Dec 31, 2009
One of our Veterinary News Network reporters sent this blog to me yesterday and I thought some of you might appreciate the content. consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/h/4062-unpacking-the-hsus-gravy-train. This blog includes a link to the actual tax form of the Humane Society of the United States.
In a nutshell, the authors of the blog are basically stating that the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) brought in almost $100 million dollars in donations for 2008. Of that, they spent about $28 million on fundraising efforts. So, when you donate to HSUS, 28 cents of every dollar goes to raise more money. In addition, HSUS pays one company more than $4 million to count it's money.
Also, there are more than 40 HSUS employees who make more than $100,000 per year. Total Salaries were almost $31 million. So, that's another 31 cents from your donated dollar. In total, so far, we can count on less than 40 cents of every dollar going to help animals. Interestingly, another blog I read recently (I don't remember the link right now) stated that in 5 years, Wayne Pacelle (CEO of HSUS) has increased their legal staff from 4 attorneys to more than 30!!
Bottom line for this blogger was that HSUS spent less than $3 million dollars on grants to help local shelters.
Now, to be fair, the authors of the blog and the website (Center for Consumer Freedom) are accused of being backed by the restaurant and agricultural industries. But, this is not the only time I have seen similar numbers being thrown around and I know that many animal welfare enthusiasts question the true motives of the HSUS.
For me, I would prefer to focus on helping rescues and shelters in my local community. I think that the HSUS has certainly opened our eyes to some terrible problems that our animal friends have undergone, but I am very reluctant to support a group whose leader has publically said that we should not own pets. And remember, the HSUS has absolutely nothing to do with your local shelter or humane society. This blog and the associated tax forms make that absolutely clear.
So, in this coming New Year, I might ask you to think about your planned donations to animal charities. Consider monetary gifts to your local groups or volunteer your time by helping at the shelter or fostering a pet for a rescue group. Look at items around your home that you don't use anymore...are there old blankets that can be given to a cold shelter dog? How about some old play toys that your senior pet has outgrown? Still keeping that litter box in the garage even though your cat is gone? All of these things and so many more can help animals in need this coming year.
For your own pets, the best thing you can give them for 2010 is the gift of your time. Make it your 2010 Resolution to spend more quality time with your pets! Happy New Year everyone!