Does the nation's largest anti-hunting and animal rights organization solicit contributions from the public under dubious pretense during times of national disaster, only to funnel those assets to further its agenda to end certain types of legal hunting and agricultural practices?
The Attorney General of Oklahoma apparently suspects that might be the case.
In a statement issued March 12, AG Scott Pruitt issued a warning to Oklahomans regarding solicitations and advertisements by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization known well by hunting groups and animal farming interests. Pruitt said he was concerned HSUS gave Oklahomans the mistaken impression their donations are assisting Oklahoma animal shelters, when in fact the donations of Oklahomans may go toward unrelated efforts like lobbying in other states or at the federal level.
Archery Wire readers may recall our feature appearing earlier this month, "Ballot Measure Threatens Black Bear Archery Hunting in Maine," in which we detailed the effort to prohibit the hunting of bears using bait, hounds or traps through the voter initiative process. The primary organization bankrolling the issue is - you guessed it - HSUS.
It marks the second attempt to ban bear hunting in Maine - the most bear-rich state in the lower 48 - in the past ten years using the ballot box and an emotion-driven campaign. For its ultimately unsuccessful 2004 effort, Washington DC-based HSUS ponied up nearly a half-million dollars.
In Oklahoma, the Attorney General said he is specifically looking into concerns over fundraising advertisements in the wake of the devastating and deadly May 2013 tornadoes that struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. Pruitt contends HSUS advertising and public relations gave Oklahomans the deceptive impression their donations would help pets and other animals displaced by the storm, as well as support local shelters impacted by the storm.
But that was not the case, Pruitt's office discovered.