HSUS's Report Card: D

We received the latest charity rating guide from CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy). And once again, the Humane Society of the United States—a national animal-rights group, not a pet-sheltering organization—gets a “D” grade.

CharityWatch finds that HSUS spends as little as 49 percent of its budget on actual program costs, meaning the rest is overhead costs (salaries, pension plans, etc.). CharityWatch also determines that it takes HSUS up to 49 cents to raise every dollar.

For an organization that raises over $130 million a year, that adds up to considerable money spent on direct mail and telemarketers. In fact, HSUS spent almost $50 million on fundraising in 2010. All those tote bags and other doodads are tying up a lot of dollars that could be helping shelter pets. (Click the picture to enlarge.)

This is the fifth straight CharityWatch report in which HSUS has received a “D” grade, though it probably deserves an “F” for honesty given how much HSUS misleads Americans. That’s over a year and counting. Does anybody at HSUS care? Or are they satisfied with blowing doggie dollars, so long as it keeps the cash flowing?