“He said, they said” is what it looks like from the outside. You’ll find rabid comments against one side or the other in every direction. So I’ll just tell you what happened.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a large charity that uses TV advertisements featuring suffering puppies and kittens to get you to send them money. About a year ago, HumaneWatch (which uses Berman & Co for PR) exposed that only 1 penny of every dollar raised by HSUS goes to dog and cat shelters. HumaneWatch also published details about fund raising companies HSUS hires, keep keep a significant portion of the money donated. The HW website posted tax documents that show that another large portion goes to salaries (called “programs”) and pension plans.
In response, StopHumaneWatch, a facebook page which promises it is in no way affiliated with HSUS, collects commentaries on the great work HSUS does and the horrible work that Berman & Co. does by succeeding at PR and representing restaurants, HumaneWatch and my project, Humane Society for Shelter Pets.
Charities can spend their money any way they see fit. Donors decide if they want to support the work over time. The problem is that over 70% of people polled believe that HSUS is sending the money they receive to pet shelter. People have been shocked by the news that only 1% of the money that donors send to HSUS goes to pet shelters. StopHumaneWatch says everyone knows this is true and people should simply investigate before theny donate. And HSUS says donations are up, most people give to more than one charity and they never said they needed the money for pet shelters even though their commercials show mostly pet animals. Just a big misunderstanding.
HSUS officials and the UNofficials of StopHumaneWatch prefer to talk about who said what to whom and where I was standing when I said it rather than the details of their fiscal policy or truth in advertising. Then they ask their millions of members to file complaints and assist others in filing complaints with any official sounding agency that has to listen. No one from HSUS contacted me directly about my work for Humane Society for Shelter Pets which is odd, since I worked for HSUS for three years and those who complained all know me and how to reach me.
The problem started for me when I worked at HSUS. A shelter director asked Andrew Rowan to help local shelters clear up the confusion that ASPCA’s similar ads had caused. HSUS decided to copy what the ASPCA had done instead. I moved on.
But after returning to hands on shelter work, I was told of a stray mastiff puppy who’s eyes had been gouged out (don’t worry it didn’t happen) by a person unknown and at large. What actually happened, was that while this puppy was lost on the streets, he suffered from ulcers on his eyes which blinded him. What I found shocking was that people preferred to believe that there is a person on earth who would do such a thing to a puppy rather than help care for strays. Hating an evil doer can be accomplished without lifting a finger, unless it’s to type some threatening idea you have for his demise. Helping stray animals means you’ll have to get up.
Two of my colleagues quit working on this new project over threats from animal rights activists and the direct complaints of HSUS officials to their employers, colleagues, and family members. The people I know who are actual caretakers and supporters of animals would never harm an animal, not even a human one. They wouldn’t threaten to do so, either. But for those who believe the ends justify the means, I can only show a better way.
So I am helping people who want to help animals in trouble by connecting you to shelters and rescues (including Borzoi Rescue, of course) wherever you may be. To be clear, I am NOT asking you to send me or my “company” any money or telling you a horrible act was just committed and if you don’t empty your wallet so I can pass a new law, more helpless animals will die every three minutes starting now…..
Dear reader, if animal activists, in order to get you involved in fighting cruelty have made you believe in a false world with a particular evil doer to blame, what have we done? Sending you all out to look for the monster is not going to get these homeless animals taken care of. So what can we do?
Go to Huamneforpets.com and find your nearest rescue or shelter. Check them out. See how you can help them help strays get indoors for winter and ready for a new home. You don’t have to give money. You could clean cages or make phone calls, fold towels, or take flyers to local businesses. That’s kind of a nice place to be, don’t you think? Maybe we should live in this world.