HumaneWatch.org, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), has issued a consumer alert reminding Americans to be wary of the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The ad, airing nationally on Fox News beginning this week, highlights HSUS’s duplicitous fundraising practices—85 percent of the animals in its fundraising commercials are dogs and cats, yet less than one percent of the money HSUS raises from the public goes to local, hands-on pet shelters, according to a CCF press release. View the ad here.

The ad also encourages Americans to give directly to their local pet shelters to make the greatest impact in their community.

HSUS’s 2011 tax return indicates that many Americans are already aware of the animal rights group’s deceptive practices, according to the release. “HSUS uses emotionally manipulative ads to raise money on the backs of abandoned and abused dogs and cats, yet it gives just one penny of each dollar it raises to local pet shelters,” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “HumaneWatch.org wants to ensure that donations go to support the cause donors intend. If they want their dollars to aid cats and dogs in their community they should give directly to local pet shelters instead of inadvertently bankrolling HSUS’s aggressive PETA-like agenda.”

Nationally, HSUS shared less than one percent of its $127 million budget with pet sheltering organizations in 2011, according to CCF. In the same year, HSUS spent nearly $50 million on fundraising-related expenses, which is 100 times more than it did on grants to support shelter aid. HSUS also contributed $2.4 million to its pension plan.

Comments received by Pork Network from HSUS did not specifically address the CCF summary of HSUS’s level of support for abused pets depicted in its television advertising campaign. “Since HumaneWatch launched its campaign, our fundraising and membership have gone up, as has our success in the legislative and corporate areas,” said Matthew Prescott, HSUS food policy director. “Our track record as the nation’s leading voice for pets and wildlife speaks for itself.”

“HSUS knows full well that the American public experiences ‘humane society’ brand confusion, yet they continue to mislead the public with multi-million dollar ad campaigns,” Wilson said. "This holiday season don’t be fooled by HSUS’s misleading fundraising ads; giving directly to your local shelter will do the most to benefit the neediest animals in your community.”