CharityWatch has downgraded the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to a “D” grade in its Summer 2018 rating guide. The “pit bull of watchdogs” according to The New York Times, CharityWatch found that nearly half—48 percent—of HSUS’s budget is spent on overhead.
In March, the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance pulled its accreditation of HSUS. The previous month, Charity Navigator also downgraded HSUS to 2 stars out of 4. Previously, Charity Navigator had issued a “Donor Advisory” after HSUS paid nearly $11 million to settle a fraud and bribery lawsuit. The downgrades come on the heels of the resignation of HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle in February after credible allegations that he and another executive continually sexually harassed staff. Shockingly, the organization’s board of directors initially voted to keep Pacelle and prematurely close the sexual harassment investigation.
It’s important to note that the Humane Society of the United States is not affiliated with local humane societies with similar names. Despite its graphic fundraising appeals featuring cats and dogs, HSUS runs zero pet shelters. Along with wasting donor money on overhead, tax returns show that HSUS has placed about $50 million in donations with offshore Caribbean accounts instead of using that money to help animals.
“Unfortunately there are millions of donors that are giving to HSUS and have no idea they are so poorly rated and spend so little on programs that actually help animals,” commented Will Coggin, managing director the Center for Consumer Freedom. “If you want to help needy pets, give to your local shelter.”