“Not Your Local Humane Society”: a 50-state report

Today we're releasing a report showing just how much (or, if you prefer, how little) of the millions of dollars poured into the Humane Society of the United States each year reaches local pet shelters in all 50 states.

It's called "Not Your Local Humane Society," and it includes some eye-opening statistics about how HSUS fails to put pet-sheltering dollars to work in the local communities where the money originates.

Here's just a sample:

  • Between 2006 and 2008, HSUS donated zero dollars to hands-on pet shelters in five states (Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming).
  • In 2008 HSUS made donations to pet shelter organizations in only 15 states—down from 34 states in 2007—even though its overall budget increased by more than $8 million.
  • HSUS routinely spends far more on state-level political fights than on pet shelters in those same states. In Arizona, for instance, HSUS spent $300 passing a "humane farms" ballot initiative for every $1 it donated to pet shelters in that state. Similarly lopsided numbers can be found in Michigan, Massachusetts, Colorado, and California—and the smart money is on HSUS repeating the phenomenon in Ohio this year.

Download "Not Your Local Humane Society" and see how HSUS performed in your state. The report includes a complete accounting of every pet-shelter grant the organization made from 2006 to 2008. We'll be updating it later this year when HSUS files its 2009 income tax return.