Oklahoma to investigate the HSUS


Big news out of the Sooner State: Oklahoma Attorney General   Scott Pruitt announced yesterday that his office will investigate the fundraising of the Humane   Society of the United States. Speaking to the state farm bureau, Pruitt   said:

“I think there are many   across the state of Oklahoma when they give to the Humane Society they think   it’s going to local concerns. They believe they are actually benefiting an   organization that helps make sure animals are taken care of locally and at   the state level. And there’s a concern that that is not happening. As those   dollars go nationally, there is a concern, perhaps, that they’re not coming   back.”

That’s absolutely true.   Our polling has found that most of the public—and even HSUS donors—think that money given to HSUS largely   helps shelter pets. You know—the cats and dogs that HSUS liberally stuffs its   fundraising appeals with.

Instead, only 1 percent of HSUS’s budget is given to local shelters.

The case seems airtight.   You have the ads with dogs and cats that give off the impression that HSUS is   all about rescues and finding homes for animals, and you have the outcome of   what HSUS’s own donors think. In fact, most HSUS donors we polled think HSUS misleads people.

However, we’re sure   HSUS—which employs dozens of lawyers in-house with the money it deceptively   raises—will try to weasel its way out of any accountability for its   manipulative fundraising by saying that it never actively made misleading   statements. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, “Most   deception involves written or oral misrepresentations, or omissions of   material information.” (Emphasis added.)

Omission of material   fact—such as an ad that does not have a disclaimer that HSUS is not   affiliated with local humane societies and that HSUS does not run a single   pet shelter. According to copies of TV ads we received, between Jan. 2009 and   Sept. 2011 about 99% of HSUS’s ads did not have a disclaimer that it is   independent from local humane societies.

A full investigation into   the nitty-gritty is necessary and timely. General Pruitt has taken a bold,   and necessary, step toward keeping HSUS accountable. At the very least, the   outcome will hopefully result in significant monies going from HSUS to Sooner   shelters, which is likely where Oklahomans thought it was going in the first   place.

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