According to its website, HSUS “seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals—a world that will also benefit people.” It also describes itself as “America’s mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect, as well as the most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond.” However, it is difficult to understand how HSUS could accomplish these goals. In addition to leading the effort to ban traditional ammunition so that it can ultimately outlaw hunting, HSUS only contributed 1 percent of its $120 million budget toward supporting pet shelters last year. It put more money into its own pension plan ($2.5 million).
This allocation imbalance begs the question – what exactly is HSUS doing with that $120 million budget? Well, $26 million went to funds located in the Caribbean and Central America. The group undertook a similar exercise in 2012, which means that over $50 million of HSUS supporters’ donations are now sitting in offshore funds. It also spent $42 million on fund-raising expenses, which was incredibly wasteful considering their donations remained stagnant for 2013. That year, HSUS retained Quadriga Art for $7.7 million, the same firm that has recently reached a settlement deal with the New York Attorney General for $25 million after it was revealed that the company has a pattern of starting charities solely as a means of making money, including dishonoring our vets through the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
Another drain on HSUS finances comes from losing lawsuits. HSUS has been ordered to pay Feld Entertainment — the company behind Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus — $16 million to settle a case in which HSUS alleged that the company was mistreating elephants. It turns out that HSUS had paid a former Feld Entertainment employee almost $200,000 to support the claims that the group asserted in its baseless case.
Fortunately, some have begun to take notice of the organization’s highly deceptive fundraising tactics. Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Attorney General issued a consumer alert against HSUS because it misled consumers when it solicited donations after 2013 tornados, claiming that the money would go to help local shelters and dislocated animals. Also, the independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator removed its rating of HSUS and replaced it with a “Donor Advisory” because of the group’s settlement with Feld Entertainment.
It is unfortunate that HSUS would prey on the hearts of Americans who legitimately care about protecting animals from cruelty or abandonment as means to raise money to fund their radical anti-human agenda. We can hope the reduced donations HSUS received during 2013 demonstrate that Americans are realizing that HSUS has absolutely nothing to do with your local humane society or animal shelter, and that its true agenda has become even more apparent.