TV Ad During the Olympics Opening Ceremony Alerts Consumers to the Humane Society of the US

Television Ad During the Olympics Opening Ceremony Alerts Consumers to the Humane Society of the United States' Deceptive Fundraising Practices
Watchdog Group Reminds Americans To Give Directly to Local Hands-On Pet Shelters

Washington, DC – Today, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, is issuing a “consumer alert” reminding Americans to be wary of the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The ad, airing during today’s Olympics opening ceremony, highlights HSUS’s duplicitous fundraising practices — as the vast majority of their fundraising commercials feature dogs and cats, yet only one percent of the money HSUS raises from the public goes to local, hands-on pet shelters. The ad also encourages Americans to give directly to their local pet shelters to make the greatest impact in their community.

The ad comes on the heels of a new report that delves into years of HSUS’s direct mail, telemarketing, and television appeals, which perpetuate the misperception that HSUS’s primary focus is to care for the abandoned cats and dogs in local pet shelters. However, a look through the group’s tax returns reveals just 1 percent of its multi-million dollar budget goes to local hands-on shelters and rescues. That’s a surprise to many of HSUS’s own donors. Recent public polling by ORC International determined that 71 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group, and 68 percent wrongly think that HSUS spends most of its money on pet shelters.

“HSUS uses emotionally manipulative ads to raise money on the backs of abandoned and abused dogs and cats, yet it gives just one penny of each dollar it raises to local pet shelters,” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “If HSUS wants to spend its donations funding its PETA-like agenda, it shouldn’t be doing it to the detriment of America’s needy pet shelters and through deception.”

The report documents multiple occurrences of HSUS misrepresenting its work, including an appeal for donations in 2010 that begs donors to “please send your best new membership gift of $8, $12, $15 or as much as you can give to protect and save precious puppies’ and kittens’ lives.” However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and local shelters aren’t seeing much of HSUS’s donations, with several local organizations across America going as far as to change their names in order to prevent current donor confusion.

 “The truth is HSUS knows what opens Americans' wallets and it’s not photos of HSUS’s sad-looking lawyers and lobbyists,” continued Wilson. “All Americans should be sure that their donations are going to worthy groups. HSUS doesn’t make the cut.”

For a copy of the report visit: /images/uploads/DeceptiveFundraisingPracticesofHSUS.pdf

For more information, visit To schedule an interview, contact Allison Miller at 202-463-7112.

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.