Group Says HSUS’ Dogfighting Fundraising Campaign Misleading

Humane Society

The nonprofit organization, Center for Consumer Freedom, has called on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to return all the money it has raised in the aftermath of the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal.

The Center for Consumer Freedom has revealed that beginning on July 18 — the day after Vick’s criminal indictment — HSUS promised on its website that financial contributions would be earmarked for helping it “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case.”

Except, a New York Times article reported that HSUS is not, in fact, caring for the animals. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group is recommending that government officials “put down” the dogs rather than adopt them out to suitable homes.

“Like most Americans, we can’t stand dogfighting,” said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. “But we also can’t stand animal-rights fundraising that smells this fishy.”

HSUS’s online fundraising pitch related to Michael Vick has now been quietly altered to remove the claim that the group is caring for his pit bulls. But there’s no reliable way to know how much money the group raised on the basis of its earlier promises.

“As usual, HSUS is exploiting Americans’ emotions about dogs to build its war chest for anti-meat, anti-dairy, and anti-medical-research campaigns,” Martosko added. “These predatory activists should return every cent and apologize for misleading the public.”

Source: Press Release

21 Responses to “Group Says HSUS’ Dogfighting Fundraising Campaign Misleading”

  1. catmom5 says:

    The HSUS is giving all animal protectors a bad name with its less than honest tactics. At best, it’s misleading (deliberately?). I think they can do whatever they can (HSUS) to end dogfighting and other protective measures, but to raise money with the understanding that it would go toward the care of the rescued pits and then to NOT make sure the money gets there is a slap in the face to every person who is involved with true animal protection! In addition, to say that all of these dogs should be euthanized (killed) doesn’t seem true to the spirit of animal rescue. At least do temperament testing and allow the knowledgeable pit rescues to rehabilitate those who might become beloved pets. Come on, HSUS, step up and do the right thing!

  2. wescott20 says:

    Unfortunately, HSUS is very pro-kill when it comes to dogs and cats. They are the group that tried to prevent King County in Washington from voting to become a no-kill county. Fortunately, King County ignored them and is now implementing a no-kill strategy. I will never understand why high profile groups like PETA and HSUS constantly promote the euthanasia of healthy animals rather than trying to find non-lethal ways of dealing with pet overpopulation. They get more money in donations than other lesser known (but no doubt more honest and sincere) animal charities with which they could save thousands if not millions of animals’ lives…yet they choose to spend that money on slick advertising and media rather than actually saving pets. Probably better to donate to your local no-kill shelter…just make sure they really are no kill.

  3. Jenny Bark says:

    Catmom 5 I couldn’t have said it any better. I agree with ever word you said. Now I have to see where I gave my money.

  4. catmom5 says:

    I think making our feelings known, coupled with pulling our finanacial contributions, just might be appropriate and let the HSUS know that we do not support what they are doing or how they are doing it.

  5. E. Hamilton says:

    Where the fark was the Humane Society with all the media pull when the pets were dying from poison? Did you see any big media push to get the symptoms of the poisoning out there on TV?
    I can tell you this, I have ONE standard, anyone who claims to CARE about the animals has to answer the ONE question-Where were YOU when the pets were dying?
    The HSUS lost a lot of my money when they took the lay down on the poisoning, I rewrote my will and have convinced many others to do likewise and I figure by the time I do die, well, I have a goal and it is MILLIONS of dollars going to places that do more good and lie less.

  6. momkat says:

    I stand by our local Humane Society. They try to have a no-kill policy, and only do it with sick animals that have no chance of being rehabilitated …let alone adopted. Our local shelter is run by dedicated people of good conscience and we’ve adopted all 5 of our cats from them.
    They’re building a better …much needed…building, and I’m personally running a fund-raising campaign to help get them out of debt. ALL of the money I raise is going directly to our local shelter.
    This is a small town and they’ve been in a trailer with shacks and cage areas added on to it for much too long…and building this new the state of the art building has put a huge burden on them….but will hold many more animals in much better conditions.

    They should indeed re-route the donations that were deceptively collected, and use them to beef up their shelters and make them better for the animals if they aren’t using them to support the canine victims of this horrendous mess.

    But let’s not get radical…Not all parts of the whole are rotten….they do a great and huge service on behalf of the animals in this country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Three stories in the news today about dog mauling in Los Angeles:

    Man Mauled by Dogs at Ving Rhames’ Home
    Filed at 12:36 p.m. ET LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two dogs belonging to actor Ving Rhames apparently mauled a man to death at the star’s home Friday, authorities said. The 40-year-old victim, who has not…

    August 4, 2007 - By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    California: Man Killed at Actor’s Home
    Two mastiffs at the home of the actor Ving Rhames apparently mauled a 40-year-old man to death, the authorities said. The victim, whose name has not been released…

    August 4, 2007 - By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - Theater
    Dogs Kill Man At Actor Ving Rhames’ LA Home
    Filed at 9:02 p.m. ET LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Massive dogs belonging to “Mission: Impossible” co-star Ving Rhames attacked and killed a live-in caretaker at the actor’s Los Angeles home on Friday, police said. The caretaker, whose…

    August 3, 2007 - By REUTERS,7G_0

  8. Stefani says:

    A friend of mine in the know recently revealed to me many things I did not know about HSUS. The thing that bugged me most was he said very few of the dollars they raise actually go to provide shelter services of any kind. The exception was Katrina, where they did a lot, but as an ongoing thing, he said, they spend little of their funds on shelters and other groups that provide direct care to animals. They are more focused on large public education campaigns and political action.

    I prefer to give what donations I can to groups that directly help individual animals. Not that the rest of it isn’t important — it is — but those are the appeals that work on me. I once sponsored a goat . . . :)

    The Toonces Project
    Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?

    PS — Momcat, your local humane society may have nothing to do with HSUS. That was news to me too. Any local group can call themselves the county humane society, provided that the name is not already in use. They may have no organizational affiliation from HSUS, and they probably don’t receive funding from HSUS either. I was surprised to learn that too

  9. louisa says:

    The NYT got much of its “information” from the Center for Consumer Freedom. Check their webpage and see what they support. I never knew that it was safe for pregnant women to consume fish which contained mercury. Rationale, lead in paint is bad because paint is not a “health food”, mercury in fish is good because fish is a health food. I am not this creative.

    Vick has a good lawyer. Vick was detained by the TSA earlier this year for attempting to conceal a compartment in the cover of his carry-on water bottle. Normally, carry-on drinks get tossed.The TSA agent inspected the compartment and found something that “appeared to be marijuana.” Later,it turned out to be jewelery. That’s some attorney. The dogs are in the hands of the Feds (not HSUS) at this point. Let’s let them try to gt it right this time.

  10. Jenny Bark says:

    In New today under health, FDA Suspends Plan To Close Many Of Its Field Laboratories (sorry don’t know how to paste the http to another site yet). Waiting on Bush & his friends to decide for his friends, imo. Imo just more of a run around to get their way in the end.

  11. E. Hamilton says:

    I HAVE gotten very radical about things and the fund raising under false pretenses is just one more drop in the bucket of filth that is the HSUS. If your local chapter does a good job then you need to let them know that pressure needs to be brought to make the national organization understand the meaning of ethics and honesty. Or the local people can go with another organization that does NOT lie so much.
    The HSUS did NOTHING during the pet food recall to get the news on TV about the symptoms of the poisonings! But they are spending a fortune, a fortune that they got from people by LYING about what they do, on this Vick thing and using it to take in more money!
    Fark that, the HSUS will NEVER get a dime from me or anyone I can tell about their lies and they can kiss my lily white rear if they don’t like it.
    Taking money with deception is THEFT and a lie is a lie. Plain and simple.
    I make no apology for my stand that the HSUS is an organization that I will NOT support .

  12. Meghan says:

    How ironic to see the Center for Consumer Freedom accuse The HSUS of exploiting Americans when CCF is nothing more than a corporate front group. Don’t think The HSUS is CCF’s only target — they’ve lobbied against lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drunk driving, questioned the dangers of pesticides — they basically attack anyone who criticizes tobacco, alcohol, fatty foods or soda.

    Here is just one example of their shady tactics: And if you think they’re looking out for your “freedom,” read this article:

    It’s also worth noting that CCF has had to in the past retract its false and defamatory attacks on The HSUS. There are two sides to every story and, before you absorb CCF’s rhetoric, you should visit Wayne Pacelle’s blog, where he wrote about CCF twice last week:

  13. E. Hamilton says:

    Megan, I have not even visited the CCF site and have no interest in ever doing so. What I KNOW, on my own, is that the HSUS DID NOT BOTHER to use their considerable media pull to get the symptoms of the poison out on TV. Where it desperately needed to be.

    They did NOT.

    The HSUS did NOTHING about getting the pet foods tested and with the money they pull in they sure as hell could afford it better than the pet parents struggling with enormous vet bills, sick pets and being betrayed by just about everyone! The HSUS decided that poisoners were more trustworthy than the pet parents and that was a very bad mistake. I USE what the HSUS said against them every single day and it costs them EVERY DAY.

    WHERE were they when the pets were dying?

    I KNOW the answer to that question and so do you.
    Fark the HSUS sideways, I have already made sure that a LOT of money will never get into their lying hands and I take more from them every single day.

  14. catmom5 says:

    Bottom line for me is that CCF might not be without blame, but it’s very clear to me that the HSUS is not always an animal friendly organization. Just because one is wrong doesn’t make the other right!

  15. Traci says:

    Wescott above mentioned HSUS being against the no-kill proposal in King County (where I live).

    Read down towards the bottom:

    Legislation introduced
    to make King County “No Kill”

    However, there were some voices of dissent. The Humane Society of the United States, (HSUS) which has traditionally been opposed to progressive, No Kill strategies, entered a letter expressing its opposition to the legislation.

    HSUS has no affiliation with the Humane Society of Seattle/King County or any other humane societies across the country – in fact, HSUS doesn’t run any animal shelters. However, it has been given a seat on the King County Animal Control Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

    The HSUS letter indicated that setting a goal of an 85% save rate by 2009 was premature, and expressed its concern over the use of the term “No Kill,” arguing that the only No Kill shelters are limited-admission shelters that turn away needy homeless animals. HSUS also maintained that the use of the term No Kill was misleading because the public is unable to understand that even in a No Kill community, animals will be euthanized to alleviate pain and suffering, or if they pose a risk to public health and safety. (Please see our FAQ for more information on these subjects.)

    HSUS representative Inga Gibson urged council to “abstain from formally voting on these proposals at this time, in favor of tasking these as priority items for consideration by the King County Animal Control Citizen’s Advisory Committee.”

    In response to the HSUS letter, council approved a friendly amendment to Patterson’s legislation to put the phrase “no-kill” in quotes, to emphasize that it doesn’t literally mean that no animal will ever be killed.

    Leading No Kill advocate Nathan Winograd, founder of the No Kill Advocacy Center, wrote a letter to council in response to the concerns raised by HSUS.

    First, Winograd observed that HSUS’s contention that an open-admission shelter could not become No Kill was “simply not true,” noting that open-admission shelters in San Francisco, CA, Charlottesville, VA, Tompkins County, NY, and Washoe County, NV, all have save rates in excess of 85%.

    “Not only should the council ignore HSUS and not abstain from voting, it should signal its desire to end the killing by unanimously voting to achieve it by 2009. King County has the power to build a new consensus, which rejects killing as a method for achieving results. And the animals and citizens of King County can look forward to a time when the killing of savable animals in shelters is viewed as a cruel aberration of the past,” Winograd wrote.

  16. catmom5 says:

    Winograd is my hero ~ and he has done what he says he’s done! I just don’t understand the HSUS, which claims to be in the business of promoting “humane” treatment for animals. Too bad so many people are duped by their rhetoric.
    I think it would be great IF the HSUS would continue being an information and education agency, but for crying out loud let the public know exactly who you are and what you do! Don’t collect money and peddle influence while allowing millions to believe you run shelters and save animals.

  17. Lynne says:

    “They are more focused on large public education campaigns and political action.”

    In other words they are focused on the big picture. If, through education and political action, they can shut down puppy mills isn’t that as important as tending to individual dogs?

    When you find yourself in a hole the first thing you should do is stop digging. That is what the HSUS is trying to do: stop American society from digging. I applaud those on the local levels who focus on the individual animals. We need to fight the war on both fronts, however.

    To those of you who refuse to support the HSUS, I understand. I am frequently disappointed in groups I thought were “good”. In this case, I think the good they do on the broader front is worth support. At least my support.

  18. E. Hamilton says:

    I simply am not seeing all the “good” the HSUS is supposed to be doing, I can do investigation and find all the big salaries paid but every single year the problems they claim to be “helping” get BIGGER!

    That means that what they are doing IS NOT WORKING.

    I do not support people or organizations that cannot get the job DONE.
    Come to me and say ” This is what we are doing that WORKS, fewer animals are abandoned, the pet food companies are doing a better job because we are testing the food and PUBLISHING the results, the media has stopped being a tool for the PFI because we watch them like hawks and use our media pull to get the TRUTH on the news and we need money to keep doing THE RIGHT THING, no lies, no spin and no freaking big bonuses paid on your dime and THAT I would support! Oh boy would I support that.

    But when the HSUS acts EXACTLY like the pet food industry that has betrayed and killed then they get EXACTLY what the pet food gets from me, not a dime and vast amounts of contempt.
    And they aint alone.

  19. Stefani says:

    My suspicion as to why the HSUS did not get out there on the pet food debacle is this:

    It is the same reason one of their representatives told me they would not get involved in the issue of veterinary malpractice. They cannot afford to alienate constituencies they need, or that’s the way they see it. This really got to me when it was told by an HSUS employee that: (paraphase)

    “We know there is a problem with State Vet Boards failing to take action against bad vets who are hurting pets. But we can’t afford to get involved because we need the vets on other issues, and if we say anything about this it will alienate them.”

    This really disappointed me, and everybody gets really uncomfortable when I bring up the topic of veterinary malpractice and abuse at these conferences. (I just went to the “Taking Action for Animals” conference sponsored by HSUS in DC, so I guess I did give them money . . . )

    I am not saying the issues they work on are not important: Agitating for humane farming is important; ending circuses and vivisection is important; etc.

    But it causes me cognitive dissonance when they won’t take on other issues to avoid alienating a constituency that is also harming animals, like the PFI or bad vets.

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  20. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Despite their inaccurate, disingenuous, “Send us money, we’re caring for his impounded pit bulls” plea, I’m grateful to the HSUS for publicizing the Vick case and helping put the kibosh on his endorsements. I, like Lynne, feel many of the “big picture” efforts of the HSUS are as valid and valuable, in their own way, as those undertaken by practical animal welfare groups.

    Conversely, while I appreciate the public hell PETA is helping put Michael Vick through, I absolutely and utterly loathe the organization and its founder/executive director, Ingrid Newkirk. Why? Because Newkirk advocates the extermination and deliberate extinction of the three breeds commonly referred to as “pit bulls.” Newkirk, in her own words:

    F-U PETA. A pox upon you, Ingrid Newkirk.

  21. Sandy says:

    I stopped donating to the HSUS when I stumbled across an Atlanta article detailing their dishonest fundraising practices…specifically in regards to the pets during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. It turned my stomach when I read how they were taking credit for the care of all those animals yet it was actually local shelters who were bearing the brunt of the physical and financial burden…and receiving little to no acknowledgement. Then when the crap hit the fan and they backpeddaled with a deal to open a new shelter to pull their chestnuts from the fire, it just cemented my negative view of them as swindlers and opportunists. Never again. From now on, any monetary donation will go to my local shetler, which I’ve adopted a dog from and have actual knowledge of the good works they do.

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