HumaneWatch.org, which is affiliated with the right-leaning Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an investigation into the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). They highlighted the more than 120 complaints filed with the FTC just since December.
Most of the complaints center around the fact that people thought HSUS was using contributions to provide for pet shelters and pet protection. According to the request by CCF, less than 1% of HSUS dollars actually go to shelters. Most people don’t understand that HSUS isn’t affiliated with local Humane Society pet shelters and that, in fact, HSUS spends very little of the money it raises in support of pet shelters.
It’s doubtful that FTC will initiate an investigation; after all, HSUS spends millions annually on lawyers and lobbyists – far more than they do animals. Still, these types of actions are effective in raising public awareness about the true agenda of HSUS and its activities.
I think most people in agriculture are frustrated by the way HSUS successfully portrays itself in its public fundraising, which is 100% contrary to what the group actually does. We experience these tactics from a myriad of activist groups and they’re quite effective. While we’ve always felt such tactics were morally wrong, perhaps it’s time the industry contemplates fighting fire with fire.