Baxter Black: Letter to HSUS supporter |

Baxter Black: Letter to HSUS supporter

Dear Mr. Black,

I’ve enjoyed your columns but I disagree with you about animal rights activists and the ACLU. I find it hard to find much fault with an organization that dedicates itself to ethical treatment of animals and one who protects our civil rights. I wish you the best.


My criticism of the Humane Society of the United States has grown as I have watched them over the last dozen years. I innocently thought they were a generous provider of care for abused or abandoned animals. You would think that was the case if you believed their ads showing lonely, orphaned dogs and cats. But I have watched local humane societies beg for assistance while regularly euthanizing millions of unwanted pets. Since the cessation of horse slaughter plants I have watched the abuse and abandonment of the once valiant species reduced to the status of road kill in our country. I hear the pleas of horse rescue people for more money because the travesty continues.

I look at feedlots full of unwanted, unadoptable wild horses. The government is paying land owners just to keep them fed.

Then I look at the richest animal rights group the world has seen, and their 2010 tax report shows their total revenue at $148,700,000. Their declared contribution to “pet-shelter grants” according to the tax form is $528,676. That calculates out to 0.418 percent of their budget.

“You mean,” asked David, “less than one-half of one percent of their budget actually goes to the care, housing, feeding and eventual euthanizing of unwanted pets? Where does the other 99.5 percent of their donations go?”

Other than salaries and benefits, which amounts to 25 percent of their budget, fund raising that eats up 37 percent and then amassing $14,000,000 in their pension plan, they spend millions and millions to lobby politicians and fund endless litigations to achieve their fuzzy goal. That would buy a lot of cat food and horse hay.

In fact, I think the HSUS is just a big lumbering parasite that keeps turning up ways to keep their lawyers busy and their pensions safe. I find it necessary to switch the channel when I see them using injured, yearning pets to stuff their pockets. will give you my side of the story. Watch HSUS commercials for their side. Knowing the facts, you decide.

As for the ACLU, years ago I, too, thought them to be a legitimate unbiased defender of the Constitution. Today it has become just another lobby group for special interests.

I occasionally speak to the officers of these extremist special interest groups. We have civil conversations. As a given I have concluded that to try and find some middle ground one must exclude economic impact and common sense.

I appreciate zealots, shucksters and shysters; they can be entertaining. But they can create havoc in their wake, and you can bet they won’t lift a finger or spend a pence to help you clean it up.