The Humane Society of the United States talks a big game about the importance of caring for animals, but when comparing HSUS’s track record with real humane societies, it is abundantly clear that providing direct care to animals isn’t something the organization does efficiently. The numbers provided in the most recent HSUS report show that this organization is falling far short of its donor’s expectations.
According to HSUS’s annual report, last year the organization and its affiliates took in $186,145,633 in total revenue and “cared” for 115,851 animals. For now, let’s assume this “care” is something substantive—we’ll get back to that in a moment. At face value, that breaks down to a cost of roughly $1,500 in revenue per animal. At a price like that, there is no doubt that HSUS donors aren’t getting much of a bang for their buck.
But in order to really visualize how far the organization missed the mark on direct animal care, we examined the figures at 17 local shelter organizations who have a combined revenue that is similar to HSUS’s.
In our analysis, we found that these shelters were able to provide care for a total of 528,346 animals. Donations to these local animal shelters will provide over four times the amount of direct care for animals (412,495 more animals received care) for a smaller price.
But it gets worse. These shelters are operating by providing potentially long-term care for animals. How exactly does HSUS define its own “direct care”? Digging a little deeper, it’s apparent the HSUS figure includes spay/neutered animals in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and the remote Asian kingdom of Bhutan—not helping animals in the United States, in other words. And HSUS’s biggest international program, so to speak, seems to be shoveling money into offshore Caribbean funds; HSUS has sent $50 million to the Caribbean over the last two years.
While HSUS claims that it is the “most effective animal protection organization,” the evidence to the contrary is staggering. The bottom line—if HSUS wasn’t siphoning money away from local humane organizations, there would be more donations flowing to the facilities that provide meaningful direct care to animals across the country.
Here is a breakdown on how many animals these 17 shelters were able to care for:
|Shelter||Animals Cared For||Revenue $$|
|Earie County SPCA||14,000||6,518,821|
|Mohawk Hudson Humane Society||6,000||2,266,746|
|San Diego Humane Society and SPCA||9,397||14,926,686|
|The Marin Humane Society||10,000||10,779, 107|
|Humane Society of Missouri||90,000||25,860,840|
|Arizona Humane Society||31,135||18,473,227|
|Animal Humane Society (Minnesota)||23,858||15,689,095|
|SPCA of Texas||50,000||12,852,704|
|Wisconsin Humane Society||24,000||8,333,825|
|Denver Dumb Friends League||20,218||21,907,000|
|Washington Humane Society (DC)||51,000||7,103,765|
|Humane Society of Tampa||25,857||5,372,813|
|Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA||11,479||7,759,266|
|Oregon Humane Society||11,402||12,163,190|
|Michigan Humane Society||100,000||17,388,764|
|Total:||528,346 Animals Received Care||$184,030,320 Revenue|