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Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

What's in a Name? llllllll

Two images of the HSUS come to mind.

One, on television an actress asks for donations while photographs of abused and pathetic looking dogs are shown in the background.

Two, on an Animal Planet episode the ending narration notes how the HSUS helped rescue the abused dogs and then turned them over to local rescue groups.

That's the real HSUS. A group that is top notch at raising funds but contrary to what most people think, not so great at taking care of dogs.

Yes, it may help rescue/raid puppy mills but the day-to-day care of puppies and dogs is left to other groups, and don't expect any financial help from HSUS.

Here's how the HSUS website tries to spin its relationship:

For more than a half century, The HSUS has stood as the nation's most important advocate for local humane societies.

By long-standing tradition, local humane societies remain independent entities, each with its own policies, governance, and priorities.

What this means is that HSUS doesn't fund any local humane societies and may even charge them for services.

[If you don't believe me, stop reading and call your local Humane Society. Ask the manager how much money they get from HSUS each year. When you find out the answer is nothing, resume reading.

[The same funding situation exists with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Don't give to the national organization if you want to help dogs. Give to your local Humane Society or local SPCA.]

HSUS is a group that never misses an opportunity to exploit a national issue for its own fund raising. Take the Michael Vick pit bull fighting scandal as an example. Interestingly, HSUS never mentioned how many of Mr. Vick's fighting dogs it treated or homed (the answer is none) when it used the scandal to raise money.

In fact, in 2005 the Louisiana Attorney General's office launched an investigation of HSUS when allegations surfaced that the money raised as a result Hurricane Katrina never made it to the pets in need. HSUS reportedly paid $300,000 to settle this. That's just $100,000 more than the annual salary it pays to its CEO.

Despite its name, the HSUS is a political lobbying group working to restrict ownership of all animals.

It advocates for restrictions on dog and cat breeding, livestock farming, bans on life-saving medical research performed on animals and opposes zoos, circuses, rodeos and hunting.

Want to donate to a worthwhile animal welfare group? Give directly to your local or county animal shelter. Just call them and ask where to send a check!

Don't help HSUS rob financially strapped dog and cat shelters across America of the critical funds needed to actually look after abandoned and abused pets.

For information on how rich HSUS is and how much money it spends on administration and fund raising, visit Charity Navigator at

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