Posts Tagged ‘Local Humane Societies’

The Humane Conflict

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

There’s a battle brewing and it is not terrorism or presidential politics. This conflict centers on our domesticated pets and is generating heated debates, controversial laws and impassioned pleas for help. On the surface, the welfare of America’s pets seems to be at the center of the battle, but are there deeper, more sinister motives?

The images are designed to enflame our anger and tug at our hearts. Severely matted dogs, wounded cats, and emaciated horses linger on the television screen and in our minds. Throughout the ninety second infomercial, celebrity voices plead with us to open our hearts, and our wallets, to save these poor creatures.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has spent more than fifty years standing on the front lines in the battle against animal cruelty. From raids on “puppy mills” and animal hoarders to helping enact legislation for more humane conditions at farms and feedlots, HSUS considers itself the largest and most effective animal protection organization in the world. So, with such a positive agenda, why would anyone criticize their efforts?

Critics of HSUS claim that the tear-jerking commercials mislead animal lovers into donating $19.95 per month that is then used to fuel questionable lobbying efforts, pay six figure salaries and fund yet more infomercials., an organization dedicated to “watching the Humane Society”, issued a press release detailing a survey in which more than 70% of respondents believed that HSUS is an “umbrella organization for local humane societies”. Not true.

Beyond that, more than 60% of surveyed adults believe that their local animal shelter is actively associated with HSUS. 59% believed that HSUS used donations to provide care and support at their local humane organizations. Again not true.