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How the ASPCA Shortchanges Animals and Donors

You’ve seen the Sarah MacLachlan ads on TV–but do you know how donations to the ASPCA are really used?

Today we’re releasing a new video about how the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) wastes donor money to the detriment of animals it claims to represent. The ASPCA is based in New York City and is not affiliated with local SPCAs, despite the similar names. The ASPCA runs one animal shelter.

According to the ASPCA’s latest tax return:

  • CEO Matt Bershadker makes nearly $1 million a year–$881,785 in base salary and $108,740 in benefits. That works out to $424 an hour for his salary.
  • Other top executives earn huge salaries of $468,538, $420,613, and $385,415 (and more).
  • Overall, 259 individuals earn at least $100,000 in compensation.
  • The ASPCA has about $11 million offshore in the Caribbean.
  • The ASPCA gets a “C” grade from CharityWatch, which calculates that 42% of the ASPCA’s budget is spent on overhead.

A CBS News investigation into the ASPCA found more startling details:

CBS News spoke to more than two dozen local SPCA’s across the country. A few had received grants worth a few thousand dollars from the ASPCA, which they had applied for. Most, like in Nassau County and Houston, had gotten nothing. 

Since 2008, the ASPCA has raised more than $2 billion for animal welfare. In that time, it has spent $146 million, or about 7% of the total money raised, in grants to local animal welfare groups. But during that same time period it spent nearly three times that, at least $421 million, on fundraising. Over $150 million of that went to Eagle-Com Inc, a Canadian media production company, to produce and place ASPCA’s ads.

“I don’t know how they can put their head on a pillow at night,” Rogers said, “knowing that there are so many animals out here that that money could be used for, for other things.”

Share our video and let your friends know: The ASPCA does not deserve your donation. A local shelter near you does.