The fact that the Humane Society of the United States contributes less than one percent of its budget to the nation’s local pet shelters has many saying, "we receive nothing from HSUS."
HSUS watchdog group HumaneWatch.com has released two editions of their “Not Your Local Humane Society” report, and each time the news media went to local shelters to ask them for their opinion and experiences with HSUS.
The following are comments about HSUS made by operators of local pet shelters:
“We haven't seen any money from the HSUS."
--Teresa Johnson, PALS [Prevent-a-litter Program] president, in the North Platte Telegraph
"We are not in any way associated with HSUS or PETA. When Hurricane Katrina struck, we sent $500 down there in emergency money, but it didn't go to HSUS.
--Jo Mayber, Paws-itive Partners Humane Society secretary, in the North Platte Telegraph
“Not one penny. We receive nothing from (HSUS).
--Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of the Associated Humane Societies (on News 12 New Jersey)
“It's a good source of confusion for a lot of our donors. We have had issues with people who would intend to name us in their will, but actually name the Humane Society of the United States.”
--Amanda Welby, Seattle Humane Society (on MyFoxSpokane)
“In my experience, in the last 15 years, it's been nothing, in this area, that I know of. We go without food here and we couldn't find a place for it, so I contacted the national humane society, to ask them for help, to help us find some or donate some food for the animals. They wouldn't even give me the time of day, hardly.
--Del Nesmith, Director, Humane Society of Odessa (on News9 Texas)
“There is no humane society in the sky; there is no big brother, you are your own entity, all of us are volunteers. We operate with donations and fundraisers and that’s where our money comes from.”
--Shirley Jarmon, Humane Society of Faulkner County (on KARK Arkansas)
"We often hear, 'We gave to the national organization.’ It's frustrating. I'd appreciate it if they didn't do direct-mail [fundraising] pieces here."
--Lynae Gieseke, executive director of the Minnesota Valley Humane Society, in the Star Tribune
“We hear it all the time, ‘But I already gave to the Humane Society.’ They think they are helping the shelter here, but they don't understand that money doesn't come locally.”
–Donna Clark, Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association executive director (West Virginia)
“I definitely think it’s an issue. We have people walk into the shelter and say, ‘Oh, I give to the Humane Society of the United States. That’s our opportunity to tell them, ‘No, it doesn’t work that way.’”
– Arlette Moen, Circle of Friends Humane Society executive director (North Dakota)
“My own mother was confused and thought that when she was writing a check to the Humane Society of the United States that was going to support me and my work … If you give to the Kansas Humane Society that’s helping animals locally. When you give to the Humane Society of the United States that’s going to them in Washington DC and they’re choosing how to use your money.”
– Jennifer Campbell, Kansas Humane Society communications director (on KSNW-TV)
“[People think] that if they give to the national organization that somehow the local organization is benefitting. That's completely false. There's no money whatsoever. We have never received one dime from the HSUS.”
– Raynette Mayer, Central Savannah River Area Humane Society volunteer (Georgia)
“People are also under the assumption that the term ‘humane society’ connotes that that organization must be part of a formal network. In fact, ‘humane society’ is a generic term.”
– Joe Grisanti, Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania director (on WJET-TV)
“These are our communities, this is where our money should be staying. People send it to the national humane society when they see these ads thinking it's going to come back to us, when it's really paying their salaries and paying for these ad campaigns and not doing a thing for our local animals.”
– Olive Sullivan, Southeast Kansas Humane Society promotions director
The Humane Society likes to claim that it’s the nation’s biggest advocate for shelters, according watchdog group HumaneWatch.com.
In October, HumaneWatch obtained a copy of HSUS’s 2010 tax return which reveals that HSUS contributes more to its pension plan than it gives to needy shelters, according to the watchdog group. (See HSUS tax returns.)
The organization's tax return shows other startling discoveries, including the fact that the group puts more money into lobbying than it does pet-shelter grants, said the watchdog group in a news release.