This is the favorite rallying cry of HumaneWatch and CCF, one designed to stir outrage and suggest that the Humane Society of the US has somehow deceived its donors.
What this claim overlooks is the fact that short-term funding of pet shelters is not the primary mission of the HSUS, and it has never claimed otherwise.
The HSUS is not a grant-making foundation. It is not a shelter funding organization. It is an animal welfare organization.
HSUS effectively addresses the root causes of animal abandonment and cruelty that have created the crisis in America’s shelters, but it is concerned with the welfare of all animals, not only the ones in pet shelters. That includes wildlife sanctuaries, animal rescues, spay and neuter programs, free veterinary assistance for low-income communities, law enforcement assistance in uncovering dogfight and cockfighting rings, promoting public awareness of animal welfare issues, shaping humane legislation, helping to rebuild shelters destroyed in disasters, and much more. The scope and the effectiveness of HSUS endeavors is breathtaking.
But demanding that HSUS fund shelters is like expecting the American Cancer Society to pay for every cancer patient’s chemotherapy bills. That’s not the purpose, the mission, or the strategy of the organization.
Critics who parrot CCF’s “less than one-half of one percent” marketing slogan are attempting to redefine and dictate how HSUS must operate. CCF wants HSUS to focus all of its efforts on local pet shelters and stop promoting animal welfare legislation, stop exposing cruelty and abuse, stop increasing public awareness of unhealthy and illegal food practices… In short, to abandon the victims of corporate animal cruelty to their abusers, and focus solely on short-term funding of local shelters.
However, HSUS is heavily involved in the promotion and support of shelters:
- “Shelters Rock” campaign
- national “Spay Day” events
- large-scale pet adoption campaigns
- the Shelter Pet Project, a joint effort with Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council
- establishment of shelter standards and best practices
- training, education, and evaluation of shelters
- emergency assistance to shelters in disaster zones
- celebrity campaigns to promote shelter awareness
- grants to remove gas chambers from shelters
- shelter grants up to one quarter million dollars
- Animal Care Expo for shelter personnel
CCF’s claim that HSUS gives “only” half a million dollars to local shelters ignores the vast investment in shelter programs, shelter advocacy, shelter promotion, and direct support.
Points to Remember
- The HSUS follows its own mission, goals, and strategy… not CCF’s twisted version of it.
- Short-term funding of shelters was never a core part of the HSUS mission.
- The HSUS is not a grant-making foundation or a shelter funding organization.
- The HSUS mission of eliminating cruelty encompasses all animals, not just pets.
- The HSUS dedicates tens of millions of dollars to shelter advocacy, support, training, and promotion.
Return to Myths and Misconceptions.