‘Show Me’ the Money

The Humane Society of the United States has its factory fundraising operation in full gear again. (Yes, yes … we were shocked too.)

Wayne Pacelle sent out a desperate plea for money this week to HSUS "constituents" all across America. He says HSUS needs $200,000 to run ads in Missouri in support of its “Proposition B” ballot initiative.

We're telling Fox News viewers today that Prop B is a sucker bet that will take the idea of limiting how many animals a person can own and eventually apply it to farmers. But there's an even better reason to not help HSUS pay for its political advertising in Missouri: The group has more money than it needs already.

HSUS reported in its 2009 Annual Report that as of just nine months ago it had $27 million in “cash and cash equivalents” in the bank. What’s going on here? Two possibilities come to mind.

One option is that HSUS's leaders are just shameless money grubbers. (Never discount the obvious.)

Despite having tons of dough in various bank accounts, HSUS may not want to dip into its $151 million in investments. Or the $1.5 million parked in the "Ohioans for Humane Farms" account—money that's not needed for a ballot campaign in the Buckeye State (at least not this year).

The second possibility is that HSUS really is short on cash. A year before reporting (in December 2009) that it had $27 million in cash on hand, HSUS put that number for December 2008 at $50.7 million. In other words, HSUS went through nearly half its cash in 2009.

Has HSUS blown through the other half in 2010? Are more and more donors becoming former donors after they’ve learned the truth? Could HSUS’s reckless fundraising practices and its habit of outspending the White House on payroll finally have caught up with Wayne Pacelle?

Perhaps it’s a little of both. Stay tuned. We'll keep watching.