Friday, December 11, 2009

Carrie Underwood Donates $200,000 to HSUS

What will Carrie Underwood's $200k be spent on?

It could almost cover the annual salary of HSUS' CEO/President ($207,000 per 2008 tax return) or could likely cover the salaries of either the Executive VP of Operations ($191,850 per 2008 tax return) or the Senior VP, International Prog. ($190,900 per 2008 tax return).

Unfortunately, Carrie Underwood's donation will fall well short of covering some HSUS expenses such as "Production Services" (Mersey Masala Inc was paid $278,555 by HSUS per 2008 tax return) and "Online Fundraising" (Donor Digital was paid $222,111 by HSUS per 2008 tax return). And $200,000 is merely a drop in the bucket for HSUS' "Direct Mail Service" expenditures (National Outdoor Sports Advertising Inc was paid $1,840,839 by HSUS per 2008 tax return).

Ms. Underwood made the donation because she reportedly cares about animal rescue and getting pets into homes. I'm sure she'll be delighted with the results of her donation.

9 comments:

Pibble said...

Unfortunately, we know the money won't be spent on things like second chances for maligned breeds or extraordinary veterinary care.

RInalia said...

Alternatively, her money could go towards one of the five shelters/sanctuaries that HSUS runs, including Black Beauty Ranch & a new horse sanctuary they opened up this year. Or the three wildlife rescue facilities they run. They rescue thousands of animals annually and provide care for thousands at their two large sanctuaries.

Or, it could go toward legislation that increases penalties for being a spectator at a dog fight or cockfight.

Or, perhaps it could go toward investigations into puppy mills and factory farms.

Or, it could go toward legislation that outlaws the unnecessary mutilation of, say, dairy cows, like they did here in California.

Or, it could go toward their student loan program for prospective vet students in under-served regions of the country.

Or, it could go toward their litigation efforts to protect rural citizens from the disastrous health effects of living near large, scale farms.

But yes, it could go toward the 0.23% that is Pacelle's paycheck. :)

(Don't get me wrong - call 'em out when you have to. But also realize they do a mountain of work, good and bad.)

YesBiscuit! said...

Rinalia, I am thrilled that HSUS donates money to shelters and other good causes. That's the truth. What pisses me off so much that I feel obligated to continually call them out is that the overwhelming majority of their money does NOT go to shelter pets but they feel free to raise that money by implying to donors that it will. I call that fraud. It doesn't mean I'm blind to any good the org does. It just means I don't want donors to be blind either.

Rinalia said...

That would be fine if their sole mission was to funnel funds into shelters - then obviously they'd be working outside their fundraising parameters.

But they are a broad-interest organization; they promote the welfare of all species, not just traditional companion animals.

It just seems that this donation doesn't establish that the HSUS is doing bad work or that they will misuse the funds (not saying they won't, per se, just there isn't any particular indication here that they will).

While I find the largeness of HSUS off-putting, it's a double edged sword. The HSUS has become a stalwart defender of animal welfare and their advocates, a large organization that has enough clout to match that of the industries - from puppy mill breeders to trophy hunters to agribusiness - they are fighting against. Certainly there are times when I'm all "Wa-huh, what the hell are they thinking?" but having worked on legislation and advocacy campaigns, it helps having a large group with an inside angle on your side.

YesBiscuit! said...

The HSUS banks (pun intended) on the fact that many donors THINK when they give money to HSUS, they are helping shelter pets. This is actually not the case but HSUS makes every effort to perpetuate this misconception in order to raise more money. Fraud.

jan said...

They are a misleading fundraising and lobbying organization that would like to rid the world of domestic animals and have us all eat tofu.

They can, however, be influenced by public opinion to some extent.

Rinalia said...

Yes, but if any donor did their due diligence and researched the organization, including visiting their website, they would quickly realize HSUS retains broad interests in the animal welfare movement.

Their entire logo, which is plastered on every single mailing piece and up on their website makes it pretty obvious they aren't a dog and cat org.

Pibble said...

Rinalia is right, they do a lot of good work in the legislative arena and in other areas.

I just wish they would slow down when it comes to judging animals (primarily dogs - at least in CT) as being adoptable.

This week, we took in a Cocker/Pekingese mix who had an ear infection who they deemed unadoptable because she wasn't particularly pleased to have ear drops put into her ears.

They were going to put her down.

We took her in after a mutual volunteer begged us to make room for her. We muzzle her to apply her meds. She now lets us play with her ears and even clean them because she now trusts us not to hurt her. She's a very sweet dog who plays fetch and loves all people and other animals. Highly adoptable in my book. All animals aren't perfect; neither are people.

I guess my point is that they can't be bothered with the simple caring for animals who aren't perfect from the get-go, at least from what I've seen of the chapters here in CT. And that's what I thought rescue was all about. Not just providing grants and tightening up laws. Yes, we ABSOLUTELY need advocates with a strong voice to fight for those essentials - we'd be screwed otherwise - no argument there, but when you have a budget like that you have the ability to care for animals at the most elementary level. But they seem to turn away or destroy more animals than they help. The chapter nearest us has more empty kennels than I care to talk about; our shelter is bursting at the seams. Why? It's very hard for me, at a rescue with an operating budget in the very low six digits, to have much pity.

Valerie said...

>I guess my point is that they can't be bothered with the simple caring for animals who aren't perfect from the get-go, at least from what I've seen of the chapters here in CT.

>but when you have a budget like that you have the ability to care for animals at the most elementary level. But they seem to turn away or destroy more animals than they help. The chapter nearest us has more empty kennels than I care to talk about; our shelter is bursting at the seams.
Pibble, are you saying that HSUS has "chapters" in CT? I don't think that is so. The belief that local Humane Societies and SPCAs are "chapters" of the large national organization is a common, but mistaken one, and is part of this whole misleading-fundraising issue.