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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are you a sucker giving to the Animal Humane Societies?

 Note: Though they look pretty pathetic, no animals were harmed in the making of this blog article! 

Back in the year 1997 my father started  his many battles with different illnesses which proved too much for his body to take.   The song playing on the radio during this time of my life was “In the Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. Granted I could only hear the chorus but that was all I needed to hear! Though I know who the song was originally for, to me like millions of others, this song always carried a special meaning with it.

You don’t hear this song being played as much on the radio  anymore, but a couple of years ago while as I was drifting off into slumber with the TV playing softly in the background I heard that unmistakable tune again.  My eyes popped open and I glanced at the TV.  There she was, Sarah McLachlan singing my heartfelt song! There must be some special meaning behind this, I thought. Wait, she’s singing to a commercial about abused animals!   I continued to watch the commercial as it tugged at my heart strings with each adorable sad faced animal that was shown.  I watched a deformed dog try to make its way across a floor, crying as he fell down, then a cat with an eye missing flashed across the screen and I saw numerous other puppies and kittens sad faced behind cold metal caged doors.  I believe I even shed a tear or two!

Then Sarah started to speak, telling me and millions of others to please help the abused animals as a toll free number flashed across the screen. Sarah went on, “For just $18.00 a month, or 60 cents a day, you’ll help rescue an animal from its abuser and you will provide medical care, food, shelter, and love. Call or join online in the next thirty minutes and you will receive this welcome kit with a photo of an animal in a shelter right now. One who has been given a second chance thanks to you.”
  Then the Angel song continued as I watched more sad faces of dogs and cats pleading to me with helpless expressions. Occasionally a shelter worker gave a gentle pat or a kiss to these poor animals that needed my help.

Sarah came back on screen and as she stroked a Labrador Retriever sitting on the couch beside her she said, “Right now there’s an animal here that needs you, your call says I’m here to help. Please call right now.” And again the toll free number flashed across the screen.

 Whaaaaa! I cried! As if the song’s reminder of my father’s death was not enough to upset me!   Now I have to associate it with animals being abused by humans that only I and a billion others in the world can help by giving a mere $18.00 a month!

Well as sad as it is to hear and as sad as it is to watch, many of these “Help the abused Animals” organizations really do very little to help the animals in your shelters.  Of the money you and billions of others are sucked into donating through these heart wrenching commercials only about one to three percent of that money goes to animal shelters and these shelters may not even be in your town or your state!  Most of the money goes to grants and lobbying and much goes to employee pension funds. Organizations like the Humane Society of the US are 501c3, meaning non profit, and while I don’t mind non profit organizations making money, I just want them to be upfront and honest with what they are using it for. After all, it is our hard earned dollars they are taking. Don’t put up pathetic commercials and posters making me and the rest of the general public think all of the money we give is going to help these abused animals. 

I’m all for passing laws to protect animals and I am sure most would agree, however what I don’t want is someone taking my money to lobby for their ideals and not be honest about it. If I’m giving dollars I want a piece of my own ideals in those lobby laws. Not all that is represented in these laws is what the general public who are donating  might be concerned about.

 So if you are such an organization and you are doing the right thing then represent what you are doing honestly. Don’t mislead the public. Put what you are lobbying for in the commercial and let us make a decision based on that. Don’t put a dog with three legs or a dog missing an eye in a commercial to play on our sympathy, but if you are going to do that, then state: only 1 % of what you donate will go to help these animals!  

 Hey, my Cocker Spaniel Cody had his eye removed but not because I abused him, because he had glaucoma!  I suppose you could have used his picture for an animal abuse commercial! See the problem here? If you are not openly stating what the bigger part of your mission is, how are we to trust that those animals in the commercials were actually abused?

    Also, no offense but I don’t even have a pension plan, why do I want to contribute my money to the CEO of the HSUS for his pension? What was it that Wayne Pacelle’s total compensation was in the year 2010, something like 287,000? Did you know you were donating your money to him? I didn't.  I’d just assume give my money to Betty White, at least she entertains me!

So it’s time to stop being suckered in for a free tee shirt, a wrist band, or some free address labels and demand that  your money go to what you believe you are putting it toward. 

There was nothing in this * commercial   which told me that only 1 % to 3% of my money was actually going to help abused animals,  what percentage was going toward lobbying, what was going for specific research and what was going toward the CEO’s pension plan!

Go ahead and sound off, no profanity please, but before you do, enjoy the little video below!

 Thank you Nancy for sending this to me! 
Spoof video on HSUS here: Fantastic laugh! The only thing missing is a one eyed lawyer! 

My Cocker Spaniel, missing
one eye from glaucoma.
 Though not normally
in a crate he was helping with a
drill for our LOCAL County
Animal Response Team. Where
the money you donate stays in
your county!

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