September 15, 2023

New Report Finds ASPCA and HSUS Shortchange Local Pet Shelters

The Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) this week released a report exposing the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for their abysmal financial support of local animal shelters across the United States.

Despite their names, the HSUS and the ASPCA have no affiliation with local humane societies and SPCAs operating in communities across the United States.

While the ASPCA and HSUS are not affiliated with local pet shelters, their similar-sounding names have resulted in widespread confusion among the public, as evidenced by polling.

An evaluation of 2021 tax documents uncovered that in 2021:

      • HSUS gave one percent of their $138 million budget to local pet shelters via financial grants
      • HSUS did not send a single financial grant to pet shelters in 32 states and Washington, DC
      • ASPCA gave only two percent of their $302 million budget to local shelters via financial grants
      • ASPCA did not send a single financial grant to pet shelters in 21 states

Publicly available tax returns show the following:

      • HSUS spent $4.3 million on executive compensation and $1.2 million on lobbying in 2021 and had $67 million stashed in offshore accounts
      • ASPCA spent $5.5 million on executive compensation, $135 million on fundraising and advertising, had $11 million stashed in offshore accounts, and pays its CEO nearly $1 million per year

CEW Executive Director Jack Hubbard had this to say about the findings:

“Each year, thousands of hard-working people across the nation donate to the ASPCA and HSUS, believing that they are helping shelters in their communities. Donors deserve to know that groups like the ASPCA and HSUS are sitting on millions in investments and paying their executives sky-high salaries. Donors who want to support local shelters deserve to know the truth.” 

The full report and methodology are available here. All findings are based on 2021 publicly available tax returns and 2021 audited financial statements of both groups.

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