a 2008 Los Angeles Times investigation, less than 12 percent of money raised for HSUS by California telemarketers actually ends up in HSUS’s bank account. The rest is kept by professional fundraisers. And if you exclude two campaigns run for HSUS by the “Build-a-Bear Workshop” retail chain, which consisted of the sale of surplus stuffed animals (not really “fundraising”), HSUS’s yield number shrinks to just 3 percent. Sadly, this appears typical. In 2004, HSUS ran a telemarketing campaign in Connecticut with fundraisers who promised to return a minimum of zero percent of the proceeds. The campaign raised over $1.4 million. Not only did absolutely none of that money go to HSUS, but the group paid $175,000 for the telemarketing work.
  5. Research shows that HSUS’s heavily promoted U.S. “boycott” of Canadian seafood — announced in 2005 as a protest against Canada’s annual seal hunt–is a phony exercise in media manipulation. A 2006 investigation found that 78 percent of the restaurants and seafood distributors described by HSUS as “boycotters” weren’t participating at all. Nearly two-thirds of them told surveyors they were completely unaware HSUS was using their names in connection with an international boycott campaign. Canada’s federal government is on record about this deception, saying: “Some animal rights groups have been misleading the public for years … it’s no surprise at all that the richest of them would mislead the public with a phony seafood boycott.”
  6. HSUS raised a reported $34 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, supposedly to help reunite lost pets with their owners. But comparatively little of that money was spent for its intended purpose. Louisiana’s Attorney General shuttered his 18-month-long investigation into where most of these millions went, shortly after HSUS announced its plan to contribute $600,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter on the grounds of a state prison. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million.
  7. After gathering undercover video footage of improper animal handling at a Chino, CA slaughterhouse during November of 2007, HSUS sat on its video evidence for three months, even refusing to share it with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. HSUS’s Dr. Michael Greger testified before Congress that the San Bernardino County (CA) District Attorney’s office asked the group “to hold on to the information while they completed their investigation.” But the District Attorney’s office quickly denied that account, even declaring that HSUS refused to make its undercover spy available to investigators if the USDA were present at those meetings. Ultimately, HSUS chose to release its video footage at a more politically opportune time, as it prepared to launch a livestock-related ballot campaign in California. Meanwhile, meat from the slaughterhouse continued to flow into the U.S. food supply for months.

Source: The Center for Consumer Freedom.

Comments

  1. #1 Dan S.
    March 2, 2010

    Response to CCF’s “7 Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS”: http://www.hsus.org/response_to_ccfs_7_things.html

    (source: the HSUS, obviously)

    I find this extremely interesting:

    “Rick Berman, executive director of CCF, admitted as much. He wrote after The HSUS successfully pushed for the passage of Proposition 2, a landmark ballot initiative to halt the confinement of animals on factory farms:

    With the passage of California’s Proposition 2, more people have come to realize the evolving threat of the power, influence, and growing wealth of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Ballot initiatives and legislation similar to Prop. 2 will soon be introduced in more states. HSUS’s massive budget, unwarranted positive public reputation, and deep-pocketed Hollywood friends will only become a greater threat to industry in a post-Proposition 2 business environment. It is crucial that a key broad cross-section of agriculture leaders start managing this nationwide threat now, before it is too late or too expensive to match HSUS dollar for dollar.

  2. #2 Liam
    March 2, 2010

    CCF vs HSUS round 273;-)

    You know I’ve been watching the CCF versus HSUS and PeTA debates for almost a decade now and have come to a couple of conclusions.

    Pretty much every allegation HSUS makes about CCF is true.

    Pretty much every allegation CCF makes against HSUS (and PeTA) is also true.

    So after 10 years I guess all I can say is “A plague on both your houses!”

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    March 2, 2010

    I wish both sides would provide more links to back up their claims. Although it is amusing to see the HSUS approvingly quote someone saying that they’re mainly a political organization.

  4. #4 Nora Streed
    March 2, 2010

    @Liam — Glad it’s not just me. I’m so uncomfortable with the CCF & Berman et al. that I don’t even like to cite their info when I agree with it (which I generally do re HSUS & PETA). But I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  5. #5 Bob O'H
    March 2, 2010

    Perhaps we should ask Mr. Vick to stage a caged fight between the leaders of both groups.

  6. #6 DRK
    March 2, 2010

    Given that the Center for Consumer Freedom is heavily funded by Philip Morris (sorry, “Altria”), Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Monsanto, and Wendy’s, among others, (according to Wikipedia),I find their advocacy suspect, to say the least.

    They seem to be just a front for the food, tobacco, chemical and firearms industries.

    I’m not defending HSUS, being more an ASPCA fan, but really, I don’t see the Center for Consumer Freedom as a very reliable source for information. Just sayin’.

  7. #7 Barbara
    March 2, 2010

    But documents don’t lie. Check out http://www.humanewatch.org for factual information. Yes, it’s sponsored by CCF and you may not like the blogger’s style, but they have links to the documentation for everything. Study the proof and then decide.

  8. #8 sara
    March 2, 2010

    @ Dan S. No 1: Here we go again with Prop. 2. The only valid argument against Prop. 2 is that the extra cage space may have little or no impact on the quality of life of hens who are de-beaked and deprived of natural light for entirety of their lives. All of the other crap about “free-range” is the work of spin doctors who were counting on illiteracy and laziness of voters. The campaign both for and against Prop. 2 made me ill. Fluffy white chickens as a result of Prop. 2? Hell, no. I voted for the chance of a marginally more ethical egg.

  9. #9 Hart
    March 3, 2010

    This is total trash. The CCF? Good Lord, they’re as bad as Freedom’s Watch or PNAC for crying out loud. Any other corporate neo-conservative propaganda you feel like posting?

  10. #10 Robin
    March 3, 2010

    Thanks for spreading the word on this! I’m in Toronto where the Humane Society’s shelter was shut down briefly and several of the people running it were charged with Animal Cruelty! The problem isn’t isolated to the US (I doubt that makes you feel any better though!).

  11. #11 Karen Friesecke
    March 4, 2010

    I’ve never been a fan of the HSUS and especially am not after their pimping of their new vegan dog food. I wrote quite a ranty blog post & you can read it here http://www.doggiestylish.com/store/2010/02/the-humane-society-gets-the-gas-face/

    I didn’t realize that they don’t own and operate any animal shelters. I just assumed that since they are championing animal rights, they must care for them, too. How odd. I think that the best thing that a person can do is to support a legitimate local animal shelter.

    As for the Canadian seafood boycott. I’m Canadian and this is the frist time that I’ve heard about this

  12. #12 ward black
    April 18, 2010

    I find it interesting that when Michael O’sullivan, a career shelter operator, was hired to run the Humane Society of Canada he eventually removed the HSUS from the board. It was an organisation started by the HSUS. What philisophical difference do you suppose could have caused this schism.