Humane Society of the United States ads target people searching for local humane societies that are unaffiliated with HSUS. According to new data obtained by HumaneWatch.org, an animal rights watchdog, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is engaged in deceptive fundraising that takes money intended for local pet shelters.
Despite its name, the Humane Society of the United States is unaffiliated with local humane societies. HSUS only gives 1% of the money it raises to local shelters, while not running a single pet shelter. Yet, data reveals that HSUS is raising money off of search engine keywords for local humane societies, in an attempt to funnel away funds intended for pet shelters and rescue organizations.
An analysis of Google keywords finds that more than 60 keywords used by HSUS are aimed at siphoning off donations from local organizations including the Humane Society of Miami, the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, and the Humane Society of New York. A full list of keywords is available for download here.
The respected charity evaluator CharityWatch recently downgraded HSUS to a "D" grade. Earlier this year, Charity Navigator also downgraded its rating of HSUS, while the BBB's Wise Giving Alliance pulled its accreditation of HSUS. Tax records reveal that HSUS has placed over $50 million in Caribbean accounts.
Will Coggin, managing director of HumaneWatch.org, commented:
The Humane Society of the United States' advertising demonstrates that it is actively and cynically stealing from shelters that are caring for pets. Animal lovers should give locally, not to a national organization that puts the money into lavish executive salaries or Caribbean funds.