Jolley: Five minutes with Wayne Pacelle and HumaneWatch

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There are two organizations that never back down from a fight: The Humane Society of the United States and HumaneWatch.  Of course the entire reason for the existence of that second group is to keep an eye on the first group.  A few weeks ago, I editorialized about both, stating that HumaneWatch might have raised some good points when they released their candid look at the most recent HSUS returns.  The flip side of that column was a question about the strength of the HSUS suit against the alleged misuse of funds by the National Pork Board.

Wayne Pacelle emailed me the next day, calling out HumaneWatch and the integrity of Rick Berman, the man who runs that Washington-based watch dog group.  Fair enough, good journalism demands the free and open airing of all sides of a story and editing in a particular slant is worthy of a flag and a penalty half way back to the other guy’s goal line.

To be scrupulously fair and to make sure there was no room for misunderstanding, misquoting or misinterpretation, I emailed my questions to Mr. Pacelle.  His responses were returned to me the same way.  Links throughout this column will take you to related material.  Good reading and, as usual, I invite your comments.

Q: Mr. Pacelle, after you read my opinion piece (Jolley: HumaneWatch comes out swinging, HSUS comes out slinging) you sent an email taking HumaneWatch to task on two fronts. First, you called the organization a project of the “discredited Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF).” Would you detail the points you see as discrediting CCF?

A: The Center for Consumer Freedom is one of a spider web of front groups created and run by a Washington public-relations and lobbying operative named Rick Berman, who got his start in this line of work by attacking anti-smoking advocates on behalf of Big Tobacco. Today, for example, Berman runs a group called the Center for Union Facts to attack labor unions. He runs a group called the American Beverage Institute to attack Mothers Against Drunk Driving and oppose anti-drunk driving campaigns.

The Center for Consumer Freedom attacks animal welfare groups, along with health and nutrition groups that fight obesity and public health threats posed by tanning beds and mercury in fish. The Washington Post, USA Today, and other editorial boards have called him out as a shill for industry groups, who conceal their contributions behind Berman’s front groups. CBS’s 60 Minutes did a profile on Berman and the piece dubbed him “Dr. Evil,” because he takes on the most unpopular causes on behalf of corporate clients whose identities are hidden from public disclosure by characterizing their payments to Berman for his services as “donations.”

Bloomberg News has exposed the fact that some of Berman’s phony nonprofit front groups, such as the Center for Consumer Freedom, have funneled 92 percent of the money they take in a given year right back to Berman and his private lobbying and PR firm, Berman & Company, and five independent tax law experts were cited in the Bloomberg story as questioning the legality of this tax scheme. Could you imagine if HSUS hired a private firm called Wayne Pacelle & Company to perform its lobbying and PR services, and paid me and my firm 92 percent of the donations it has taken in? That would be a scandal, and rightly so. He’s neither a good source nor a reputable ally for leaders in agriculture.

Q: The second front was your objection to some of the claims HumaneWatch made most of which were based on their review of your tax forms. One statement they made complained that only about half of one percent of your revenue went to local animal shelters. Their complaint, which is echoed by many others, is that HSUS fund-raising efforts takes a lot of money away from local shelters but leaves many people with the impression that much of it goes to local resources. I think your successful efforts post-Hurricane Katrina is uppermost on their minds. Would you talk about those fund-raising efforts?

A: We have the term, “humane society” in our name, and so do a lot of local shelters. But that doesn’t make us merely a shelter operator or an umbrella for all of them, and we’ve never claimed either mantle. We’ve been the “Humane Society of the United States” for nearly 60 years, and we provide more hands-on programs for animals than any other organization in our field, and we also attack the root causes of cruelty, in order to prevent suffering. We would not attract the extent of public support we do if we were just a pass-through organization for local shelters. In fact, there’s no group that serves such a function for the 3,500 individual animal shelters in the U.S., and no group ever has. Indeed, since half the brick-and-mortar shelters in this country are government-run and funded by municipal tax dollars, the whole notion is misapplied. Let me underscore that HSUS is not a grant-making group or a foundation, just like the American Farm Bureau Federation or the National Rifle Association are not grant-making groups. Does the NRA just fund gun ranges, or the Farm Bureau fund farms, or the AARP fund senior citizen centers?

Yes, we show dogs and cats, along with farm animals and wildlife, in some of our promotional materials, as you would expect, but all of those images come from the work that HSUS and its affiliates do. HSUS has its own veterinarians and our own animal shelters and animal care centers and we conduct our own rescue work, spay and neuter work, and pet wellness clinics – we don’t need to make grants to other groups to lay claim to hands-on work for animals.

For instance, I was just in Southeast Asia, where in Bhutan alone, our veterinary teams with our international arm have sterilized 45,000 street dogs. That exceeds the intake of nearly any shelter in the United States, or any high-volume spay-and-neuter clinic, and that’s just one of the dozens and dozens of hands-on programs that we run. The implication from this false framing invented by CCF is that we don’t do hands-on work, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Our donors get a steady stream of information about our work on factory farming, puppy mill abuses, animal fighting, seal clubbing, the exotic animal trade, our wildlife land trust activities, the use of chimps in research, animal rescue and disaster response, and so much more. Anyone who reads our magazine, called All Animals, or looks at our web site, (www.humanesociety.org), can see that our programs are much more sophisticated, wide-ranging, and impactful than simply making grants to shelters. That would be Animal Welfare 1.0., and we do Animal Welfare 4.0 at HSUS.

Q: Let’s talk about the size of HSUS membership and how it has changed. HumaneWatch said “HSUS’s All Animals magazine had a circulation of about 530,000, a better estimate of HSUS’s true membership size, since the magazine is included with a $25 membership. (HSUS likes to claim it has a “constituency” of 11 million, which inflates its influence greatly.).” There is a huge gap between your magazine’s circulation and your constituency claim. Are the circulation numbers accurate and how do you define your constituency?

A: I am glad to clarify this, because this is more misinformation. To get All Animals, an individual or institution must make a one-time gift in a calendar year of $25 or more, or sign up to be an automatic monthly contributor. We have about 530,000 who make that one-time gift of $25 or more. But the large majority of our donors make smaller contributions. Someone who donates $5 or $10 multiple times in a year is a constituent of the HSUS, but does not get the magazine.

We count among our supporters people who have donated in the last several years, and we recruit about 500,000 new donors each year. We also have a number of affiliates – including The Fund for Animals, Doris Day Animal League, Humane Society International, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust – and we count their supporters within our constituency count. We also have about 1.6 million fans on our main HSUS Facebook page and 170,000 followers on Twitter, and these people are also among the most informed about our work, take actions we recommend, and are part of our constituency, too.

Q. Two of the statements made by HumaneWatch that were probably the most troubling to me were “HSUS paid $7.7 million to Quadriga Art, a fundraising consultant (recently exposed by CNN) that is (reportedly under investigation in New York and California). Between 2009 and 2011, HSUS paid Quadriga about $25 million” and “HSUS also reported paying about $333,000 to Infocision Management, whose questionable practices were (exposed by Bloomberg) this fall.” What’s the nature of the HSUS relationship with those two groups and would you discuss how they earn their compensation?

A: HSUS, like the NRA or any other major organization, runs a large and sophisticated marketing, fundraising, and public awareness program. Increasingly, we do more of our marketing online and on television. But direct mail, and spreading our message through that channel is part of that process. Quadriga is a vendor of ours, and so is Infocision, which does phone work. Both of these companies have hundreds of non-profit clients, and are among the go-to vendors in the nonprofit sector for certain services, such as producing direct mail premiums and running telephone call centers. Show me a group that does no marketing, or no advertising, and I will show you an organization with a very small base of supporters. HSUS conducts broad marketing work to build a major constituency, so we can attract supporters in every community to spread our message.

What is important here is that, measured against other excellent charitable organizations with strong reputations and which provide great service to the public, HSUS gets high marks: HSUS is rated a 4-star charity (the highest possible) by (Charity Navigator), approved by the (Better Business Bureau) for all 20 standards for charity accountability, voted by Guidestar’s (Philanthropedia) experts as the #1 high-impact animal protection group, and named by (Worth Magazine) as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities.

Q: Let’s talk about your international work. You told me “I was just in Southeast Asia, where in Bhutan alone, our veterinary teams with our international arm have sterilized 45,000 street dogs. That exceeds the intake of any shelter in the United States, or any high-volume spay-and-neuter clinic, and that’s just one of dozens and dozens of hands on programs that we run.” Tell me more about the three or four largest programs funded completely or in part by HSUS.

A: We have hundreds of programs. But I’ll pick four to mention to you, excluding our international street dog programs because you and I have already mentioned them. HSUS runs the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in the United States, which is located in South Florida. We directly touch 10,000 to 15,000 injured and orphaned wild animals a year just through that one facility (we also run two other wildlife rehabilitation centers, with our partner The Fund for Animals, in California and Massachusetts).

Second, we run the nation’s largest and most diverse animal sanctuary, called the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas. We have approximately 1, 000 animals rescued from all sorts of dangerous circumstances – chimps from research labs, exotic antelope from captive hunting ranches, tigers from roadside zoos, horses from cruelty and neglect cases, and so many more animals in need of a place of sanctuary.

Third, our veterinary division, among many other things, goes to Indian reservations in the West and conducts free spay/neuter, vaccination, and wellness check-up programs for pets and the people who care about them; in these areas, there are few vets, and there is crushing poverty, and we are a lifeline for these communities.

Fourth, we have invested millions in developing an immunocontraceptive vaccine for a variety of mammals, for humane population management. We are working, with government or private partners, on contraception programs for elephants in South Africa, for wild horses in the West, and for deer on island ecosystems. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Q: Let’s get to one of the major reasons behind my column, the HSUS suit against the NPPC and their claim that it’s a continuation of your successful effort to get UEP to the bargaining table. I wrote “Dave Warner, director of communications for the National Pork Producers Council, emailed this statement to Meatingplace, ‘This latest attack by the Humane Society of the United States against America's family pig farmers, like the animal activist's previous ones, won't work and won't scare pig farmers into abandoning practices that protect the well-being of their animals. HSUS's charges are baseless, without merit and frivolous. Its claim that pork checkoff funds have been misused is patently and demonstrably false’.

Warner left no doubts about the NPPC position. Let me ask the question posed in my column directly to you: “Does HSUS have a case against the National Pork Board or are they just engaging in some legal shenanigans in order to force NPB to the bargaining table?”

A: You can read our complaints. We have (hard evidence) that the Pork Board used check-off funds to participate in NPPC lobbying events. NPPC says the charges are baseless, yet it quickly acted to remove evidence of the Board’s high-donor “Partner” status in its Alliance lobbying program. Within days of the HSUS complaint, the U.S. Food Policy blog reported that the Pork Board had been (removed) from the Alliance website.

HSUS and pork farmers also filed a (complaint) over the $60 million pay-out from the Pork Board to the NPPC for the use of the ‘Pork: The Other White Meat’ slogan. NPPC used $500 million from the checkoff to make the slogan successful, so producers should not have to pay again for it, especially in light of the slogan being put to bed.

Q: Thousands of people read cattlenetwork.com. What would you like to say to them?

A: There are some folks in animal agriculture who caricature HSUS, charging that we are trying to end animal agriculture. But why would we work jointly with the United Egg Producers if we were against all animal agriculture? Why would HSUS have a pig farmer serve as its VP of Outreach and Engagement who leads our Rural Affairs program? Why would we work with the Nebraska Farmers Union on marketing of humanely produced animal products? Why would I serve on the board of the Global Animal Partnership, which conducts an animal welfare rating program and certifies products from farmers who raise animals in humane and sustainable ways?

My request to your readers: Look at the facts, not the rhetoric from groups that don’t like HSUS’s reform-oriented campaigns. Farmers and other leaders in agriculture can help solve animal welfare problems, and we look forward to working with anyone who wants to be constructive and help in solving problems for animal welfare.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chuck Jolley, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.


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john    
Missouri  |  December, 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Once a snake always a snake, did Mr Pacelle actually answer any of the questions asked of him.

Karenh    
Colo  |  December, 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM

No John, he did not. Here's where that old saying about "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, then baffle 'em with bs." certainly applies. As any livestock producer knows, HSUS is nothing more than a money-sucking scam run by an arrogant greedy group who knows nothing about what it takes to keep animals healthy and comfortable.

Dee    
Ohio  |  December, 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM

HSUS DOES SO back down....once they realize they have committed illegal acts to gain animals from owners and KNOW that the fits gonna hit the shan they bail and leave the small towns holding the bag and legal responsibilities and say "Look how good we are!" HSUS is a joke and so is Humane Watch if you even halfway endorse their bullying criminal tactics.

Sarah    
Maryland  |  December, 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Thank you for posting this Mr Jolley - I work at the HSUS, and I hope more will look at the answers to your questions, and begin to look at the facts, instead of relying on misinformation. I am proud to work at HSUS because of the work we do on many issues. It is work that shelters cannot do, and that includes the work done with farmers and ranchers, to improve farm animal welfare.

AmyK    
Ohio  |  December, 14, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Thank you for this excellent interview Mr. Jolley, and for asking the tough questions. Pacelle answered them all thoroughly. For example, Jolley asked him to name some specific HSUS programs, and Pacelle named four and explained what they do. Jolley asked about HSUS constituents, and Pacelle explained exactly what that means (a $25 donation to get the magazine) and how the others are counted. Jolley asked about local animal shelters, and Pacelle answered that too. The answers were specific to the questions and on target. I was happy to see this in a agriculture publication, even if some other readers were not.

PattyB    
Utah  |  December, 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I actually think Mr. Pacelle answered the questions quite well, and I appreciate Mr. Jolley's willingness to be fair and present both sides of this debate. It is refreshing to see a balanced approach about a subject that very important to our lives. Although I don't agree with HSUS on everything, I do agree with them that our present agricultural practices need to change. As an industry, agriculture cannot continue to blindly pursue an agenda that clearly is not in our long-term interests. Times change, and markets change. Instead of fighting the obvious, we need to be looking at ways to move forward with a changing world. Consumers don't stay the same. Farmers, if they want to survive, need to pay attention to the desires of their market. While it isn't possible for every farmer to suddenly become a small, boutique operation overnight, the refusal I see in much of the industry to deal with the realities of present-day farming and markets, is short- sighted and suicidal. Much time is being wasted by refusing to consider new and different ways of meeting changed, and changing, market desires. Remember Detroit? Same story; different product. I do not believe that HSUS is the enemy of agriculture although, as I said before, I don't agree with them on everything. I do believe what HSUS is saying is a wake-up call (or should be) to any thinking person.

Jon    
Nebraska  |  December, 14, 2012 at 01:29 PM

Well done. I appreciate Mr. Jolley presenting both sides and I like what Mr. Pacelle had to say. I think most family farmers and the HSUS have a lot of the same goals and beliefs, if each side would get out of their own way and embrace those commonalities. I feel like HSUS is trying to do that and I hope my fellow farmers will keep an open mind and to take an unbiased look at the facts.

Clova A.    
Oklahoma  |  December, 14, 2012 at 02:13 PM

I have watched the HSUS closely for over 38 years - that is since 1974, when they helped with a dog and cat problem here where I live. I find them to be "the real deal" - fighting cruelty that is beyond the reach of local humane organizations. The HSUS actively pursues a remedy to institutiionalized cruelties, such as keeping animals in such crowded conditions as to be inhumane and this is what incites the hatred for them from businesses that profit from the misery of animals. That old saw that the HSUS does not raise funds to support local shelters is nothing but a ploy to divide the humane community into a "them or us" mentality. How many times does the HSUS have to say that they are not and were never intended to be the fund raising arm for a nation full of shelters for dogs and cats? I highly recommend the book Protecting All Animals, A Fifty Year History of the Humane Society of the United States by Bernard Unti. In reading the book, I find that I recall a lot of the history detailed in it because I was watching the HSUS when that history was being made. Many of us support both, the HSUS and our local shelters.

Dennis Foster    
Millwood, VA  |  December, 14, 2012 at 04:38 PM

So if HSUS is so up front with the fact they are not affiliated with local human societies why do they still give that impression with the pictures of kittens and puppies and the working of their advertisements that clearly indicate there is a connection. Why don't you research where they spend their money, who they hire, who they are affiliated with, the law suits and legislation they are behind and what they are trying to teach our children on their website and lesson plans to turn them into vegans. I think it would give you a far clearer picture of who HSUS really is. Pacelle and HSUS don't answer the hard questions they go around them. Wordsmithing and half truths. They arn't about welfare and everything about changing this world into their vision. The bottom line is they are exactly like PETA except they have the kinder gentler approach, sitting back in the shadows, letting PETA do the dirty work while they collect the money. Dennis Foster

doug williams    
December, 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM

There are some folks in animal agriculture who caricature HSUS, charging that we are trying to end animal agriculture. But why would we work jointly with the United Egg Producers if we were against all animal agriculture? Why would HSUS have a pig farmer serve as its VP of Outreach and Engagement who leads our Rural Affairs program? Why would we work with the Nebraska Farmers Union on marketing of humanely produced animal products? Why would I serve on the board of the Global Animal Partnership, which conducts an animal welfare rating program and certifies products from farmers who raise animals in humane and sustainable ways? why indeed.. so is the HSUS trying to end animal agriculture.. of course they are. “Animals for the most part just need to be left alone." Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2008 "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. . One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Wayne Pacelle, "My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture." JP Goodwin, employed at the Humane Society of the US "I dream of a vegan world - that's where I want everything to go." Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary ( sister organization to HSUS "The good news, and what is really going to help immensely, is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) just passed their vegan policy. They are seen as the mothering organization for the SPCAs, shelters and animal control agencies. And the fact that they have adopted a vegan policy may just be the major breakthrough to bring others along.

doug williams    
December, 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM

. We want Americans to eat fewer animals," Wayne Pacelle, DVM News, Jan 1, 2008. why does Wayne always get the "soft ball' questions? Mr Jolley..did Mr Pacelle. have these questions in advance. did he refuse to answer any questions? Why were your questions so easy for him to answer with his usual rhetoric? Refernces to MADD, "Big Tobaaco" etc.. he must be able to quotes tis same speech in his sleep.. wher are the REAL questions.. and the REAL anwers.. look at my quotes.. it is all there..

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  December, 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM

My husband's heart surgeon to him to eat fewer animals. Must be a conspiracy!

chuck    
Kansas  |  December, 14, 2012 at 08:49 PM

Doug, read what Dennis wrote.

doug williams    
December, 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM

Thanks I did read what Dennis wrote and agree entirely. I missed the apart in the article about the emailed questions.. of course Pacelle will send back the tired old MADD, Tobaco, nasty seal clubbers and wow waiti.. I have not seen this one.. TANNING BEDS. junk... LOL.. the last time I saw Wayne.. he either was "mantanned" or had a session in a booth.. or perhaps he was checking out the Bahamas on the donor dime to see if he could unearth a seal clubber on the beach Terry Ward Amy K and a few others how have sung Wayne praises here are well known avid acolytes of their vegan guru. Sarah is paid to post.. at least she is honest about it. Meanwhile Pacelle says "look to the facts" I hope everyone does exactly that

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  December, 15, 2012 at 07:57 AM

Doug Williams continues to consult Madame TuTu of the psychic hotline regarding the bank accounts and menu choices and comparative 'honesty' of people whom he does not know? Does Doug get all his information from Madame TuTu? This would explain much.

Bud    
Colorado  |  December, 15, 2012 at 09:21 AM

Does anyone actually think Wayne answered those questions? Not when HSUS has a battery of attorneys on their payroll. Not a very candid reply and as you would expect, deflected the issue by attacking the group as being devious some how and there for not trustworthy. I wouldn't expect anything less from HSUS. Its more about money than animals.

Carilyn    
Utah  |  December, 15, 2012 at 09:31 AM

The world is changing people and you'd better be ready. Consumers are waking up to the idea that they need to know where their food is coming from and how it was raised and/or harvested. Imagine your operation being singled out as a model of humanely harvested, healthy product. Companies would flock to you to carry your product. People will pay more for better product. I'm sure you care about your animals, but putting measures into place and investing in humane practices can only improve your business. I give you one example: http://youtu.be/klbVwE5zb1Y I don't doubt that the initial costs would eat into profits, but the long term benefits for you, for all would outweigh those costs. Doesn't that make some sense?

Laurella Desborough    
Florida  |  December, 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Why is it that those who have NO background, experience or education in the management of specific animal species want to FORCE those with the knowledge into using methods that are less humane or workable? That is what I see HSUS doing...trying to force their ideas of animal management practices onto farmers and cattlemen, as well as on breeders of companion animals. Does it not make sense to let those with the knowledge and experience do what works best? Do we need HSUS telling hog farmers HOW to keep and breed and raise pigs? Why would any thinking person want a person without the education or background HOW to do the job? Does the school teacher want to tell the surgeon how to operate? Does the garbage collector want to tell the electrician how to install wiring and make it safe? Wake up folks...let's let those with the knowledge do the job...not those with an anti-agriculture agenda.

DC    
DC  |  December, 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I also worked at HSUS and if you've followed them for 38 years, you know they used to share their donations and goals with local shelters in large portions. They no longer do. Wayne Pacelle is an animal rights activists; a vegan and a non pet owner (yes, his fiance has a cat). He does not believe that animals should be used by humans for anything including seeing eye dogs or pets. He responds to questions about his belief by acknowledging those are his personal views but not necessarily the goals of the $100 million dollar annual fund he manages. With that much money, all of his personal goals may become reality. Pretending that is not happening now puts our freedom to live with companion and working animals in danger.

Clova A.    
OK  |  December, 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I reiterate, the history of the HSUS has been written, though apparently not read by nearly enough people. See my post above. There are indeed times, long ago and in present times , when the HSUS has made donations to specific shelters in connection with various projects and events. But, as far as being a fundraising arm for local shelters as a main focus, that has never been the goal of the organization. For those wishing to follow the HSUS more closely, may I suggest that you start with their website. There is a section of News, which will highlight much of their work. And the best part of this is that you can verify what they say on their website with reports from newspapers and TV stations in the area named. For example, if the HSUS says they assisted a sheriff in a given county and state with a dog fight bust, you can be sure that the event will be covered by local newspapers and TV stations in the area.

Stormy Hope    
CA  |  December, 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM

Actually, before Pacelle moved in, it was written that 60% of their money was to go to shelters and the remaining 40% was to go toward salaries, expenses, education. As far as the sanctuaries, most came with trusts to support and maintain them.

Farmer    
Almost Heaven  |  December, 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM

Patty B. If you really think he answered them you are lost or blindly following someone that is set to destroy animal agriculture. We will provide the consumer with what they want, do it in a sustainable way and continue to eek out a living in the process - despite the best efforts by Pacelle and company!

    
December, 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM

YOUR A JOKE

Pamela Kaczynski    
Pittsburgh  |  December, 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Maybe Laurella you should take a look at behind the scenes videos of abused pigs,cattle,horses.ducks,geese ,elephants...etc and maybe then you would sing a different tune.

Clova A.    
December, 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM

I would like to know exactly where "it was written" that 60% of the HSUS money would go to shelters "before Wayne Pacelle move in"? Sure wasn't in any HSUS published material. I would remind readers that the HSUS published a well documented historical account of their first fifty years in 2004. Nothing in that book indicates that the organization was intended as a fund raising arm for local shelters. And the book was published before Pacelle was CEO. The HSUS does utilize funds in ways that help animal shelters and as stated in one of my posts above, does from time to time issue grants to specific shelter for certain reasons. But it was never organized for the iimpossible and improbable task of funding shelters in general.

Claire    
December, 16, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Thank you Mr. Jolley for reaching out and providing Mr. Pacelle an opportunity for an interview to discuss the mission and goal of the HSUS. I have followed the HSUS for many years as I grew up in a farming community and witness firsthand the cruelty inflicted upon farm animals. The agriculture industry lost all public respect and credibility when they hired Rick Berman to attack the HSUS. Actually after the passage of Proposition 2 in 2008 the HSUS hit prime time and was embraced by the majority of the American population. One can only question the morals and values of today’s farmers and rancher who deny an animal the opportunity to have sufficient space to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs, and turn around freely.

Pat    
Michigan  |  December, 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM

No love lost for Wayne or the HSUS, but there is alot of good reading available on the internet for believers on both sides. My personal recommendations include blogger Douglas Anthony Cooper on the Huffington Post. To quote him "Discerning agenda is a problem with both the HSUS and its enemies. Their most outspoken opponent is HumaneWatch, Richard Berman's organization, which tends to conceal its link to Big Agriculture. I try to avoid quoting them, not because they're inaccurate -- if they were, they'd be sued into dust -- but because they offer a facile ad hominem argument to HSUS apologists: "That can't be true; it comes from the meat lobby." " Yes, HumaneWatch is run by a big-gun lobbiest; that in and of itself does not make anything or everything Richard Berman says a lie. The whole blog http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/douglas-anthony-cooper/humane-society_b_1943902.html. I personally would like to ask Mr. Pacelle exactly where are its " own animal shelters and animal care centers...pet wellness clinics" that he explicitly states exist. I would like Mr. Pacelle to actually answer the question "are you or the HSUS trying to end animal agriculture, albeit one small piece at a time?" Yes or no. "What are your specific responses to accusations made by HumaneWatch.org?" (all of them, I really would like to hear.) And why, Mr. Pacelle, is your organization and its affiliates given a D (as in A is outstanding, F is failure) by CharityWatch.org, compared to a long list of well-researched charities all wanting our donations? (Check it out) (Interesting reading here: http://www.doggiestylish.com/blog/2012/10/what-the-hsus-aspca-charity-navigator-dont-tell-you-about-fundraising-costs/ (stuff everybody should know anyway

jan    
ohio  |  December, 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM

I would suggest you all get the 990 forms and the financial statements and read them. The comments in this section are good for an after dinner laugh...and that is about it. HSUS has facilitated the passage of 1500 laws for animals...including those against dog fighting. Not to mention the hundreds of other programs they have. HumaneWatch has done NOTHING for animals. Obviously, most of the people commenting don't know anything about HSUS! If you did, you wouldn't need HumaneWatch to give you information...you could find all the information on your own!

sue    
nebraska  |  December, 16, 2012 at 07:40 PM

CHARITY NAVIGATOR: HSUS: The Humane Society of the United States 4 stars Washington, DC Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty Animals : Animal Rights, Welfare, and Services + Add to My Charities | Combined Federal Campaign Code: 11894

debbie    
nebraska  |  December, 16, 2012 at 07:41 PM

HSUS: The Humane Society of the United States 4 stars Washington, DC Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty Animals : Animal Rights, Welfare, and Services + Add to My Charities | Combined Federal Campaign Code: 11894

Pat    
michigan  |  December, 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM

CharityWatch.org (American Institute of Philanthropy) agrees with many of Charity Navigator's ratings, but there are a fair number that are miles apart, and HSUS is one of them. I would think curious minds might like to know how those ratings are determined, and why they might be so different.

jmcv02    
manhattan, ks  |  December, 17, 2012 at 02:45 PM

Terry-Eating whole animals isn't part of a balanced diet, eat just one piece at a time.

Marko    
Central Montana  |  December, 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM

With the USA budgeting about $80 Billion for food stamps and food prices increasing due to high fuel, fertilizer and feed costs, at some point one of these animal/environmental organizations is going to get sued for cruelty against HUMANS. Especially considering that food production will have to increase 70%, and animal agriculture will have to double to meet future human food needs. Consider that the US cow herd is the smallest since the 1950's and going in the wrong way due to continued drought and US agriculture is headed in the wrong direction. Even our governmental leaders are not interested in investing (by limiting government regulation) in agriculture. Consider the debt $16 trillion and the unfunded obligations of $55 trillion and we (US) are in a real pickle. There is hope if only our politicians will become leaders! Check out David Walker (former top accountant for the US) on YouTube and the short movie created by Dave titled IOUSA on YouTube. Other groups are working to get the kinks out of the budget at crfb.org and fixthedebt.org. Good sources of TRUE information.

Kathy, RVT    
Kansas  |  December, 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM

Wayne stated how many animals were altered in Asia, but failed to state how many animal in the USA have been sterilized by the HSUS. Sorry...if it's the HSUS...I want to see the numbers for the USA!. And as a livestock producer...I want to see Wayne, himself, on a Kansas Farm...last time I looked at the HSUS website, they didn't know the difference between a dairy or a feedlot. And while I admire the thought of the ranch in Texas...they have WAY too many animals there for the amount of land they have. I am all in favor of animal welfare; I'm a RVT, a licensed foster home for unwanted dogs, a livestock producer, and a pet owner. AND a realist. Come to Kansas, Wayne...come to our shelters, help us spay and neuter. Come see how the real beef cow lives, and her calves. Come see my sheep & hog operation. Until I see your boots in the mud, I'm not buying anything you say.

Kathy, RVT    
Kansas  |  December, 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM

Wayne stated how many animals were altered in Asia, but failed to state how many animal in the USA have been sterilized by the HSUS. Sorry...if it's the HSUS...I want to see the numbers for the USA!. And as a livestock producer...I want to see Wayne, himself, on a Kansas Farm...last time I looked at the HSUS website, they didn't know the difference between a dairy or a feedlot. And while I admire the thought of the ranch in Texas...they have WAY too many animals there for the amount of land they have. I am all in favor of animal welfare; I'm a RVT, a licensed foster home for unwanted dogs, a livestock producer, and a pet owner. AND a realist. Come to Kansas, Wayne...come to our shelters, help us spay and neuter. Come see how the real beef cow lives, and her calves. Come see my sheep & hog operation. Until I see your boots in the mud, I'm not buying anything you say.

Not Kevin Fulton    
January, 07, 2013 at 09:41 AM

didn't take long for H$U$ to put this article out in a mass e-mail extolling its internet trolls to comment en masse on a website that they would not normally read to attempt to create the allusion that Wayne Pacelle is some sort of animal welfare saint instead of the animal rights extremist snake which he is...

Rob    
Wisconsin  |  January, 07, 2013 at 12:15 PM

If I was donating money to the Human Society of the UNITED STATES would I really want to see my money going to sterilizing street dogs in Bhutan? "For instance, I was just in Southeast Asia, where in Bhutan alone, our veterinary teams with our international arm have sterilized 45,000 street dogs. That exceeds the intake of nearly any shelter in the United States, or any high-volume spay-and-neuter clinic, and that’s just one of the dozens and dozens of hands-on programs that we run."

gabe thompson    
nd  |  January, 07, 2013 at 12:27 PM

I wonder why, given the fact these questions and answers were conducted via email, Mr Pacelle did not include direct links to the fund raising finances and how they are spent (ie tax returns) to quell the claims made by Humane Watch. What better way to prove their claims wrong than by providing an unfiltered direct look at HSUS's finances. I have found that when people that are honest are questioned as to their credibility, there usually is avalible proof to substantiate their claims. I semed to have missed Mr Pacelles proof that show Humane Watches information about their fundraising tactics and how their dollars are spent are wrong.

HogMan    
IL  |  January, 08, 2013 at 09:51 AM

How can you make your last staqtement with a straight face. pacelle is an avowed vegan, and has stated he wants to eliminate all animal agriculture. Imagine what other ag product prices will be without animal agriculture? Please, you have fallen for this silvery, forked-tongue agriculture terrorist's rhetoric. Any thinking person would listen closely to what he says, and then look at what he does, and reach a much different conclusion. If consumers demand change, it will happen. Pacelle is not a consumer of that which we produce. he should be irrelevant to the conversation.

HogMan    
IL  |  January, 08, 2013 at 09:51 AM

How can you make your last staqtement with a straight face. pacelle is an avowed vegan, and has stated he wants to eliminate all animal agriculture. Imagine what other ag product prices will be without animal agriculture? Please, you have fallen for this silvery, forked-tongue agriculture terrorist's rhetoric. Any thinking person would listen closely to what he says, and then look at what he does, and reach a much different conclusion. If consumers demand change, it will happen. Pacelle is not a consumer of that which we produce. he should be irrelevant to the conversation.

Hog Man    
IL  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Jan, I would stop giving to my church if they spent nearly 1/2 their budget on advertising and churning. I would also likely stop giving if they spent only 1/2 of 1% on Christian education, if their ads showed that was what they were 'about". He can say all he wants, and perhaps some of the laws that are passed are helpful to pets, but if anyone uses the "reasonable person" theory, how can you even question that the intent of his ads are to deceive poor folks into giving to him? Why can't he advertise that they are an advocacy group that advocates against eating or using animals for any purpose, including being pets? If he was honest, and still raised $130mil, more power to him, but he doesn't have the kahonas to do that.

Hog Man    
IL  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Sarah, I am sorry, but groups like yours are the last place anyone should look to find help with farm animal welfare. I am just waiting, now that large portions of the industry have transitioned away from crates, for Pacelle to snd in his ilk and undercover video how the sows are beating each other up, and sustaing injuries...just like they iused to before we put them in crates. HSUS is nothing but a self-fulfilling profit group for Wayne and his soldiers at the top.

Hog Man    
IL  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Sarah, I am sorry, but groups like yours are the last place anyone should look to find help with farm animal welfare. I am just waiting, now that large portions of the industry have transitioned away from crates, for Pacelle to snd in his ilk and undercover video how the sows are beating each other up, and sustaing injuries...just like they iused to before we put them in crates. HSUS is nothing but a self-fulfilling profit group for Wayne and his soldiers at the top.

Farmergirl    
KS  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Jan, you have just stated the obvious. Really, we needed over 1500 new laws to protect animals? Maybe I should say "only 1500"? At $130mil/year, what is the cost per law, vs helping the animals. Also, many people disagree, through both scientific research and professional experience, that some of these laws help animals. Getting rid of gestation crates and chicken cages may make uninformed people feel better, but it is not necessarily better for the animals. it is all about "big wins" for Wayne and his ilk...to keep the money flowing in. We would not need Humane Watch if HSUS were honest in their approach to advertising and advocacy. Why don't they just place their ads by saying we don't want you to eatmeat, wear leather, use animals for any purpose, or keep pets? That would be honest!

Farmergirl    
KS  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Maybe Pam, you should look at 24/7 video inside a real pig farm(www.realpigfarm.com), instead of touting the unusual cases of abuse that HSUS takes, and likely at some times stages, to keep up the fund flow. Seriously, you think employees would do some of those things, and worse yet, continue if they were being filmed w/o some sort of compensation for them from the undercover person. I have no doubt that some are truly undercover, but I also have no doubt that many are staged. Just look at the circus court case, where the circus finally won a huge settlement from an animal rights group for staging abuse. pretty stupid having the guy on your payroll. Try realpigfarm.com for your viewing pleasure. See how happy these animals are as they are protected from others in their crates. They get checked 2+ times/day, fed the proper amount of the proper ration w/o having to fight for it, water 24/7, cared for safely when ill or injured etc. Pretty good life!

Farmergirl    
KS  |  January, 08, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Maybe Pam, you should look at 24/7 video inside a real pig farm(www.realpigfarm.com), instead of touting the unusual cases of abuse that HSUS takes, and likely at some times stages, to keep up the fund flow. Seriously, you think employees would do some of those things, and worse yet, continue if they were being filmed w/o some sort of compensation for them from the undercover person. I have no doubt that some are truly undercover, but I also have no doubt that many are staged. Just look at the circus court case, where the circus finally won a huge settlement from an animal rights group for staging abuse. pretty stupid having the guy on your payroll. Try realpigfarm.com for your viewing pleasure. See how happy these animals are as they are protected from others in their crates. They get checked 2+ times/day, fed the proper amount of the proper ration w/o having to fight for it, water 24/7, cared for safely when ill or injured etc. Pretty good life!

Farmergirl    
ks  |  January, 08, 2013 at 11:01 AM

My friends heart surgeon recommended 2 eggs and a 3-4 oz pork chop for breakfast every day! Dr.s do not necessarily understand nutrition. They aften make the wrong conclusion about a lot of things. One would think they would rely on science....but they all don't, and'or don't all the time. Everything in moderation is one's best bet. Meat is a dense and tasty form of nutrition that provides many nutrients that are hard to get from plants alone.

Farmergirl    
ks  |  January, 08, 2013 at 11:01 AM

My friends heart surgeon recommended 2 eggs and a 3-4 oz pork chop for breakfast every day! Dr.s do not necessarily understand nutrition. They aften make the wrong conclusion about a lot of things. One would think they would rely on science....but they all don't, and'or don't all the time. Everything in moderation is one's best bet. Meat is a dense and tasty form of nutrition that provides many nutrients that are hard to get from plants alone.

Farmergirl    
KS  |  January, 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Carilyn, You are confusing some things. Do you sork for HSUS? You state people will pay more for a better product. There- in is the rub. The product from "humanely raised" is exactly the same (well maybe..it might be worse for several reasons), as that produced in the mainstream. All animals are humanely harvested now, by law. While companies may "flock to you to carry your product", it does not mean they will pay you any more, even if the naive consumer pays them more. You are still in a commodity business, and except for a few high-end folks, with warped sense of value, few will be able to afford meat under your standards....but of course....isn't that HSUS intent? They don't care about people or animals..just driving their agenda to keep the money flowing in.

Farmergirl    
KS  |  January, 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Carilyn, You are confusing some things. Do you sork for HSUS? You state people will pay more for a better product. There- in is the rub. The product from "humanely raised" is exactly the same (well maybe..it might be worse for several reasons), as that produced in the mainstream. All animals are humanely harvested now, by law. While companies may "flock to you to carry your product", it does not mean they will pay you any more, even if the naive consumer pays them more. You are still in a commodity business, and except for a few high-end folks, with warped sense of value, few will be able to afford meat under your standards....but of course....isn't that HSUS intent? They don't care about people or animals..just driving their agenda to keep the money flowing in.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  January, 08, 2013 at 01:21 PM

Let us never forget, under the leadership of Wayne Pacelle, the Human Society of the United States has become one of several defendants in a citizens suit under the RICO Act. RICO stands for Racketteering Influence Criminal Organizations. That it the law that federal authorities use to curtail mobsters and organized crime. Have you ever heard of a non-profit organization being involved in RICO litigation before? ASPCA, the other major defendant has already settled to the tune of over 9 milliion dollars. Now, ASPCA is incessantly begging for money through a nation wide television advertising campaign. But not once is the balance due for a RICO settlement mentioned. Why hasn't Wayne Pacelle ever commented on the validity of the RICO litigation? Remeber folks, when you think about HSUS, ask about RICO, mobster, organized crime.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  January, 08, 2013 at 01:27 PM

Sarah from Maryland, it is important for a person to be proud of their work and the organization for which one works. Are proud of working for an organization that is currently embroiled in RICO (Rackettering Influenced Criminal Organization) litigation? It is kind of unusual for a charitable organization to be a defendant in organized crime litigation. Don't you agree?

Robert Grillo    
January, 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

HSUS and PETA are the two most visible targets for the critics of the animal movement and yet commentators as well as the animal ag. industry speak as if these are the only two forces in the movement, as if what the mainstream press covers is all that really exists. Let me tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. As someone who has overseen the rescue of farmed animals from very abusive situations and who runs a small animal non profit, I can assure you that a movement to counter the use of animals in agriculture is alive and well and growing exponentially. We have only scratched the surface of the impact we will have as our awareness-building campaigns get more of the public to become increasingly uncomfortable about the idea of the suffering of animals for our pleasure in eating them. You can villianize Wayne Pacelle and HSUS or you can acknowledge that there is a much broader context to this movement that encompasses and connects to many other social justice movements. And following the path of other movements much like it, it will only continue to grow until it eventually reaches mainstream acceptance.

Diane    
FACT CHECK LAND  |  June, 18, 2013 at 07:09 PM

Late to this discussion but appalled by the lies of this snake in a suit. A few fact checks. Pacelle has been touting the Bhutan project since 2010. I do not believe HSUS has teams of veterinarians doing the work. HSUS - and other groups - arrange for overseas vets to do the work on behalf of HSUS, which pays a modest amount of money. HSUS claims to have hundreds of hands on projects. HSUS has under ten, and most involve the work of volunteers. HSUS affiliate the Fund for Animals has it's own fundraising and projects like the Black Beauty Ranch do not receive money from HSUS. The Fund's separate tax return clearly states that the Fund runs HSUS's direct care programs. Translation: Two separate direct mail and telemarketing campaigns for the same projects, which would be fraud in the private sector. HSUS's tax returns do not include money for the Black Beauty Ranch, which has been cited by the USDA several times for disgusting violations. The membership number is a lie - pure and simple. If HSUS does attract 500,000 new donors a year and still has just 530,000 active members, HSUS is 1.0, not 4.0. Charity Navigator gave HSUS terrible grades before Wayne took over and started cooking the books. HSUS is threatening to sue CN if it dares to downgrade their rating. Worth named HSUS one of the 10 Worst Charities in America. Charities fundraise. None more corruptly than HSUS, which uses Quadriga and similar hucksters because they are willing to lie, cheat, and kickback money. HSUS = Quadriga = Quadriga's siblings. No spin can justify criminal associations. Wayne is pathetic and HSUS now has more scandals, investigations, lawsuits, and critics than charitable programs. CCF is the least of their problems.

Warren    
CA  |  June, 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Wanye said Worth Magazine rated them as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities, but Worth magazine rates the Kentucky Humane Society not H.S.U.S. Are the two organizations related?

Diane    
CHECKING THE FACTS VILLE  |  June, 19, 2013 at 06:59 PM

Worth Magazine named HSUS one of the ten most corrupt charities in America in December 2002. The following year, Worth changed formats and is now a fluff magazine for the superwealthy. It's like $20 an issue or something. In recent years, Worth publishes a top 10 list that probably took under an hour to compile. It is completely worth-less. Otherwise, would HSUS have made the list The Kentucky Humane Society made Worth's list a few years ago. Worth only uses one source - Charity Navigator - in it's yearly fluff piece. HSUS made the "fiscally responsible" list nearly 4 years ago, but still touts it as if it was yesterday. That rating was based on the fact that HSUS has enough money to go without fundraising for 3 years. Seriously. Worth's 2002 list was based on a 6 month investigation and used Charity Watch, Attorney Generals offices, and public records.

Diane    
CHECKING THE FACTS VILLE  |  June, 19, 2013 at 06:59 PM

Worth Magazine named HSUS one of the ten most corrupt charities in America in December 2002. The following year, Worth changed formats and is now a fluff magazine for the superwealthy. It's like $20 an issue or something. In recent years, Worth publishes a top 10 list that probably took under an hour to compile. It is completely worth-less. Otherwise, would HSUS have made the list The Kentucky Humane Society made Worth's list a few years ago. Worth only uses one source - Charity Navigator - in it's yearly fluff piece. HSUS made the "fiscally responsible" list nearly 4 years ago, but still touts it as if it was yesterday. That rating was based on the fact that HSUS has enough money to go without fundraising for 3 years. Seriously. Worth's 2002 list was based on a 6 month investigation and used Charity Watch, Attorney Generals offices, and public records.

Diane    
Hate liars ville  |  June, 22, 2013 at 04:53 PM

Sorry I didn't answer your question about the relationship between HSUS and the Kentucky Humane Society. THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP. The Kentucky Humane Society is not a "chapter" of HSUS - there are no chapters, and contrary to Wayne's claim in this interview that HSUS runs it's own animal shelters, HSUS DOES NOT RUN A SINGLE ONE. The term "animal shelters" is code for pet shelters, and Pacelle knows that. But he is incapable of telling the truth. Also, the animal care centers" that HSUS fundraises off of do not care for dogs or cats. And they have their own tax returnsm fundraising campaigns and funding sources - the HSUS does not run them in any way. HSUS Grades: 4.0 for lying, 0.0 for everything animal related. To read Pacelle bragging that HSUS is a 4.0 group and the others are 1.0 is to vomit. He is a very sick individual.


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