Misdirection: The HSUS and Shelters

Misdirection: “The HSUS doesn’t run local shelters, and gives less than 1% of its budget to supporting them.”

Truth: Animal welfare work is much more than the narrow category of giving pass-through grants to shelters. The HSUS was founded in 1954 to care for animals in crisis and tackle systemic abuses on a national and global scale – that is, cruelties beyond the reach of local organizations and agencies.

Local animal shelters have always been independent of the HSUS. Of the roughly 3,500 shelters in the United States, about half are run by private organizations and half by municipal government agencies. They have their own policies, governance and operational priorities. No national organization runs them nor serves as a parent association, and never has. No group could serve this purpose.

We do work to support and advance animal care with our education and training programs for local organizations, and provide millions of dollars in grants every year. But our primary purpose is not grant-making. The work of the HSUS is broad and focused on all animals. We don’t need to give money to others to do it.

The HSUS and its affiliates are the number one provider of animal care among national animal protection organizations in the United States, the number one advocacy organization preventing cruelty and abuse, and the number one provider of training and standards to lift up the entire field of animal welfare. We and our affiliates spend 73% of our funds on program expenses to help pets, wildlife, animals in laboratories, farm animals, marine mammals and other animals at risk in society.

Who’s spreading the attacks: Big agribusiness front groups (HumaneWatch, The Center for Consumer Freedom, Protect the Harvest, The Cavalry Group, United Horsemen). These groups wish we only ran animal shelters, because no organization would be standing up for the billions of other animals at risk in society.