The “Humane Society” That Isn’t

Our analysis last year of the Humane Society of the United States’ 2008 tax return drew a lot of eyeballs, because HSUS’s animal-rights priorities became clearer than ever before. Just one-half of one percent of HSUS’s 2008 budget consisted of grants to pet shelters. Meanwhile, the group spent lavishly on animal rights campaigns, lobbying, and litigation to push a PETA-style agenda on Americans.

This week we obtained a copy of HSUS’s 2009 IRS filing, and once again, it doesn't tell a pretty story. (You can view the whole return here.)

As we're telling readers of, HSUS collected $97 million in donations last year and spent $22 million on fundraising. In other words, 23 cents of every dollar HSUS collected went right back out the door to raise more money. (We don't call 'em factory fundraisers for nothing.)

The bottom line for 2009 is the same as usual: HSUS sucked in millions from unsuspecting Americans who believed it was running pet shelters (it wasn’t), or that it would give a substantial portion of that money to pet shelters (it didn’t). Instead, HSUS funneled millions to political front groups and affiliated organizations that it controls.

Last year, HSUS earmarked between 1 and 1.5 percent (we're still crunching the numbers) for grants to hands-on pet shelters. That's a step up from the 0.45 percent HSUS shared with cash-strapped pet shelters in 2008, but it's still a pathetic total.

HSUS’s biggest expenses in 2009 were for direct-mail and online marketing costs, not animal care. Wayne Pacelle, HSUS’s tel-evangelical vegan activist CEO, now has an annual compensation package worth over $269,000. And HSUS contributed another $2.59 million to its bloated executive pension plan in 2009.

Visit for all the disturbing details, and then join 180,000 other "HumaneWatchers" for a discussion on FaceBook.