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May 21, 2010

Comments

Mike Haley


Robin,

Thanks for spelling the information out nicely. I am a family farmer and feel that the Humane Society of the United States muddies the water when it comes to several issues involved in agriculture. I see several neighbors working very hard to take care of their livestock just as I do. In several situations we use modern efficiencies
to make sure that we can adequately do so with minimum stress on the animal and the environment. When it comes to good animal husbandry a good manager takes care of his livestock no matter how small or large they are. The ones that don’t will not be in business for long, and should be prosecuted if he/she has abused any animals.

When I see an advertisement for HSUS it seems to play completely on emotion as its great for fundraising. Problem is it takes a lot more than emotion to care for pets and livestock; it takes more than a lot of love to make sure that they are well cared for. The other problem I have with their advertisements is all the puppies and kittens in the commercials. As you noted they do have some sanctuaries that cares mostly for wild animals, but the bulk of their budget goes towards legislation to restrict farmers, pension plans, and advertising.

For these reasons I am a strong supporter of my local humane society and will continue to donate to them and volunteer when needed as they are in much need of both.

Thanks,
Mike Haley

Karen Gammon

ROBIN has proven once again that she "walks the talk" and has given us the straight scoop on a complicated subject. The HSUS works diligently along with others mentioned including the Richmond SPCA to help the plight of our animal companions in crisis. If we did not have these organizations to help out I cannot imagine how deplorable conditions would be. Yes, we have responsible humans that care for animals, but we also have wretched ones that make the lives of animals horrible. Those of us that spend our lives trying to improve conditions for our companions would agree that we have enough obstacles without worrying about an organization like CCF. How sad that the lives of animals will be affected because of this ad CCF placed. This whole issue will hopefully reinforce our beliefs and support of the Richmond SPCA, who in turn supports the HSUS and has a valuable partnership with them. I am personally relieved to have been made aware of CCF by Robin and will try to educate as many people as I can about this.

Maya Erhardt

Thank you, Robin, for bringing attention to the truth behind the CCF campaigns.

I was shocked to receive my last Virginia Farm Bureau newsletter (I am a member and insurance customer) and read an attack on HSUS that was clearly drafted by the "Center for Consumer Freedom."

I am appalled by the actions and non-transparency of CCF and support efforts by HSUS to help enact legislation that improves the treatment of farm animals. Not only is this humane and the right thing to do, it also results in healthier food sources.

Agribusiness must be held accountable and I think that Virginia Farm Bureau, and other organizations that claim to speak for the interests of farmers, would do well to realize that its customer base is diverse and perhaps not 100% on board with the agenda of the CCF and big factory farming.

Allison Drezek

The HSUS has done, and continues to do many great things when it comes to animal welfare in the US and right here in VA.

I think that everyone needs to take a look at the actions and positions of the HSUS and make their own decision to support (or not) them based on that information, not based in on information from provided by a company that poses as a nonprofit and makes its business causing problems for organizations that are doing good things in the community.

I personally support the HSUS and the Richmond SPCA knowing that they care for, and want what is best for all creatures great and small.

Hillary, HSUS

Many thanks to Robin for, as one commenter put it, providing "the straight scoop on a complicated subject." The work of local animal shelters is obviously critical. It's also near and dear to the hearts of many HSUS staffers like myself who have worked at shelters.

As Robin notes, supporting national organizations and local shelters are not mutually exclusive. Homeless pets and stray dogs and cats need a champion, as do the animals affected by puppy mills or factory farming or wildlife poaching. For many people, both types of work are a priority.

At the end of the day, we're all stronger when we can partner together, whether it's a large-scale cruelty case or a public policy issue affecting animals.

Robin, thanks again for adding your voice to this debate.

Kate Washington

The problem is that the HSUS is not any more transparent than CCF. In fact, they don't operate any animal shelters, but you sure can't tell that from their national advertising - which does, indeed, drain funds from both local municipal and non-profit shelters, and from grassroots rescue groups.

We are the ones who have to pick up the pieces (meaning the dogs) when puppy mills are busted. HSUS comes in very high profile at the start, but they are NOT there for the vet bills, the resocialization, the care or the placement - and neither are their funds. Yet potential donors say "I can't give, I already gave to the HSUS", as if somehow those funds filter down to care of the dogs at the local level.

As for the legislative efforts, unfortunately some of them are misguided. It would help if they actually worked with people who have some knowledge of animal husbandry, or who actually have experience with breeding and care of dogs and cats, but they don't - so their legislation often includes provisions that are actually harmful. For example, a recent HSUS bill included language that would bar puppies under the age of 12 weeks from interacting with adult dogs other than the dam or foster dam - a particularly bad idea if you want the puppy to actually develop any dog sense, learn bite inhibition, and learn appropriate dog-on-dog manners that will make them a good companion life-long.

alice in LALA land

No lobbying is not free or cheap as was stated above.. it is also not tax deductible..if the HSUS said "Hi we are the HSUS.. we are a lobbying organization for animal rights" then they would be honest and forthright and LOSE their tax exempt status...think that will happen?? sure... as soon as pigs fly...

Linda H

I agree that it is not necessary for an animal protection organization to fund shelters. However, I do have a big problem with HSUS which raises funds with emotional appeals that may not out and out say they run shelters but certainly promotes that misunderstanding. How much money would they raise if they made a real effort to be sure the people donating understood how the funds were being used? Isn't it obvious that HSUS's agenda is not up front? I have more respect for the crazies at PETA than HSUS. At least they are fairly honest about their agenda.

I have seen real dishonesty from HSUS. When the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal broke their website immediately started soliciting for funds to help care for Vick's dogs (I saw this myself). But they never had the dogs, never contributed for their care, and, in fact, recommended that they all be euthanized.

I don't care who is funding HumaneWatch (I have known all along) so long as they are telling the truth, and it looks to me like they are. I am involved in dog rescue and HSUS is no friend of ours. Animals would be better off if people gave their money to their local shelters and rescues instead of to HSUS (where most of it goes to more fundraising).

Jack VanHook

HSUS has worked miracles for the world's animals! Let someone, anyone stand up and prove they have done more than HSUS, PETA or ASPCA. All these people that oppose compassion for animals shout the same mantra: "GET YOUR HAND OUTTA MY POCKET".
What a greedy, self-serving lot they are.

Jenn

I am delighted that the honest information about CCF is getting out and grateful for the courage it has taken to say it. Whatever comlaints some people may have about HSUS's advertising, the claims that they do not sincerely care about animals are ridiculous. What angers me is the dishonesty of CCF and its related entities in pretending that they are concerned about shelters when in reality they are shills for the business interests that cause massive suffering and death of animals. And, by the way, no organization is being forced to take those animals from puppy mills that you claim cost you so much - you are choosing to do so.

Tom K

Has any claim made by the CCF been proven false?

Mary Fleming

HSUS conveys that they care for animlas as a non profit. A non profit is prohibited from lobbying. In fact, churches here in my home town are bieng told if the minister as an agent of the church states his support for a candidate, then the church will loose its tax exempt status. So how can HSUS continue to claim tax exempt status and that one of their main, and costly activities is lobbying? Check the video by the top administrator of HSUS in Georgia.
Then, keep on researching. Animals in the largest dairy farms are catered to for everything they want. The amount of ventilation and light are even calculated to be their ideal. I can assure you I can't do that on my small family dairy farm.

Tom K

And very nearly every breeder who is being "regulated" to death does more good for the animals than all of your animal rights and animal protection organizations.

Tom K

Also, if the harm that your people and the HSUS are doing to dog breeders, horse owners, and other owners of animals is inspired by an alleged love of animals, I have to question that love. Loving animals by hating humans is twisted.

Lauren

"The HSUS does not engage in sheltering (although it does operate some sanctuaries) but it provides other programs and other services that are crucial to advancing the well being of animals in this country." This is true, but it must be noted that HSUS *charges* for its "services" to local humane societies and the company, HSUS, has mentioned that it charges between $3,000 and $20,000 for "consultations." http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/facts/HSUS_shelter_evaluation_program.html

Megan

Friends don't let friends support HSUS or PETA!

Robin Starr

In answer to Thomas Kirby (screen name Tom K) yes, in fact, many claims made by CCF have been proven false. Please see this letter at the link provided below from an Atlanta TV station which details just a few of CCF's misrepresentations and demands that they take offending information down from their website. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/about/wsb_letter_re_berman.pdf

Jenn

Some of these comments are truly insane. Others are obviously the product of the economic self interest of the writer who is either a farmer or a breeder. The one that says that breeders have done more for the well being of animals than animal welfare organizations like the Richmond SPCA is really the most seriously irresponsible and irrational of all. You may take positions that are in your economic self interest but please do not pretend that breeders have done more to care for and protect innocent animals than organizations whose mission is to stand up for their protection. Tom K, no one with a grain of sense or who is free of bias is buying it.

Anne

I lost a lot of respect for HSUS after the Michael Vick case and Hurricane Katrina. In both cases they raised a lot of money but none (in the Vick case) and very little (Katrina) was ever actually used to directly help the animals involved. I have no problem with HSUS raising money for political action but they should be honest about where it it going.

Tamsen Kingry

Nonprofit organizations do have the right to lobby legislators; however, the amount of their budgets used for lobbying is limited based upon federal IRS rules and regulations. An organization can elect to abide by a sliding scale amount as its limit. If the organization continually exceeds this limit, then it risks losing its 501c3 status.

Most of these comments miss the point anyway; the blog piece was about the deception of CCF and not a general commentary about HSUS.

Hillary, HSUS

@Lauren - When the HSUS conducts a shelter evaluation, the fee covers only our hard costs (travel, consultants, printing, etc). Without these expenses being covered, this program would not be sustainable. In addition, HSUS staff invests a significant amount of time and expertise in preparing for and conducting the site visit, drafting and editing the final report, and following up on the shelter’s progress.

There are lots of other ways the HSUS supports animal shelters, from AnimalSheltering.org to the SpayDay online pet photo contest, which provides an effective fundraising platform for participating shelters. The HSUS has also partnered with the Ad Council, Maddie’s Fund, and the entire sheltering community on The Shelter Pet Project, a national public service advertising campaign to promote the adoption of shelter animals (check out www.theshelterpetproject.org).
These are just a few examples.

The HSUS isn’t affiliated with local shelters, and since we tackle a wide range of issues affecting many different species, we can’t put all our resources into one program or campaign. But we’ve been a long-time promoter of animal shelters and will continue to partner with them whenever possible.

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