Watchdog group: Beware of animal disaster donations

Wisconsin State Farmer
A dog sits in a cage at Ford Park's temporary animal shelter in Beaumont, TX on Sept. 2, 2017.

Washington, DC - In light of Hurricane Irma’s landfall, today the Center for Consumer Freedom issued a warning against giving money to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, HSUS raised over $2 million. However, according to filings the group made with the New York Attorney General, it spent only one-third of what it raised on Sandy relief and pocketed the remainder. Additionally, public tax filings show that HSUS has over $50 million stashed offshore. Following Hurricane Harvey, HSUS has likely raised over $1 million and yet the bulk of its work appears to be merely assisting in moving a few hundred animals from Texas to shelters in other states that are run (and funded) by other groups..

Meanwhile, PETA has a history of euthanizing animals instead of finding them forever homes. Despite spending $45 million last year, PETA adopted out only 60 cats and dogs from its animal shelter while euthanizing 1,411 cats and dogs—23 times more. PETA also paid $50,000 last month to settle a lawsuit after its representative stole a dog off a family’s front porch in Virginia and killed it. PETA employees have also been criminally charged in the past in relation to killing healthy, adoptable animals in North Carolina.

“In every disaster, unscrupulous and unaccountable groups look to take advantage of donors, and HSUS and PETA are two prime examples,” said Will Coggin, research director at the Center. “PETA and HSUS are two of the worst groups any animal lover could give to. Donors should look for local humane societies or rescues that are affected most by the storms and that can’t leave town with a cash haul.”