Sunday, October 07, 2012

Baxter Black: Humane Society supporter, columnist trade comments

Dear Mr. Black,
I’ve enjoyed your columns but I disagree with you about animal rights activists and the ACLU. I find it hard to find much fault with an organization that dedicates itself to ethical treatment of animals and one who protects our civil rights. I wish you the best.
— David

David, my criticism of the Humane Society of the United States has grown as I have watched it over the last dozen years. I, innocently, thought they were a generous provider of care for abused or abandoned animals. You would think that was the case if you believed their ads showing lonely, orphaned dogs and cats.

But I have watched local humane societies beg for assistance while regularly euthanizing millions of unwanted pets. Since the cessation of horse slaughter plants, I have watched the abuse and abandonment of the once valiant species reduced to the status of road kill in our country.

Then I look at the richest animal rights group the world has seen, and its 2010 tax report shows total revenue at $148.7 million. Its declared contribution to “pet-shelter grants” according to the tax form is $528,676. That calculates out to be 0.418 percent of its budget.

“You mean,” asked David, “less than one-half of one percent of their budget actually goes to the care, housing, feeding and eventual euthanizing of unwanted pets? Where does the other 99.5 percent of their donations go?”

Other than salaries and benefits, which amounts to 25 percent of its budget, fundraising that eats up 37 percent and amassing $14 million in their pension plan, they spend millions and millions to lobby politicians and fund endless litigations to achieve their fuzzy goal.

That would buy a lot of cat food and horse hay.

In fact, I think the Humane Society of the United States is just a big, lumbering parasite that keeps turning up ways to keep its lawyers busy and pensions safe. I find it necessary to switch the channel when I see them using injured, yearning pets to stuff their pockets.

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