What are the issues with HSUS?
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    Senior Member Rescued's Avatar
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    What are the issues with HSUS?

    So I recently was involved in a dog rescue operation that was made possible (in part) by HSUS, both in terms of funding, and providing manpower and the legislative backup necessary.

    I know that a LOT of people are not fans of "HSUS" and am wondering a few things:

    1. Is it HSUS itself, or Wayne Pacelle that most people take issue with?
    2. I know that a lot of people take issue with Pacelle- why is this?

    I am *thinking* that the general criticsm of the HSUS is probably related to something like the way they allocate their funds and the general premise of "animal rights" but I'm wondering if there is more.

    I was never an HSUS supporter (support your local shelters instead, quicker and gets right to the source!) but due to their excellent involvement in this recent experience, I am wondering what it is that most people take issue with.

    Educate me!

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    I think it's because of what you said about allocating funds, leaning more towards rights rather than welfare (they say and do many PETA-esque things), and even though they were involved with your rescue operation, they really don't get involved in a whole lot of them overall. Usually only the big ones. But maybe the HSUS has more of a presence in NC, I don't really know.

    This is a website which documents the things that the HSUS does and shows why so many people have a problem with them: http://www.humanewatch.org/

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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    I'm interested in this, too. Most of the anti-HSUS information I've seen comes from Rick Berman and his lobbying organizations (I know wikipedia isn't the best resource, but it's the one I could find easily). His site, Human Watch, was linked by Daenerys.

    Pacelle has worked for PETA (as executive director or some other top-level position) and did make a number of animal rights type statements (I believe JohnnyBandit posted them recently). However, they were ~20 years old and may have represented the views of PETA rather than his personal views. It's also possible that his views have changed in the past 20 years - I know my positions on certain things have changed quite a bit over that time span.

    According to the HSUS web site, their work goes beyond sheltering and adopting out abandoned pets. They work for more humane care for all animals, which includes stopping puppy mills, improving conditions for livestock, and protecting wildlife. Certainly there will be criticisms of their specific actions and goals as there are many different ideas about the details, but much of the outrage I've seen has focused on the fact that they are not affiliated with nor do they financially support local shelters, but many people think they do. Yet, their web site clearly states that they do not direct or fund the day-to-day operations of local shelters. They provide support in times of great need (e.g., after a natural disaster) or when rescuing animals from mills or similar situations, among other things.

    I can't find evidence that they are against ethical breeders or attempting to outlaw responsible breeding. The advice they give for people seeking pets is very similar to what I've seen posted here (with the possible exception that they suggest looking at a shelter or rescue first): How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder.

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    Senior Member Sarah~'s Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    I don't have any issue with them, I actually really love what they do and so many dogs have been helped by them and the local shelters across the U.S. so I think they are great

    I do post on a pit bull forum that most of the people there seem to hate them and the ASPCA with a passion. Mostly for their raids on suspected dog-fighting properties when they either know the person involved or don't agree that the yard was not clean enough or up to standard. I have seen them say "how do they know the dogs food and water bowls have always been empty? The dogs don't free feed and it could have been a hot day" and saying that none of the dogs pictured looked skinny. There are other disturbing things I have seen on that forum that I am trying to keep an eye on and see if there is a way to report some of them that I am not so sure aren't involved in dog fighting themselves.

    Other than that one place, I have heard nothing but great things about the HSUS and the ASPCA in general but have heard some bad things about individuals.

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    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Cookieface did a great job of describing my feelings on the issue, and I'm interested in seeing where this thread goes.

    I just have not seen much evidence that the HSUS is an extremist organization that wants to ban all dog breeding. Are they my favorite group? No, but I do think they try to help mill dogs and livestock, which is a noble goal. I just don't see the anti-breeder agenda that I hear about in the show community. Wayne Pacelle does say some suspicious things, but like cookieface said, the quotes are all quite old.

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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    I think they're a bit misleading in their advertising---I know a LOT of people (my grandma included) who will send them a donation and then call the local Humane Society and ask "did you get my donation?" :/. But then a lot of people are kind of clueless that way so I can't say it's all HSUS' fault.

    Otherwise. . .they make laws and people hate to be told what to do . Especially with their own "property". Especially when whatever they do has been done that way for hundreds of years and they think it's super. Farmers hate HSUS but I do think that conditions for the animals have gotten better because of them (even in the last 20 years) so I can't work up any good hatred. Farmers hate everything .

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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescued View Post
    So I recently was involved in a dog rescue operation that was made possible (in part) by HSUS, both in terms of funding, and providing manpower and the legislative backup necessary.

    I know that a LOT of people are not fans of "HSUS" and am wondering a few things:

    1. Is it HSUS itself, or Wayne Pacelle that most people take issue with?
    2. I know that a lot of people take issue with Pacelle- why is this?

    I am *thinking* that the general criticsm of the HSUS is probably related to something like the way they allocate their funds and the general premise of "animal rights" but I'm wondering if there is more.

    I was never an HSUS supporter (support your local shelters instead, quicker and gets right to the source!) but due to their excellent involvement in this recent experience, I am wondering what it is that most people take issue with.

    Educate me!
    I would be curious to know just how much the HSUS was actually involved.

    In two instances I was involved with fairly high profile animal abuse situations, the HSUS showed up and tried to steal the publicity after the work and danger(one involved a dog fighting ring and multiple people, including me put themselves in harms way to gather information and make something happen) The HSUS showed up at the end. Wanted our people to wear HSUS gear, offered free memberships, etc Trying to say we were working for them.

    Wayne Pacelle has largely gone silent since he has become CEO of HSUS. Anyone that does not think that was a strategic move is foolish. He was pretty vocal up through the time he was Executive VP of HSUS. There are plenty of quotes of his idea and ideals. He is not going to give groups that seek to point out exactly what HSUS and he stand for any more ammunition.
    Leopards do not change their spots.

    And Wayne Pacelle is fairly mild compared to some senior HSUS staff..

    Google Michael Fox and JP (John) Godwin. John Godwin is the founder of CAFT and has ties to ALF ( a terrorist group) There are those that believe he was present at a laboratory fire bombing. He started using JP after he was hired by HSUS.... Leopards and spots...

    Wayne Pacelle's dream was to merge HSUS and PETA....
    Pacelle, named HSUS president in May 2004, after 10 years as vice president for legislation, hypothetically proposed a three-way merger of HSUS, the Fund, and PETA as long ago as 1988. Pacelle appears to have been the primary author of an internal memo of “Talking points on the potential merger” recently circulated among Fund and HSUS senior staff and board members.
    http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/04/9/editorial9.04.html
    BTW Animal People is a animal rights paper.

    Then look at HSUS finances.
    http://www.activistcash.com/organiza...united-states/

    Then they paid the primary witness to come forward against ringling
    http://www.humanewatch.org/rico_lawsuit/

    And they testified that the Vick dogs among others should be euthanized.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/sp...vick.html?_r=0
    http://www.humanewatch.org/michael_v...hanks_to_hsus/

    This was AFTER they used photos of the Vick dogs in a fund raising campaign..



    Anyone that thinks HSUS is a good organization is either an Animal Rights person or grossly uninformed.
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    I think it's because of what you said about allocating funds, leaning more towards rights rather than welfare (they say and do many PETA-esque things), and even though they were involved with your rescue operation, they really don't get involved in a whole lot of them overall. Usually only the big ones. But maybe the HSUS has more of a presence in NC, I don't really know.

    This is a website which documents the things that the HSUS does and shows why so many people have a problem with them: http://www.humanewatch.org/
    Humanewatch is a richard berman site. He's a paid lobbyist who pockets 92 cennts of every dollar donated to his faux charities. He lobbies against DWI laws, laoobies for Big Ag groups, tries to say that excess fat is good for you, wants more lenient drug and alchohol laws, etc. He has several faux charities, like activistcash, humanewatch, etc. Google his name for more info.

    Most people don't like the HSUS because they are afraid of losing their property rights with animals. They will go back and quote things out of context to try to prove their point. The most famous out of context quote is from 93..."One generation and out". They use it to say he wants to end animal ownership. It was actually part of a response to intentionally breeding Heirloom Cattle.

    There are things to dislike about HSUS...them backing Michael vick, them taking all of the glory on rescues, their waste during Katrina rescues when they threw out perfectly good donated crates, their ads that imply they help shelter animals. But they do do some good.
    Basically they are a lobbyist group. Not a rescue group. They try to get animal welfare laws passed for things like banning horse tripping, canned hunts, dog fighting, cockfighting, battery cages, gestation crates. Those in the Ag industry where profit is more important than animal comfort, or those in the hunt for fun groups (as opposed to herd mgmt./food), hate the HSUS. Those that fear the loss of owning animals as property, (the ones that believe that extreme animal rights groups will succeed), fear the HSUS, because, to them, if you give in an inch, you are suddenly going to have your animals taken away, hate the HSUS, because they are a powerful group.
    They have a better rating on Charity Navigator than the American Red cross, FWIW.
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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    Humanewatch is a richard berman site. He's a paid lobbyist who pockets 92 cennts of every dollar donated to his faux charities. He lobbies against DWI laws, laoobies for Big Ag groups, tries to say that excess fat is good for you, wants more lenient drug and alchohol laws, etc. He has several faux charities, like activistcash, humanewatch, etc. Google his name for more info.

    Most people don't like the HSUS because they are afraid of losing their property rights with animals. They will go back and quote things out of context to try to prove their point. The most famous out of context quote is from 93..."One generation and out". They use it to say he wants to end animal ownership. It was actually part of a response to intentionally breeding Heirloom Cattle.

    There are things to dislike about HSUS...them backing Michael vick, them taking all of the glory on rescues, their waste during Katrina rescues when they threw out perfectly good donated crates, their ads that imply they help shelter animals. But they do do some good.
    Basically they are a lobbyist group. Not a rescue group. They try to get animal welfare laws passed for things like banning horse tripping, canned hunts, dog fighting, cockfighting, battery cages, gestation crates. Those in the Ag industry where profit is more important than animal comfort, or those in the hunt for fun groups (as opposed to herd mgmt./food), hate the HSUS. Those that fear the loss of owning animals as property, (the ones that believe that extreme animal rights groups will succeed), fear the HSUS, because, to them, if you give in an inch, you are suddenly going to have your animals taken away, hate the HSUS, because they are a powerful group.
    They have a better rating on Charity Navigator than the American Red cross, FWIW.
    I am aware of who is behind Humane Watch.... But that does not mean his facts are incorrect. Anything posted by humane watch is EASILY verifiable. Give it a try.
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBandit View Post
    I am aware of who is behind Humane Watch.... But that does not mean his facts are incorrect. Anything posted by humane watch is EASILY verifiable. Give it a try.
    It's easy to spin things/take them out of context. The often mis used "one generation and out" is a perfect example. Richard Berman is a despicable, low life individual who is on the watch lists of charity monitoring groups. Check out Charity Navigator and see how well his groups rate.

    HSUS is responsible for helping to get many abusive things banned like dog fighting, cockfighting, horse tripping, battery cages, etc. I know you hunt and probably fear the extremist groups that want all hunting banned. HSUS doesn't support banning hunting. Canned hunts, yes.
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah~ View Post

    I do post on a pit bull forum that most of the people there seem to hate them and the ASPCA with a passion. Mostly for their raids on suspected dog-fighting properties when they either know the person involved or don't agree that the yard was not clean enough or up to standard. I have seen them say "how do they know the dogs food and water bowls have always been empty? The dogs don't free feed and it could have been a hot day" and saying that none of the dogs pictured looked skinny. There are other disturbing things I have seen on that forum that I am trying to keep an eye on and see if there is a way to report some of them that I am not so sure aren't involved in dog fighting themselves.
    *cringes* Yeah. Pit Bull forums. I was a member there a while back, and I know exactly what you're talking about. Pretty frickin creepy stuff.

    There is a book on amazon called Friendly Fire that talks about all the messed up crap that happens within the HSUS organization, PETA, and some of the other AR groups.


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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    It's easy to spin things/take them out of context. The often mis used "one generation and out" is a perfect example. Richard Berman is a despicable, low life individual who is on the watch lists of charity monitoring groups. Check out Charity Navigator and see how well his groups rate.

    HSUS is responsible for helping to get many abusive things banned like dog fighting, cockfighting, horse tripping, battery cages, etc. I know you hunt and probably fear the extremist groups that want all hunting banned. HSUS doesn't support banning hunting. Canned hunts, yes.
    My issue with HSUS has nothing to do with hunting. They are WEAK there...
    Though you are wrong.... HSUS wants to ban all hunting.... But they are weak there.... They have found their niche and are choosing to dupe dog owners.


    My issue with HSUS has everything to do with dog ownership.

    Tell me ONE thing I stated that was spun out of context?

    And tell me one case where HSUS ACTUALLY did something about dog fighting other than reccommending the dogs confiscated?
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBandit View Post
    My issue with HSUS has nothing to do with hunting. They are WEAK there...
    Though you are wrong.... HSUS wants to ban all hunting.... But they are weak there.... They have found their niche and are choosing to dupe dog owners.


    My issue with HSUS has everything to do with dog ownership.

    Tell me ONE thing I stated that was spun out of context?

    And tell me one case where HSUS ACTUALLY did something about dog fighting other than reccommending the dogs confiscated?
    http://www.humanesociety.org/about/o...lishments.html

    I am referring to the Berman faux charities "spin". For Cripes sake, he lobbies against MADD, and DWI laws... and have you heard of how good "Corn Sugar" (not syrup anymore) is for you?
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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    http://www.humanesociety.org/about/o...lishments.html

    I am referring to the Berman faux charities "spin". For Cripes sake, he lobbies against MADD, and DWI laws... and have you heard of how good "Corn Sugar" (not syrup anymore) is for you?
    I understand that... But just because Berman is a scum does not mean what he says about HSUS is untrue. All of the stuff posted referencing humanewatch is EASILY verifiable.

    And HSUS claims a lot that is untrue.... As I said, the case I was involved in, the HSUS was NOWHERE to be found. No where around when people were risking their own safety to gather data. No where during the investigation. They never showed up until the bust and seizure of animals. Then they wanted all the Glory... But they had nothing to do with it. Animal Control had nothing to do with it. This was a Sheriffs operation. AC was only brought in when the raids were going to be made to handle dogs. And the head of our AC has long term ties to HSUS. They showed up when the news cameras showed up. I was not there at the raid for other reasons. But others were and it was pathetic. AC was even questioned why HSUS was there. AC said they brought them in because they could not handle all the dogs. The volume of dogs was not too great. None went in the HSUS van...
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah~ View Post
    I don't have any issue with them, I actually really love what they do and so many dogs have been helped by them and the local shelters across the U.S. so I think they are great

    The local humane shelters have NOTHING to do with the HSUS. The HSUS does NOT have shelters. They allocate about 1% of their funds toward actually helping animals. They generally only get involved in large rescue operations that are likely to generate a lot of publicity (and a lot of donations) but often will not help the animals or rescues past the initial media reported "bust". Like the huge dog fighting ring busted a couple years back, where something like 300 dogs were rescued and distributed across multiple rescues and shelters. The HSUS wasted no time getting photos of the worst cases (like Fay) and went on about how THEY had rescued and were caring for the dogs and donations could help them and dogs like them. NONE of the dogs were in their care and NONE of the rescues and shelters that took them on were receiving funds for their treatment and care, including the heavily advertised Fay. It wasn't until it was leaked to the media and the HSUS was outed that they coughed up a token bit, but certainly not any reasonable percentage of donations pulled off of the dogs.

    I do post on a pit bull forum that most of the people there seem to hate them and the ASPCA with a passion. Mostly for their raids on suspected dog-fighting properties when they either know the person involved or don't agree that the yard was not clean enough or up to standard. I have seen them say "how do they know the dogs food and water bowls have always been empty? The dogs don't free feed and it could have been a hot day" and saying that none of the dogs pictured looked skinny. There are other disturbing things I have seen on that forum that I am trying to keep an eye on and see if there is a way to report some of them that I am not so sure aren't involved in dog fighting themselves.
    The average pet owner thinks any dog in working condition looks "skinny" so I'm going to withhold judgement on that portion. As for "food and water always being empty" that isn't a bad point. I don't free feed either. If someone were to come into my house and it wasn't meal time, the food dishes would be empty. The water dishes are usually full, but my boy drinks a lot so they could potentially come in to a dry bowl. My foster dog was not free-watered because he'd guzzle it until he threw up. I will say that such situations like my foster or situations where dogs are kept out doors need to be either watered more frequently or have automatic watering set ups. I don't like keeping dogs in a yard, but unfortunately anyone keeping multiple dogs of a DA breed... Its a safer choice given what houdinis apbt can be. I'm curious what you consider "disturbing"... As for why many Pit Bull fanciers hate the HSUS... The HSUS use the breed as a cash cow and now have lended support and funding to pro-BSL measures alongside PETA. As well as petitioning for seized dogs to be put down, without chance of rescue.

    Other than that one place, I have heard nothing but great things about the HSUS and the ASPCA in general but have heard some bad things about individuals.
    Then you're not paying enough attention.
    Last edited by Gumiho; 10-26-2013 at 08:52 AM.

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    Senior Member Sarah~'s Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Well, didn't know all of that, so I can't argue, like I said I personally hadn't heard any of this so I have a good impression of them. All I ever see of them is commercials on tv and stuff and my local humane society does a good job. I still think they have a good cause.

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    They use high-profile cases (whether or not they were involved with them) to raise money, imply that money donated to HSUS goes to local shelters, imply that they use most of their money directly for sheltering (nope)... they're just basically dishonest and disingenuous. They don't walk their talk. Nathan Winograd, who wrote Friendly Fire, has a blog where he writes a lot about ASPCA, HSUS, and PETA.


    ETA: Basically they are a national lobbying group masquerading as a nationwide network of shelters. Yuck.

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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    It's easy to spin things/take them out of context. The often mis used "one generation and out" is a perfect example. Richard Berman is a despicable, low life individual who is on the watch lists of charity monitoring groups. Check out Charity Navigator and see how well his groups rate.

    HSUS is responsible for helping to get many abusive things banned like dog fighting, cockfighting, horse tripping, battery cages, etc. I know you hunt and probably fear the extremist groups that want all hunting banned. HSUS doesn't support banning hunting. Canned hunts, yes.
    One Generation and Out isn't misused at all. Any research on those idealizing such will show it is very clearly the idealization of the end of domestic breeds and pet ownership. The original quote in full context even makes that clear:

    "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. …One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding" Wayne Pacelle - HSUS, former Funds for Animals & PETA

    As for "getting abusive things banned" The HSUS rates pet ownership and the breeding of domestic animals right up there with it. Though they're less vocal about those lobbying projects, they're still doing. They're one of the driving forces behind anti-pet ownership & breeding laws, including now backing BSL alongside PETA. They try to make it sound nice by saying what amounts to "We don't support bans, but we support BSL to include mandatory spay / neuter which... You guessed it : One Generation and Out." The kinder face of breed genocide.

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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah~ View Post
    Well, didn't know all of that, so I can't argue, like I said I personally hadn't heard any of this so I have a good impression of them. All I ever see of them is commercials on tv and stuff and my local humane society does a good job. I still think they have a good cause.
    Your local Humane Society does a good job, because they are NOT run by, funded by or associated with the HSUS. So I'm hoping you're donating DIRECTLY to your local Humane Society. Because if you're donating through the HSUS, they aren't seeing that money.

    As for having a good cause, if you hate pit bulls and don't like pet ownership... Sure.

  21. #20
    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: What are the issues with HSUS?

    By their advertising campaigns they took money out of circulation that likely would have been donated and actually used to help animals after Hurricane Katrina.

    Hurricane Katrina

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, HSUS did their duty by holding press releases and soliciting donations. Efforts to actually do anything for the animals however, fell a little short. Estimates put the money raised during this period at 34.6 million dollars. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million. So HSUS made 34 million and only spent 7 million helping the animals. The State of Louisiana was so unhappy with the HSUS that they got kicked out of the state, thus cutting short the extended fund-raising stay. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million. So HSUS made 34 million and only spent 7 million helping the animals.

    The real local animal welfare groups in the area are also furious. They saved thousands of animals during Katrina with almost no monetary support while the HSUS received millions in donations and made very little contribution to the overall animal rescue effort.
    http://www.animalwrongs.com/activist-groups/hsus/
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