The CEO of the Humane Society of the United States resigned on Friday amid allegations of sexual harassment. Although HSUS board members voted to retain Wayne Pacelle as chief executive, seven board members resigned in protest and donors began to pull funding, ultimately prompting Pacelle to step down.
Not only is HSUS one of the largest anti-hunting organizations in the country, the charity also misleads the public about its mission. According to the company’s own tax documents and this report by HumaneWatch.org and the Center for Consumer Freedom, HSUS donated less than 1 percent of its $132 million budget to local pet shelters in 2016. This statistic is at odds with fundraising commercials depicting homeless dogs and cats in need, but begins to make more sense when accounting for the disproportionate amount the company spends on fundraising and executive salaries each year.
To be clear, the Humane Society of the United States is not the same organization as local pet shelters, which often have “Humane Society” in their names. If you want to donate to organizations with proven track records of putting donations toward animals—specifically in the form of wildlife and habitat conservation—consider the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and the National Wild Turkey Federation, among others.
Alex Robinson contributed reporting; video by the author