WASHINGTON, DC – The Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) has been warmly welcomed by the shelter community after launching the organization last week with four full-page ads in The New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune to inform Americans about the benefits of supporting their local pet shelter.
Since its launch last Wednesday, over 450 shelters, rescues, and humane societies have decided to officially support The Humane Society for Shelter Pets. Here is just a small sampling of what these shelters are telling us:
“I like your ideas, and agree whole heartedly with your plan. We always find that people think we ARE the Humane Society, they don't understand how we are different.”
“I am so happy to finally see an organization taking up the truth of HSUS. It has been a long time coming. I have made it a point in my area to ensure that everyone knows who is really in the trenches helping the animals. This has diverted thousands of dollars to our local community and away from HSUS.”
“Thank you! So many people think that the HSUS exists to help shelters, when they do very little to help them.…[S]helters (and rescue groups) need all the help they can get.”
Today many shelters face financial problems in part because of the widespread belief that donations given to national groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), filter down to local pet shelters. Polling from Opinion Research Corporation conducted in November 2011 found 71 percent of Americans falsely believe HSUS is an umbrella group that represents thousands of local humane societies. However, the reality is that just 1 percent of HSUS’s $126 million budget goes to needy hands-on pet shelters, despite a majority of their fundraising advertising featuring dogs and cats.
Every year, it’s estimated that millions of orphaned and unwanted animals are euthanized to relieve overcrowded conditions in local animal shelters, humane societies, rescue centers, and local government animal control agencies. America’s ongoing economic downturn continues to squeeze pet shelters’ already meager operating budgets at a time when more cash-strapped Americans are choosing to surrender or abandon their family pets.
In addition to HSSP’s public outreach campaign, the organization has a database on its website enabling visitors to quickly and easily obtain all the information they need to donate to local shelters. HSSP will soon introduce additional tools to help shelters across the United States.