Humane Society Spends Less than 1% of Donations on Local Animal Shelters – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Less than 1% of donations to the Humane Society go to local animal shelters and direct care for animals.
It’s not true that the Humane Society of the United States gives less than 1% of its donations to local animal shelters to provide care for animals.
In 2013, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) took in about $115.5 million in contributions and grants. The Humane Society also generated about $17.1 million in additional revenue from investments and other sources, brining its total revenue in 2013 to more than $132 million. In that year, the Humane Society dedicated $21.7 million to cruelty prevention programs and direct animal care, which was about 16.5% of its total revenues, according to tax forms.
Besides, the Humane Society said the claim is a ”misdirection.” There are about 3,500 animal shelters in the United States, the Humane Society says, and private organizations or local governments run about half of them:
“They have their own policies, governance and operational priorities. The HSUS does not run them nor serve as a parent association, and never has. No group could serve this purpose.
“We do work to professionalize the field of animal care with our education and training programs for local organizations, and provide millions of dollars in grants every year. But our primary purpose is not grant-making. The work of The HSUS is broad and focused on all animals. We don’t need to give money to others to do it.
“The HSUS and its affiliates are the number one provider of animal care in the United States; the number one advocacy organization preventing cruelty and abuse; and the number one provider of training and standards to lift up the entire field of animal welfare. We spend more than 80 percent of our funds on program expenses to help pets, wildlife, animals in laboratories, farm animals, marine mammals and other animals at risk in society.”
Claims that the Humane Society provides little support for direct animal care first went viral when a group called HumaneWatch aired an attack ad during the Academy Awards in 2012. The ad appeared to be in response to the Humane Society’s animal welfare advocacy efforts.
HumaneWatch is funded by the Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization founded by Richard Berman, a lawyer, pubic relations executive and lobbyist. According to the non-profit group’s website:
“Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. We believe that the consumer is King. And Queen.
“A growing cabal of activists has meddled in Americans’ lives in recent years. They include self-anointed ‘food police,’ health campaigners, trial lawyers, personal-finance do-gooders, animal-rights misanthropes, and meddling bureaucrats.”
To back up its claims about the Humane Society of the United States, a spokesperson for HumaneWatch previously cited a survey of 400 animal shelter representatives that was conducted over a two-day period.
However, the Humane Society’s tax records from 2013 indicate that the claim is false.