Sjostrom: Muck Boot company wading with HSUS?

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We’re still waiting for an apology — and I mean everyone. Dairy farmers, Hunters, fisherman, farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists everywhere are heading to The Original Muck Boot Company’s Facebook page to share outrage that it donated over $2,000 for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS, or H$U$ as many prefer). 

You’ve likely heard that HSUS gives less than one-half of one percent of its huge annual budget to shelters, and doesn’t operate a shelter itself. 

But, The Original Muck Boot Company must not know that, or you would never guess that by two photos posted on August 1. Both mention a fundraiser for HSUS.

Stuck with Muck

Here are the facts - I wore Muck Boots to the barn yesterday. They are camouflage even though I don’t hunt because they were the only size 14 available at a booth at World Dairy Expo 2013 (thanks to my wife for the timely find) and so comfortable. But, today, they just make me nauseous.

They’re the lightly insulated ones that I can wear year round. I’ve worn a hole through the back of the boot, and its time to make my next purchase.

According to the 350+ comments and 700+ shares seen on their Facebook page as of tonight, it appears I should be looking at LaCrosse Footwear. To the Muck Boot company, you have 7 days to help me make a decision.

click image to zoom

Take it easy

That being said, if you head over to their Facebook page to leave a comment, do play nice. While Humane Watch and other groups have been getting the word out about HSUS, recently resulting in a donor advisory by Charity Navigator after the huge $16 million settlement paid for a RICO lawsuit against Ringling Brothers, many corners of this world just don’t know. After all, that’s why they have such a huge budget — people are fooled into giving them money every day.

Muck's management may well be figuring out how to celebrate everyone they alienated with a few Facebook photos. Or, they may not know anything about the situation yet.

But for now, do tell The Original Muck Boot Company how you feel about this, politely. It appears to be an internal fundraiser in honor of a lost animal, and it raised a mere $2,000. While we could use that $2,000 for FFA, 4-H, or other agricultural youth programming, we don’t know whether it was a company-sponsored event or a few Muck employees getting together. So, I’ll take a deep breath and wait for the apology within the next seven days.

If there isn’t one, my boots will be using their "Free Returns" policy to the highest extent.

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oklahoma  |  August, 05, 2014 at 01:49 PM

Email received from Muck Boot Company. Thank you for your inquiry. We would like to respond to our loyal customers and provide additional information about recent posts on social media regarding a monetary donation to a local animal care organization. Our post inaccurately stated that a donation was made to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Moreover, the post itself was inappropriate under the circumstances. Family members of an employee who recently passed away requested that, in lieu of flowers, co- workers donate funds to the Humane Association of Northwestern Rhode Island, a local association founded in 1978 to solve community issues primarily related to stray cats. They are not affiliated with HSUS as the posts incorrectly stated. The money is not a corporate donation, but a collection of personal contributions from employees with the intent of remembering a beloved co-worker. While our intentions were good, the use of corporate social channels under these circumstances was inappropriate. Muck Boots has a heritage of respect for the outdoors and for nature. We apologize for the anger and confusion the posts have caused and have removed them from our social channels.

KS  |  August, 05, 2014 at 07:25 PM

Don't believe it. They are just going into CYA mode.

Jl Rock    
KS  |  August, 05, 2014 at 08:00 PM

My boots will also find their way into the trash along with the other 11 pairs worn by family members. We will have no part of a company who has lost touch with the people who keep them in business. So sad that they have chosen to support an organization that is bent upon eliminating American Agriculture. I can only hope that they will change their priorities when it comes to supporting organizations.

MT  |  August, 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Don't believe for a moment by not purchasing Muck boots you will have any impact on the company. We real farmers are few and far between. Muck boots accessorize the feet of far, far more suburban dabblers-in-the-dirt and urban drugstore hunters than real farmers. Heck, farmers are less than 1% of the overall population. Probably less than 2% of Muck boot sales. That being said, screw Muck boots. Go with good old Tingly or LaCrosse. Buy the least cost option and really send a signal to the market. Muck boots knows where they can stick em.

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