This is a meme going around Facebook. From the HumaneWatch's Facebook page:

85% of HSUS' TV fund-raising features shelter pets ... 99% of their budget doesn't

Does the Humane Society of the United States only budget 1% for actually helping animals as claimed here?

  • L.A.Times editorial: ... it is true [...] But it's also misleading...
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 17, 2012 at 22:19
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    Behind HumaneWatch.org is the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is an American non-profit firm that lobbies on behalf of the fast food, meat, alcohol and tobacco industries
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 17, 2012 at 22:27
  • @Oliver_C that probably bothers some people... being a classic libertarian there efforts are quite aligned with my beliefs.
    – Chad
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


I just came across this news article from TribLive. It seems that the Humane Society is not denying the spend, but stating they are more concerned with other things that they see as more important.

“The Center for Consumer Freedom is a fraudulent organization,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Tribune-Review. “Their job is to undermine public interests, charities and other entities.”


Pacelle said the mission of the Humane Society of the United States, which has no affiliation with local humane societies, is to bring to light — and bring down — puppy mills, dog and cock fighting rings and baby seal killing operations, among others.

While the national group supports some local programming for dogs and cats, its mission is more broad.

“They’re essentially saying the only legitimate animal welfare work is local animal welfare work,” Pacelle said. “We’re not trying to hide who we are. We shout from the rooftops that every day we fight for animals everywhere. Animals in all sorts of places, not just in animal shelters.”

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    Which part is misleading? They do spend only 1% of their budget. They're not denying it. Then what? What's misleading is featuring sheltered animals when they spend less 1% of their budget doing it. Also calling center for consumer freedom fraudulent may be misleading. The center tell the truth here.
    – user4951
    Jul 18, 2012 at 9:36
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    @JimThio - It's misleading (from my standpoint anyway) because the ad is encouraging people not donate to the Humane Society because their stated mission differs from what the ad is trying to imply their mission should be (i.e. local shelters).
    – rjzii
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:10
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    @JimThio What’s misleading is show this statistic in isolation, making it sound as if the HSUS spend their money on other things than helping animals. But in reality, the statistic doesn’t show that at all. All it shows that HSUS doesn’t spend a lot of money on local pet shelters, which is probably not irrelevant but a good thing because spending a lot of money on local shelters might provide short-term relief but no long-term improvement. The Center of Consumer Freedom is acting fraudulently here by the common definition of the term (“acting with the intention to deceive”). Jul 18, 2012 at 12:16
  • Interestingly the HSUS said elsewhere that dog and cock fighting was a minimal problem with very low participation... This is very disappointing... I have actively given to the HSUS and my local shelters for years because I thought they were trying to help shelter animals.
    – Chad
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:16
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    @KonradRudolph - No but they say that takes a priority over shelter pets. If you see their advertisement they use the support of shelters and the work they do with shelter animals as their primary fundraising tool. To find out that their efforts there are minimal is very disappointing.
    – Chad
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:21

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