What IS The Humane Society of the United States? By Christoph Aust (August 2004)

I was rather amazed at the number of people who wrote to me about my opinions regarding the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) when I did my last few articles. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be. Before about two weeks ago, I myself was rather ignorant as to the real goals of HSUS, and where their, (actually your) money goes. As I always do though, I decided to edumacate myself about them. I also conducted a poll of 100 average people. Just the average Joe in the street. 94% of the people thought HSUS ran the local shelters in their community. 4% knew about their other programs and the remaining 2% had no idea who they were. Of the 94% all said they would donate to HSUS based on what they knew about them. I'm betting HSUS is banking, literally, on these types of individuals. I also went online and found some rather interesting, at times quite scary,information on several web sites. I would have interviewed a HSUS representative, but after last week's newsletter, I got an email from one that was little more than hate mail and very offensive! Founders Coleman Burke, then president of the American Bible Society, Cleveland Amory and Helen Jones, founded HSUS in 1954. As far as I have been able to tell, Mr. Burke served as their President until 1970 when John Hoyt, a Presbyterian minister, took over as President and CEO until 1996. Until just a few months ago, the President and CEO was Paul Irwin, a Methodist minister. The current CEO and President is Wayne Pacelle who admittedly has had ties with some radical (and I mean radical) animal rights groups in the past. Now, is it important I mention the religious background? Maybe and maybe not. What I noticed though is the organization, at least to me, has an evangelical feel. Is this a bad thing? No. I don't see why unless you are running the finances in a manner similar to Jim and Tammie Faye Baker! That sure is the way it looks to me. Officers and Directors HSUS is an organization with their primary focus being animals. As I reviewed the names and titles of the Board Officers and Directors, I found it curious they had no DVM's (vets) on either. They have three MDs', three PhDs' and six attorneys. Am I the only one that finds this odd? Plenty of lawyers, but no vet. Hmmm?Maybe it's just a typo. Comparative Financial Operations Report When I conducted my interview with Kathy Bauch a few weeks ago, she refused to answer any questions regarding HSUS' finances for a "newsletter." She did offer to send me their 2003 financials though. This is what they send whenever some one has questions about their finances. As I mentioned last week, if it was similar to what they have online, it would be vague and difficult to decipher. What I got was much more. What I received is their 2003 Annual Report. It is a twenty-one page "report" that was obviously very expensive to print. Tucked way in the back is exactly what I expected. A vague and difficult to read one page financial report. The rest appears to me to be a very expensive sales letter and nothing more, complete with a postage paid envelope to send in your donation. Now you might say, "So what? They have to promote themselves." I agree. However, this publication has six pages of calendar quality photos of nothing but animals. Two and a half pages of self-glorifying articles from HSUS staff, none of which was necessary. How much donor money could have been saved by deleting this junk from the thousands and thousands of these reports they printed? According to the Comparative Financial Operations Report for 2003, the HSUS has $116,205,882.00 in total liability and net assets. Over $5,000,000 of that is in cash and cash equivalents, and another nearly five and a half million in receivables. They also have nearly $93,000,000 in market value investments. Not too bad. In 2003, in revenue, additions and transfers, HSUS made $76,923,670. Of that amount, sheltering programs received $10,551,527 and it was shared with animal habitat and wildlife programs. Now, assuming it was an even split, sheltering programs received $3,517,175.66 Now that's a lot of money, but not when you consider a good sized shelter can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run, three million is really a drop in the bucket. They spent $21,145,769.00 in fundraising and membership development. Six times what they put into their shelter programs, which is what most people I talked to think HSUS does with the money donated to them. Providing Help or Selling It I'm not sure what they spent the money on for their shelter programs, but I will assure you they didn't fund any shelters. In fact, they charge shelters and Animal Control offices for their assistance and instructional material. I have been able to find little and or nothing HSUS doesn't charge for when it comes to helping a shelter and their educational programs. For instance, lets say you or your town runs an animal shelter that is struggling for one reason or another, which most are, HSUS is ready to come in and help. For between $4000.00 and $20,000.00 they will send their experts to your shelter through their Animal Services Consultation Program. The fee depends on the size of the agency and the complexity of its programs, charged on a sliding scale based on your agency's resources. In other words, the more you have, the more they'll take. Youth Programs Now, lets go back to our youth. You're in middle or high school and want to start a club to promote rescue and do things to help companion animals. HSUS can help you with that, too. Just go to humaneteen.org. There you can buy a package full of all kinds of propaganda and learn to be a full-fledged animal activist. They will sell your child a club starter kit for $22.00 and then give activity suggestions like their "Fight Fur" program. Here they encourage kids to make flyers and hand them out in front of businesses to protest against shoppers buying fur. HSUS will also give your child cards to distribute at such events. They'll show your child pictures of dead animals in traps and direct them to other sites where they can see pictures of hunters beating seals over the head. They will also promote vegen/vegetarian lifestyles to your child. Just go to the message board for kids and you can read how many of the kids are distressed, after reading the material HSUS SOLD them, because their parents will not let them go vegen. You will also see posts promoting PETA! Now I want to be fair here. They do have some decent material that is age appropriate and educational in nature. I think it's overpriced; for instance, your child can rent a video to show their class for $25.00, but some of it is good material. However, there is little promoting appropriate training, grooming or responsible ownership of companion animals. It seems to me the whole focus is turning  our children into activists, vegens and extremists. Now if I want my child to be a vegen, or an activist, I will make that decision and not HSUS. Our kids have enough on their plate without having to be weighed down with this information or agenda. Additionally, kids are kids and don't always make appropriate decisions. When dealing with complex issues like activism and  protesting, it would be easy for them to get into trouble or hurt. Doesn't PETA target children too? Ethical Financial Practices Let's get back to the money: Former President John Hoyt once instructed his members on becoming more humane: "We begin, I suggest, by living more simply, more sparingly." Let's see how he did. He made around $200,000.00 in the late 1980's running HSUS. In 1986, HSUS bought his house in Maryland for $310,000 and allowed him and his family to live there, free of rent, until 1992. When he retired as CEO, HSUS gave him a $1,000,000.00 bonus. Paul Irwin, another former President, while making $300,000.00 from HSUS, was given an $85,000.00 interest free loan to renovate his cabin in Maine. The cabin was held in trust by HSUS, however his family continued to use it until he died. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Makes me wonder. Guilty by Association Let's look at some of HSUS' associations: In April of 2000 HSUS sent J.P. Goodwin as its emissary on an anti-fur mission to China. Goodwin is not just any animal rights zealot, he was an avowed member of Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a group once called one of the biggest domestic terrorist organizations by the FBI. He had been convicted for vandalism of several fur retailers and their property. Less than a year later, he was formerly identified as a HSUS legislative staff member. If you don't know about ALF you should check them out. They truly scare the heck out of me. They are, in my opinion, every bit as much a threat to people as Al Quiada. I cannot believe HSUS would hire such a person. When asked questions about an arson fire at a slaughter house in Petaluma, California, and a Utah feed co-op that nearly killed a family, Goodwin stated, "We're ecstatic!" Then, there is the PETA connection ... HSUS has repeatedly hired PETA employees in their organization. Their head of investigations, several investigators, a computer programmer, just to name a few. Sorry folks, my opinion is, once a terrorist, always a terrorist. When HSUS hires these people, they appear to support the crimes these individuals may have been involved in. In 2003, HSUS VP Martin Stephens was asked to recommend three people to serve on an EPA "pollution prevention and toxics" panel. Two of his three choices were PETA employees. All Talk and No Action While HSUS will admit they don't run or fund any shelters, you usually find it at the bottom of the page or tucked away somewhere near the end of a statement. As I mentioned before, they don't put their money where their mouth is. Get this ? In 1995, when the Washington DC animal shelter was going to have to close due to a budget shortfall, HSUS (based in DC) offered to build and operate a DC shelter at its own expense to serve as a national model. There were, of course, conditions. HSUS wanted the city to give it 3-5 acres of land and tax exempt status for all of its real estate holdings in the District of Columbia. (Remember, they buy some executives homes to live in among other property holdings.) The DC government offered a long-term lease but HSUS refused to proceed unless it would "own absolutely" the land. The district declined, and the only HSUS funded animal shelter never materialized. HSUS, who makes and has enough money to fund a shelter in every state, as well as subsidize spay/neuter programs, declined to help the dogs in its own back yard. Why? Money is all I can think of. Perhaps they were afraid they would soil their Armani suits by actually working with a dog. The New CEO Rather than go on a tirade about the new President and CEO of HSUS, I have put some quotes from him below. Read them, and you decide. "I think they wanted the aggressive approach," he says. "They wanted someone who was going to think things up. And they got him." June 2004, Washington Post when asked about his selection as CEO. "We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Quoted in Animal People, May, 1993 Overview I could go on for days about HSUS, but I will stop here. In my opinion, they are little more than an organization whose main agenda is filling the coffers and pushing an extremist agenda through misinformation and exploitation. Again, my opinion, they have done nothing but profit from the contributions of people who don't know any better. I have tried to see it otherwise, I simply can't. I highly recommend you go to activistcash.com and see what they have there about HSUS and their connection with PETA. There are several other sites I found interesting, as well as many stories about HSUS in the archive of the Washington Post. Would I give anything to the Humane Society of the United States? Yes I would. A pooper-scooper, they can use to go clean my yard. At least then we would know they actually have done something for a dog this year. This article may be republished using the following attribution box:------------Copyright 2004 Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for DogsThe Instinctual Development System (IDS) for PuppiesSubscribe to the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter: subscribe@Master-Dog-Training.comVISIT NOW:
                                   7 Things You Didn't Know About PETA

1. PETA has stated repeatedly that their goal is "total animal liberation." This means no pets, no meat, no milk, no zoos, no circuses, no fishing, no leather, and no animal testing for lifesaving medicines.
2. PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals.
3. PETA funds the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine  an animal-rights organization that presents itself as an unbiased source for nutritional information and has links to violent animal-rights groups called SHAC and ALF.

4. PETA has used their contributors tax-exempt donations to fund the North American Earth Liberation front, an FBI-certified domestic terrorist group responsible for fire bombs and death threats. 
5. PETA regularly targets kids as early as elementary school with anti-meat and anti-milk propaganda. 
6. PETA spends less than one percent of its $13 million budget actually caring for animals.

7. PETA has repeatedly attacked groups like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, for conducting animal testing to find cures for birth defects and life-threatening diseases.

                                 Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?

Here are some of the differences:

As animal welfare advocates. . .

. We seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals.

. We support the humane treatment of animals that ensures comfort and freedom from unnecessary pain and suffering.

. We believe we have the right to "own" animals -- they are our property.

. We believe animal owners should provide loving care for the lifetime of their animals.

As animal rights activists. . .

. They seek to end the use and ownership of animals, including the keeping of pets.

. They believe that any use of an animal is exploitation so, not only must we stop using animals for food and clothing, but pet ownership must be outlawed as well.

. They want to obtain legal rights for animals as they believe that animals and humans are equal.

. They use false and unsubstantiated allegations of animal abuse to raise funds, attract media attention and bring supporters into the movement. (The Inhumane Crusade, Daniel T. Oliver)

The Twelve Steps of the Animal Rights Agenda
("The Politics of Animal Liberation," by Kim Bartlett, editor of Animals' Agenda, November 1987.)
1.  Abolish by law all animal research.
2.  Abolish by law all other types of animal testing.
3.  Encourage vegetarianism for ethical, ecological, and health reasons.
4.  Phase out intensive confinement livestock production.
5.  Eliminate use of herbicides, pesticides, etc.
6.  Transfer animal law enforcement of Department of Agriculture to another agency.
7.  Eliminate commercial trapping and fur ranching.
8.  Prohibit hunting, trapping and fishing for sport.

9.  Urge US action to prevent destruction of rainforests and end international trade in wildlife and goods produced from exotic and/or endangered fauna or flora.
10. Discourage any further breeding of companion animals, including pedigreed or purebred dogs and cats. Promote spay and neuter of all pets by government subsidized clinics.
11. End the use of animals in entertainment and sports, with reappraisal of zoos and aquariums.
12. Prohibit genetic manipulation of species.

Quotes From The Animal Rights Movement 
"For one thing we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. If people had companion animals in their homes, these animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelter and the streets ? But as the surplus of cats and dogs declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship - enjoyment at a distance." -- Ingrid Newkirk, National Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

"Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation." - Ingrid Newkirk, National Director of PeTA

"One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." - Wayne Pacelle, Vice-President of the Humane Society of the US, former Executive Director of Fund for Animals)

"There are fundamental and profound differences between the philosophy of animal welfare and that of animal rights ? Thus welfare reforms, by their very nature, can only serve to retard the pace at which animal rights goals are achieved." - Gary Francione and Tom Regan, "A Movement's Means Create Its Ends," Animals' Agenda

"HSUS is definitely shifting in the direction of animal rights faster than anyone would realize from our literature." - John McArdle, then director of lab animal welfare for HSUS, 1986. McArdle now works for the American Anti-Vivisection Society.

"Avoid the words 'animal rights' and 'anti-vivisection.' They are too strange for the public. Never appear to be opposed to animal research." - John McArdle, HSUS convention 1984

"The life of an ant and that of my child should be given equal consideration." - Michael W. Fox, HSUS vice president.

"There is no rational basis for maintaining a moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals." - HSUS News, 1980

"The cat, like the dog, must disappear. We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist." --John Bryant, *Fettered Kingdoms* (PeTA, 1982) p15

"Hit them in their personal lives, visit their homes. Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States... strike hard and fast and retreat in anonymity. Select another location, strike again hard and fast and quickly retreat in anonymity ... Do not get caught. DO NOT GET CAUGHT. Do not get sent to jail. Stay alert, keep active, and keep fighting." Craig Rosenbraugh, radical animal rights spokesperson for terrorism and a recipient of PeTA funds, in Open letter to activists, published on the Independent Media Center website, March 17, 2003"Here's a little model I'm going to show you here. I didn't have any incense, but -- this is a crude incendiary device. It is a simple plastic jug, which you fill with gasoline and oil. You put in a sponge, which is soaked also in flammable liquid -- I couldn't find an incense stick, but this represents that. You put the incense stick in here, light it, place it -- underneath the 'weapon of mass destruction,' light the incense stick - sandalwood works nice -- and you destroy the profits that are brought about through animal and earth abuse. That's about -- two dollars. " Rodney Coronado, animal rights felon for the 1992 Michigan State University fireboming, and recipient of PeTA funds, speaking at "National conference on Organized Resistance, American University, Washington DC, January 26, 2003. Note: Coronado pled guilty to the charges stemming from the 1992 MSU arson case but even so, PeTA donated $45,200 to the Coronado Support Committee in 1995. During the previous year, while Coronado was still on the loose and living underground, PeTA granted a loan (not yet repaid) to Coronado's father for $25,000.

Hyperbolic HypocrisyThe critics of consumer choice and enemies of a wide variety of menu options have never been known for their consistency. From flip-flops about obesity lawsuits to schizophrenic support of domestic terrorism, the food cops, animal rights nuts, and other radical activists have practically got the market cornered on hypocrisy. Here are a few of our favorite examples.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Director of Nutrition Policy Margo Wootan on personal responsibility:
"We have got to move beyond personal responsibility. " --2003 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
"Of course, it is ultimately the responsibility of parents to feed their children well." --Senate Testimony, March 2, 2004

People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA) President Ingrid Newkirk on PETA's support of violence:
"Let me set the record straight. PETA does not condone or commit violent acts, nor do we threaten anybody with violence." --Deseret News, February 12, 2002
"If I had more guts, I'd light a match." --The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 1999

"I wish we all would get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down." --Animal Rights Convention, July 27, 1997
PETA Senior Vice President MaryBeth Sweetland on her use of insulin, which was tested on animals:
"I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still contains some animal products -- and I have no qualms about it ... I'm not going to take the chance of killing myself by not taking insulin. I don't see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals." --Glamour, January 1990
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk -- in a Machiavellian moment -- explains how killing more than a thousand animals PETA accepted for shelter in 1999 is "ethical," because it frees up more money to mount offensive "press slut" campaigns:
"It is a totally rotten business, but sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever... It sounds lovely if you're nave. We could become a no-kill shelter immediately. It means we wouldn't do as much work." --The Virginian-Pilot, August 1, 2000
Kelly "Big Brother" Brownell, who has led the charge to tax Americans back into shape, offers this indictment of personal responsibility, but admits his own paunch is due to his personal food and exercise choices:
"Why quarrel with the personal-responsibility argument? First, it's wrong?Second, it ignores biology?Third, the argument is not helpful?Fourth, personal responsibility is a trap." --with Marion Nestle in TIME, June 7, 2004
"He sports a good-size paunch thanks, he says, to a book project that has kept him relatively sedentary and snack-prone for the last year or so. In photographs taken a few years back, he looks much trimmer." --Associated Press, November 10, 2002

CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson on the rash of lawsuits against food companies:
"There's been one obesity lawsuit in the history of the United States, and suddenly everyone wants protection. It's a non-issue." --Restaurant Business, February 5, 2004

"There is no one lawsuit that will solve the obesity problem that has become an epidemic. It's going to take a whole lot of lawsuits to make a difference in public policy that will affect the dietary habits of the thousands that suffer obesity-related disease." --Washington Times, June 22, 2003
PETA on targeting children:
"Everything we do is based at adults." --PETA President Ingrid Newkirk on CNN, March 21, 2002
"Our campaigns are always geared towards children and they always will be." -- PETA Vice President Dan Matthews on FOX News, Dec 19, 2003
Pop Singer Pink on her support of PETA:
"I have very conflicted views on everything. I'm a proud member of PETA and I got leather boots on my feet, you know what I'm saying?" --MTV.com, March 30, 2004
Australian supermodel, PETA supporter, and self-described "world's most downloaded woman" Sarah Jane on her favorite foods:
"...'raw meat', lamb kidney, lamb curry and 'haggis'... Her turnoffs: 'Non animal lovers and over cooked meat.'" --The Washington Post, February 24, 2004
Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on exploiting 9-11:
"Using what happened on September 11 to push forward [the Bush Administration's] agenda is the most cynical thing I've seen in American history." --E Magazine, November/December 2003
"Kennedy said large-scale hog producers were a greater threat to the United States and democracy than bin Laden's terrorist network." --Des Moines Register, April 18, 2002
Kevin Kjonaas, spokesperson for the violent animal-rights group SHAC, a group that pioneered the tactic of the "home demo," (which includes the use of bullhorns and sirens in the middle of the night to harass their target) on using an alias:
"Kjonaas occasionally goes by the name Kevin Jonas. He says he uses the alias to spare family members outside Minneapolis from harassing phone calls from people who oppose the tactics and aims of his group." --Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2002
7 Things You Didn't Know About PETA
Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?
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