This Group Has Been Rescuing Animals from Flooding. Where’s HSUS?

BoulderFloodingHurricane season has been light this year, but that doesn’t mean the country has been disaster-free. One of the most significant disasters has been the flooding near Boulder, Colorado. The Longmont Humane Society has been helping animals affected by the flooding, assisting to the point where it is even over capacity.

You’d think this would be a good time for the Humane Society of the United States to offer some help to Longmont Humane Society. After all, HSUS’s TV ads are about helping and rescuing needy animals. And after last year’s Hurricane Sandy, HSUS raised $1.5 million more for its disaster relief fund than it spent on Sandy relief. It has plenty of money lying around (including $200 million in net assets).

Yet despite HSUS’s new motto of “we’re there,” HSUS has not helped the Longmont Humane Society with the flooding. Nada. Not a dime.

In fact, Longmont Humane Society is also in broader financial trouble, needing to pay $770,000 by the end of November to meet a loan payment. So far it has reportedly raised just $54,000.

Once again, HSUS has not given a penny to help this. (We asked.)

That’s not to say HSUS did nothing in the flooding. HSUS did rescue a few prairie dogs, and in its typically self-promotional way was happy to film itself doing so for CEO Wayne Pacelle’s blog. (We hope they took care—these rodents were recently found to carry bubonic plague in Colorado. No joke.)

What’s worse is that HSUS has a bunch of money that it’s gearing up to spend in Colorado—but not on helping pets. HSUS is planning on running a ballot initiative aimed at banning a practice on dairy farms called tail docking.

Dairy farmers use tail docking for cleanliness, to prevent cows from swishing manure onto their legs or udders. It’s not a common practice in the state; there’s only one farm in all of Colorado that does it. HSUS tried to ban tail docking this year, but after hearing from both sides the legislature wasn’t interested. So now HSUS is planning a ballot initiative that will cost easily hundreds of thousands of dollars in signature collection, staff time, and advertising.

HSUS can spare money to run a ballot campaign on a rare farm practice, but it can’t spare any for the Longmont Humane Society? Talk about absurd priorities.

Consider helping the Longmont Humane Society care for animals. And spread the word about the fact that HSUS uses manipulative advertising despite giving just 1 percent of its budget to local pet shelters. There may well be a shelter near you in a similarly dire financial situation, and it sure could use the help. HSUS isn’t “there” for them.