Did you know that the Humane Society of the United States doesn’t operate a single animal shelter? Did you know that all the money you donate goes directly to their political action campaign and to pay salaries of officers at their headquarters?
I used to donate to the HSUS, and assumed, like most people, that my money was used to help homeless pets. I mean, after all, doesn’t every third animal shelter have the words “Humane Society” in its name?
After the Katrina disaster, people who volunteered at the shelters in Louisiana began to question some of the HSUS’ policies and procedures, which brought some interesting facts to light. A huge portion of the monies donated to help pets actually went into HSUS coffers to pay for advertisements… for the HSUS itself, not to help the Katrina victims.
Now I donate to specific shelters, or to animal rescue organizations that I know use the money for animal care, like Hearts of Gold Rescue in Memphis. (I’ve been to the place and seen the dogs.) If you want to be sure your money goes to the right place, check out the organization first. Visit it, if it’s possible, and ask questions.
Better still is to donate your money to your own community shelter or animal rescue. If you have a soft spot for Great Danes, find a Great Dane rescue organization via the internet — all the dog breeds have their own rescues, and there may be one right in your area. I’ve never heard of an animal shelter or rescue that wasn’t desperate for donations: money, food, bedding, toys, volunteer time…
Like the saying goes, “Think globally, act locally”. Rest easy knowing your donation goes to help animals instead of supporting the public image of a self-serving organization.