As crowdfunding becomes an increasingly popular method of investment, with campaigns on websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter generating upwards of $20 million, it was only a matter of time before the manipulative Humane Society of the United States got in on the action. But just as wealthy celebrities like Zach Braff and Spike Lee have been criticized for “Kickstarter abuse” for using crowdfunding to pay for pet projects instead of dipping into their own deep pockets, HSUS is unsurprisingly providing a new case of egregious behavior.
On gofundme, HSUS has set up a fund called “Save the Abandoned Chimps.” Per the description, the goal of the fundraising campaign is to “provide emergency support for chimps abandoned in Liberia” by the New York Blood Center, an American non-profit corporation that conducts blood-centric research. The goal of the campaign is to provide $150,000 for the care and nourishment of the chimps, of which it has raised $132,255.
We’re all for chimps getting proper care, but it is hard to believe that HSUS doesn’t have $150,000 tucked away. We’ve written at length about how HSUS gives only 1% of is $100 million-plus budget to pet shelters, while sending $50 million to Caribbean hedge funds in 2012 and 2013. What’s the point of having all that money stashed away if HSUS won’t use it for things like this?
This gofundme campaign is yet another instance of HSUS, which is already flush with funds from “factory fundraising,” depriving its supporters of money. Deceiving would-be good-doers is far and away one of HSUS’s most effective publicity stunts, and as this campaign illustrates, it doesn’t seem like HSUS plans on letting up any time soon.
Right after we launched HumaneWatch we wrote a blog called “Too Cheap for Chimps” about how HSUS should fund the housing for retired chimpanzees used for medical research, since HSUS wanted to end that research. Five years later, it seems HSUS still sees primates as a fundraising prop.