Last week HumaneWatch.org, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, petitioned Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate the deceptive fundraising practices of the animal rights group Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HumaneWatch.org also released a full report exposing HSUS's misleading telemarketing, direct mail, and television appeals. The new analysis reveals that the animal rights group's fundraising activities might be more than just dishonest, speculating that these tactics could violate some charitable solicitation or consumer protection laws in the Great Lakes State.
The new report delves into years of HSUS's direct mail, telemarketing, and television appeals, which actively perpetuate the misperception that HSUS's primary focus is to care for abandoned and abused cats and dogs. However, a look through the group's tax returns reveals just 1% of its multi-million dollar budget goes to local hands-on shelters and rescues. That's a surprise to many of HSUS's own donors. Recent public polling by ORC International determined that 71% of Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group, and 68% wrongly think that HSUS spends most of its money on pet shelters.
"HSUS is a factory fundraising machine, sucking valuable dollars out of local communities with its advertisements that mislead donors into believing a majority of its budget benefits local cats and dogs," says J. Justin Wilson, CCF's Senior Research Analyst. "HumaneWatch's new report clearly demonstrates that HSUS is fully aware of its deceptive fundraising tactics."