, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, is highlighting the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) through a series of humorous ads found throughout Union Station in Washington, D.C.  «view photos of the ads is also running its “Wayne’s World” full-page ad in today’s Roll Call and Politico.  «view ad

Each metro ad features a photo of a cat or dog with taglines including: “WTF? Where’s the Funding?,” “She’s pissed,” and “Read the Fine Print.”  Each ad also includes the text: “The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) only gives 1% of its budget to local pet shelters,” and encourages riders to give to their local hands-on pet shelter.

A new national poll conducted recently by ORC International finds 69 percent of Americans falsely believe HSUS “contributes most of its money to local organizations that care for dogs and cats.” An overwhelming 82 percent incorrectly believe HSUS is an “umbrella group” for America’s local humane societies. When respondents were told that HSUS has no affiliation with local pet shelters and that they only give 1 percent of their budget to local shelters favorability ratings for the group dropped from 75 percent of people having a somewhat or very favorable impression of HSUS to only 15 percent. Unfavorable impressions jumped to 69 percent.

“The Humane Society of the United States is a factory fundraising machine, sucking dollars out of local communities with its slick advertisements that mislead donors into believing a majority of its budget is going to help local cats and dogs,” said Will Coggin, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst. “The truth is HSUS’s millions are not going to local pet shelters as a majority of Americans think, but instead to a bloated staff of lawyers and lobbyists, exorbitant fundraising expenses, and to push PETA-style vegan propaganda.”

HSUS’s fundraising activities often employ sad looking cats and dogs in cages to tug at the heartstrings, and wallets of America’s pet lovers. However, finds HSUS shared less than one percent of its $127 million budget with pet sheltering organizations in 2011. In the same year, HSUS socked $2.4 million away into its pension plan, paid $2.6 million for lobbying, and spent nearly $50 million on fundraising-related expenses.

“So what are America’s pet lovers to do?” Coggin asked. “The answer is simple: Find a local pet shelter near you that’s worthy of your support and give your time, supplies, or money.”