Saturday, June 12, 2010

President's Editorial



Report Exposes Humane Society Charade

by Frank Priestley, President, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a powerful political organization with a vegetarian agenda, doled out $280 million on salaries, lobbying, advertising and fundraising during a recent three-year period. Yet less than one-fifth of one percent of the organization’s total budget during the three-year period was used for programs that benefit unwanted pets.

Numbers gathered from HSUS’ IRS filings from 2006 to 2008 show only a pittance of the money generated from seemingly uninformed donors was given to hands-on pet shelters in 45 states. At the same time the organization spent huge sums of money supporting ballot initiatives like Proposition 2 that created new regulations on hog, egg and veal production in California, a ballot initiative to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts, promoting a ban on dove hunting in Michigan and a ballot initiative in Arizona that put strict regulations on hog production.

HSUS had duped thousands of donors into believing they are helping unwanted pets. However, tax records analyzed by Humanewatch.org, a non-profit organization set up to monitor HSUS, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and other radical groups, show a surprisingly different set of circumstances. A poll taken in February of this year shows how adept the group has become at convincing people to donate to the cause and then using the money to fulfill their dubious agenda. The poll, taken in February by Opinion Research Corporation shows 71 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “HSUS is an umbrella group that represents thousands of local humane societies all across America.” In addition, 59 percent of respondents agreed that “HSUS contributes most of its money to local organizations that care for dogs and cats.”

It’s unfortunate those statements aren’t true. However HSUS tax records show that helping to take care of unwanted pets isn’t a priority to this hypocritical organization. HSUS tax records show the organization made zero payments to pet shelters in Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming during the three-year period. Idaho shelters received $17,000 during the period.

The Humanewatch.org report shows how few of the millions of dollars raised by HSUS each year actually reach local shelters across the country. The report called “Not Your Local Humane Society,” lists each pet shelter grant given by the organization to every state from 2006 to 2008. In Arizona, the group spent just $1 on local pet shelters for every $300 in lobbying expenditures for a “humane farm” ballot initiative and other anti-animal agriculture legislation.

In 2008 HSUS’ budget increased by more than $8 million dollars, yet only 15 states received donations for local pet shelters. From 2006 to 2008, the organization left out five states entirely. HSUS reported having more than $162 million in assets at the end of 2008.

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