Humane Society

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.

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4 Comments

Filed under Lesbian's Pets

4 responses to “Humane Society

  1. ann

    No, I was not aware of the money shuffle. I decided after Katrina that my charity of choice would be animals, and actually donated a bit to HSUS, but not again. I will find a local humane shelther, or pet haven to help. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Robyn

    I realized after I left this post that it was “dog-centric”… a bad habit of mine! There are of course rescue organizations for all kinds of animals: cats, horses, farm animals, even wildlife.

    As a matter of fact, we have a local (Joelton) wildlife rehab center that does state-of-the art work. It’s Walden’s Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and they ALWAYS need donations of cash, and supplies like paper towels and baby food, but most especially volunteers.

    I can tell you that it’s a real kick to bottle feed a fawn or opossum. 🙂 There is a lot of “grunt work” like washing food bowls and cleaning cages, but it’s still very cool to be around the wildlife up close and personal.

    Their phone number is 299-9938, and the volunteer coordinator is Carmen. You will probably get voice-mail, but they will call you back the same day.

  3. Great post!

    It might help to put the area code in that phone number for Walden’s Puddle.

    I recently posted about another shelter that is called Cat House on the Kings, though it also rescues dogs as well. The post is here: http://marinamichaels.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/a-no-cage-no-kill-cat-sanctuary-and-adoption-center/

  4. Robyn

    Sorry — in addition to being dog-centric, I’m apparently “middle-Tennessee-centric”. ;-} The entire phone number for Walden’s Puddle is 615-299-9938.

    In addition, since my original post, the woman who ran Hearts of Gold in Memphis had to give it up. Two of her dogs were diagnosed with cancer, and she no longer had (any of) the energy required to run the organization… The best (and only) legitimate pit bull rescue in Tennessee is Bless the Bullys, in Cookeville: http://www.blessthebullys.com. She is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so your contributions are tax-deductible.

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