Where Do People Get the Silly Idea that HSUS is a Pet Shelter Organization?

The current issue of American Way (the in-flight magazine of American Airlines, circulation 320,000+) includes a profile of Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle.

The article itself is the sort of fluff piece you’d expect to read in a magazine you get for free in your seat-back pocket. (Click here to read it if you must, and leave American Way a comment.) But what we found most fascinating were the photographs.

Four pictures of Pacelle accompany the article, and three of them show him in the company of pooches—walking them and even letting them play on his desk as he works. (Notice the purple lint roller? Can’t let that expensive suit get dog hair on it.)

Does Pacelle even own a dog? Any pets at all? That would be news.

But more to the point, we hear now and then from people who just don’t understand why so many Americans think HSUS is in the pet-shelter business and donate accordingly. The organization’s mission statement, after all, is long on “celebrating” and “advocating,” and short on hands-on pet care.

How does it happen? This is how it happens. And it can't be by accident.

We're left to wonder: Were the folks at American Way forbidden to ask Pacelle about all the dogs killed by HSUS spokes-felon Michael Vick? Did Pacelle just decline to answer? Or was this meant to be a puff piece from the get-go?