As reported on this website yesterday, the Humane Society of the United States recently kicked off a fund-raising campaign by releasing a video alleging cruelty and abuse of laying hens at Kreider Farms, one of Pennsylvania's largest laying hen operations. However, the only proof of the video claim was a brief statement by an HSUS spokesperson.
Kreider Farms officials, backed by state inspections, refuted the claims. And the company reported no knowledge of any undercover short-term employee who might have taken the videos
Also yesterday, according to HumaneWatch.org, HSUS credibility as an philanthropic animal care institution pulled a "D" grade. That was how the American Institute of Philanthropy's Charity Rating Guide scored HSUS's fundraising practices.
The American Institute of Philanthropy, also known as CharityWatch, gave HSUS an "unsatisfactory" grade of "D" for the sixth time in the past two years. That determination is based on how an institution's budget is spent.
It determined that HSUS spends as little as half of its budget on program costs, meaning up to 50% of its expenses are for overhead. The Institute also cited inefficient fundraising costs, with up to 48 cents needed to raise every dollar in contributions.
"It's still business as usual at HSUS," says J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst for HumaneWatch.org, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, reported that. "HSUS is a factory fund-raising machine, sucking dollars out of local communities under the guise of helping dogs and cats. But very little of the money it raises helps local humane societies."
The Humane Society of United States is not affiliated with local humane societies and gives only 1% of its budget to pet shelters, according to its tax returns. HSUS, however, funded its 2010 pension plans with $2.6 million, and reportedly has a staff of close to 50 lawyers.
"The best place for animal lovers' charitable donations is a local pet shelter or rescue group," emphasizes Wilson. "These local organizations are focused on feeding and caring for needy pets – not lawyers and lobbyists."