Announcing ‘The Pepperdine Papers’

One of the most interesting features of HumaneWatch is its document library, where we’re assembling what we believe is the largest repository of publicly available documents about the Humane Society of the United States. While our archive’s contents contain ordinary tax documents and fundraising materials, occasionally we can share something truly extraordinary with you. Today is one of those days.

This morning we published a complete collection of documents that once belonged to Susan Pepperdine, who was a Board member of HSUS for six years during the 1980s. This is the second such collection we’ve been able to share: Last July we published the HSUS-related papers of the late Amy Freeman Lee, who served on HSUS’s Board longer than anyone else in the group’s history.

Pepperdine’s HSUS papers run the gamut from old tax returns to internal minutes of Board meetings; they filled a whole banker’s box when we received them.

Ms. Pepperdine has confirmed the authenticity of this collection for us, and we’re sharing them with her permission. She tells us her papers represent an unfortunately scandal-plagued period in HSUS’s history, and that telling the episode’s complete story is the right thing to do. We wholeheartedly agree.

We’ve sorted the Pepperdine Papers into 13 PDFs, and we also provide an Excel file containing a complete inventory of each document. We’ll be pulling specific documents out of the collection to discuss as time goes on, but in the meantime we’re offering the complete collection freely to historians, journalists, and other interested parties.