Dear Congressman Sherman:
I have been a voting resident of your district for thirty three years, and it embarrasses me to say that I am represented by a man who would accept an award from the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that does not own or operate a single animal shelter in our country, despite a budget of well over $100 million.
These are the words of two of your fellow legislators:
First, Alaskan Congressman Don Young, who, unlike you, yesterday refused to accept an award from HSUS and made the following comments:
“HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award. Local animal shelters and humane societies do excellent work by caring for neglected and homeless animals, and through their spaying and neutering programs. This organization, however, has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare. Instead they prey on the emotions of big-hearted Americans. They flash images of abused animals on our television screens to raise money that will eventually go to pay their salaries and pensions, not to helping better the lives of these animals.
They run anti-hunting and anti-trapping campaigns and are of the same cloth as PETA and other extremist organizations. I can only guess that I was to receive this award due to my support of the Wildlife Without Borders program, which develops wildlife management and conservation efforts to maintain global species diversity. That program is true conservation; what this group wants is preservation. To accept this award would be supporting their manipulative ways and misguided agenda, and I want no part of that.“
Second, Rep. Jim Sacia, 89th District, Illinois who, in January of this year, said the following:
“If you sent them money once, shame on them. If you’ve sent them money more than once, shame on you. You should have checked them out.
I’m referring to HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States. I’ve written of them before and the appeal they have for your money. Over the Christmas Holidays their ads were everywhere. Beaten down dogs, one eyed cats (and of course it was a big sad eye), and a lame, old, starved, and debilitated horse. And you, the concerned citizen, could fix all of this for a mere $19.00 per month sent to them to help care for these beaten, downtrodden animals.
Had you taken the time to do the research, you would have learned that the $19.00 per month translates to $228.00 per year and of that $228.00 total sum, $1.03 would have reached an actual hands-on animal shelter. By comparison, HSUS had 555 employees and paid them $37.8 million in 2008. This includes over $2.5 million contributed to employee pension plans. HSUS’ chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, made just over $251,000 in salary and benefits.
This agency just must receive closer scrutiny. Using Ohio as an example, “HSUS made zero donations to Ohio pet shelters in 2007 and 2008 and gave just $5,200 in 2006. This year, however, the organization is gearing up to spend millions of dollars in Ohio on the anti livestock farming ballot initiative.” (The Center for Consumer Freedom, not your local Humane Society, go to humane watch.org.)
My blood boils when I see you, the consumer, bilked out of your hard earned money by appealing to your sense of compassion and kindness. No one wants to see an animal starved and we all get a good feeling sending that money to such a noble cause.
What a travesty!
The good news is the IRS has been investigating HSUS for over two years. Compounding the problem of completing their investigation, the IRS has never had to deal with allegations of tax fraud by a “public charity” as large and as complex as the HSUS.
You can help. Contact the United States Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484 (press 5) and respectfully request that case number 55-1005-0025-C be brought to conclusion.
Most importantly, give your money to shelters in your area and don’t ever be sucked in by these predators.“
Apparently, these two men did a little due diligence before allowing their reputations to be sullied by the blessings of HSUS, but their statements barely scratch the surface.
In closing, I would like to address the note made in your press release that reads, “The Humane Society boasts 25,911 supporters in Congressman Sherman’s San Fernando Valley district and more than 11 million nationwide.”
This is not true. In their 2008 tax return, HSUS states that “Individuals who contribute $25 or more annually are ‘voting members’ of the Society.” HSUS also says that giving $25 in a year entitles one to a magazine subscription to the bi-monthly All Animals.
While it’s possible that 11 million people have contributed a few dollars to HSUS at some point in its history, for a more accurate count of its current membership, magazine readership provides a more precise number, which, according to the same 2008 return, is 420,000. I have no doubt that, to a Congressman, 11 million is an imposing number, whereas 420,000 active members comes out to fewer than 1,000 per Congressional district, nowhere near your claim of nearly 26,000.