HSUS does not have shelters. It does not own and operate shelters across the country. Nathan Winograd on his No Kill Advocacy Center website writes that HSUS takes in about $300 million annually in revenue because the general public mistakenly believe that they are donating to a local shelter when they donate to these HSUS groups. He claims that HSUS wants people to believe that they are running shelters. He also claims that HSUS is committed to keeping local donors in the dark as to where their money goes. He claims that they take credit for the success of others. It’s quite a catalogue of criticism.
And when I went in search of where HSUS’s money goes to I struggled to find a really good answer. I don’t want to be unduly critical but I went to their annual report containing financial statements to see whether I can see some accounts. I did find some. I found the financial operations report for the year ending December 31, 2018.
The accounts are not in detail which doesn’t really help me much. I would like to know exactly where the money goes. Their biggest expenditure is education and awareness at $56.4 million annually. I don’t know what this means exactly. However, the humanewatch.org website, which is equally critical of HSUS, tells us that “education” includes expenses on fundraising (as I understand it). It would have been nice if the report contained more detail about what, for example, “public policy and enforcement” means. They also spent $48 million on “direct care and service” but once again I don’t know what it means in full detail. However, I know that some of this concerns funding rescue flights from disaster zones to redistribute cats and dogs to shelters away from the disaster such as fires and floods.
HSUS should be more transparent and if, as I have, a person searches for information on what the organisation spend their money on, they should be able to find it in detail at the top of Google search results. This failure in transparency lends support to Nathan Winograd’s excoriating report.
Not enough gets to the front line?
Humanewatch.org also say that HSUS spends about $.52 of every dollar given to them by way of donations to raise more money. To restate that, about half of the money that is given to them is ploughed back into raising more money. This represents a poor level of efficiency in respect of getting the money to where it is needed if this assessment is correct. I can’t confirm it but have left a message on their Facebook page asking them for a response.
I also note that they have 23 directors on the board. This seems like a lot to me, We don’t know what their salaries are but you can guess that the point I’m making is that their running expenses may be too high bearing in mind what I said above. I see that their salaries amount to $53 million for the year to Dec 31st 2018. Their Consolidated Financial Statements don’t provide any information on where the money goes. Perhaps they are not meant to but it would be nice of they did.
“Center for Consumer Freedom poll of 400 animal shelter professionals nationwide, 71 percent believe that HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters….” – Conn Carroll, Washington Examiner
Out of interest, the ASPCA runs one shelter in New York City. I write this because I’m sure people also ask whether the ASPCA own and manage animal shelters. The answer is almost no.
In respect of the ASPCA, Nathan Winograd is equally critical. He writes that the shelter referred to historically sends the neediest of animals down the street to the pound where they are killed. He also claims that the ASPCA try to confuse people into believing that they are local and their mission is to save lives locally.