Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Rant: HSUS

Back around Christmas I posted about donating to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).   Given that I recently decided I would allow myself to express a maximum of one rant a week on my blog (friends would probably tell you I could provide one rant per day if I were feeling particularly motivated) and that the HSUS has been particularly involved in attempts to destroy things that are important to me and my 'dog friends' - I felt it would be fair to bring them up again.

I NEVER give my money to this organization.  Let me tell you why.

First, I don't appreciate being deceived.
Many people believe that when they give their money to the HSUS, it is going to the dogs, cats, and other animals in need of care.  They believe this because the HSUS goes to great lengths to trick them into believing it.  Sadly, it's not true.  You can read about one specific example of this here.  See, that place in your city often called the "Humane Society" that houses homeless dogs and cats hoping to be adopted is NOT The Humane Society of the United States.  They are in no way affiliated.  I know, sneeky, right?  The money you give to the HSUS is not really going to the care of those pets sitting in kennels in your town.  It's going to things like lobbyists, advertising, and board member salaries.  The HSUS is an animal rights group (much like PETA), NOT an animal care taking, fostering, or adopting organization.  In fact, many people call HSUS "PETA in a suit and tie".  There really isn't that much difference between the two.  Both are extremist groups, and both have ideals that do NOT represent the interest of the average animal lover or pet owner.

I want my money to go where I think it's going.  I don't like being tricked.  I want my money to go to the local dogs and cats who need it - not to a million dollar board of directors.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I think things like lobbying aren't important.  They are.  Lobbying is the way many of the GOOD animal welfare laws have been brought to the attention of legislators and passed.  Unfortunately, the HSUS fails here as well.  One of the laws the HSUS is currently trying to stuff down our throats would allow the (what is now) illegal search and seizure of the homes of dog owners / breeders who have more than 3 un-neutered dogs.  The "cover story" for the law is that it will help crack down on animal abuse.  The GIGANTIC problem is that it completely tramples on the rights of anybody who owns more than 3 dogs.  The simple reality is that a huge percentage of GOOD dog breeders out there own more than 3 un-neutered dogs AND they raise their puppies in their homes - the way they should (in my opinion).  A private home cannot be 'certified' by the USDA and therefor the breeder is open to having their home searched and their dogs taken from them.  Also, there are already laws prohibiting animal abuse, it's enforcement that's the problem - not a lack of laws.  (Of course, they don't want to talk about that part because anybody who takes a good hard look will see clearly that the lack of proper enforcement is a direct result of corruption, not a lack of legal ammunition.) 


This is an incredible threat to the health of many dog breeds.  Without those dedicated breeders, all we are left with is the average person who thinks their dog is great and decides to breed just because he can.  THOSE are the breeders who fill shelters and THOSE are the dogs who are often in for a lifetime of suffering due to health problems passed down to them because the person who bred them never bothered to make sure he was breeding healthy dogs instead of 'cute' dogs.

I don't speak from lack of experience on this topic.  Trust me.


One day, I'll tell you about this beautiful boy.  
I'm particularly emotional this week, so it's just not in me today.


Do not take my words to mean I don't think people should rescue.  That's not the case.  Both of my mutts are rescues and both of them are amazing dogs.  My Lilly came from one of the best foster Moms I could possibly ask for - I send her updates and pictures all the time and she's even going to come watch us compete in Rally this fall.  As far as I am concerned, a rescue dog is often well worth the risk.  HOWEVER, losing the exceptional purebred breeding stock found in the homes of thousands of exceptional breeders across the US would not just be a shame, it would be an outright tragedy... and a deep infringement on the rights of citizens.  

THIS is why I NEVER give money to the HSUS and I do not buy from companies who advertise for or give donations to them, either.  I find the best way to donate is by giving supplies the shelter in your area needs.  When I see the brand of dog food my local shelter uses on sale - I buy some.  When paper toweling is on a great sale - I buy a bunch.  When my dogs get bored with some of their toys, I wash them and donate them.  Many pet supply stores even have a bin you can put the stuff in right there so you don't have to make a special trip out to the shelter.  And if I ever decide to give money - I'll give it directly to the shelter or rescue I want it to go to. 

Educate yourself, and ask questions.  The dogs will thank you for it.

I use a stat counter for my blog because I'm always curious where people who happen upon my blog are from, etc.  I darn near fell out of my chair when I looked and saw over 400 page loads yesterday from places all over the country.  After a little searching, I discovered that HumaneWatch shared my post on Facebook.  So, welcome to my dorky little blog, HumaneWatch Facebook people.

Ex Scientia, Veritas et Virtus   (latin: "from knowledge, truth and power")  
When I finally graduate, these words will be tattooed on me.  I know of no more true words to be uttered.
Being an organization who seeks to empower and enlighten, I commend HumaneWatch for their hard work.  If you are not familiar, please check them out.  (I don't agree with everything you will find on the site, but I still think it's well worth a look.  The more you know, the better choices you can make.)

PLEASE NOTE, this blog is not and will never be for the purpose of stirring up controversy or argument.  If you read my other posts, you will see that it's simply the story of me and my dogs.  Nothing more.  Anybody who actually knows me, knows exactly how I feel about farm animals and anybody who just happens to stumble upon this one post really doesn't have any grounds on which to attack me personally.  Take it elsewhere, I'm not interested.   


  1. Thank you for spreading the truth. If people want to donate to a PAC, fine, but they should not be allowed to advertise like they do about saving 1,000s of animals. LA had to sue to get part of the money they raised after Hurricane Katrina and they got very little of it, at that. The Vick case was another great fund raiser for them - all the while they just wanted the dogs euthanized, not rehabbed. And didn't give the people who did the rehab any of the millions that they raised.

  2. I worked for a local animal shelter for almost 5 years. And as far as I knew, even though they are a city funded shelter, they did most of their own fund-raising. Currenty they are trying to build a new facility, and it has taken a few years to get even half of what they really need for a proper facility. There is also the Humane Society here that works close with the local shelter. They will be located next to each other when the new building becomes a reality. I thought it is great when people would bring in their animal's (passed, even) toys and the dogs and cats and ferrets and rabbits and chinchilas and misc. birds.... benefited from their kindness. Rawhides and Kong toys are wonderful too. Sometimes it is just nice for the dogs to have something to do. Just be quiet for a few minutes... Anyway, rambling now, but thought I would put in my 2 cents too :)

  3. Mrs. Fitzsimonds6/27/10, 2:27 AM

    Where does the donated money go when you use your debit card at Pet Smart and the machine ask you if you want to donate to help homeless animals?

  4. PetSmart does have their own organization. They shelter and adopt out animals as well as allow other rescues/shelters to bring animals available for adoption to their store for events.

    They are not associated with the HSUS as far as I can tell, but I have not researched them so I can't tell you if it's 100% on the up and up. I can tell you that my experience has always been that PetSmart is on the naughty list far less frequently than PetCo.

  5. Are all Humane Societies the same as to how donations are used?So like is this problem nation wide,how would one find out?

  6. What kind of a heartless person are you to believe that only dogs and cats are worthy of mercy and protection? And how short-sighted and dim-witted of you to disparage an organization that's had tremendous success passing legislation and spreading awareness regarding puppy mill dogs, adoption of shelter pets and spay/neuter campaigns. You obviously PROFIT from animals.

  7. Truth Teller6/27/10, 8:44 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story and for shedding light on the HSUS. Please don't pay any attention to the HSUS drones that write "kill the messenger" type posts ....that is their usual MO. Wayne "I have no hands on fondness for animals" Pacelle has never owned a pet or personally rescued any animal. He is an avowed vegan and has changed HSUS's mission of Animal Welfare to Animal Rights, thus removing meat eggs and milk from our diets.

  8. HSUS is not, nor have they ever claimed to be, in the local shelter business and, quite frankly that argument is getting old. If you feel that you have been so horribly misled by their commercials, why don’t you post an example of an HSUS commercial or any piece of HSUS literature that says that their purpose is to fund local shelters? HumaneWatch, to which you so lovingly refer, claims to be a non-profit, yet they are nothing but a corporate front group, paid to attack organizations that are fighting for social change; in this case the HSUS for fighting for improved farm animal welfare, an attack underwritten by the factory farming and puppy mill/pet store industries. This tactic has been well used by HumaneWatch’s parent, The Center for Consumer Freedom, when they attacked Mothers Against Drunk Drivers...paid for by the liquor industry. The same way they attacked the American Cancer Society...paid for by big tobacco. The same way they fought increases to the minimum wage...paid for by corporations with a vested interest in keeping wages low. HumaneWatch wants to divert your attention away from one of the issues on which HSUS is currently focusing, the humane treatment of farm animals. HumaneWatch wants you to disregard the inhumane treatment of BILLIONS of animals on farms and instead worry only about a few million dogs and cats in shelters? You see, it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. I am an HSUS supporter and proud of it and I also support my local shelters. Animals are animals, whether they sleep on our couches or end up on our dinner tables. They all deserve to be treated humanely and THAT is what HSUS fights for for ALL ANIMALS.

  9. HSUS is, and always has been, fighting against all domesticated animals. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking the elimination of domesticated animals is not their end game. After all, once you bestow rights to animals, it becomes wrong to own an animal, just as it was wrong for one man to own another.

    And yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if those in the agricultural industry might be funding Humanewatch -- after all, you are trying to put farmers out of business....

  10. Just because the work is not taking place inside an animal shelter does not mean it isn’t valuable animal welfare work. HSUS is on the front lines providing direct animal care and rescue, battling dogfighters, puppy millers, factory farmers, and other animal abusers. The HSUS has a mobile CSI unit for animal cruelty to gather evidence for prosecutors to use in animal cruelty cases. They also have a mobile vet clinic which travels around offering veterinarian services to the needy who might not otherwise take their pets to the vets. Additionally, The HSUS has also partnered up with Maddie's Fund & the Ad Council to launch The Pet Shelter Project with the goal of creating awareness of shelter animals and to increase adoption rates at local shelters. I am proud to be an HSUS Member and will continue my monthly donations to support an organization whose goal it is to end animal cruelty, neglect and abuse. The Center for Consumer Freedom runs nothing less than a disinformation campaign on behalf of corporate sponsors under a false guise of a non-profit whose ultimate goal is to educate consumers. Consider this consumer already educated.

  11. I do not argue that the HSUS doesn't do anything. The problem I have is that when you ask a random group of people, they will tell you that they believe the money they donate goes to shelter animals and that is deceit.

    The legislation that the HSUS has participated in pushing in the Midwest is a direct attack on MY civil rights and MY interests and it is more than enough for me to choose not to support them. It is not ok to make reactionary laws that allow illegal searches of personal property. Especially not when laws against puppy mills and abuse already are on the books.

  12. To equate someone who is trying to raise the awareness of the public as to where their money would actually be going with someone who is against MAD or the American Cancer Society sends up Red, no crimson, flags all over that posting. I'm afraid to tell you but that particular political tactic is old and used. It makes it apparent that she hit the nail on the head. I agree with the premise that charity begins at home. I take blankets and towels to our vet who, like it or not, has become a rescuer/half-way house. She advocates for CCA (Concerned Citizens for Animals) a no-kill animal rescue group.
    If there is one thing we do not need is one more government intervention into our lives. We have the laws in place we just need to support the enforcement of those laws.

  13. The HSUS has 33 million members; these are people who pay a minimum amount per year to be a member. Ask any of these 33 million and they know exactly what the HSUS does and what the HSUS is about. The HSUS has NEVER lied to anybody about its work. All members get a monthly newsletter showing exactly what the HSUS has been doing.

    I think you are relying too much on The Center for Consumer Freedom and its various websites for your information. The Center for Consumer Freedom is a lobbying group for the tobacco, restaurant, and food industry and spreads lies about everybody who acts against the interests of any of its clients. Hey, these people even hate "Mothers Against Drunk Driving," because that group wants to make it harder to drink and drive. To support its work, the Center has started many websites (, etc.) and is rich enough to take out 1 page ads in the New York Times.

  14. My goodness, Phoebe, even HSUS itself claims only about 11 million members. And has never been able to explain why, if it has 11 million members, it publishes reports saying the circulation of its magazine is something under 1/2 million if, indeed, "all members receive a monthly newsletter." Maybe there are 11 million people - or 33 million - who get an email or printed postal mailing every month soliciting yet another donation? Maybe you have not noticed that since the "11 million members, or 1 of every 28 Americans" claim has been widely questioned, HSUS now refers to its "11 million members and constituents," thus disclosing that anyone that sent money had previously been claimed as a "member" - obviously including the vast majority that thought their gift supported local shelters rather than buying political influence. And now you tell us there are actually 33 million of these members, or perhaps just "constituents?" Maybe this "33 million members" is comprised of folks who have simply visited the HSUS web site in a given 12-month period?

    Can you figure out why most people regard HSUS's self-promotions as questionable if not downright deceitful?


  15. Whenever someone posts something on line, I always scroll down looking for the Borg drone (HSUS mercenary) who sails in with the cut and paste attack against HumaneWatch, Center For Consumer Freedom and the people associated with them. Never do the drones answer the factual assertions of the deceptions that HSUS routinely employs in its greed for money and the power that it buys.

    The drones all act as if everything was all hunky dory until HumaneWatch showed up and wrecked the game. News Flash, drones, I have been aware of the HSUS/PeTA agenda for about 20 years. I didn't learn what I know from HumaneWatch; that is just the first agent that has the funds to get the word out about all that is wrong with the HSUS. Does the HSUS ever do anything good? Occasionally, but the all consuming drive for more and more political power drives the all consuming greed for every dollar that can be wrung from the wallets of the tender hearted pet lovers they target.

    I was on to the game a long time ago and so were millions of others. No one listens to one lone voice in the wilderness, but now there is a concerted and well funded effort to get the truth out;

    Keep cutting and pasting, drones. Nero kept fiddling while his empire burned as well.


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