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The Humane Society of the United States

Founded 1954 (as National Humane Society)
Founder Fred Myers, Helen Jones, Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser
Type 501(c)(3)[1]
Tax ID no. 53-0225390
Focus Animal protection, Animal rights, Cruelty to Animals, Humane education, Animal Ethics, Animal law, wildlife conservation
Method public education, science-based analysis, training and education, grant-making,litigation, legislation, public policy
Key people Wayne Pacelle, Andrew Rowan, Michael Markarian, Holly Hazard, Roger Kindler
Revenue $125,763,492 (2012)[2]
Slogan "Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty"
Website .orghumanesociety

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), based in companion animals, wildlife, farm animals, horses and other equines, and animals used in research, testing and education.[8]

The HSUS reported its revenue as US$125,763,492 and its net assets at over US$195 million for 2012.[9]

HSUS pursues its global work through an affiliate, Humane Society International, which listed staff members in 17 nations for 2013.[10] Other affiliated entities include the Doris Day Animal League, founded by the actress Doris Day, and the Fund for Animals, founded by the social critic Cleveland Amory. Together with its affiliate, the Fund for Animals, HSUS operates animal sanctuaries in five states.[11]

The HSUS does not run local shelters or oversee local animal care and control agencies, but promotes best practices and supports such entities throughout the country with a range of services.[12] 1% of the group's budget goes directly to shelters,[13][14] and in recent years, HSUS has taken criticism for not dispersing enough money, in ratio to what it receives from memberships and donations, to local humane societies and shelters for which it claims to be an umbrella organization. and is the largest animal rights in the world.[1] Unlike its founding vision which strictly revolved around animal welfare, HSUS has evolved to work towards establishing a broad range of animal rights legislation, including those involving companion animals, wildlife, farm animals, horses and other equines, and animals used in research, testing and education.

In 2014, it claimed more than 11 million Americans among its members and supporters.


  • Overview 1
  • Rationale 2
  • History 3
    • Humane slaughter legislation 3.1
    • Regulation of experimentation upon animals 3.2
    • Companion animals and shelters 3.3
    • Exposure of cruelty in the dog trade 3.4
    • Goals and expansion 3.5
    • Relationship to animal rights 3.6
    • Position against the use of violence 3.7
  • Recent history 4
    • Animal Protection Litigation section 4.1
    • Canadian seal cull campaign 4.2
    • Corporate expansion 4.3
    • Corporate Social Responsibility Outreach 4.4
    • Faith Outreach 4.5
    • Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy 4.6
    • Hurricane Katrina animal rescue 4.7
    • Investigation into "faux" fur 4.8
    • Investigation of Westland Meat Packing Company 4.9
    • Petland puppy mills campaign 4.10
    • Political and legislative initiatives against animal abuse and cruelty 4.11
    • United Egg Producers 4.12
  • Positions and Program Work 5
    • Animal fighting 5.1
    • Animals in research, testing, and education 5.2
    • Animals in sports and entertainment 5.3
    • Animals used for food 5.4
      • Basic Policy 5.4.1
      • Support for humane farmers and farms 5.4.2
      • Proposition 2 in California 5.4.3
      • Gestation crate campaign 5.4.4
      • Ag Gag legislation 5.4.5
      • King Amendment to Farm Bill in 2014 5.4.6
      • Veal calf investigation 5.4.7
      • Downed animals 5.4.8
      • Koster lawsuit 5.4.9
      • Perdue legislation 5.4.10
      • Antibiotics in animal agriculture 5.4.11
      • Meatless Monday 5.4.12
      • Whistleblower reward program 5.4.13
      • 2014 lawsuit on feed additives 5.4.14
    • Bear Baiting 5.5
    • Chimpanzees 5.6
    • Companion Animals 5.7
    • Exotic pets 5.8
    • Feral cats 5.9
    • Horse racing 5.10
    • Horse slaughter 5.11
    • Horse soring 5.12
    • Marine mammal protection 5.13
    • Pigeon shoots 5.14
    • Puppy mills 5.15
    • Shark Finning 5.16
    • Wildlife 5.17
    • Wildlife contraception 5.18
    • Wild horses 5.19
    • Wildlife exclusion 5.20
    • Wolves 5.21
    • Zoos 5.22
  • Governance and expenses 6
  • Grantmaking 7
  • Affiliated and related entities 8
    • Humane Society International 8.1
    • Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association 8.2
    • Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust 8.3
    • Doris Day Animal League 8.4
    • The Fund for Animals 8.5
    • The South Florida Wildlife Center 8.6
    • Humane Society Legislative Fund 8.7
  • Board members 9
  • Headquarters and regional offices 10
  • Celebrity supporters 11
  • Critics 12
    • Center for Consumer Freedom 12.1
    • Nathan Winograd 12.2
    • Protect the Harvest 12.3
    • The United States Association of Reptile Keepers 12.4
  • Specific criticism 13
    • Allegations of misappropriation of donations for Hurricane Katrina rescues 13.1
    • Allegations of misleading fundraising materials 13.2
    • Allegations of financial malfeasance 13.3
    • Animal rights agenda 13.4
    • Charity Navigator 13.5
    • Charity Watch 13.6
    • Feld Entertainment litigation 13.7
    • IRS complaint 13.8
    • Meat packing investigation 13.9
    • Michael Vick controversy 13.10
    • Misrepresentations of Canadian seafood boycott participation 13.11
    • Oklahoma Attorney General Issues Alert 13.12
    • Position on horse slaughter 13.13
  • See also 14
  • Notes 15
  • References 16
  • Further reading 17
  • External links 18


The HSUS formed after a schism surfaced in the [17][18][19][20][21][22]


The values that shaped HSUS's formation in 1954 came in some degree from the humane movement that originated in the 1860s in the United States. The idea of kindness to animals made significant inroads in American culture in the years following the Civil War. The development of sympathy for creatures in pain, the satisfaction of keeping them as pets, and the heightening awareness about the relationship between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence strengthened the movement’s popular appeal.[23]

Albert Schweitzer

The most immediate philosophical influence on 1950s-era advocates, including those associated with HSUS, was the reverence-for-life concept advanced by Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer included a deep regard for nonhuman animals in his canon of beliefs, and animal advocates laboring to give their concerns a higher profile were buoyed by Schweitzer’s 1952 Nobel Peace Prize speech, in which he noted that "compassion, in which ethics takes root, does not assume its true proportions until it embraces not only man but every living being."[24]

Myers and his colleagues found another exemplar of their values in Joseph Wood Krutch (1893–1970), whose writings reflected a deep level of appreciation for wilderness and for nonhuman life. With The Great Chain of Life (1957), Krutch established himself as a philosopher of humaneness, and in 1970, HSUS’s highest award was renamed in his honor.[25]

The growing environmental movement of the early 1970s also influenced the ethical and practical evolution of HSUS. The burgeoning crisis of pollution and wildlife-habitat loss made the public increasingly aware that humans needed to change their behavior toward other living things. By that time, too, the treatment of animals had become a topic of serious discussion within moral philosophy.

The debate spilled over into public consciousness with the publication of Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation (1975). Singer’s book sought to recast concern for animals as a justice-based cause like the movements for civil rights and women’s rights.[26]

Much of what Singer wrote concerning the prevention or reduction of animals’ suffering was in harmony with HSUS’s objectives. Singer’s philosophy did not rest upon the rights of animals, and he specifically rejected the framework of rights in favor of a utilitarian assessment that focused on animal sentience. His principal concern, like that of HSUS, was the mitigation and elimination of suffering, and he endorsed the view that ethical treatment sometimes permitted or even required killing animals to end their misery.[26][27]

The 1980s witnessed a flourishing of concern about animals and a proliferation of new organizations, many influenced by the [28]


In 1954, HSUS’s founders decided to create a new kind of animal organization, based in the nation’s capital, to confront national cruelties beyond the reach of local societies and state federations. Humane slaughter became an immediate priority and commanded a substantial portion of the organization’s resources. Myers and his colleagues also viewed this first campaign as a vehicle for promoting movement cohesion.

Humane slaughter legislation

In 1958, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act passed, which required the proper use of humane slaughter methods at slaughterhouses subject to federal inspection.[29] Only four years after HSUS’s formation, Myers pointed out that the movement had united, for the first time in eighty-five years,[29] to achieve enactment of federal legislation that would affect the lives of tens of millions of animals. He was encouraged that "hundreds of local societies could lift their eyes from local problems to a great national cruelty."[3]

Regulation of experimentation upon animals

HSUS also made the use of animals in research, testing, and education an early focus. In the post–World War II era, an increasingly assertive biomedical research community sought to obtain animals from pounds and shelters handling municipal animal control contracts. Local humane societies across the nation resisted. HSUS sought to bolster the movement’s strong opposition to pound seizure, believing that no public pound or privately operated humane society should be compelled by law to provide animals for experimental use.[30]

HSUS took the position that animal experimentation should be regulated, and in the 1950s it placed investigators in laboratories to gather evidence of substandard conditions and animal suffering and neglect.[31] The HSUS was not an anti-vivisection society, Myers explained in 1958. Rather, it stood for the principle that "every humane society … should be actively concerned about the treatment accorded to such a vast number of animals."[3]

Beginning in the 1990s, HSUS board member David O. Wiebers, a medical doctor associated with the

  • Official website
  • HSUS Blog authored by CEO Wayne Pacelle

External links

  • Amory, Cleveland, Man Kind? Our Incredible War on Wildlife (1974).
  • Balcombe, Jonathan, The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems, Alternatives, and Recommendations (2000).
  • Donaldson, Sue and Will Kymlicka, Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2012).
  • Donahue, Jesse, and Erik Trump, The Politics of Zoos: Exotic Animals and their Protectors (2006).
  • Hadidian, John A., Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach to Living With Wildlife 2007.
  • Hoyt, John A., Animals in Peril 1994.
  • Irwin, Paul, Losing Paradise: The Growing Threat to Our Animals, Our Environment, and Ourselves (2000).
  • McGiffin H., and N. Brownley, eds., Animals in Education: The Use of Animals in High School biology Classes and Science Fairs (1980).
  • Morse, Mel, Ordeal of the Animals (1970).
  • Pacelle, Wayne, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them (2009).
  • Russell, William S., and Rex Burch, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique (1959).
  • Scully, Matthew, Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and The Call to Mercy (2003).
  • Stephens, Martin L.,Alternatives to Current Animal Use in Research, Safety, Testing and Education(1986).
  • Unti, Bernard. Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of The Humane Society of the United States (2004).
  • Unti, Bernard, and Andrew Rowan. "A Social History of Animal Protection in the Post–World War Two Period." In State of the Animals 2001, edited by Deborah J. Salem and Andrew N. Rowan. Washington, D.C.: Humane Society of the United States, 2001.

Further reading

  1. ^ "About Us: Overview : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Form 990". Humane Society of the United States. 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Unti, Bernard (February 16, 2005). "Fred Myers: Co-Founder of The HSUS".  
  4. ^
  5. ^ October 16, 2011. Lists From the Philanthropy 400. The Chronicle of Philanthropy
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Campaigns : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  8. ^ Simon M. Shane. (Jan. 14 2014).Interview with Wayne Pacelle president of the HSUS.
  9. ^ a b c "Form 990" (PDF). Humane Society of the United States. 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Common Questions about Animal Shelters".  
  13. ^ a b The Humane Society of the United States and Pet Shelter Giving. HumaneWatch
  14. ^ a b c HSUS is Not Your Local Humane Society. HumaneWatch
  15. ^ Our Policies : The Humane Society of the United States
  16. ^ Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights, 19.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Unti, Bernard. Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of The Humane Society of the United States (2004), idem.
  19. ^ W. Swallow, The Quality of Mercy: History of the Humane Movement in the United States, Boston, 1962, 165.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Grier, Katherine C. (2007). Pets in America: A History (1st Harvest ed.). Orlando: Harcourt. pp. 192–197.  
  24. ^ Unti, Protecting All Animals, 16.
  25. ^ Unti, Protecting All Animals, 17.
  26. ^ a b P. Singer, Animal Liberation: New York, 1975
  27. ^ Unti, Protecting All Animals, 18.
  28. ^ Bernard Unti, Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of The Humane Society of the United States (2004).
  29. ^ a b Evans, Kim (2009). Animal Rights. Detroit: Gale.  
  30. ^ Protecting All Animals, 64-65.
  31. ^ Animals in a Research Laboratory: Washington, DC, 1961
  32. ^ a b D.Wiebers, "Vision of a New Era," HSUS News Winter 1992, 9.
  33. ^ Unti, Protecting All Animals, 86.
  34. ^ a b Unti, Protecting All Animals, 87-90, 182-183.
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  227. ^ "Charity Review of Humane Society of the United States". 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  228. ^
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  230. ^
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  232. ^
  233. ^
  234. ^
  235. ^
  236. ^
  237. ^
  238. ^
  239. ^
  240. ^
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  244. ^ "Pew Whale Conservation Project". The Pew Charitable Trusts. December 31, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
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  246. ^
  247. ^
  248. ^ Pollan, Michael (June 4, 2006). "Attacks on the ‘Food Police’". New York Times, the opinion pages. 
  249. ^ Michael Kranish. May 19, 2013. Corporations anonymously fund attacks and influence Washington policy through nonprofit groups. The Boston Globe
  250. ^ The HSUS Responds to CCF HSUS, Nov 16, 2009
  251. ^ Drajem, Mark and Brian Wingfield. Nov 1, 2012. Union Busting by Profiting From Non-Profit May Breach IRS Bloomberg
  252. ^ Beall, Pat. Jan. 18, 2014. Taking on the popular: ‘Dr. Evil’ targets Humane Society. The Palm Beach Post
  253. ^ Douglas Anthony Cooper, 01/23/2014 "Will the HSUS Make a Killing Off Hurricane Sandy?" The Huffington Post (
  254. ^ Winograd, Nathan J. (May 13, 2013). "Putting Abusers Before Animals Is Business as Usual at the HSUS". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  255. ^ Forrest And Charlotte Lucas Take A Stand Against Missouri’s Proposition B : Lucas Oil]
  256. ^ "Our Mission: Inform, Protect, Respond". Protect the Harvest. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  257. ^ Ken Hough - (2011-08-04). "Missouri Pork Association's Press Release". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
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  259. ^
  260. ^
  261. ^ 'The Reptile Nation'
  262. ^
  263. ^ 'The Way Washington Works'
  264. ^ 'Time to Tighten Grip on Imports of Constricting Snakes' 6.24.2014
  265. ^ 'HSUS wants Americans to Lie to the U.S. Government' 07.02.2014
  266. ^
  267. ^ 'Thinking of Getting a Pet Turtle?' 8.20.14
  268. ^
  269. ^ Mission statement
  270. ^ Salmon, Jacqueline L. (March 26, 2006). "Red Cross, Humane Society Under Investigation". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  271. ^ "Louisiana attorney general launches HSUS investigation". American Veterinary Medical Association. June 1, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  272. ^ "Money Mysteries Part 1: Hurricane Katrina HSUS Fundraising". Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
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  274. ^ "Common Questions about Animal Shelters : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  275. ^ Pennies for Charity" - The Attorney General's Report on Fundraisers in New York""". Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  276. ^ "Canadian seal hunt begins amid protests". USA Today. March 25, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  277. ^ Squatriglia, Chuck (April 1, 2003). "Dolphins hunt for mines in gulf waters / Trained animals helping Navy clear vital port of Umm Qasr". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
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  281. ^ "6-5-06 pg 26.qxp" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  282. ^ Courtesy of the Humane Society (2010-01-05). "Lynne Terry, The Oregonian". Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  283. ^ "Charity Navigator Donor Advisory - The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  284. ^ Richard Pollack. "Animal rights groups that paid circus $15.7 million file suit against insurers who cancelled them in 2010". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
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  288. ^ MATTHEW BARAKAT Associated Press (2014-05-16). Animal-rights groups to pay Ringling circus $16 million," Matthew Karakat, The Associated Press, May 16, 2014""". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  289. ^ "Latest Salvo in Feud Targets Humane Society's Accounting". Bloomberg News. 11/7/2013. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
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  291. ^ Agriculture reporting bill more harmful than helpful (2014-01-15). "Agriculture reporting bill more harmful than helpful - Editorial". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
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  293. ^ "Nevada Humane Society responds to Michael Vick inquiries". Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  294. ^ "What Happened to Michael Vick's Dogs". CNN. 2008-12-23. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  295. ^ "Humane Society president open to Michael Vick owning dogs again". CNN. 2010-12-21. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  296. ^ "Dog advocates disagree about whether Vick would be a good owner". Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  297. ^ "Michael Vick and Having a Pet - Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation | HSUS President & CEO". 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  298. ^ "'"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals," Vick's reasoning for getting another dog according to "Vick on family dog: 'Our pet is well cared for. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  299. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (2012-10-11). "Michael Vick: Yes, I Have A Dog". Huffington Post. 
  300. ^ "Animal rights activists mixed on Vick move". Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  301. ^ Associated Press. 26, 2011 Michael Vick: Dogfighting Android app is wrong. CBS News
  302. ^ Paul Courson. July 19, 2011. Michael Vick backs bill targeting dog fight spectators. Cable News Network
  303. ^ Williamson, Eric. Oct. 25, 2012 Animal Abuse Laws Stronger After Vick Prosecution, But Still Not Ideal, Experts Say. University of Virginia School of Law
  304. ^ Humane Society of the United States Misled Americans With Fundraising Pitch: Animal Rights Group Falsely Claimed It Would "Care For" Michael Vick’s Dogs Center for Consumer Freedom press release
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  307. ^ [3]
  308. ^ "An Investigation of the Canadian Seafood "Boycott" Promoted By the Humane Society of the United States". March 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  309. ^ "Humane Society of the United States Promotes Phony Canadian-Seafood Boycott". March 23, 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
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  314. ^ U.S. horse slaughter exports to Mexico increase 312% JAVMA News. January 15, 2008


  1. ^ The organization's policy statements make clear that The HSUS does not oppose all uses of animals, so it does not fit within the strict animal rights category of organizations from either a philosophical or a practical perspective; rather, it is classified that way by some parties because in everyday parlance, those individuals and groups that advocate for more protections for animals are described as supporting animal rights or being animal rights advocates.[15][16]


See also

Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW)[312] and the horse slaughter in the United States, stating that instead of making things better "horses are being abandoned in the United States or transported to Mexico where, without U.S. federal oversight and veterinary supervision, they are slaughtered inhumanely."[313][314]

Position on horse slaughter

[311] Pruitt stated that his office had received complaints about HSUS misleading donors following a May 2013 tornado disaster.[310] In March 2014 Oklahoma Attorney General

Oklahoma Attorney General Issues Alert

In 2006, CCF conducted an informal poll of restaurants listed as boycotting Canadian seafood in protest of the slaughter of seals. CCF claims that 62% of the chefs and restaurant managers they spoke to on the phone were unaware that their companies were listed as "boycotters" on the HSUS website. In its report, CCF excluded those restaurants that were boycotting Canadian seafood prior to the HSUS boycott, and restaurants that serve any Canadian seafood (regardless of the type or quantity), and drew the conclusion that 78% of the interviewees were not actively participating in the boycott.[308] CCF quotes Loyola Hearn, Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, as saying: "Some animal rights groups have been misleading the public for years... it's no surprise at all that the richest of them would mislead the public with a phony seafood boycott."[309]

Misrepresentations of Canadian seafood boycott participation

Some have accused HSUS of a misleading fundraising pitch in relation to the Michael Vick dog fighting case.[304] Fundraising material on HSUS's website one day after Vick's indictment states that donations will be used to "help the Humane Society of the United States care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case" and that donations would be "put to use right away to care for these dogs."[305] It was later revealed that the dogs were not in the care of HSUS and that the group recommended the dogs be euthanized.[306] The donation pitch was altered to remove references to caring for Vick's dogs one week after the initial pitch.[307]

The football player [301] In July 2011, he lobbied on Capitol Hill for passage of the Animal Fighting Spectator Provision Act.[302] Animal fighting experts generally agree that since the Vick case, there has been a significant strengthening of anti-cruelty laws at the state level,making it easier to prosecute wrongdoers.[303]

Michael Vick controversy

[291] US Agriculture Secretary

Meat packing investigation

In November 2013, a complaint was filed with the Internal Revenue Service against HSUS by the Center for Consumer Freedom. According to Bloomberg News, the IRS complaint alleges that HSUS "violated IRS rules by listing as contributions the $17.7 million value of air time for its public service announcements to promote pet adoption. The net effect is to raise the ratio of program expenses to total expenses, which the independent assessor Charity Navigator uses to rank the effectiveness of charities." According to Bloomberg News, a tax attorney claims that the “Humane Society shouldn’t count the public service air time as contributions.”[289]

IRS complaint

ASPCA settled the Feld suit and agreed to pay $9.3 million.[287] In May 2014, HSUS and the remaining co-defendants (which included two HSUS employees, the HSUS affiliate Fund for Animals, and parties unaffiliated with HSUS) agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle the litigation.[288]

Feld Entertainment litigation

The Generally accepted accounting principles, which permit such joint allocation of expenses.

Charity Watch

In June 2014, Charity Navigator replaced its rating of HSUS with a "Donor Advisory" citing a $15.75 million settlement of a lawsuit.[283] A Charity Navigator representative told The Washington Examiner that a Donor Advisory indicates "extreme concern."[284]

Charity Navigator

USA Today, The International Herald Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle have described HSUS as devoted to "animal rights", as opposed to "animal welfare".[276][277][278] Shortly after Wayne Pacelle joined HSUS, he stated in an interview with the Animal People newspaper that his goal was to build "a National Rifle Association of the animal rights movement".[279] The IHT describes HSUS as the "least radical" of animal rights groups.[280] Feedstuffs, an agribusiness newspaper, has leveled the charge that HSUS is pursuing a vegetarianism and veganism agenda instead of animal welfare.[281] In 2010, one journalist in Oregon also claimed that HSUS "primarily works on animal rights legislation."[282]

Animal rights agenda

According to the "Pennies for Charity" report issued by the New York State Attorney General, of the $1.95 million raised in 2008 by fundraisers, only 5.29% went to HSUS. The average return for charities in the report was 39.5%. HSUS actually incurred a net loss of $5,358 (-0.32%) in 2007. Those figures in 2006 and 2005 numbers were more positive, with 7.27% and 19.99% of contributions going to HSUS.[275]

Allegations of financial malfeasance

Critics including the CCF, AR-HR, and Nathan Winograd have accused HSUS of misleading donors into thinking that their donations directly support local animal shelters, when HSUS has no affiliation with or control over local humane societies. HSUS states on its website that it is not affiliated with local animal shelters,[274] and that the organization's role is to supplement and support the work of local shelters, not duplicate them. The fundraising materials of HSUS do not make the claim that HSUS runs local shelters, or that donations will be applied directly to local animal shelters.

Allegations of misleading fundraising materials

In 2006, the Attorney General of Louisiana opened an inquiry into the American Red Cross and HSUS after complaints about the misuse of funds raised in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[270] This inquiry was part of a wide-ranging effort to ensure that charities providing relief for the victims of the hurricane did not profit from the incident.[271] Neither Attorney General Charles Foti nor his successor Buddy Caldwell took any action, and the inquiry focusing on HSUS ended in early 2008. AR-HR's analysis of the HSUS's 2005, 2006, and 2007 tax returns claimed that 48% of the $34.6 million donated to the HSUS for the purposes of helping animals after Hurricane Katrina was then unaccounted for.[272] For a number of years, HSUS published updates on its Gulf Coast spending, the last of which appeared in in 2011.[273]

Allegations of misappropriation of donations for Hurricane Katrina rescues

Specific criticism

In the summer of 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service reopened its admission of comments on whether to list the five remaining species of snakes on the Lacey Act, including Boa constrictors. The HSUS then called upon its proponents to send in replies and letters to support further restriction of the trade in the reptiles.[264] In response, USARK has accused the HSUS of directly telling its advocates to lie to the U.S. government: the reptile keepers association stating on their website that "HSUS President Wayne Pacelle is even asking HSUS followers to join in and lie to the U.S. Government by sending their sample letter." They continue their argument with "Their deceptive campaign continues because there is not valid, peer-reviewed science to support their claims. They lack credible arguments and instead focus on sensationalized propaganda."[265] HSUS has always been against the keeping of snakes in captivity, stating that they are a "threat to public safety" and that the welfare of the snakes themselves are at risk, as they "[require] specialized expertise and care." [266] The HSUS is also against the keeping of other reptiles in captivity, such as turtles[267] and iguanas,[268] which is in direct opposition of USARK's interests.[269]

The captive bred reptile industry, which is made up of both pet owners and professional breeders of captive reptiles, as well as supporting zoos and sanctuaries.[261] USARK has argued against a national ban that HSUS has lobbied for since its writing in 2009, which was originally intended to ban the import and interstate transport of nine constrictor snake species.[262] However, due to pressure from the reptile keepers association, the U.S. government lessoned the ban to include only four of the original nine species. As a response, Wayne Pacelle wrote on his blog in response that "these large constricting snakes are not suitable as pets," continuing with "they suffer from capture in the wild and long-distance transport for trade; they can injure and kill people who possess or interact with them; and they can wreak havoc on our natural resources as an invasive species, killing native wildlife, including endangered animals." [263]

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers

[260][259] Protect the Harvest is an organization founded by trucking magnate Forrest Lucas, of

Protect the Harvest


Nathan Winograd

The [13][14][14][253]

Center for Consumer Freedom


Gretchen Wyler

Michael Vartan

Carrie Underwood

Alicia Silverstone

Charlotte Ross

Pauley Perrette

Mary Tyler Moore

Ali MacGraw

Wendie Malick

Bill Maher


Jenna Elfman

Danny DeVito

Ellen DeGeneres

Colbie Caillat

Celebrity supporters

The Humane Society's national headquarters are in Washington, D.C. For 2012, it reported having 684 employees, with field representatives in 44 states.[241] Its international arm, Humane Society International (HSI), has offices in half a dozen nations and a broad range of international animal protection programs. HSI focuses on international treaties, animal birth control, humane slaughter education, and an end to the Canadian seal hunt.[242][243][244]

Headquarters and regional offices

Persia White

Maurice Strong

Richard L. Neuberger

Gaylord Nelson

Charles Thomas McMillen

Patrick McDonnell

John Mackey (businessman)

Franklin M. Loew

Amanda Hearst

Denis Hayes

Jane Goodall

Doris Day

Raúl Héctor Castro

Roger Caras

Amanda Blake

Cleveland Amory

Leslie Alexander (businessman)

HSUS board members of prominence have included:

Board members

[240] The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a

Humane Society Legislative Fund

The South Florida Wildlife Center provides direct care to owls, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, ducks, reptiles and other indigenous South Florida wildlife, injured or orphaned.[239]

The South Florida Wildlife Center

The Fund for Animals, founded by the social critic Cleveland Amory in 1967,worked for many years on wildlife issues. Today, it is an entity that manages animal care facilities as an affiliate of HSUS. Its sanctuaries include the Ramona Wildlife Facility, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, the Duchess Horse Sanctuary, and the Cape Wildlife Center.[238]

The Fund for Animals

The Doris Day Animal League, established in 1987 by the actress Doris Day, is a 501(c)(4) organization that focuses the spaying and neutering of companion animals and the development of national, state and local legislation that will minimize the inhumane treatment of animals. The League launched its annual observance of Spay Day USA in 1994, to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States.

Doris Day Animal League

As an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States since 1993 HSWLT, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection and enhancement of more than 3.6 million acres of wildlife habitat in 38 states and nine foreign countries. HSWLT has taken both large and small properties under its protection, through title donations, consrevation easements, and formal agreements, to provide sanctuaries for a variety of animal species.[234][235] In recent years, HSWLT has also sponsored anti-poaching awards as part of its commitment to public awareness and law enforcement work.[236][237] Its website, carries press releases and updates about its sanctuary, conservation partnerships, and anti-poaching work.

Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) formed in 2008 to encompass both veterinary advocacy and veterinary clinical services work conducted by The HSUS, and to provide a political alternative to the American Veterinary Medical Association for veterinarians of a strong animal welfare orientation.[233]

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

Founded in 1991, Humane Society International (HSI) seeks to expand The HSUS's activities into Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. HSI's Asian, Australian, Canadian, and European offices carry out field activities and programs.[232]

Humane Society International

Affiliated and related entities

According to its IRS Form 990, HSUS makes grants to organizations that meet its mission criteria, and typically to those groups which it has researched, with which it has an existing relationship, or with which its staff members have interacted at events and through other channels. HSUS lists all grants of $500 or more, with details, although the IRS Schedule F requires only that grants surpassing $5000 need be reported.[231]

HSUS gave grants to 260 other organizations in the U.S. and abroad during 2011, totaling $6.5 million.[147]


For 2012, HSUS’s program expenses composed 75% of its budget, fundraising expenses 22% of its budget, and management and general costs 3% of its budget.[225] Such financial efficiency ratios exceed the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBBWGA) standards which require that program expenses as a percentage of total expenses be 65% or greater. HSUS meets all 21 BBBWGA financial and administrative standards,[226] and all 20 of the BBB's Standards for Charity Accountability.[227] HSUS is a 2014 top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.[228] In 2010, Worth Magazine named The HSUS as one of the 10 Most Fiscally Responsible Charities.[229] In 2012, President and CEO Wayne Pacelle received $347,675 in compensation.[230]

[224] article reported HSUS's annual budget to be $181 million.Rolling Stone In late 2013, a [2] A

The Humane Society of the United States headquarters located in the West End neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Governance and expenses

HSUS first took a policy position on zoos in 1975, its board of directors concluding that it would be neither for nor against zoos, but would work against roadside menageries and regular zoos that could not improve. In 1984, HSUS adopted a policy that animals should not be taken from the wild for public display in zoos.[223]


HSUS has waged campaigns on behalf of wolves since the 1970s. In recent years, HSUS has campaigned against the killing of wolves via ballot initiatives, and—with other partners—in litigation.[220][221][222]


In June 2007, HSUS launched Humane Wildlife Services, a program to encourage and provide humane wildlife-removal services when wild animals intrude on human dwellings.[219]

Wildlife exclusion

HSUS is critical of the Bureau of Land Management's horse roundups, and has called for reforms within the agency and a stronger commitment to fertility control technologies.[218]

Wild horses

HSUS is a funder and supporter of contraceptive research for use in regulating animal populations. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency approved an immunosterilant contraceptive for wild horses called ZonaStat-H, developed with funding from HSUS.[147]

Wildlife contraception

Together with its global affiliate, European Union ban on trade in products of commercial seal hunts, rejecting the Canadian and Norwegian challenge.[217]

HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport. HSUS only supports killing animals for population control when carried out by officials and does not oppose hunting for food or subsistence needs.[216] As a practical matter, HSUS has generally campaigned against the worst abuses found in the treatment of wildlife. Its ballot initiatives focus on things like shooting bear over bait, hunting with hounds, and other forms of hunting the organization believes are unsporting.


Through its efforts in the United States, and globally through its affiliate Humane Society International, HSUS has helped to achieve prohibitions on shark finning in state and national legislatures and through administrative action here and abroad.[213][214][215]

Shark Finning

Dog breeders opposed another measure supported by HSUS, to regulate the sale of dogs over the Internet.[212]

HSUS led the effort to secure adodption of a United States Department of Agriculture rule to prohibit the importation into the United States of dogs from foreign countries for resale unless the animals were in good health, vaccinated and at least 6 months old.[211]

HSUS has been an active opponent of the domestic and global puppy mill industry, and helped law enforcement agencies to confiscate more than 35,000 animals from purported puppy mills since 2007. HSUS has also pressed anti-puppy mill bills in states like Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The number of dog breeders licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture declined from 3,486 in 2009 to 2205 in 2011.[147]

Puppy mills

The HSUS has fought for many years to secure legislation to prohibit pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, without success.[210]

Pigeon shoots

Since the 1970s, The HSUS or its international affiliate Humane Society International has campaigned against commercial whaling by Iceland, Japan, Norway, and other parties.[208] Humane Society International works within the International Whaling Commission and other entities to defend the global moratorium on commercial whaling.[209]

Marine mammal protection

In 2013, in the aftermath of an investigation carried out by HSUS, former hall of fame Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell pleaded guilty in a Tennessee circuit court to 22 counts of animal cruelty after being caught on tape beating horses with wooden sticks and shocking them with electric cattle prods. McConnell was prohibited from owning or showing horses for twenty years[207]

HSUS has campaigned against the soring of horses since its earliest years. In recent years, it has made the end of soring a priority for investigation, public awareness.[204][205][206]

Horse soring

HSUS has long opposed the use of horses for food, and campaigned against their slaughter via litigation and public policy approaches.[202] It has pursued both legislative and litigation channels as part of its campaign to prevent horse slaughter plants in the United States from resuming their operations.[203]

Horse slaughter

HSUS has taken a careful but critical stance concerning practices commonly found in the horse racing industry.[200] On occasion, HSUS has taken a position against particular practices associated with horse racing, such as the use of corticosteroids.[201]

Horse racing

While initially opposed to feral cats and ultimately reducing their numbers in the community.[198] The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy convened a conference on outdoor cat issues in December 2012, bringing together stakeholders from a range of interested perspectives.[199]

Feral cats

In recent years, HSUS has expressed a clear opposition to the keeping of constrictor snakes by private citizens, pressing for laws to limit possession of such animals to zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries (GFAS).[192] In December 2013, the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, a reptile trade group and opponent of the HSUS, sued the federal government to overturn its national ban on the importation and interstate transportation of five large constrictors species, specifically Python bivittatus; Python natalensis; Python molurus; Python sebae and Eunectes notaeus, as the government labels these reptiles a threat to the ecosystem of the Florida Everglades, and is a ban HSUS supports.[193][194][195] (See below.)

HSUS, in addition to its ongoing lobbying against the pet industry, has taken a strong stance against the private ownership of any exotic pet, regardless of species.[186][187] It has campaigned for legislation banning ownership of exotic pets in the few states that have not yet made it illegal. In the summer of 2011, the HSUS negotiated with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and leaders of 8 agricultural commodity organizations in the state for improved animal welfare legislation. One of the points in the law that was passed prohibits owning exotic pets.[188] The HSUS also heavily lobbied for the passing of HB 4393 in West Virginia,[189] which generated a large amount of controversy when its restricted animal list was originally drafted and made illegal the private ownership of common and harmless exotic pets, such as hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, tortoises, pufferfish, sugar gliders, salamanders, alpacas and domestic hybrid cat breeds, among several other species.[190][191]

Exotic pets

HSUS believes that, in general, wild animals are not suitable as pets, and opposes the general traffic in wild animals.[185]

In 2013, The HSUS gave its Henry Spira Corporate Progress Award to the Consumer Specialty Products Association to recognize the antifreeze manufacturing industry's commitment to add a bittering agent to products so that animals would not die poisonous deaths, the subject of a long-running campaign by The HSUS.[184]

HSUS publishes Animal Sheltering, a bi-monthly magazine for [9] It also operates the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, which provides free veterinary services for animals in impoverished communities.[183]

The HSUS has an entire department devoted to pets, and to services for companion animals.[176] It also has sections working to end dog-fighting, and to provide rescue and emergency services to animals at risk in animal fighting, hoarding, puppy mill enterprises and disasters.[177] The HSUS Pets for Life program uses community-level outreach in a number of American cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia,to raise retention levels and to improve the lives of companion animals and those who care for them, by providing veterinary services in zones where convenient and low-cost care is lacking.[178][179][180] The HSUS is a strong supporter of "pets in the workplace" programs.[181]

Companion Animals

In 2013, HSUS worked closely with the Arcus Foundation and other partners in the successful effort to persuade the U.S. government to transfer the remaining chimpanzees it owns to sanctuary over time, and for an end to chimpanzee use in research, testing, and education.[173] Since 2007, HSUS has pressed corporations still using chimpanzees in research to commit to policies of non-use. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine, part of the United States National Academies, recommended the curtailment of chimp use in testing. The IOM said that while genetic similarity made chimps valuable for medical research, such research raised ethical issues and carried a "moral cost." In 2014, Merck, the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, became the largest multinational corporation to make such a commitment.[174][175]

In March 2008, HSUS released the results of a nine-month undercover investigation of the NIRC laboratory in Louisiana, alleging widespread mistreatment of chimpanzees and other primates. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack ordered an immediate investigation of the facility.[172]


HSUS has long opposed the baiting and killing of bears over bait, most recently through a ballot initiative, Maine Question 1, 2014, in the state of Maine. Question 1 seeks to end the baiting, trapping, and hound hunting of bears.[169] [170][171]

Bear Baiting

In November 2014, HSUS joined the Center for Food Safety, and the United Farm Workers of America in suing the United States Food and Drug Administration to vacate its approval of several livestock feed products widely used to add weight to farm animals. The groups claimed that beta-agonists based on ractopamine are dangerous to animals, workers, wildlife, and American waterways.[168]

2014 lawsuit on feed additives

In 2014, HSUS launched a whisteblower reward program, to incentivize the reporting of incidents of cruelty and neglect at livestock auctionsin slaughtering plants, and at sites of intensive animal farming.[167]

Whistleblower reward program

HSUS is a supporter of the Meatless Monday campaign.[166]

Meatless Monday

As a member of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition, HSUS campaigns against the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture out of concern for its possible effects on the use of antibiotics in human medicine.[165]

Antibiotics in animal agriculture

October 2014 was also the month in which Perdue Farms and HSUS settled litigation in which HSUS accused the chicken producer of using the term "humanely raised" in a misleading way on its Harvestland product packing. Perdue rejected the allegations but agreed to drop its use of the phrase, which HSUS dropped the two lawsuits it had filed in the matter.[164]

Perdue legislation

In October 2014, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by six states, initiated by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, challenging California's ban on the sale of eggs laid by hens housed in cages smaller than those approved by California's electorate in a 2008 referendum. The ballot measure, Proposition 2, setting standards for the treatment of farm animals in California, has also survived three legal challenges by California egg producers.[159] On October 14, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to California's ban on foie gras, made by restauranteurs who argued that the law violated the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court let stand the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' rejection of that argument. HSUS, which supported the original ban in 2004, filed a brief in the case.[160][161] A DesMoines Register article noted that the rejection of the Koster and foie gras challenges should give agricultural producers pause to reconsider the value of litigation and to embrace instead legislative solutions aiming for national, uniform standards ike those embodied in the failed HSUS/United Egg Producers agreement to seek passage of the Egg Products Inspection Act of 2013, scuttled in the U.S. Congress by beef and pork producers.[162][163]

Koster lawsuit

HSUS has also worked on the plight of the so-called Downer (animal), an animal unable to walk. In early 2014, HSUS revealed the results of its undercover investigation of a Collingswood, New Jersey slaughtering plant, which resulted in the operation's immediate suspension by the USDA. HSUS called for the closure of a regulatory loophole that permits the slaughter of "downed" calves, those too weak or ill to walk on their own.[158]

Downed animals

a 2009 HSUS investigation resulted in the USDA's closing of a Vermont slaughtering plant at which days-old dairy (bob veal) calves were dragged, kicked, shocked and cut by workers.[157]

Veal calf investigation

HSUS also fought against passage of the King Amendment to the farm bill, promoted by Representative Steve King of Iowa. The King Amendment was struck from the compromise bill considered by the U.S. Congress in late January 2014. The Wall Street Journal credited HSUS as having led the campaign to defeat the King Amendment, with arguments that it would nullify dozens of state laws addressing animal welfare and other concerns.[145][146][155][156]

King Amendment to Farm Bill in 2014

With other animal groups, HSUS played a role in the defeat of Ag-gag, anti-whistleblower laws in a number of states during 2013.[152][153][154]

Ag Gag legislation

In January 2014, in response to a long-running HSUS campaign to end the use of gestation crates in the pork industry, Smithfield and Tyson both announced their commitment to relevant reforms.[148] These announcements by major industry players came after a year in which dozens of other entities had pledged to remove pork from gestation crates in their supply chains.[149] In a January 2014 letter to the National Pork Board, Pacelle challenged that entity to end its resistance to reforms relating to pig housing and to the use of blunt force trauma to kill piglets.[150] In the summer of 2014, HSUS announced its success in helping to influence Heinz, Nestle, and Unilever in their decisions to make substantial commitments to animal welfare, in the form of shifts to cage-free egg purchases and a move away from gestation crates in their supply chains.[151]

Gestation crate campaign

HSUS was involved in the ballot initiative campaign to enact California Proposition 2 (2008), enacted as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, a law requiring that eggs sold in California be laid by hens raised in cage-free settings.[145][146] An HSUS-led coalition also pressed for the passage of a California foie gras band that took effect in mid-2012.[147]

Proposition 2 in California

[144] [143][142] One of those farmers is [141] In recent years, HSUS has sought to build bridges with small farmers raising animals under humane conditions.

Former chief executive officer John Hoyt once declared, "We are not a vegetarian organization, and as a matter of policy do not consider the utilization of animals for food to be either immoral or inappropriate -- a position that, as you might expect, earns us a great deal of criticism from various animal rights organizations."[134] In the 1990s, HSUS published a guide to the purchase of humanely raised meats.[135] HSUS is a supporter of Certified Humane, managed by Humane Farm Animal Care, one of the programs that aims to certify that farm animals have been humanely treated.[136][137] HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle is a board member of the Global Animal Partnership, which recognizes humane producers with an animal welfare ratings standard that measures and rewards commitment to high welfare approaches.[138] Pacelle frequently speaks with the agricultural press to reinforce HSUS's criticism of contemporary factory farming and related issues.[139] Pacelle has toured family farms operating on humane principles as part of building solidarity against factory farming interests.[140]

Support for humane farmers and farms

HSUS opposes cruelty in the raising and slaughter of animals used for food, and has done so since its inception in 1954. HSUS's policy of the 3 Rs encourages its constituents to reduce their consumption of meat and to choose products from humanely raised animals instead of factory farm products.[132][133]

Basic Policy

Animals used for food

HSUS has long opposed the keeping of marine mammals in captivity and played a key longterm role in the campaign to end captive orca performance at SeaWorld.[129][130] HSUS opposed the Georgia Aquarium's application to the National Marine Fisheries Service to import 18 beluga whales from Russia, an application the NMFS denied.[131]

HSUS has been active in anti-greyhound racing campaigns in Florida.[128]

HSUS opposes greyhound racing, animal fighting, and works to limit the use and abuse of animals in certain display and spectacular contexts like zoos, circuses, aquariums, and roadside zoos.[127]

Animals in sports and entertainment

[126] Beginning in the 1990s, HSUS board member David O. Wiebers, a medical doctor associated with the

In 1988, HSUS played a role in the revision of the Holt, Rinehart and Winston laboratory manual, Modern Biology, so that it would include information on alternatives to dissection.[124] In 1990, HSUS and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the USDA to compel inclusion of mice, rats, and birds used in research within the protective orbit of the Animal Welfare Act.[125]

Animals in research, testing, and education

In July 2007, HSUS led calls for the National Football League to suspend Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in the wake of allegations that he had been involved with dog fighting activity.[119] Vick was prosecuted and convicted under state and federal laws.[120] HSUS has backed upgrades of the federal laws concerning animal fighting in 2007, 2008, and in relation to the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, from 2011 to the present.[121][122][123]

Animal fighting

Positions and Program Work

For several years, HSUS cooperated with the United Egg Producers to secure federal legislation to phase out barren battery cages for all laying hens in the United States. Discussion between HSUS and the United Egg Producers concerning a national standard for egg production began with a meeting between Jerry Crawford, an Iowa resident with ties to the egg production industry, and HSUS's Wayne Pacelle. Crawford recommended a further meeting with the United Egg Producers' Chad Gregory. The context for the meeting was HSUS's commanding win in Proposition 2 in California, and a shared belief that open warfare would serve no one's purposes. Additional negotiations produced the agreement to pursue federal legislation, the Egg Products Inspection Act of 2013, to support a shift to cage-free housing systems for laying hens, like enriched colony cages. The proposal failed in the Congress, and was not taken up in the 2014 Farm Bill, as a result of opposition by livestock production groups concerned over the precedent of federally-mandated standards for housing. Hog producers in particular recognized their vulnerability in reference to gestation crates[115][116][117][118]

United Egg Producers

HSUS led a campaign against puppy mill cruelty in Missouri in 2010. The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, known as "Prop B", was narrowly passed by Missouri voters.[114]

HSUS was also a participant in a ballot initiative campaign focusing on inhumane treatment of farm animals in Ohio. The livestock-agriculture initiative was withdrawn from the ballot after a compromise was brokered between HSUS, Ohioans for Humane Farms, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.[112][113]

During 2013, HSUS helped to pass 109 animal protection laws at the state level.[108] In 2006, HSUS helped to secure the passage of 70 new state laws on behalf of animals. Two successful November 2006 ballot initiatives conducted with its support outlawed dove hunting in Michigan and, through Proposition 204, abusive livestock-farming practices in Arizona.[109] In 2008, HSUS helped to pass 91 state animal-welfare laws, including Proposition 2 in California.[110] HSUS was a leader in the Proposition 2 campaign in California, which gained eight million votes on Election Day 2008, more than any other initiative on the ballot. The measure, which prohibits certain intensive confinement practices in agriculture beginning in 2015, passed by a 63.3 to 36.7 percent margin, winning in 46 of 58 counties, and gaining support throughout the state's urban, suburban, and rural areas. It garnered votes from Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike, as well as among Caucasians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latinos. Nearly 800,000 Californians signed petitions to place the measure on the ballot.[111]

Political and legislative initiatives against animal abuse and cruelty

On March 17, 2009, HSUS launched a class action suit against Petland on behalf of patrons who allegedly purchased sick animals from the chain, under the alleged pretense that the animals had come from the nation's finest breeders.[104] On August 8, 2009, the case was dismissed by a United States District Judge for lack of facts concerning the case.[105] Petland responded to the dismissal by stating: "The Humane Society of the United States touted the lawsuit in furtherance of its fundraising and media campaign seeking to end the sale of animals through pet stores. Petland denied that it had done anything unlawful, and it believes strongly that consumers have the right to purchase and keep pets."[106] The HSUS does not oppose the ownership of pets, but maintains that the desire for profit in commercial pet stores undermines proper care of companion animals.[107]

In the fall of 2008, HSUS also launched a campaign to expose the reliance of the pet store chain Petland on puppy mills where animals are raised under inhumane conditions.[98] However, Jessica Mitler from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the government agency that regulates dog breeders,[99] provided the following response to the HSUS investigation: "The agency has received no complaints from the Humane Society about a particular kennel or Petland; so they have not investigated this specifically."[100] On November 24, 2008, Petland responded to the HSUS campaign video footage of the Petland investigation[101] by stating: "Petland is outraged that HSUS would intentionally use video footage of unrelated kennels in the report to try to mislead the general public into believing these facilities have a connection to Petland."[102] In another statement dated February 19, 2009, Petland stated they turned over death threats and threats of kidnapping generated from the HSUS campaign against Petland to the proper authorities for further investigation. Petland continued by asking HSUS to cease and desist in any actions that may promote malicious intent (directly or indirectly).[103]

Petland puppy mills campaign

In February 2008, after an undercover investigation conducted by HSUS at the Westland Meat Packing Company alleged substantial animal abuse, the USDA forced the recall of 143 million pounds of beef, some of which had been routed into the nation's school lunch program.[95] HSUS had been a longtime advocate for the elimination of downer animals from the nation's food supply, and the undercover investigation led to the USDA adopting the policy.[96] In November 2013, the Justice Department reached a $155 million settlement with the firms that operated the plant.[97]

Investigation of Westland Meat Packing Company

In 2014, HSUS accused Kohl's department store of selling a men's jacket made with real animal fur as "faux," and issued a warning to consumers.[94]

In late 2006, HSUS broke the story of its investigation into the sale of coats trimmed with real fur but labeled "faux" or fake. Laboratory testing found that the fur came from purpose-bred raccoon dogs in China that were sometimes beaten to death and skinned alive. The story of fur animals beaten to death and skinned alive is disputed by a fur industry trade group.[92] The investigation reportedly prompted several retailers including Macy’s and J.C. Penney to pull the garments from the sale floor. Legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress to require that all fur jackets be properly labeled, and to ban raccoon dog fur.[93]

Investigation into "faux" fur

[91] In August 2014, The Louisiana SPCA announced that it had received a grant of $250,000 from HSUS for continuing expansion of its New Orleans headquarters.[90] The HSUS remains active in the Gulf region, funding a number of projects aimed at reducing the area's pet overpopulation problem, and improving access to pet care for the Gulf Coast residents.[89] at a press conference marking the enactment of a law prohibiting cockfighting in Louisiana, the last state to do so. The prohibition resulted from a longtime campaign led by HSUS.Buddy Caldwell In August 2008, Pacelle appeared with Louisiana Attorney General [88] in Jackson, Louisiana. HSUS reported that it had directed $2.76 million in in-kind contributions to the relief effort, and collected another one million dollars from other donors in grants to Gulf Coast societies.Dixon Correctional Institute, and $600,000 to the construction of an emergency overflow shelter at the Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University On the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, HSUS reported that it had spent or committed $7.3 million on direct response and efforts to reunite people and lost pets, $8.3 million on reconstruction grants for 54 humane societies in the Gulf Coast region, and $2.3 million on reimbursement grants to 130 humane societies from around the country that assisted in the response. The society also reported that it had committed $800,000 and $900,000, respectively, to shelter-medicine programs at the veterinary schools of [87] HSUS published updates on its spending for a number of years following the disaster; the last appeared in 2011.[86] In September 2005, when thousands of animals were left behind as people evacuated during

Hurricane Katrina animal rescue

The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy (HSISP), founded in 2010, supports the application of scientific and technical analysis and expertise to animal welfare issues and policy questions worldwide. and HSISP is sustained by HSUS's own core group of academic, scientific, and technical experts in animal welfare, as well as outside scientists. HSISP is the manager of the Animal Studies Repository, a digital collection of academic and scientific resources related to animal studies and to animal welfare science. HSISP has held three conferences, the first on purebred dogs and genetic defects,the second on outdoor cats and associated management issues, and the third on sentience as a factor in determining animal welfare policy.[83][84][85]

Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy

In 2007, HSUS launched a program designed to advance relationships and awareness within the American faith community at all levels. The program provides speakers, produces videos and other materials, and works with faith leaders to lead discussion of animal issues within the broader religious community.[80][81][82]

Faith Outreach

Shareholder resolutions play a part in HSUS campaigns to generate corporate reform.[79]

Engagement with major corporations in an effort to persuade them to press for reforms in their supply chains has been a significant priority for HSUS in the last decade, and as a result of its efforts, more than 60 major food suppliers have used their leverage to change production level practices in the pork industry.[78]

Corporate Social Responsibility Outreach

[77] The corporate expansion forged by Pacelle included mergers with The Fund for Animals (2005), founded by social critic and author

Corporate expansion

Once launched in 2005, The HSUS’s campaign to end the hunting of seals in Canada secured pledges to boycott Canadian seafood from 300 restaurants and companies, plus 120,000 individuals.[71] By 2014, the campaign claimed more than 6,500 restaurants, grocery stores and seafood supply companies were participants the Protect Seals campaign.[72]

Seals being clubbed

Canadian seal cull campaign

HSUS launched an animal protection litigation section in 2005. The section works with several thousand pro bono attorneys around the country to pursue its docket of cases. Under section leader Jonathan Lovvorn, the animal protection litigation group has won approximately three dozen cases in its first decade of existence, taking a practical approach, which Lovvorn explained in a 2012 interview. "We look at cases that are going ot hvae a concrete impact on animals but are winnable. You won't see us out asking for courts to declare animals persons. Or to file habeas corpus requests on behalf of animals, or other things that require judges to go way beyond what they're comfortable with." In 2010, the section estimated that it had filed more than 50 legal actions in 25 states, and won 80% of its cases, while booking 10,000 hours of pro bono attorney time for a total in-kind contribution of $4 million.[67][68][69][70]

Animal Protection Litigation section

Since Pacelle’s appointment, HSUS has claimed successes such as the adoption of "cage-free" egg-purchasing policies by hundreds of universities and dozens of corporations;[61] the exposure of an international trophy hunting scam subsequently ended through legislative reform;[62] a number of successful congressional votes to outlaw horse slaughter; progress in securing legislation at the state and federal level to outlaw animal fighting and the interstate transport of fighting implements;[63] the enactment of internet hunting bans in nearly all of the states;[64] announcements by Wolfgang Puck and Burger King that they would increase their use of animal products derived under less abusive standards;[65] and an agreement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin enforcement of federal laws concerning the transportation of farm animals.[66]

[60] In August 2014, Pacelle was again named to the NonProfit Times' "Power and Influence Top 50" for his achievements in leading HSUS, the fourth time he has been so recognized.[59][58][57].animal trapping cruelty and puppy mill, greyhound racing Under Pacelle's leadership, HSUS has undertaken several dozen ballot initiative and referendum campaigns in a number of states, concerning issues like unsporting hunting practices, cruelty in industrial agriculture, [56] In the spring of 2004, the HSUS board appointed

Recent history

Since 1990 at least, HSUS has expressed a clear opposition to "the use of threats and acts of violence against people and willful destruction and theft of property."[51][52][53] In 2008, HSUS offered a reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of parties involved with the firebombing of two University of California animal researchers.[54]

Position against the use of violence

In 1986, HSUS employee John McArdle declared that "HSUS is definitely shifting in the direction of animal rights faster than anyone would realize from our literature".[48] The HSUS fired McArdle shortly thereafter, he alleged, for being an "animal rights activist.".[49] At about the same time, former HSUS president John Hoyt stated that "this new [animal rights] philosophy has served as a catalyst in the shaping of our own philosophies, policies, and goals."[50]

While HSUS welcomed and benefited from growing social interest in animals, it did not originally embrace the language and philosophy of animal rights. Rather, HSUS representatives expressed their beliefs that animals were "entitled to humane treatment and to equal and fair consideration."[44] Like many of the organizations and individuals associated with humane work, HSUS did try to come to terms with the shift toward rights-based language and arguments. In 1978, attorneys Robert Welborn and Murdaugh Stuart Madden[45] conducted a workshop at the HSUS annual conference, "Can Animal Rights Be Legally Defined?", and assembled constituents passed a resolution to the effect that "animals have the right to live and grow under conditions that are comfortable and reasonably natural... animals that are used by man in any way have the right to be free from abuse, pain, and torment caused or permitted by man... animals that are domesticated or whose natural environment is altered by man have the right to receive from man adequate food, shelter, and care."[46] In 1980 the notion of rights surfaced in an HSUS convention resolution which, noting that "such rights naturally evolve from long accepted doctrines of justice or fairness or some other dimension of morality," called for "pursuit on all fronts... the clear articulation and establishment of the rights of animals"[47]

Relationship to animal rights

HSUS also worked, from the 1960s, to promote humane education of children in the schools. Much of this work was carried out under the auspices of an affiliate, the National Association for the Advancement of Humane Education. In the 1980s, HSUS sponsored several validation studies designed to demonstrate the value of humane education.[42][43]

Other broad goals during this time included a reduction in the U.S.’s homeless dog and cat population, the reform of inhumane euthanasia practices, and to regulate pet shops and to end the commercial pet breeding trade. HSUS and its state branches operated animal shelters in Waterford, Virginia, Salt Lake City Utah, and Boulder, Colorado, and elsewhere, during the 1960s, and part of the 1970s.[34] Today, HSUS operates five animal sanctuaries in the states of California, Florida Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas.[41]

Goals and expansion

In 1961, HSUS investigator Frank McMahon launched a probe of dog dealers around the country to generate support for a federal law to prevent cruelty to animals destined for use in laboratories. The five-year investigation into the multilayered trade in dogs paid off in February 1966 when Life published a photo-essay of a raid conducted on a Maryland dog dealer’s premises by McMahon and the state police.[38][39] The Life spread sparked outrage, and tens of thousands of Americans wrote to their congressional representatives, demanding action to protect animals and prevent pet theft. That summer the U.S. Congress approved the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (later renamed the "Animal Welfare Act of 1966"), only the second major federal humane law passed since World War II.[40]

Exposure of cruelty in the dog trade

In 1984, a General Accounting Office report confirmed HSUS allegations of major problems with puppy mills in the United States, setting the stage for proposed legislation to regulate mills in the 1990s.[37]

Under Phyllis Wright, HSUS was a driving force behind the shift to use of sodium pentobarbital for animal euthanasia, in opposition to the use of gas chambers and decompression, the standard shelter killing methods until the early 1980s.[36]

Service to local animal shelters, with a special focus on solving problems and challenges of importance to every one of the nation's humane societies, was an early priority for HSUS. Its first brochure, "They Preach Cruelty," focused on the tragedy of animal overpopulation.[33] HSUS and its state branches operated animal shelters in Waterford, Virginia, Salt Lake City Utah, and Boulder, Colorado, and elsewhere, during the 1960s, and part of the 1970s.[34] From the early 1960s onward, HSUS worked to promote the most humane methods possible for euthanasia of animals in shelters, using its Waterford, Virginia animal shelter as a model for best practices in this area.[35]

Companion animals and shelters


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