Humane Society of the US CEO Wayne Pacelle resigned from heading the organization recently amid allegations of sexual improprieties with HSUS staff, which Pacelle denies. HSUS originally voted to retain Pacelle in which seven board members resigned in protest. But the sexual harassment accusations are just the tip of the iceberg.
The real story is what HSUS has done with the money it’s raised from its media fundraising campaigns that Pacelle oversaw as revealed by a commentary issued by the Center for Consumer Freedom’s Dan Murphy:
No, the millstone around its neck is its shameless pandering to kind-hearted animal lovers concerned about the millions of abused and discarded dogs and cats languishing in locally run, cash-strapped shelters in every community in the country, many of them with the phrase Humane Society in their names.
By running ads featuring emaciated, shivering puppies or sad-eyed, starving cats, HSUS capitalized on their donor base’s ignorance of the fact that calling themselves the Humane Society of the United States was a cynical ploy to separate said donors from their dollars, leveraging people’s belief that the multi-millions in contributions flowing into HSUS coffers annually were going to rescue puppies and kittens, not to fund lobbying efforts, ballot initiatives and marketing campaigns to raise even more money.
A fair share of those monies got stashed in offshore accounts, by the way, which is about as ethically distant from the mission of rescuing unwanted pets as it’s possible to travel.
In rapid succession, the Wise Giving Alliance, the Better Business Bureau’s charity-accreditation arm, has pulled its accreditation of HSUS; Animal Charity Evaluators, which endorses animal-rights nonprofits, revoked its approval of HSUS; and Charity Navigator recently downgraded its rating of HSUS to just 1 star (out of 4) as a consequence of the group’s footloose finances.
Pacelle’s ouster maybe part of a wider conflict within the Humane Society to have control of the organization’s money. As the Center for Consumer Freedom points out, HSUS is a fraud in and of itself.