Political animals

It’s hard to know what to make of the upsurge of political activism by the Humane Society.  On the one hand, more power to the Society for figuring out that its constituency is larger than that of gun owners and could therefore presumably be at least as effective in getting its agenda enacted–too many old-line charities are reluctant to own their power.  But really: couldn’t they figure out that Heather Wilson was a menace to America before she refused to ban horsemeat?

Many years ago the Nonprofiteer noticed two signs side by side on the walls of a London subway car.  The first urged riders to notify the police if they spotted any luggage apparently abandoned in the Tube, and under no circumstances to touch the item themselves.  The second urged them to join the Humane Society to protect dogs and cats from experimentation and mistreatment.  Even then, the Nonprofiteer’s response was, "If the British were as concerned about the Irish as they are about their dogs and cats, there’d be no need of elaborate precautions against bomb-laden suitcases in subway cars."

By the same token, if the Humane Society were as concerned with injury to people–people whose jobs are being shipped overseas, people whose phone calls are being audited, people whose access to their lawyers has been denied–as it is with injury to animals, this country wouldn’t have had to put up with the past six years of Republican misrule.

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3 Responses to “Political animals”

  1. Keith Jonak Says:

    Their constituency is larger than that of gun owners due in large part to their misleading literature. People donate to the HSUS and the ASPCA (and others of their sort) because they think they are saving animals. How many donors know that they operate no shelters, save no stray pets and really don’t want to? How many know that the HSUS pocketed another $80,000,000 after Katrina? The ASPCA must have made a killing too, but the link to their 2005 990 is broken, as usual. There is no reason for any animal welfare group to have over $200,000,000 in their coffers. What disaster are they waiting for? How many animals must be destroyed in small shelters before these guys step up and do what so many people “think” they do?

    It is time for non-profit groups to come clean and show who they really are – and what they really support. Donate to the HSUS and feel good ’cause you saved a dog? No – you just donated to the fight against hunting…

  2. Nonprofiteer Says:

    If I read the Humane Society’s Website correctly, your complaint isn’t strictly accurate. Though its central focus is indeed not the operation of shelters–the site says “We work to reduce suffering . . . for animals by advocating for public policies to protect animals, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about the issues, and conducting hands-on programs, such as assisting animals when disasters strike. Our major campaigns target four primary issues: 1) factory farming, 2) animal fighting and other forms of animal cruelty, 3) the fur trade, and 4) inhumane sport hunting practices”–it also says “we provide direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics.”

    So in what way are donors being misled? Is it a matter of what proportion of the Humane Society’s budget goes to hands-on sheltering and treating of animals? Or are you offended because the Society is conflating pet care with opposition to hunting?

  3. Keith Says:

    So they say…

    I challenge you to find one of those “sanctuaries” where they care for all of the animals. You won’t find one where they do what they state. They buy up some land and call it a sanctuary. I call that a preserve. Search their site for “sanctuary”. They are there. I would love a video of the staff caring for those homeless wild birds.

    They were quite helpful after Katrina – doing their best to keep the small guys out. If a web site states it, it must be so? You are an educated woman and I know you want to be informed. The truth is out there. Visit their headquarters next time you are in the area. Ask some questions. Don’t dig too deep – you will be shown the door.

    I do have a problem with the percentage of their funds that they devote to “hands on”. I would be thrilled if they spent the same amount on “welfare” that they spend on fundraising. Now, where is that plea for money I found in my mail? I have some poop to scoop…

    Cheers!

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