HSUS CEO Admits His Donors are Confused

We recently released a report to the media showing how little the Humane Society of the United States gives to pet shelters in every state. It’s a damning account—while the public thinks HSUS is mostly about helping pet shelters, HSUS in reality only gives 1% of its budget to local shelters, according to its tax return. HSUS isn’t affiliated with local humane societies, despite its name. We pointed out that we surveyed over 1,000 HSUS donors and discovered that they, like the general public, are confused about where their money is going.

In response to our report, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle told Farm Progress that “I’ll say that such claims (specifically that there is confusion between The HSUS, and the ASPCA on the one hand, and local shelters on the other) is a contrivance.”

A “contrivance”? Huh, that’s odd—Present Wayne isn’t jiving with Past Wayne.

Speaking at a meeting not long ago, Pacelle told the audience that yes, indeed, he believed that people were confused about HSUS. Here’s the audio:


In case the audio doesn’t come through on your smartphones, Pacelle said, “I think there is some confusion among the general public and I think there’s occasional confusion with, with donors.”

In that same meeting, Pacelle also remarked, “You could ask anybody what’s the difference between the National Audubon Society and their local Audubon society. People have no clue.”

That’s exactly our point. There’s easily confusion between the Humane Society of the United States and local humane societies, which are unaffiliated with HSUS and get little to no money from HSUS.

Here are the facts. Our survey of the general public finds considerable confusion about HSUS. And our polls of HSUS donors (here and here) find similar confusion among those who support HSUS–to the point where once HSUS donors learn how little of their money goes to pet shelters, most are less likely to support HSUS and think “HSUS misleads people.”

The confusion is well established, and even Pacelle acknowledged it. But now Pacelle is telling the media that this confusion is a “contrivance.”

Is it fair to call Wayne Pacelle a liar? You make the call.