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To understand the true agenda of this enormous animal rights organization, HSUS, one needs to examine the beliefs of its leaders, not the slick media ads for donations that claim to be for animal welfare. The HSUS agenda is not much different than that of PETA, only the tactics used separate these two groups. Make no mistake, the ultimate goal is to end human use and contact with animals.

Below is a timeline of HSUS events, programs, conflicts, quotes, and legislative efforts that shows HSUS is far from the mainstream organization they strive to portray.

1954 Cleveland Amory, Fred Myers (AHA), Helen Jones (ASPCA) form the National Humane Society (later re-named HSUS) to focus on fighting biomedical research use of animals. (1)
1959 Cleveland Amory assists with incorporating National Catholic Humane Society which later became the International Society for Animal Rights.
1967 Cleveland Amory forms the Fund for Animals to focus on opposition to hunting.
1972 HSUS first ballot initiative victory - South Dakota dove hunting ban (2)
1973 HSUS builds National Association for Humane Environmental Education (NAHEE) to ensure that "humane attitudes" become part of mainstream education. NAHEE plans to prepare its own materials for distribution in classrooms. The main publication is Kind News published at three reading levels. Kind News passively indoctrinates the reader against hunting and trapping, use of animals in research, in zoos, and rodeos. (A), (B), (C), HSUS Mission Humane Action Guide for Kids
1976 Michael Fox joins HSUS in 1976. Fox serves as a senior scholar and vice president of the organization, and director of HSUS-affiliate Center for Respect of Life and Environment. According to Fox, "Human beings aren't superior, we're just different.." (3)
1980 In Animal Rights and Human Obligations, the published proceedings of the HSUS 1980 national membership conference, HSUS states unequivocally that "there is no rational basis for maintaining a moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals." (4)
1986 HSUS director of laboratory welfare, John McArdle, opines that "HSUS is definitely shifting in the direction of animal rights faster than anyone would realize from our literature". HSUS president John Hoyt states that "this new [animal rights] philosophy has served as a catalyst in the shaping of our own philosophies, policies, and goals."
1988 HSUS launches its "Shame of Fur" campaign which runs until 1991 (5) (6)
1988 HSUS introduces "Breakfast of Cruelty" campaign. Slogan: "Behind virtually every slice of bacon and every innocuous looking egg lurks a long, hidden history of unbearable suffering." (7)
1990 Pet spay/neuter campaign Guess Who Pays? poster features a living puppy sitting in front of euthanized dogs and cats. Message reads, "When you let your pet bring unwanted animals into the world ... guess who pays." Begins a long line of campaigns linking and blaming dog breeders for pet overpopulation. (8)
1990 HSUS wins California ballot measure to prohibit sport hunting of mountain lions. Wayne Pacelle issues anti-hunting warning, "We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States ... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state. (Full Cry, October 1990).
1990 HSUS fundraising mailer, "Rights For Animals" makes a case for animals to have access to the courts through their advocates through the expansion of "standing" doctrines and the right of third parties to sue. (9)
1991 Pacelle quoted in the press, "If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would. Just like we would shut down all dog fighting, all cock fighting or all bull fighting." Pacelle continues to deny this statement. quoted in Kingman Daily Miner (10)
1991 Ontario Court of Justice judge Bruce C. Hawkins on January 7 issues an interim order that the HSUS must repay $740,000 to the Humane Society of Canada, in advance of the yet-to-be-scheduled trial of a lawsuit in which HSC and the Canadian incorporation of Humane Society International charge that HSUS improperly seized $1,012,663 in funds HSC raised within Canada. (11)
1991 "Until There Are None, Adopt One" Campaign launched. "Choose a Pal for Life". When you decide to bring a pet into your life, give a shelter animal a home. Don't go to a pet store. Don't go to a breeder. Choose to save a life. Until there are no more healthy animals dying in our shelters, adopt a shelter pet. HSUS continues campaign that full shelters result from dog breeding rather than owner retention issues. (12)
1992 Wins Colorado ballot measure to prohibit spring, bait, and hound hunting of black bears
1992 HSUS publishes Close-Up Report. Loved-or Lost? Calls for a voluntary moratorium on all breeding of dogs and cats in order to end the pet over-population crisis. (12)
1992 HSUS wins a joint lawsuit with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend coverage under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act to include mice, rats, and birds used in laboratories. In 1994, this ruling was overturned by a federal appeals court (13)
1993 HSUS publishes Taking a Crucial Step to Help Dogs And Cats. Paul Irwin announces the campaign at a press conference, "The HSUS is calling for a temporary moratorium on the breeding of dogs and cats. This means everyone-pet owners, shelter workers, and even professional breeders-must stop allowing animals to breed until this [overpopulation] crisis has passed." HSUS says spay/neuter is the best way to prevent breeding. The HSUS states it has prepared legislative guidelines, including the enactment of breeding moratoria, mandatory sterilization laws, and other animal-control ordinances at the local and state level , and will work anyone wishing to initiate legislation. (12)
1993 When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, "If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don't want to see another dog or cat born." Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.
1994 Wins Arizona ballot measure to prohibit steel jawed traps and other body-gripping traps and Oregon ballot measure to ban bear baiting and hound hunting of mountain lions
1994 Manager Billy Saxon at Fund for Animals' Black Beauty Ranch "sanctuary" near Tyler, Texas caught breeding "rescued" animals purchased at livestock auctions and selling the offspring for slaughter. "Fund For Animals' Wayne Pacelle acknowledged that he had been aware of the cattle-raising business for some time but said he had kept Saxon on because of his fine work at the ranch (14)
1996 Wins Washington ballot measure to ban bear baiting and hound hunting of bears, cougars, bobcats, and lynx and Colorado ballot measure to ban leghold traps
1998 Wins California ballot measure to prohibit slaughter of horses and sale of horse meat for human consumption
1999 HSUS Senior Director Paul Shapiro (then the president of Compassion Over Killing) climbs atop a McDonald's restaurant and urges lunchgoers: "Don't Support McMurder. Go Vegan." (15)
2001 HSUS Puppy Protection Act (PPA) introduced in Congress by Sen. Rick Santorum. The PPA required USDA/APHIS to set breeding regulations, establish socialization standards for commercial and retail breeders, and implement a "three strikes you're out" policy of enforcement for license revocation. Bill is opposed by multiple groups including research institutions. (16)
2002 Wins Florida ballot measure to ban gestation crates for pigs. In the process, pigs gain constitutional rights in Florida; the 2 existing hog farms shut down sending their stock to slaughter (17)
2003 HSUS Puppy Protection Act (PPA) introduced in Congress by Sen. Rick Santorum. The 2003 PPA eliminated the criteria for socialization standards in hopes of lessening resistance to passage but still required USDA/APHIS licensing and regulation of retail breeders, again setting precedent for federal inspectors to enforce cleaning, sanitation, handling, and other regulatory requirements in private homes. (18)
2003 The Fund for Animals (merged the following year with HSUS) files sweeping anti-hunting lawsuit to stop hunting on 39 wildlife refuges. (A), (B), (C) In April 2011, federal Judge James S. Gwin ruled for sportsmen across America rejecting HSUS' attempt at using the National Environmental Policy Act to close hunting on these refuges. (D), (E)
2004 HSUS and Fund for Animals merge and launch a new 501(c)(4) political organization, the HSUS Fund for Animals, to allow for a more substantial investment of resources in political and lobbying activities.
2004 Wayne Pacelle, former executive director of The Fund for Animals, named President and CEO of HSUS. Pacelle announces the new "campaigns section" will focus on farm animals, puppy mills, and "wildlife abuse" (formerly anti-hunting). (19)
2004 Wayne Pacelle, CEO, Humane Society of the US (HSUS), as quoted in the London Times, December 26, 2004. "The entire animal rights movement in the United States reacted with unfettered glee at the Ban in England ...We view this act of parliament as one of the most important actions in the history of the animal rights movement. This will energize our efforts to stop hunting with hounds."
2005 Following Hurricane Katrina, HSUS raises $34 million in donations. Louisiana attorney general begins investigation into distribution of the monies collected. Louisiana's Attorney General ended the 18-month-long investigation into where most of these millions went, shortly after HSUS announced its plan to contribute $600,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter on the grounds of a state prison. (20)
2005 HSUS Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) introduced in Congress by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA6) on behalf of HSUS. PAWS required USDA/APHIS regulation of retail breeders and sellers, including rescue organizations, based on sales of 25 or more annually. This enormous and costly expansion of federal regulation initiated preliminary negotiations to amend PAWS with a scheme to outsource inspections. (21)
2005 Animal Protection Litigation Section formed within HSUS, "dedicated to the process of researching, preparing, and prosecuting animal protection lawsuits in state and federal court." (22), (23)
2005 HSUS successfully lobbies Congress to strip USDA funding for horse meat inspections which will force closure of remaining horse processing plants. (24) , (25)
2006 Campaigns Manager of Compassion Over Killing (COK), Paul Shapiro joins HSUS staff as manager of their new Factory Farming Campaign. Goals within the campaign: continue the No Battery Cage effort; create an HSUS Guide to Vegetarian Eating; reach out to other social movements to gain as much support as possible. (26)
2006 HSUS wins Arizona ballot measure to ban gestation crates, veal crates
2007 On behalf of HSUS, Sen. Dick Durbin (D, IL) attaches S.A. 3723 to the 2007 Farm Bill. The amendment is nearly identical to PAWS and was stripped from the FB in conference committee. (27)
2007 At the ALDF The Future of Animal Law Conference, Sara Amundson, executive director, Humane Society Legislative Fund and former lobbyist for Doris Day Animal League, presents a plan for a central United States Animal Protection Agency. The agency would provide a single area to lobby for support of animal rights initiatives. (28)
2007 Pacelle blogs that HSUS was "working with federal authorities from the start, and assisting with the care of 52 dogs taken from Vick's property." HSUS uses photos of the Michael Vick dogs in another fundraising scam. The pitch for money ended quickly when HSUS was exposed. HSUS was not caring for the dogs and, in fact, was lobbying to have them killed. (29)
2008 HSUS issues a 100-point Change Agenda for Animals to the newly elected Obama administration. The agenda includes an Animal Protection Liaison in the White House and an Animal Protection Division in the Justice Department - similar to the plan outlined in 2007. (30)
2008 Wins California ballot initiative to ban gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages and wins Massachusetts ballot measure to ban greyhound racing
2008 Virginia "historic puppy mill" regulation with ownership caps signed into law. HSUS launches state puppy mill bill campaigns. Between 2008 and 2011 the packaged bill to control and restrict dog breeding was introduced in 34 states. (31)
2008 HSUS merges with The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) to form Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA). Directions, Summer 2004, Newsletter of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights noted AVAR does not support any breeding of cats or dogs, be it by AKC affiliates or any other breeders, while millions of animals are being killed each year due to overpopulation. (32)
2009 WSB-TV in Atlanta aired a groundbreaking expose of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the U.S. animal rights industry's richest and most deceptive fundraiser. HSUS. An enraged HSUS worked diligently, threatening lawsuits against those posting the video. The video is only available now on an Iranian website.
2009 HSUS directors testify in court that the pit bulls seized in Wilkes County NC must be destroyed because they had been "bred for generations to be aggressive." Based on the HSUS "expert testimony" 145 dogs - including nursing puppies born after the seizure - were euthanized. (33), (33A)
2009 Story of fundraising deceit by HSUS goes viral. HSUS uses 'Fay' a disfigured pit bull rescued in a huge dog fighting ring bust as a fundraising tool. JP Goodwin states, 'Faye' is now safe, in a loving home, recovering thanks to HSUS. The woman fostering Fay responded publicly that HSUS had not spent one dime on Fay. In response to the publicity and criticism, HSUS announced they would send $5,000 to cover needed surgery for Fay. HSUS reported that it raised $1.2 million from the “Animal Survivors Fund” campaign. Fay passed away on 12/28/09 after completing one of her needed surgeries. HSUS continued to feature images of the dog on its Web site and fundraising materials through January 2010. (34)
2010 HSUS markets "Humane Choice" vegetarian dog food to help "combat factory farm cruelty". Apparently HSUS feels some justification to extend their ideology to dog diets without concern that vegetarian diets are biologically inappropriate for carnivores. Production ended in 2012.
2010 Wins Missouri ballot measure to regulate "puppy mills". Missouri legislature modifies the extreme regulation of dog breeders called for in the measure. (35)
2010 Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) introduced by Rep. James Gerlach [PA-6; Senator Richard Durbin [IL] on behalf of HSUS. Once again under the guise of regulating "puppy mills" and "closing a loophole", a new class of "high volume sellers" is created within the AWA. Retail sellers, including rescue organizations and animal shelters, would be regulated based on sales of 50 or more dogs annually and interest in an intact breeding female. A damaging report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) citing multiple enforcement inadequacies within APHIS and errors in judgment by APHIS personnel while performing inspections of currently licensed dog breeders is touted by HSUS and backers as a reason to exponentially expand the duties and scope of APHIS with this legislation. (36)
2010 IRS begins preliminary audit protocol to investigate the lobbying activities of HSUS; assigns Case File Number (29-92012). The Department of the Treasury's Office of the Inspector General for Tax Administration (OIG) also assigned a Case File Number (55-1005-0025-C). (37)
2011 March. The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) issues a "D" grade to HSUS's financial practices. AIP's rating system heavily penalizes charities for possessing large assets or maintaining more than three years' operating expenses in reserve (38)
2011 Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) re-introduce Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) 2011 on behalf of HSUS. PUPS changes the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and USDA responsibility forever by granting authority for federal regulation to extend beyond commercial dog businesses and into private homes. (39)
2011 Years after HSUS legislation closed U.S. horse slaughter plants, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases Horse Welfare report. Reports that plant closures have shifted the slaughter horse market to Canada and Mexico and driven down the sale prices of lower-grade horses. Plant closures have also worsened an already bad welfare situation by forcing horses to travel long distances to slaughter, often in unregulated trips. (24)
2011 HSUS brokers deal with United Egg Producers to introduce federal legislation for enriched cages, egg carton labeling, and other standards. As part of the deal HSUS agrees to end its ballot initiatives in Washington and Oregon. (40)
2011 U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and David Vitter (R-LA), long time supporters of HSUS and its agenda, go to bat yet again for this radical animal rights group. In October 2011, Durbin and Vitter wrote to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to urge USDA to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) through regulatory action, rather than requiring congressional action.
2012 Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) introduces HR 3798 Egg Products Inspection Act which would codify the HSUS-UEP egg deal, remove best management practices, and establish federal regulations across the board for all producers. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) introduces Senate companion bill, S.3239. Pacelle gains promise from Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) to introduce the bill as an amendment to the Farm Bill in Conference Committee. The far reaching bill covers all egg products, not merely shelled eggs.
2012 Following HSUS petition to Congress, APHIS posts a Notice of Rulemaking to revise the long standing exemption from federal licensing of pet sellers in the retail sector. All pet breeders who have five or more intact females, or anyone who sells pets off premise will be required to obtain a USDA license and come into compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. (41)
2012 HSUS lobbies Connecticut legislature for "farm animal rights" calling for a ban on gestation crates even though they are not used in the state. (42)
2012 The most severe anti-hunting legislation ever passed into California law, SB 1221 was sponsored by HSUS, and authored by Senator Ted Lieu (D/28th-Torrance) and Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D/06th-Sacramento). In addition to prohibiting the hunting of bears and bobcats with hounds, SB 1221 prohibits "pursuing, running or chasing" any bear or bobcat with any dog at any time. Further, the bill expressly clarifies the Department of Fish and Game's ability to "capture or dispatch" any dog inflicting injury or even threatening to inflict injury on any bear or bobcat at any time.
2013 Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) re-introduce Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) 2013 on behalf of HSUS. PUPS changes the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and USDA responsibility forever by granting authority for federal regulation to extend beyond commercial dog businesses and into private homes. (43)
2013 HSUS files a class action lawsuit against Perdue Farms. (44) The lawsuit alleges that the standards upon which Perdue bases its "Humanely Raised" claim are not meaningfully different from the so-called "Animal Welfare Guidelines" of the National Chicken Council. In October, HSUS filed a second suit in Florida against Perdues Humanely Raised claim for raising Harvestland Chicken. (45)
2013 HSUS lobbying scores in California with a bill that bans trapping of bobcats. California also became the first state requiring sport hunters to use lead-free ammunition.
2013 US District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by HSUS which challenged USDA's approval of the National Pork Board's purchase of the "Pork: The Other White Meat" marketing slogan. The lawsuit was filed in 2012. (46)
2013 Judge orders animal rights groups, including Fund for Animals (now merged with HSUS) to reimburse Feld Entertainment for attorney fees. While HSUS was not held liable, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan left open the question of whether HSUS could be included at a later date if Feld chose to re-argue that portion of the case. (47) HSUS is co-defendant along with the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA, Tom Rider and the attorneys involved in a RICO suit filed by Feld Entertainment. (48)
2013 HSUS successfully lobbies APHIS administration to finalize the Retail Pet Seller Rule. The final rule expanding USDA/APHIS regulatory authority is announced September 18, 2013. For the first time federal inspectors will enter private American homes in order to set government standards for pet care. APHIS maintains that because of the wide variety of situations, they will need to make case-by-case decisions regarding licensure. (49)
2014 HSUS and several co-defendants, who were involved in legal cases against Feld Entertainment Inc.’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 14 years over the care of its elephants, paid a settlement of $15.75 million to them today. This comes from a separate Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit filed by Feld after it was discovered that a key witness in the original trial who had been a handler for the circus had been paid off to provide false testimony.
2014 HSUS begins campaign in Maine to end use of dogs and traps for bear hunting. HSUS vows to spend $3 million to win a Ballot Initiative. In the last 10 years Maine’s bear population has increased by 30% to more than 30,000 bears in response to declining hunter numbers and harvest. To stabilize bear numbers at levels desired by a diverse public, an annual harvest of between 3,500 and 4,500 bears is needed. HSUS-supported restrictions will interfere with objectives to stabilize bear population growth. (50)
2014 Charity Navigator removes HSUS rating and replaces it with a Donor Advisory as a result of the Feld Entertainment suit. "Charity Navigator has determined that the nature of this/these issue(s) warrants making this information available so that donors may determine for themselves whether such information is relevant to their decision whether to contribute to this organization." Read the full Donor Advisory (51)

Tags HSUS anti-hunting, anti-research, HSUS animal rights agenda, HSUS Ballot Initiatives

Animal Rights and Animal Welfare are not interchangeable

Animal Welfare supports humane treatment and use of animals and believes that humans have a responsibility for their care. Animal Rights (AR) is a radical belief that attempts to elevate animals to equality with humans and calls for an end to all traditional uses of animals, such as use of animals for food or clothing.

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