Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Humane Society of the United States
Center for Consumer Freedom ^

Posted on 10/28/2008 7:16:09 AM PDT by Calpernia

Humane Society of the United States 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, Phone 202-452-1100 | Fax 202-258-3051 | Email

Despite the words “humane society” on its letterhead, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not affiliated with your local animal shelter. Despite the omnipresent dogs and cats in its fundraising materials, it’s not an organization that runs spay/neuter programs or takes in stray, neglected, and abused pets. And despite the common image of animal protection agencies as cash-strapped organizations dedicated to animal welfare, HSUS has become the wealthiest animal rights organization on earth. HSUS is big, rich, and powerful, a “humane society” in name only. And while most local animal shelters are under-funded and unsung, HSUS has accumulated $113 million in assets and built a recognizable brand by capitalizing on the confusion its very name provokes. This misdirection results in an irony of which most animal lovers are unaware: HSUS raises enough money to finance animal shelters in every single state, with money to spare, yet it doesn’t operate a single one anywhere.

Instead, HSUS spends millions on programs that seek to economically cripple meat and dairy producers; eliminate the use of animals in biomedical research labs; phase out pet breeding, zoos, and circus animal acts; and demonize hunters as crazed lunatics. HSUS spends $2 million each year on travel expenses alone, just keeping its multi-national agenda going.

HSUS president Wayne Pacelle described some of his goals in 2004 for The Washington Post: “We will see the end of wild animals in circus acts … [and we’re] phasing out animals used in research. Hunting? I think you will see a steady decline in numbers.” More recently, in a June 2005 interview, Pacelle told Satya magazine that HSUS is working on “a guide to vegetarian eating, to really make the case for it.” A strict vegan himself, Pacelle added: “Reducing meat consumption can be a tremendous benefit to animals.”

Shortly after Pacelle joined HSUS in 1994, he told Animal People (an inside-the-movement watchdog newspaper) that his goal was to build “a National Rifle Association of the animal rights movement.” And now, as the organization’s leader, he’s in a position to back up his rhetoric with action. In 2005 Pacelle announced the formation of a new “Animal Protection Litigation Section” within HSUS, dedicated to “the process of researching, preparing, and prosecuting animal protection lawsuits in state and federal court.”

HSUS’s current goals have little to do with animal shelters. The group has taken aim at the traditional morning meal of bacon and eggs with a tasteless “Breakfast of Cruelty” campaign. Its newspaper op-eds demand that consumers “help make this a more humane world [by] reducing our consumption of meat and egg products.” Since its inception, HSUS has tried to limit the choices of American consumers, opposing dog breeding, conventional livestock and poultry farming, rodeos, circuses, horse racing, marine aquariums, and fur trapping.

A True Multinational Corporation

HSUS is a multinational conglomerate with ten regional offices in the United States and a special Hollywood Office that promotes and monitors the media’s coverage of animal-rights issues. It includes a huge web of organizations, affiliates, and subsidiaries. Some are nonprofit, tax-exempt “charities,” while others are for-profit taxable corporations, which don’t have to divulge anything about their financial dealings.

This unusually complex structure means that HSUS can hide expenses where the public would never think to look. For instance, one HSUS-affiliated organization called the HSUS Wildlife Land Trust collected $21.1 million between 1998 and 2003. During the same period, it spent $15.7 million on fundraising expenses, most of which directly benefited HSUS. This arrangement allowed HSUS to bury millions in direct-mail and other fundraising costs in its affiliate’s budget, giving the public (and charity watchdog groups) the false impression that its own fundraising costs were relatively low.

Until 1995 HSUS also controlled the Humane Society of Canada (HSC), which Irwin had founded four years earlier. But Irwin, who claimed to live in Canada when he set up HSC, turned out to be ineligible to run a Canadian charity (He actually lived in Maryland). Irwin’s Canadian passport was ultimately revoked and he was replaced as HSC’s executive director.

The new leader later hauled HSUS into court to answer charges that Irwin had transferred over $1 million to HSUS from the Canadian group. HSUS claimed it was to pay for HSC’s fundraising, but didn’t provide the group with the required documentation to back up the expenses. In January 1997 a Canadian judge ordered HSUS to return the money, writing: “I cannot imagine a more glaring conflict of interest or a more egregious breach of fiduciary duty. It demonstrates an overweening arrogance of a type seldom seen.”

From Animal Welfare to Animal Rights

There is an enormous difference between animal “welfare” organizations, which work for the humane treatment of animals, and animal “rights” organizations, which aim to completely end the use and ownership of animals. The former have been around for centuries; the latter emerged in the 1980s, with the rise of the radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The Humane Society of the United States began as an animal welfare organization. Originally called the National Humane Society, it was established in 1954 as a spin-off of the American Humane Association (AHA). Its founders wanted a slightly more radical group -- the AHA did not oppose sport hunting or the use of shelter animals for biomedical research.

In 1980, HSUS officially began to change its focus from animal welfare to animal rights. After a vote was taken at the group’s San Francisco national conference, it was formally resolved that HSUS would “pursue on all fronts … the clear articulation and establishment of the rights of all animals … within the full range of American life and culture.”

In Animal Rights and Human Obligations, the published proceedings of this conference, HSUS stated unequivocally that “there is no rational basis for maintaining a moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals.” It’s no surprise, then, that a 2003 HSUS fundraising mailer boasted that the group has been working toward “putting an end to killing animals for nearly half a century.”

In 1986 John McArdle, then HSUS’s Director of Laboratory Animal Welfare, told Washingtonian magazine that HSUS was “definitely shifting in the direction of animal rights faster than anyone would realize from our literature.”

The group completed its animal-rights transformation during the 1990s, changing its personnel in the process. HSUS assimilated dozens of staffers from PETA and other animal-rights groups, even employing John “J.P.” Goodwin, a former Animal Liberation Front member and spokesman with a lengthy arrest record and a history of promoting arson to accomplish animal liberation.

The change brought more money and media attention. Hoyt explained the shift in 1991, telling National Journal, “PETA successfully stole the spotlight … Groups like ours that have plugged along with a larger staff, a larger constituency … have been ignored.” Hoyt agreed that PETA’s net effect within the animal-rights movement was to spur more moderate groups to take tougher stances in order to attract donations from the public. “Maybe.” Hoyt mused, “the time has come to say, ‘Since we haven’t been successful in getting half a loaf, let’s go for the whole thing.’”

HSUS leaders have even expressed their desire to put an end to the lifesaving biomedical research that requires the use of animals. As early as 1988 the group’s mailings demanded that the U.S. government “eliminate altogether the use of animals as research subjects.” In 1986 Washingtonian asked then-HSUS Vice-President for Laboratory Animals John McArdle about his opinion that brain-dead humans should be substituted for animals in medical research. “It may take people a while to get used to the idea,” McArdle said, “but once they do the savings in animal lives will be substantial.”

McArdle realized then what HSUS understands today -- that an uncompromising, vegetarian-only, anti-medical-progress philosophy has limited appeal. At the 1984 HSUS convention, he gave his group’s members specific instructions on how to frame the issue most effectively. “Avoid the words ‘animal rights’ and ‘antivivisection’,” McArdle said. “They are too strange for the public. Never appear to be opposed to animal research. Claim that your only concern is the source of animals.”

In a 1993 letter published by the American Society for Microbiology, Dr. Patrick Cleveland of the University of California San Diego spelled out HSUS’s place in the animal-rights pantheon. "What separates the HSUS from other animal rights groups,” Cleveland wrote, “is not their philosophy of animal rights and goal of abolishing the use of animals in research, but the tactics and timetable for that abolition.” Cleveland likened it to the difference between a mugger and a con man. “They each will rob you — they use different tactics, have different timetables, but the result is the same. The con man may even criticize the mugger for using confrontational tactics and giving all thieves a bad name, but your money is still taken.”

Targeting Meat and Dairy

In 2004 HSUS promoted long-time vice president Wayne Pacelle to the position of President. Along with Pacelle’s passionate style and his experience navigating the halls of Congress, HSUS got its first strictly vegan leader.

One of Pacelle’s first acts as HSUS’s new chief executive was to send a memo to all HSUS staffers articulating his vision for the future. HSUS’s new “campaigns section,” Pacelle wrote, “will focus on farm animals.” For Americans accustomed to eating meat, eggs, and dairy foods, the thought of an animal rights group with a budget three times the size of PETA’s targeting their food choices should be unsettling. And Pacelle has hired other high-profile, unapologetic meat and dairy “abolitionists” since taking over.

In 2005, former Compassion Over Killing (COK) president Miyun Park joined HSUS as a staffer in its new “farm animals and sustainable agriculture department.” Around the same time, HSUS hired COK's other co-founder, Paul Shapiro, as manager of its derogatorily named “Factory Farming Campaign.” COK’s former general counsel Carter Dillard shortly afterward, as did vegan doctor and mad-cow-disease scaremonger Michael Greger. Like Pacelle, these new HSUS hires are all self-described vegans. Their arrival in the world’s richest animal-rights group signals that HSUS is giving anti-meat campaigns a prominent place.

In October, just a few months before he became an HSUS staffer, Shapiro told the 2004 National Student Animal Rights Conference that “nothing is more important than promoting veganism.” And Shapiro noted during an August 2004 animal-rights seminar (hosted by United Poultry Concerns) that after just 10 weeks at the helm, Pacelle had “already implemented a ‘no animal products in the office’ policy ... You know, they're going to have actual farmed-animal campaigns now, where they're going to be trying to legislate against gestation crates and all this stuff.”

Americans who enjoy meat, cheese, eggs, and milk may soon come to regard HSUS as a new PETA, with an even broader reach. Shortly after taking office, Pacelle announced a merger with the $20 million Fund For Animals. The combined group estimated its 2005 budget at “over $95 million” and also announced the formation of a new “political organization,” which will “allow for a more substantial investment of resources in political and lobbying activities.”

Domestic Deception

It takes tens of millions of dollars to run campaigns against so many domestic targets, and HSUS consistently misleads Americans with its fundraising efforts by hinting that it’s a “humane society” in the more conventional sense of the term. Buried deep within HSUS’s website is a disclaimer noting that the group “is not affiliated with, nor is it a parent organization for, local humane societies, animal shelters, or animal care and control agencies. These are independent organizations … HSUS does not operate or have direct control over any animal shelter.”

For instance, a 2001 member recruitment mailing called those on the HSUS mailing list “true pet lovers,” referring to unspecified work on behalf of “dogs, puppies, cats, [and] kittens.” Another recruitment mailing from that year included “Thank You,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Get Well Soon” greeting cards featuring pets such as dogs, cats, and fish. The business reply envelope lists “7 Steps to a Happier Pet.”

A 2003 recruitment mailing also included those “Steps,” as well as free address labels with pastel pictures of dogs and cats. The fundraising letter subtly substituted the animal-rights term “companion animals” for “pets.”

“Our mission is to encourage adoption in your neighborhood and throughout the country,” reads another HSUS fundraising appeal. “Even though local shelters are trying their best to save lives, they are simply overwhelmed.” That last sentence, at least, is true. But don’t count on the multi-million-dollar conglomerate HSUS to do anything about it. HSUS doesn’t operate a single animal shelter and has no hands-on contact with stray or surplus animals.

In 1995 the Washington (DC) Humane Society almost closed its animal shelter due to a budget shortfall. HSUS, which is also based in Washington, DC, ultimately withdrew an offer to build and operate a DC shelter, at its own expense, to serve as a national model.

In exchange for running the shelter, HSUS wanted three to five acres of city land and tax-exempt status for all its real estate holdings in the District of Columbia. The DC government offered a long-term lease, but that wasn’t good enough. HSUS refused to proceed unless it would “own absolutely” the land. The district declined, and what might have become the only HSUS-funded animal shelter never materialized.

So what does HSUS do with the millions it raises using the furry faces of Fido and Fluffy? In 2002, the multi-million-dollar conglomerate gave less than $150,000 to hands-on humane societies and animal shelters.

Worse, HSUS employees have complained to the press that their organization wastes its resources on fundraising expenses and high salaries for its chief executives. Robert Baker, an HSUS consultant and former chief investigator, told U.S. News & World Report: “The Humane Society should be worried about protecting animals from cruelty. It’s not doing that. The place is all about power and money.”

Influencing Communities

HSUS doesn’t save flesh-and-blood animals the way local “humane societies” do, but it does lobby heavily to change the laws of communities across the country. “HSUS was the financial clout that rammed Initiative 713, the anti-trapping measure, down our throats,” reports Rich Landers of the Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review. “I pleaded [with Wayne Pacelle, then HSUS’s government affairs VP] at least four times for examples of HSUS commitment in Washington [state] other than introducing costly anti-hunting and anti-wildlife management initiatives. He had no immediate answer but promised to send me the list of good things HSUS does in this state. That was six months ago, and I presume Pacelle is still searching.”

Like other national animal-rights groups, HSUS has learned that pouring huge sums of money into ballot initiative campaigns can give it results normal public relations and lobbying work never could. Along with other heavy hitters like the Fund for Animals and Farm Sanctuary, HSUS scored a big victory in Florida in 2002 when a ballot initiative passed that gave constitutional rights to pregnant pigs. HSUS donated at least $50,000 to the Florida PAC that managed the campaign.

Florida farmers were banned from using “gestation crates,” usually necessary to keep sows healthy during pregnancy and to prevent them from accidentally rolling over and crushing their newborn piglets. After this amendment passed, raising pigs became economically unsustainable, and farmers were forced to slaughter their animals rather than comply with the costly new constitutional requirements. Today, Florida is considering a taxpayer-funded bailout of its few pork farmers.

Animal-rights leaders plan to extend their “pregnant pigs” win to other states, and have organized similar campaigns in California and New Jersey. HSUS’s four-year Iowa campaign, misleadingly called “Care4Iowa,” has a stated goal of promoting the so-called “humane” methods of livestock production which universally result in greater costs for farmers and higher prices for consumers.

And HSUS won’t stop at initiatives aimed at livestock farmers and trappers. At the 1996 HSUS annual meeting, Wayne Pacelle announced that the ballot initiative would be used for all manner of legislation in the future, including “companion animal issues and laboratory animal issues.” Pacelle has personally been involved in at least 22 such campaigns, 17 of which HSUS scored as victories. These operations, he said, “pay dividends and serve as a training ground for activists.”

HSUS is also a part of the Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW) coalition, a slick Washington-based PR campaign to end the “inappropriate” use of antibiotics in livestock animals. This coalition, comprised largely of science-deprived environmental groups, claims to worry deeply about antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in people. KAW doesn’t, however, devote any attention to the rampant over-prescription of the drugs to humans.

Why doesn’t HSUS want animals to receive disease-preventing antibiotics? Raising livestock without antibiotics is much more difficult and costly, and the resulting meat, eggs, and dairy are considerably more expensive. It’s possible that the KAW coalition’s goals would give Americans an economic incentive to lean toward vegetarianism; HSUS would, of course, not object.

School Activism 101

Despite a radical animal-rights agenda similar to PETA’s, the Humane Society of the United States has gained entry to countless segments of polite society. One of the more worrisome consequences of this is the group’s relatively unfettered access to U.S. schools.

Through its National Association for Humane and Environmental Education, as well as a series of animal-rights-oriented publications, HSUS spreads animal-rights propaganda to schoolchildren as young as five.

One package, titled People and Animals -- A Humane Education Guide, suggests films and books for teachers to present to their students. In these recommended teaching tools, sport hunters are called “selective exterminators” and “drunken slobs” who participate in a “blood sport” and a “war on wildlife” with “maniacal attitudes toward killing.” Another teachers’ guide contains anti-circus stories in which animals are repeatedly depicted as overworked and abused.

At the same time, HSUS hypocritically complains that it is inappropriate for the federal government to distribute educational materials about the need for laboratory research animals, complaining: “These materials inappropriately target young people, who do not possess the cognitive ability to make meaningful decisions regarding highly controversial and complex issues.”

The “Humane” Web

In addition to the HSUS flagship offices in Maryland and DC, the organization’s global network includes control over the following legal corporations (this list is evolving as new information becomes available):

Nonprofit affiliates:

Alice Morgan Wright-Edith Goode Fund (DC); Alternative Congress Trust (DC); Animal Channel (DC); Association Humanataria De Costa Rica; Center for the Respect of Life and Environment (DC); Charlotte and William Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare (DC); Conservation Endowment Fund (see ICEC) (CA); Earth Restoration Corps. (DC); Earthkind Inc. (DC); Earthkind International Inc. (DC); Earthkind USA (DC); Earthkind USA (MT); Earthkind UK [ also affiliated with the International Fund for Animal Welfare]; Earthvoice (DC); Earthvoice International (DC); Eating with a Conscience Campaign (DC); HSUS Hollywood Office (formerly The Ark Trust Inc.) (CA); Humane Society International (DC), which also operates the International Center for Earth Concerns (ICEC) in Ojai, California, the Center for Earth Concerns in Costa Rica, and the Conservation Endowment Fund in California; Humane Society International Australian Office Inc.; Humane Society International of Latin America; Humane Society of the United States (DE); Humane Society of the United States (MD); Humane Society of the United States (MT); Humane Society of the United States (PA); Humane Society of the United States (VT); Humane Society of the United States California Branch Inc. (CA); Humane Society of the United States New Jersey Branch Inc. (NJ); Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (DC); Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (KS); Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (OK); Humane Society of the United States Utah State Branch (UT); Humane Society University (DC); Institute for the Study of Animal Problems (DC); Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature (GA); International Society for the Protection of Animals (UK); Kindness Club International Inc. (DC); Meadowcreek Project Inc. (AR); Meadowcreek Inc. (AR); National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (DC); National Humane Education Center (VA); Species Survival Network (MI); Valerie Sheppard Humane Society University (DC); Wildlife Rehabilitation Training Center (MA); World Federation for the Protection of Animals Inc. (DC); World Society for the Protection of Animals (DC); World Society for the Protection of Animals (IA); World Society for the Protection of Animals (ND); World Society for the Protection of Animals (VT); World Society for the Protection of Animals - Canada; World Society for the Protection of Animals - Deutschland; World Society for the Protection of Animals International (UK); World Society for the Protection of Animals UK (UK); and Worldwide Network Inc. (DC). For-profit affiliates: The Humane Catalog (VA); Humane Equity Fund [defunct] (DC); Humane Society Press (DC); Humane Society of the United States Connecticut Branch Inc. (CT); Humane Society of the United States Virginia Branch Inc. (VA); World Society for the Protection of Animals (MA); World Society for the Protection of Animals - Australia; World Society for the Protection of Animals Executor Services (UK); World Society for the Protection of Animals Trading Company (UK).

When John Hoyt took over its presidency in 1970, the Humane Society of the United States had 30,000 members and an annual budget of about $500,000. By 1994, HSUS’s annual revenue had grown to $22 million. In 2003, that number jumped to $123 million, including nearly $3 million in investment income.

At the end of 2003, the nonprofit HSUS declared assets totaling over $113 million, including almost $16 million in cash and over $80 million invested in securities. It pays over $11.8 million in annual salaries, and another $3 million in employee benefits and pension contributions. When HSUS merged with the Fund For Animals in 2004, the group announced that its 2005 operating budget would be $95 million.

Raising money is Job One. HSUS will even adopt conflicting positions in order to satisfy individual patrons. Two HSUS donors once wrote to John Hoyt with very different views of the sinking of Icelandic whaling ships by Paul Watson’s violent Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the late 1980s. In one response, Hoyt agreed with the donor that Watson’s actions were wrong, writing: “I am unequivocally opposed to any and all acts of violence in the pursuit of efforts to protect animals from abuse and suffering.” In the other, he declared that Sea Shepherd’s work was “indeed, a daring and masterful bit of James Bond on behalf of the great whales.”

HSUS recently joined the lucrative third-party certification business. Some environmental and animal-rights groups have developed “eco-labels,” offered (for a price) by sponsoring organizations to certify food and clothing as environmentally friendly. HSUS is a founding member of the Humane Farm Animal Care coalition. For the right amount of money, its “Certified Humane Raised & Handled” label is available to meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy producers.

Animal-Rights Ideology

Of course, money isn’t the only thing behind HSUS’s work. Animal-rights philosophy also plays a role. Despite HSUS’s public claims that it seeks only to ensure animals are humanely treated, the group’s values appear tilted toward eliminating humans’ use of animals entirely.

HSUS wants to end, for example, lifesaving biomedical research on animals. “Absolutely horrifying” is how John Hoyt characterized such research. “We have to fight the well-financed and powerful agribusiness and research industries,” he wrote in a fundraising letter to HSUS members, referring to “the needless and repetitive experimentation on animals in the ‘research’ laboratory.”

Former HSUS board member Robert F. Welborn declared in HSUS News: “I question the moral propriety of causing animals to suffer for the purpose of testing products intended for humans or for dealing with human maladies.” HSUS mailings have called on the government “to eliminate altogether the use of animals as research subjects.”

HSUS stands with PETA in opposing xenotransplantation (the use of animal organs to replace diseased human organs), including the baboon bone marrow received by noted AIDS activist Jeff Getty. Martin Stephens, HSUS’s vice president for animal research issues, told Reuters: “The HSUS admires Mr. Getty’s will to live but we believe that his experiment is misguided. The HSUS believes that baboons … should not be killed for such highly questionable experiments.”

HSUS joined PETA in trying to block a NASA project that used animals to study weightlessness in space. And in 2005 HSUS joined Farm Sanctuary in its misguided attempts to ban the production of veal and foie gras (duck liver paté) in several states.

While PETA loudly protests the use of live animals in circuses, HSUS works its lobbying magic and moves the levers of power behind the scenes. The group has filed several formal complaints with the USDA, charging circuses and their animal suppliers with a wide range of animal-welfare violations. HSUS’s Director of Captive Wildlife Protection told The Baltimore Sun in 2004 that the approach is bearing fruit: “I do think what we’re seeing with the circuses is that they’re deciding that it’s not worth taking the heat.” In 2005 HSUS endorsed a legislative attempt to bar circuses from bringing performing animals into Massachusetts.

HSUS is not particularly friendly toward the use of animals as food, either. In 1995, it launched its “Eating with a Conscience” campaign, directed by Howard Lyman. A strict vegan, Lyman is best known for his 1996 appearance on the “Oprah” television show, where he tried to scare consumers away from beef by claiming, incorrectly and recklessly, that mad cow disease would make AIDS “look like the common cold.” In a June 2005 interview, Pacelle said that HSUS is working on “a guide to vegetarian eating” and emphasized “reducing meat consumption” as one of HSUS’s goals.

And with the vegan Wayne Pacelle as its newest chief executive, HSUS appears to be embracing PETA-style orthodoxy about meat and dairy foods, leather shoes, wool suits, and even silk ties with its “no animal products in the workplace” policy.

HSUS and its affiliates have received embarrassingly low scores from established charity watchdog groups. Worth magazine gave HSUS a “D” rating for spending as much as 53 percent of its expenses on fundraising. And online rating service noted that the huge HSUS corporate family does not have an active governing board overseeing the overall structure, and criticized the organization for holding only three board meetings during 2000, two of them on the same day. Charity Navigator gave only one star (out of four) to HSUS’s Earth Voice International, and zero to the Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust.

Hiring the Animal Liberation Front

Even seasoned animal-rights veterans were surprised in April 2000 when the Humane Society of the United States sent John “J.P.” Goodwin on an anti-fur junket to China. Goodwin was not just any animal activist: he was then an avowed member of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Less than a year later he was formally identified as an HSUS legislative affairs staffer; Goodwin would later change his rhetoric to match HSUS’s corporate policy of not endorsing violence as a protest tactic.

Goodwin, a high-school dropout who had previously co-founded the Texas-based Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, pulled no punches when it came to his priorities. “My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture,” he had written to one Internet activist mailing list.

Goodwin himself has been arrested and convicted for being the ringleader of a gang that vandalized fur retailers in multiple states during the 1990s. The animal-rights newspaper Animal People News profiled Goodwin in 2000, noting that he “gleefully announced a string of Animal Liberation Front mink releases and arsons against furriers and fur farms” while a “spokesman” for the underground terrorist group.

Goodwin also fielded press inquiries after a Petaluma, California, slaughterhouse arson in February 1997, and shocked the public with his comments on the March 1997 arson at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah. Referring to a fire that caused almost $1 million in damage and could easily have killed a family sleeping on the premises, Goodwin told The Deseret News: “We’re ecstatic.”

J.P. Goodwin doesn’t represent HSUS’s only intersection with the animal rights movement’s violent underbelly. Miyun Park, a Washington, DC anti-meat activist hired by HSUS in 2005, was acknowledged in 1999 as a financial benefactor of No Compromise magazine, a publication that supports the ALF and promotes arson and other violent tactics. And in the investigation leading to the 2005 animal-enterprise terrorism trial of six SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) activists, Park was among those named in at least six federal wiretap warrants.

And Ariana Huemer, an HSUS government-affairs employee, may figure in the case of fugitive animal-rights bomber Daniel Andreas San Diego. An FBI evidence recovery log from the search of San Diego’s car describes a check Huemer wrote to him. San Diego, currently on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, is presumed responsible for 10-pound shrapnel bombs detonated in 2003 at two California biomedical research companies. One of these bombs was accompanied by a “secondary” device, timed to detonate after paramedics and firefighters arrived on the scene.

A Horrible ‘Waste’

During 1998 and 1999, the Humane Society of the United States reported to the IRS that it made small financial contributions toward the operation of, an Internet website that was then the main distribution point for the “communiqués” of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

In addition to hosting the ALF’s “Frontline” mailing list, hosted a list for the HSUS-coordinated “Inter Campus Animal Advocacy Network” (I-CAAN); the official mailing lists of a Minnesota group called Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA); and mailing lists for approximately a dozen other organizations. CAA, originally called the Animal Liberation League, was started by activist Freeman Wicklund -- who has spoken openly about his desire for other activists to “embrace the Animal Liberation Front.”

Questions remain about HSUS’s support of the WASTE server. In 1999 HSUS’s operating budget was over $50 million, and it already operated at least four other e-mail lists -- all operated from its own network servers. Why did the group need an outside server for its I-CAAN mailing list? And why use this particular server, one that also happened to host a terrorist group’s press operations, instead of one of hundreds of other commercially available services?

In 2002, HSUS’s website began to articulate a policy of not supporting animal-rights violence. In December of that year, the Center for Consumer Freedom reported on the past financial connection between HSUS and WASTE. Although HSUS has stated that it no longer supports the server, WASTE still listed it as a financial donor as of June 2005, as it has during every year since 1998.

Share and Share Alike

Some of HSUS’s hefty fundraising expenses have ended up in the pockets of the notorious fundraising company Share Group, Inc. The telemarketing firm made headlines during the 2000 Democratic National Convention when the DNC and the Gore 2000 Presidential Campaign both dropped Share Group after a reporter pointed out that former owner Michael Ansara was still involved in the company. Ansara had been ordered to surrender control of Share Group, after he pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge related to a money-moving scheme for Ron Carey’s 1997 Teamsters Union presidential reelection campaign.

In the fundraising business, returning 30 to 35 percent of funds raised to a given charity is considered acceptable. But according to reports from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Share Group kept $2.18 million between 1999 and 2000, and passed on only $273,560 to HSUS -- a return rate of only 11 percent.

In New York, Share Group only gave HSUS $16,543 of the $1.08 million it raised during the year 2000 -- a return of only 1.53 percent. In 2004, Share Group raised over $1 million in HSUS’s name, but HSUS wound up paying over $173,000 for the privilege. This dismal record probably didn’t surprise HSUS: back in 1996, Share raised $60,045 and returned nothing.

The 2001 Letter of Agreement between the two groups shows that HSUS agreed to a minimum guarantee of only 1 percent of the gross receipts. The Illinois Attorney General’s office reports that HSUS paid Share Group over $1.87 million for 2001 fundraising that netted less than $750,000 to the animal-rights group -- a negative 150 percent return.

International Rumor Mongering

In 2000, the Humane Society of the United States was refused entrance to the 16th meeting of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Animals Committee for “filing false accusations about CITES member nations.”

HSUS had made wild allegations to the CITES Secretariat about illegal trade in ivory between Namibia and Taiwan, and Zimbabwe and China, supposedly in exchange for military armaments, equipment, and helicopters. When pressed for documentation, HSUS declined to supply any. The CITES Secretariat issued an official Notification (#2000/060) about the HSUS-instigated allegations, noting that absolutely no evidence existed to support HSUS’s claims.

TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: hsus; humansociety; obama

BODY, P, TD, TD P, TD UL, TD BLOCKQUOTE, BLOCKQUOTE { color: black; font-family: Verdana, "Trebuchet MS" , sans-serif; font-size: 10pt } A:link { color: #003366 } A:visited { color: #003366 } A:active { color: #0000FF } <p>.bodybold { font-weight: bold} /* this is for making body text bold */ .bodybold10px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px} /* this is for making body text bold at 10px */ .bodybold11px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 11px} /* this is for making body text bold at 11px */ .bodybold12px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px} /* this is for making body text bold at 12px */ .bodybold13px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px} .bodybold14px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 14px} .bodybold15px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px} .body8px { font-size: 8px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body9px { font-size: 9px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body10px { font-size: 10px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body11px { font-size: 11px} /* this is for making body text smaller * .body12px { font-size: 12px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body14px { font-size: 14px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body16px { font-size: 16px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .body18px { font-size: 18px} /* this is for making body text smaller */ .bodyunderline { text-decoration: underline} .bodyitalic { font-style: italic} .none {list-style-type: none} .titleitalic { font-weight: bold; font-style: italic} .titlebold { font-weight: bold} /* this is for making title text bold */ .titlebold10px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px} .titlebold11px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 11px} .titlebold12px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px} .titlebold13px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px} .titlebold14px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 14px} .titlebold15px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px} .titlebold16px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px} .titlebold17px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 17px} .titlebold18px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 18px} .titlebold19px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 19px} .titlebold20px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 20px} .titlebold21px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 21px} .titlebold22px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 22px} .titlebold23px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 23px} .titlebold24px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 24px} .titlebold25px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 25px} .titlebold26px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 26px} .titlebold27px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 27px} .titlebold28px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 28px} .titlebold29px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 29px} .titlebold30px { font-weight: bold; font-size: 30px} .flashtitle { font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 18px} /* Used for Advocacy Campaign titles */ .monospace { font-family: Courier, monospace;}/* monospace fonts for input forms */ .roll { text-decoration: none; font-weight: normal; color: black }/* rolling links */ a.roll:hover { text-decoration: none; font-weight: normal; color: D10000 }

Trouble with links or images? Want to share this message? Use this link:


September 22, 2008

Dear Friend, 

I wanted to let you know that today, on behalf of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, I announced our endorsement of Barack Obama for President. Please see my blog below for more information, and help spread the word to animal lovers across the country.


Mike Markarian
Humane Society Legislative Fund

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden

One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don't make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare.

It stirs controversy to get involved in candidate elections. But we believe that candidates for office and current lawmakers must be held accountable, or they will see the animal protection movement as a largely irrelevant political constituency. In order to have good laws, we need good lawmakers, and involvement in elections is an essential strategy for any serious social movement, including our cause.

While we've endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we've never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party's candidate for the top office in the nation. But in an era of sweeping presidential power, we must weigh in on this most important political race in the country. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option for us.

I'm proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors -- which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans -- has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. As an Illinois state senator, he backed at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty, to help animal shelters, to promote spaying and neutering, and to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.  In the U.S. Senate, he has consistently co-sponsored multiple bills to combat animal fighting and horse slaughter, and has supported efforts to increase funding for adequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal laws to combat animal fighting and puppy mills.

In his response to the HSLF questionnaire, he pledged support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and said he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to make their policies more humane. He wrote of the important role animals play in our lives, as companions in our homes, as wildlife in their own environments, and as service animals working with law enforcement and assisting persons with disabilities. He also commented on the broader links between animal cruelty and violence in society.

Obama has even on occasion highlighted animal protection issues on the campaign trail, and has spoken publicly about his support for animal protection. In reaction to the investigation showing the abuse of sick and crippled cows which earlier this year led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history, he issued a statement saying "that the mistreatment of downed cows is unacceptable and poses a serious threat to public health." He is featured in Jana Kohl's book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with a photo of Obama holding Baby (shown above), the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation, and his political mentor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is the author of the latest federal bill to crack down on puppy mills

Importantly, Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been a stalwart friend of animal welfare advocates in the Senate, and has received high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. Biden has not only supported animal protection legislation during his career, but has also led the fight on important issues. He was the co-author with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the 108th Congress on legislation to ban the netting of dolphins by commercial tuna fishermen. He was the lead author of a bill in the 107th Congress to prohibit trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals in fenced enclosures, and he successfully passed the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On the Republican ticket, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also supported some animal protection bills in Congress, but has been inattentive or opposed to others. He has voted for and co-sponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter, and voted to eliminate a $2 million subsidy for the luxury fur coat industry. But he has largely been absent on other issues, and has failed to co-sponsor a large number of priority bills or sign onto animal protection letters that have had broad support in the Senate.

The McCain campaign did not fill out the HSLF presidential questionnaire, and has also not issued any public statements on animal welfare issues. He was silent during the downed animal scandal and beef recall, which played out during a high-point in the primary fight. Yet he did speak at the NRA convention earlier this year, and is the keynote speaker this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance rally—an extremist organization that defends the trophy hunting of threatened polar bears and captive shooting of tame animals inside fenced pens.

While McCain's positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented our decision to oppose his ticket. Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska's wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.

Palin engineered a campaign of shooting predators from airplanes and helicopters, in order to artificially boost the populations of moose and caribou for trophy hunters. She offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf as an economic incentive for pilots and aerial gunners to kill more of the animals, even though Alaska voters had twice approved a ban on the practice. This year, the issue was up again for a vote of the people, and Palin led the fight against it -- in fact, she helped to spend $400,000 of public funds to defeat the initiative.

What's more, when the Bush Administration announced its decision to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Palin filed a lawsuit to reverse that decision. She said it's the "wrong move" to protect polar bears, even though their habitat is shrinking and ice floes are vanishing due to global warming.

The choice for animals is especially clear now that Palin is in the mix. If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues.

Voters who care about protecting wildlife from inhumane and unsporting abuses, enforcing the laws that combat large-scale cruelties like dogfighting and puppy mills, providing humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and addressing other challenges that face animals in our nation, must become active over the next six weeks to elect a president and vice president who share our values. Please spread the word, and tell friends and family members that an honest assessment of the records of the two presidential tickets leads to the inescapable conclusion that Obama-Biden is the choice for humane-minded voters.

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Contributions or gifts to the Humane Society Legislative Fund ("HSLF") are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates. HSLF does not accept contributions from business corporations or labor organizations.

Copyright © 2008 Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) | All Rights Reserved.
Humane Society Legislative Fund | 519 C Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002 | 202-452-1100 |

We are committed to protecting your privacy, so your email address will NEVER be sold, rented, or exchanged. This message was sent to your email. Visit your subscription management page to update your personal profile. From this page you can change your email address, mailing address, name, congressional districts, email format preference, or add or remove yourself from enewsletters. To stop ALL email from Humane Society Legislative Fund, click to remove yourself from our lists (or reply via email with "remove or unsubscribe" in the subject line).

1 posted on 10/28/2008 7:16:10 AM PDT by Calpernia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Calpernia

My dog is a hunting dog and he voted early for McCain/Palin.

Stupid people!!!

2 posted on 10/28/2008 7:18:15 AM PDT by JFC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Calpernia

Obama looks very uncomfortable holding that dog.

3 posted on 10/28/2008 7:22:18 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anniegetyourgun

I wouldn’t be surprised if it really was a cat wearing a costume ^-^

4 posted on 10/28/2008 7:26:09 AM PDT by Calpernia (Hunters Rangers - Raising the Bar of Integrity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: anniegetyourgun

I thought the same thing.....doesn’t look like he’s ever held an animal in his life.....

5 posted on 10/28/2008 7:27:28 AM PDT by Fawn (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: anniegetyourgun
Obama looks very uncomfortable holding that dog.

The dog looks even more uncomfortable.

6 posted on 10/28/2008 7:30:17 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Calpernia
How come he's holding a white dog?
Isn't that kind of ... racist?
7 posted on 10/28/2008 7:33:30 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not affiliated with your local animal shelter. Despite the omnipresent dogs and cats in its fundraising materials, it's not an organization that runs spay/neuter programs or takes in stray, neglected, and abused pets... HSUS raises enough money to finance animal shelters in every single state, with money to spare, yet it doesn't operate a single one anywhere.
Thanks Calpernia.
8 posted on 10/28/2008 7:01:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson