Which Humane Society?

April 16, 2008 at 9:35 pm 4 comments

The media gets it wrong again…

From yesterday’s Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Minnesota‘s struggling economy is starting to trickle down to man’s best friend, and the cats they love to chase.

And as more people are forced to give up their pets to local shelters, fewer are looking to adopt. Whether it’s too expensive or people are moving into apartments that don’t allow pets, the adoption rate has dropped about 20 percent, Fry said.

Similar stories are being told across the country as people deal with home foreclosures, layoffs and reduced wages.

The number of unwanted pets dropped off at some Humane Society shelters has increased more than 125 percent, according to Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Nancy Peterson.

Each year the Humane Society takes in 8 million animals nationally. Half of them are put to sleep, Peterson said. Locally, 25,000 of the 36,000 animals dropped off at Humane Society shelters were adopted or placed in other rescue programs, said Laurie Brickley, spokeswoman for the Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities.


What?  Animal shelters operated by the H$U$?  This quote comes from their website:Although The HSUS does not operate animal shelters, we work closely with them in a variety of ways. We also assist members of the public with their questions and concerns about sheltering issues.”So, is this story an example of careless journalism?  Were representatives of HSUS and the Animal Humane Society misquoted?  Does this reporter simply have poor grammatical skills?  Or is there an hidden agenda here somewhere?

There’s a BIG difference between “a humane society” and The Humane Society of the United States.  The problem is, most average Americans aren’t aware of this.  So, when they see ads from HSUS with photos of sad puppies and kittens asking them to help any way they can, they send in donations mistakenly believing that their dollars are going to help homeless pets in local shelters.

Sadly, not only does this subterfuge confusion likely result in decreased donations to local shelters (most of whom desperately need funds) but it also results in a situation where the pet-owning public ends up financing one of its chief enemies.

From the folks at http://www.pet-law.com/future/HSUS.html:

Its main actions divide into: (a) Promoting laws to restrict use/ownership, (b) propaganda in support of such laws, and (c) fundraising/self-promotional actions. You will look in vain for an HSUS action that makes animal use or pet ownership easier, more common, more fun, or more successful.”

Please, when donating your hard-earned dollars to charity, do a bit of homework and find out exactly where those dollars will be spent.


Entry filed under: dog, dogs, pet, pets, rescue. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amber  |  April 16, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve heard about this before, but it confuses me because my local shelter is called “The Humane Society of [My City].” So it is not associated with the HSUS? HSUS must provide the funding for it, right? Even if it is managed independently? Why are they using the name if there is no association? This is really confusing. Can you clear it up for me?

  • 2. SmartDogs  |  April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    If you want to be absolutely sure, call your local humane society and ask them if they are funded by HSUS. I know that our local shelters are not funded by them and in fact, have to pay for any assistance they get from HSUS.

    It IS confusing. And the confusion created is both unfortunate and, IMO, intentional on HSUS part.

  • 3. Jan  |  April 16, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Don’t expect the MSM to ever get this right.

    It is up to bloggers and internet readers to say again and again that the HSUS is just a multi-million dollar fundraising organization that cares nothing for dogs or cats unless it is a means to raise funds.

  • 4. Caveat  |  April 17, 2008 at 2:36 am

    I’ve noticed this a lot in the media. They refer to the H$U$ as ‘the Humane Society’. Duh.

    But let’s face it, the media is a mere shadow of its former self – remember when stories used to be researched and fact-checked? When there were copy editors? When reporters actually went out and found stories, then dug out the facts and reported them?

    Those days are gone, I’m afraid.

    And the H$U$ doesn’t fund anything that isn’t directly related to its agenda.

    It used to actually be a humane organization but it was taken over by the AR crowd about 15 years ago or so.

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