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HSUS-basher seeks equal time, gets it

Since we reprinted the Humane Society of the United States full response to allegations made in a since-retracted piece of investigative journalism by Atlanta’s WSB-TV, the Center for Consumer Freedom has asked that we reprint their entire response to that response.

So, being entirely responsible, we’re doing so.

It comes from David Martosko, director of Research for the center, who appeared in the WSB report and is a longtime critic of HSUS:

“The level of deception exhibited by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) never ceases to amaze us. Its baseless attacks on the Center for Consumer Freedom are a good indication of the organization’s shrill tone, and the desperation it must be feeling as its house of cards begins (finally) to tumble.

“If there’s a “front group” in this story, it’s HSUS. The organization “fronts” for the PETA-approved vegan way of life while pretending to represent average pet owners. Conversely, we are very open about who we are, what we do, and why. It seems HSUS has no stomach for answering charges — only making them.

“HSUS complains so bitterly about our work because we are the only voice pointing out the dishonesty inherent in raising money for one thing and spending it on another. We’re happy to absorb the rumor-mongering and false innuendo of HSUS and other groups that jealously guard their unearned public credibility if it means we can continue to shine disinfecting sunlight on HSUS and the rest of the animal rights industry.

“WSB-TV is to be commended for its daring report. Few American charities engage in fundraising as brazenly deceptive as HSUS’s. For in-depth information about HSUS, readers can visit http://www.HumaneWatch.org.

“While routinely pretending to be a traditional pet-sheltering “humane society,” HSUS spends precious little of its resources caring for homeless pets. Our analysis of HSUS’s 2007 tax filings indicates that less than 4 percent of its spending consisted of financial assistance to genuine humane societies and other hands-on dog and cat shelters.

“Yet a majority of Americans, when polled, indicate the mistaken beliefs that (1) HSUS is a legitimate umbrella group for local pet shelters, and (2) a significant portion of HSUS’s fundraising directly benefits pet shelters in their communities. This misperception only serves to benefit HSUS and the rest of the well-heeled animal rights industry. It certainly doesn’t benefit America’s needy pets.

“HSUS currently has over $200 million in assets. It pays nearly $22 million each year in salaries and benefits. That’s more than five times what it gives to pet shelters that do the real work of caring for dogs and cats.

“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. Excluding 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 from this telemarketing shrinks to just 3 percent.

“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.

“HSUS has built and maintained its position in the animal rights industry through a consistent pattern of subtle but effective fundraising manipulation, portraying itself as the savior of displaced dogs and cats while leaving the real heroes—local humane societies and other pet shelters—to wither on the vine. The United States desperately needs a real national humane society that will singularly devote itself to funding pet shelters. At present all we have is HSUS, which is far more concerned with funding its own crusade against meat, eggs, dairy foods, fur and leather, circuses, rodeos, hunting and fishing, and lifesaving disease research that depends on the judicious use of laboratory animals.

“Practically speaking, HSUS functions as a bigger and more media-savvy version of the more familiar People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The principal differences are in scale (HSUS is far richer), tone (HSUS appears more moderate for the sake of fundraising), and a greater emphasis on political activity. During the 2008 federal election cycle, HSUS spent more money than ExxonMobil, Citigroup, or General Motors.

“HSUS’s public deceptions go far beyond its apparent hoarding of cash in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 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.

“If HSUS wants to be taken seriously by Americans who care about animals, it should designate a majority of its fundraising as pass-through grants to pet shelters in the communities of its donors. Anything less will be insufficient in our present era of political accountability and transparency.”


Comment from Freddie
Time May 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Holy smokes. I knew HSUS was a monolithic money machine, but it’s interesting to see someone really nail it.

Comment from Tracy
Time May 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm

The CCF is simply going after the HSUS because of the success of Prop 2 in California. Its Big Ag funders are scared of the HSUS’s ability to raise awareness of animal suffering.

Comment from Claire
Time May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm

exactly. the CCF is pathetic. who would beleive a bunch of lunatics who go after groups that want stricter drunk driving laws, measures to prevent obesity – and those that try to protect animals.

the CCF profits off of groups that ABUSE ANIMALS simply because its CHEAPER than actually caring about their well-being.

is that the kind of group you want to put your trust in, as an animal lover? not me.

Comment from allie
Time May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I understand the position of you wanting to being responsible and I thank you for the good read. I always get a good laugh when the CCF tries to bash non-profit rganizations. Who funds them again? Large restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries, yeah, that’s what I thought. Who funds the HSUS? Donors who care about animals. That’s what I thought too.

Comment from Jeff
Time May 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm

If HSUS directly ran animal shelters, then who would take on dogfighters, puppy millers, and factory farmers? CCF and their ilk appear to want a country where animal abuse is allowed to flourish.

Comment from C-line
Time May 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Center for Consumer Freedom, now that’s a misleading name if I ever saw one. The CCF is full of sh*t and everyone knows it. The HSUS has and will always be an amazing organization. This video says it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VgvL4mRXsg

Comment from Carl
Time May 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

You HAVE to see this film about HSUS before you make up your mind.


Comment from Tracy
Time May 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Carl, I’ve already seen that newscast. But the station that aired it pulled it from its Web site. If they thought what they had reported was factual, they would have stood behind the First Amendment and left it up there.

Comment from Endangered Owner
Time May 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Americans are waking up to the mass deception that is the H$U$. Why doesn’t Wayne and company just admit what they REALLY do with the donations? Because it would cripple their bank accounts, that’s why.
If any group is a “special interest” group, then it’s H$U$: as in “give us your dollars so we can implement our VEGAN agenda”
Now, who’s ready for steak?

Comment from aprophet aka david
Time May 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm


CCF has nothing to do with this peta and hsus have to report the atrocities they commit against the animals that are brought to them they are merely money making machines they are required to report to the states and commonwealths they operate in they have no choice this info brought to light is from a state agency not CCF get the facts before you comment on something .

CCF has nothing to do with this peta and hsus have to report the atrocities they commit against thes animals

Comment from Brent
Time May 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Anyone’s opinion on the CCF aside, anyone who is paying attention should have concern about HSUS and where the dollars go. Here are just a few things HSUS has done in the past 2 year and some numbers from their annual report (the link is below):

1) HSUS actively sought funds to “Care” for the dogs confiscated from Bad Newz Kennels, yet HSUS never cared for the dog, and testified in front of a judge that they should all be killed.

2) In spite of the success of the rehabilitation of the dogs from Mike Vick’s Kennels, after the next major dog fighting bust, HSUS once again pleaded with the judge to kill all of the dogs.

Which should make you question how much of an advocate for animals HSUS is. But here are some of their financials:

1) HSUS has $233 million in total assets, and $63 million in cash on hand, and in 2007, raised $98 million in total revenue.

2) In spite of all of this, less than $7 million went to help domestic companion animals.

3) Nearly twice that, $13 million, went directly back into additional fundraising.

4) Nearly as much, $5 million, was paid in salaries to employees.

5) $13 million was spent on “strategic communications” — much of which could be tied directly back to more fundraising.

6) $27 million with to “campaigns” — it is unclear if that is to support politicians, or for advertising for issues-based initiatives.

If you don’t believe what I posted, please read their annual report for yourself:


If you still are ok with HSUS and how they spend their hundreds of millions of dollars, then godspeed to you. But I encourage you to read the report and not just dismiss CCF’s claims purely because you don’t like their organization.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time May 29, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I refuse to accord the “CCF” any kind of status as a legitimate consumer organization. They’re a front for livestock factories. In fact, after our recent cardiac adventures, I’d venture to say that what they’re peddling as “fact” in terms of nutrition is downright harmful to human beings. They’re the food equivalent of the big tobacco companies. And no, I’m not a vegan. I’m not a vegetarian at all. I’ve just got a grain of sense and the ability to read critically. HSUS is certainly not above reproach. But they’re doing a better job in their arena than this bogus organization.

Comment from Jason
Time May 30, 2009 at 10:11 am

Okay, take CCF out of the equation. I agree that CCF is as much a front for a special interest industry (meat, tobacco, alcohol) as HSUS is (veganism, animal rights, etc.). But look reatlistically at the numbers from the 2007 HSUS annual report. They do not support local shelters, although their name is misleading (maybe they should rename to the Animal Legislative Fund of the U.S.). Most of their money (and I can guarantee that “campaigns” is fundraising campaigns, political campaigns are fronted through one of their parallel groups) is used simply to generate more money. They have been caught at least twice playing free and easy on national issues (failing to spend money garnered from Hurricane Katrina/Rita on response to those two disasters and the Vick fundraising debacle). I firmly believe that ALL NON-PROFITS should be carefully regulated and monitored by the government. Religious, animal rights, human care. All are under regulated and tend to not be very honest with how they are acquiring money and what they are doing with it. Such a proposal would be fought by the non-profits as soon as it came up. You would have to wonder what they are hiding?

Comment from Patty
Time May 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

CCF has been after HSUS LONG before the stupid morons in CA voted for the stupidest legislative issue ever voted on in the history of humanity. ie prop 2.
Prop 2 has already raised the prices of eggs in CA and will continue to do so as the morons in the state want to outlaw importation of eggs from others states. That is assinine. Prop 2 makes eggs more susceptible to ecoli and will make eggs dangerous to eat due to the poor conditions the hens will be kept now. Chickens are disgusting dirty animals and full of ecoli. What a bunch of idiots CA residents are. A bunch of moronic sheep who cant’ do the research.

Now back to the item at hand. Simply because in YOUR personal opinion, CCf is not legit doesnt make thier findings not true. HSUS acts fraudulently in thier fundraising and has been caught in out and out lies. HSUS simply wants to outlaw all animal ownership and make us all vegans. Anyone who believes otherwise is simply stupid.

Comment from Montana
Time May 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Despite your opinion of CCF, you need to take a closer look at HSUS. Remember all those news photos of HSUS rescuers during Katrina? I know of a group of bird rescuers who were given blue HSUS tee shirts to wear when they went into New Orleans. They were told that way they could be identified as legitimate rescue people. Duh….it also guaranteed more of those blue tee shirts would be on the news. Friends don’t let friends donate to HSUS.

Comment from skippy
Time May 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm

The animal rights movement was started by Hitlers Nazi Army. That might explain the filth that comes out of the HSUS and there nasty buddies. Expose, expose and expose some more.

Comment from Dr. Rosset
Time May 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Despite the issues of who you believe it is clear from HSUS’s own reports that they are a large multinational corporation whose primary job is to lobby against the use of animals as companions, food, etc., Do you really want a world with no domestic animals as that is what Wayne Pacelle and the other animal rights organizations are working towards. Their present goal is to pass so many laws that eating meat will be too expensive to raise or consume. They are trying to pass mandatory spay and neuter laws so that eventually there will be no more companion animals. They have even removed guide dogs from the blind. This is not animal welfare. This is anilation of all domestic species which is their intent behind the laws they pass. I have heard Mr. Pacelle speak about the end of all domestic animals to zealots like himself. Is this the world you envision as a more humane world? It is not my idea of animal welfare. It is however, the primary goal behind the animal rights movement. For example, mandatory spay and neuter of all companion animals and all feral cat colonies has as its ultimate goal the extinction of these species. “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. …One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding”** Wayne Pacelle * Director of HSUS. Such a change would put humans at risk. How you ask? Here is one example for disease and our food supply. Rodents harbor the bubonic plague in the south west. The main predators of rodents are feral cats. They are the wall between humans and the plague. When was the last case of bubonic plague or the black death you ask? October 2007 in New York to a couple who visited New Mexico. The medicine used to treat this plague requires the use of other animals. So if the animal rights radicals have their way and they seem to in California with Senator Dean Florez leading the march for the anilation of all domestic animals that is how the human race will end. If you don’t know or remember the black death killed 75 million people.

What vegan radicals fail to understand is that humans are omivores and to survive we must have certain nutrients that come from meat only. Yes, some of these can be manufactured chemically, but most require the service of an animal to produce. When you give to animal rights organizations be very clear in your mind that what you are doing is killing off domestic animals, don’t cloak it with thoughts that you are saving animals from pain and poor care. What you are doing is systematically killing domestic animals on this earth. You are not helping them, you are making it harder for domestic animals to live on this earth. For example, a minor example but classical in HSUS arsenal. The 40lb dog law which required that any dog weighing 40lbs or more must be behind a cage of steel and concrete with a covering preventing anyone from reaching into this cage. This means all medium size dogs. How you ask was this done? Any dog who weighed more than 40lbs would be automatically declared vicious with no prior behavior required to merit this label. Another more insideous is the mandatory spay and neuter of all pets with a very high fee for keeping intact dogs. Its purpose is to phase out companion animals except for the very rich. This is a class war, a species war, that PETA and HSUS and other terrorist organizations are waging agains domestic animals and how they see our future. PETA supports with money the actions of the ALF and ELF both terrorist organizations. These people are teaching our children that it is their duty to murder, commit arson, and to value human life less than animals. Check your schools and your universities for these cults, don’t support the teaching that human life is of no value. This is a major cult taking over our country and it is using your love of pets to do it. “Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, “We’d be against it.”- Ingrid Newkirk, PETA (_Washington_Post, this means no more insulin for diabetics as well. “The optimum human population of earth is zero” .-Dave Foreman, Earth First! “I would be overjoyed when the first scientist is killed by a liberation activist.” ** Vivien Smith of ALF (USA Today.
We all want our animals well cared for, but do you want no domestic animals alive on this earth! As rabies rises in New Mexico due to mandatory spay and neuter, as the plague continues to infect people due to not enough cats to keep the wall going between humans and the rodents our entire grain (food) supply will be affected. If you didn’t know it be aware that rodents consume more grain than people. Urbanites who support ending cat colonies should know that the only reason cats colonies are near where you live is that there are more than enough rodents to keep them well fed.
We live in a time when most people have never experienced farm life and believe that everyone and every creature should have a full and happy life.
A pollyanna view in which the viruses and bacteria and the animals of this earth do not participate because their world is one of predator and prey. Only domestic animals with animal welfare laws are able to participate in such a life. Before you say well thats what PETA and HSUS want, lets take a look at the world PETA and HSUS are actually day in and day out working toward by passing laws against the keeping of animals. A world with companion animals. That is the end result of mandatory spay and neuter of all pets with extremely high fees for intact animals. Lets see what that world would look like. We know from prior experience it would be a world over run with rodents chewing their way through our fields, grain silos, and homes. Did you know that;
• Rats will enter a home to breed and to eat.
• Rats have between 8 and 16 babies every six weeks.(Mice breed exponentially: 10 to 12 in a single litter, and the young are ready to start breeding in about 7 weeks, (50 in the next generation from a single pair, 250 by the third generation, all in a matter of months – notwithstanding the original pair will have subsequent litters.)
• A rat will return to where it was born to breed.
• A rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. (Mice less than that)
• Rats are the 2nd most destructive pests to our buildings and food supply.
• Rats will eat anything, but grain and fruit is their main food source. They have attacked human babies around the world.
• Rats destroy 50% of the food produced in our country every year. (They contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat, with urine, droppings and hair. They can carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases including bubonic plague, murine typhus, spirochetal jaundice, Leptospirosis, rabies, ratbite fever, and bacterial food poisoning. Many times rats bite sleeping children while trying to get bits of food on the child that were not washed off before going to bed. Rats and mice also start fires by gnawing matches and electrical wires in homes.)
• Rats constantly have to chew to bore down on their teeth and for this reason are responsible for 50% of home fires each year.
• Rats urinate & defecate every 10 to 15 minutes.
Farmers know that keeping feral cats (cats they don’t feed) control rodent populations and can keep an area clear of rodents. Studies show that the feral cat’s diet is 98% rodent and colonies can only be supported by a heavy rodent population. Like other wild animals people should leave feral cats alone. They are not lost pets they are wild animals and part of the eco system.
If we let HSUS and PETA animal rights radicals have their way with our domestic animals then you can look forward to having less to eat and more diseases that we can’t treat because we won’t be allowed to use animals to make the medicines we need. Of course there will be arguments that technology can take care of it, but every time a government has tried to elminate the rodent population it has failed. Keeping the rodent at bay like the cockroach is the best we can do. If you don’t think this is true then ask yourself why there are more rodents, cockroaches, and fire ants on this earth than humans since we have spent all of our lives and billions of dollars trying to fight them. Do you really want a world with no cats, no dogs, no horses, no cows, no goats, no pigs, no pet birds, etc. I know I don’t. So, stop HSUS and PETA before its too late. Please note that PETA is banned in Germany as a terrorist organization. These people are not experts on animals, they have only one goal and that is to eliminate domestic animals from this earth under the guise of animal rights.

Comment from Lisa
Time May 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I happen to think the CCF is about as sleazy as the HSUS which is why I did my own research. All one has to do it read the HSUS’s annual tax return. Everything the WSB report shined a light on was true. Perhaps if people have a problem with CCF, they should listen to some of the Katrina volunteers about what actually went on down there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ9b3_ZMdes

Comment from aprophet aka david
Time May 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm


see how well the HSUS did here they are no help to animals CCF has nothing to do with this hsus and peta have to report what they do to STATE AGENCIES not CCF

Comment from Lisa
Time May 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

The comment above is a very clear indication the WSB program was spot on. If you ask 100 people on the street whether HSUS is affiliated with their local Humane Societly, most people will say they are. The fact is they have nothing to do with your local shelter; they play on their name to garner donations.

Comment from Jeff
Time May 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm

This explains really well why there are people posting anti-HSUS comments here. It’s pretty clear that those who abuse animals don’t want the Humane Society around:

Comment from NicoleW
Time June 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

Does Michael Vick Deserve a second chance?


Vicktory to the Underdog

“Vicktory To The Underdog” takes an in depth look at world renowned tattoo artist “Brandon Bond” and his dog rescue efforts – particularly rescuing the infamous Michael Vick fighting dogs.
Rather than focusing on the dog fighting problem, the movie sheds light on solutions leading to “Vicktory” for all the underdogs in the movie – tattoo people, pitbulls, parolees and all the other people in this world that society has turned their back on through ignorance and racism.
The movie also examines the life of Brandon Bond and his struggle with balancing fame, fortune and the Rock-N-Roll tattoo lifestyle with a more fulfilling life that focuses on the betterment of both animals and society as a whole.
Featuring celebrities like Debbie and Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman, Pixie Acia and Donal Logue, the movie takes you on an incredible journey you will never forget!

Proceeds for this film will be going to Villa Lobos Pitbull Rescue. http://www.vrcpitbull.com

Comment from Ronnie
Time June 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm

More on H$U$’s 2007 tax returns at http://www.furcommission.com/resource/perspect999cl.htm

Comment from mudshark
Time June 2, 2009 at 9:40 pm

CCF is wrong when it says “HSUS complains so bitterly about our work because we are the only voice pointing out the dishonesty inherent in raising money for one thing and spending it on another.”
Voices from America to Europe to Africa have been criticising HSUS’s deceptive practices for at least two decades, and thankfully now – with CCF’s considerable help – these thousands of voices have become such a cacophany that HSUS can no longer ignore them.
I point this out not as a criticism of CCF, but because I agree with all those who say it really doesn’t matter what you think of CCF. HSUS should be judged on its own (de)merits, not because it is better or worse than one of its critics. There are many, many, many more critics out there besides CCF.

Comment from Caroline
Time June 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I agree that the main point is that people do not understand what is happening with their money when they donate to HSUS. If HSUS isn’t ashamed of what their agenda is, why don’t they spell it out? There’s a current plea for emergency funds due to a “raid” of a “puppy mill.” Since HSUS doesn’t actually care for these dogs, and give very little to shelters (see their own 990), what is the emergency need for the money? It’s to lobby for new laws. Unfortunately, the tax laws to not allow a 501(c)(3) organization such as HSUS to lobby, so they cloak their plea in the need for emergency funds to prevent “puppy mills.” (Never defined) I really object to people getting tax breaks to which they aren’t entitled. Let them organize as a non-profit lobbying organization and receive non-tax deductible contributions and be honest!!! If you agree, complain to the IRS. http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=139029,00.html.

Comment from Dr. Rosset
Time June 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Jeff none of want the abuse of animals we are only interested in the welfare of animals. That is why we attack HSUS because their intent is the end of all domestic animals. Also, I have tried to reply to the HSUS comment column and have abided by their rules, but they always block comments that are negative or question their programs.