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What’s that Wayne Pacelle really up to?

pacelleThe Humane Society of the United States does not run or regularly fund the nation’s 3,500 animal shelters.

HSUS President and CEO admitted that yesterday on his blog, “A Humane Nation.” 

Of course he would have told you that a month or year ago as well, because, despite an “investigative report” out of Atlanta, later retracted, and despite the criticism from a group called the Center for Consumer Freedom, HSUS has not become the mammoth non-profit that it is by proclaiming it provides shelter for America’s homeless pets.

It has implied that it cares about animals, and that it works to improve their lives. It has tugged at your heartstrings in its fundraising spots, and it has made the most of publicizing its work. It has done some things I wouldn’t agree with and failed to do some things I wish it would have. To disagree with its priorities, or some of its policies, is one thing. But to say its an organization built on deception — that it has tried to lead Americans to believe it’s tucking shelter dogs in at night — is off the mark, and overlooks the work the organization does.

“If anyone reads my daily blog, looks at our website, reads our magazines, or scans our email and direct mail letters, you’ll find no claims that we run America’s 3,500 animal shelters, or serve as a granting agency for them—or that any one organization serves this function,” Pacelle wrote on his blog yesterday. “Their accusation is a fiction.”

“CCF and our opponents would love it if we just gave money to shelters. That way, the corporations that fund CCF would have much clearer sailing in conducting their animal exploitation activities …  Right now, we’re their worst nightmare, and we are not going away.”

opinion-sig1Some critics say HSUS has a secret “vegan agenda” — that it wants to take our steaks away. As a meat lover, and a smoker, and a person who likes smoked meats, I say, even if that were the case, so what? The animals I eat deserve a spokesperson.

“It would be a terrible dereliction of duty if we did not address the other problems of animals in society,” Pacelle wrote. “There are 10 billion animals raised for food, principally on factory farms, in America every year — and that’s nearly 30 million a day. There are tens of millions of animals used in laboratory experiments. More than 100 million killed for sport. Tens of millions killed in the fur trade, and tens of millions killed worldwide in cockfights and dogfights.

While most animal lovers have a pet issue, Pacelle notes, HSUS is trying to look at the big picture, and the roots of what it sees as the biggest problems.

“We have to be there for as many animals as we can, and use our finite resources in a highly strategic way to achieve the biggest impacts,” he wrote.

“While we help many thousands of animals in distress … our primary strategy is to strike at the root of the problem, rather than to address the symptoms. Whether it’s in the field, in the courts, in legislatures, in influencing public opinion, conducting undercover investigations, or by some other lawful and mainstream means, there’s no group that is a greater agent of change or brings the arsenal of tools we do to the fight for animals.”

(Photo: vegdaily.com)


Comment from Luke Thomas
Time May 30, 2009 at 8:22 am

Such as the undercover investigation of farm factory cruelty and puppy mills, The Humane Society of the United States DOES do some good things-and legislation is the very core of helping fight animal cruelty. However, I have a *BIG* problem with HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) wanting Michael Vick as a spokesperson-when a USDA report revealed Vick has been throwing in family pets into dog fighting rings, watching them get torn to pieces and eviscerated ALIVE-because he thought it amusing. Vick also lied to the FBI initially but once confronted he failed his polygraph test, he confessed to taking part in hanging pit bulls alive until dead-which is a very painful death. Also body slamming them until dead. These activities have been going on for many years, so it is doubtful how a few months in prison can “change” him. Vick just wants to play NFL again: The NFL will hire a DOG FIGHTER, and America will cheer a DOG FIGHTER. America’s young will want to be like Vick and get their own pit bulls and not for pets-but the association of a dog fighter with the prestigious NFL to be a role model for the nation’s young-to become thugs and future dog fighters of America. God help us all.

Comment from Carl
Time May 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The WSB-TV report was NOT “retracted” … Wayne is lying. FAIL.

Comment from Mary Haight
Time May 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Yes, John, there is that fact about all of us in animal welfare–we don’t agree on how to resolve stubborn problems in the industry, so it’s like herding cats.

HSUS has what I have seen as conflicting interests that create a rather ugly juxtaposition at the worst moments possible. Take the meeting with Best Friends et.al in Vegas to resolve longstanding policy that led them to always recommend death to Pit Bulls from fight ring busts. After what was perceived to be a nascent shift in policy by all, they were found to have been working with an alderman crafting language on a breed ban…what?!? is what we howled. And the alderman’s stance was not one that had popular support which made matters much, much worse.

I was working on a story about their “End Dogfighting” program and was following up on some details when I was passed to John Goodwin and we ended up speaking briefly about Mandatory Spay Neuter. The conversation took a turn and I ended up telling him how that mess in Indiana versus Las Vegas looked to many. That’s when he told me they are often asked(I’m sure he meant “hired”?)to check legislation for any mishandling of animals. I know they are against breed laws so there’s the crux of that conflict. That’s a line I would not be walking, but that’s just me.

Since HSUS chooses to work these issues at the front end rather than wait until legislation appears to have every chance of passing, it would be smart to operate in total daylight on any such “job” with a press release.

There are other conflicts like testifying against a No Kill city in San Francisco…and the beat goes on.

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time May 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Wow, what a lot of hoopla and anger. I have read OMD’s articles and comments, as well as the current blogs of HSUS and other sources. Personally, I knew that there was zero connection between HSUS and our local humane societies. Local operations are shelters for pet adoption, saviors to injured or abandoned wildlife as well as investigators and protectionists of local animal abuse. While these themes resound throughout HSUS, the primary goal of HSUS is to highlight, educate and eradicate through legal means the greater abuse of animals in labs, or hunted as trophies, or sold for food, and so on. They also organize rescue squads and provide resources for pets and animals alongside the Red Cross when environmental emergencies strike. Exactly what is the issue here? HSUS members are carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. Democrats and Republicans. Liberals and conservatives. They are people who respect and cherish animals in varying levels from gentle compassion through radical activism. I have met Wayne Pacelle and attended seminars with him on several occasions, and my impression is that he is about as selfless and animal-passionate as they come. For me personally, I don’t always agree with the actions of HSUS, but I continuously applaud their relentless pursuit of rights for all animals, birds, marine life. The financials of HSUS are easily accessible and nothing to be ashamed of for their activism-to-administrative expense ratios. As for the CCF, I can find nothing in their website that is admirable nor convincing of their honesty and compassion.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time May 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I guess HSUS doesn’t differ from other large organizations. You have to take the good and the bad into consideration and make your choice. There are things that they do that I think are wonderful, such as their advocacy for food animals. They take other actions I deplore–passionately–such as the stance on executing pit bulls. At this point, the good they do outweighs the bad, and I feel free to speak out against any of their positions I disagree with, without degenerating into innuendo and general smarminess.

I’m holding off on the Michael Vick controversy. What he did was unspeakable, and I don’t think he spent enough time in prison for it. On the other hand, it is good sometimes to believe that human beings can actually grow and change. Frankly, Mr. Vick’s actions in general have never made me believe that he was one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. If he’s play-acting, we and the HSUS will probably know that pretty quickly. If he’s genuinely sorry for the suffering he caused, he can partially atone for it by exerting his influence to stop dog fighting.

Comment from mel
Time May 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

It’s a VIOLATION of HUMAN RIGHTS! The anti-gamefowl sport law sponsored by terrorist extremist hsus thru lies,deceit and propaganda.

A Major Sponosor of animal rights Terrorist! if you are a supporter of an organization that supports and financially sponosors Terrorism, that makes you what? a Terrorist?

Facts; The Newest FBI # 1 Terrorist list is a ” ANIMAL RIGHTS activist !

I guess there’s nothing wrong with Terrorist extremsit hsus & their militias, in VIOLATIONS of HUMAN RIGHTS and TERRORISM!

Facts; a Breeding grounds for Terrrorist Extremist, Ex- Convicts, and MAJORITY of EMPLOYEES and Volunteers either have MENTAL and EMOTIONAL issues that are NOT FIT to roam our communities with police powers! That is pretty scary!
This is based on a recent investigation by local media about $ 4.3 million of TAXPAYERS money was stolen from the City of san mateo,ca., by overbilling the city with bogus fees and NON-performed services by hsus. Imagine how much TAXPAYERS money they are scamming from every city, nationwide? ibet it’s in multi -million FRAUD!

There is nothing wrong with terrorist extremist hsus & their militias! yeah right! in your extremist dreams !

Comment from vets
Time May 31, 2009 at 2:17 pm

To: Pacelle,Directors/officers of HSUS.

PLease be advised that you and your officers are VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS against the Gamefowl sport members and we ask you to make an Ammendment to Laws you sponsor against Gamefowl CULTURAL Sport ASAP!
Decriminalize,Tax it, regulate in agri/rural areas and $ 1 per chicken be donated to your org.

Comment from Tracy
Time May 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

What on Earth are these “gamefowl” people talking about? Sounds like you guys don’t even know what human rights are.

Joe, nice post!

Comment from vet
Time June 1, 2009 at 1:48 am

here’s the goal, jtime for pacelle, 10 directors,10 officers from hsus. if i you are one of them , i’ll make a deal with doj or with gamerooster…

that ‘s what we are talking about and it’s spreading like wildfire!

Comment from Local Humane
Time June 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

This is an excellent post and objectively looks at HSUS. We reread it a few times and this part is what caught our eye:

“HSUS has not become the mammoth non-profit that it is by proclaiming it provides shelter for America’s homeless pets.”

We would challenge this point for two reasons. First, HSUS has implied direct benefit to shelter animals across the nation in its marketing. Aside from Wayne Pacelle’s remark, has it ever advertised that it does NOT operate or fund your local shelter? No. The second point would be in the results. The vast majority of Americans believe that HSUS operates and funds local shelters. HSUS understands this perception, and benefits from it.

These points are not intended to say HSUS is good or bad. People may decide that on their own. What’s most important is providing accurate information such that people have an informed choice.