with Horse and Hound

Just Be Honest

nodh.klmAccording to a recent national poll, seventy-one percent of Americans believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an umbrella organization of their local pet shelters. This, according to an article by Rick Berman of the Center for Consumer Freedom published in MyCentralJersey.com, a Gannett Company publication.

HSUS is not, in fact, associated with your local humane shelter. But certainly due in part to this misunderstanding, HSUS raised $131 million last year. I’m not about to debate here the merits or shortcomings of HSUS. That has been done, some would say, ad nauseum. But I do fault HSUS for not setting the record straight.

“HSUS is well aware of this widespread confusion,” writes Berman. Although the organization could be honest and refute this hugely popular misconception, their fund raising tactics take advantage of it and “help perpetuate the confusion among Americans.”

HSUS fund raising mailers are replete with images of cute dogs and cats and contain language suggesting that your membership helps HSUS to assist local shelters. Of the perhaps millions of dollars raised by HSUS in New Jersey alone, only about five hundred dollars were spared for the state’s shelters.

Other HSUS fund raising rhetoric tells donors that their membership dollars will help save innocent puppies and kittens and find loving homes for them, when, in fact, ninety-nine percent of all monies raised will never find it’s way to care for the pets they proclaim to be protecting.

Just be honest, I would like to say to HSUS, and harvest donations on the merits of your true agenda.

Posted November 1, 2011