Why My Humane Society Cats Implore You to Ignore Those Sad Puppy Humane Society Ads

Forgive me for sneaking this on what is supposed to be a financial website but I had to share this picture of my two Washington Humane Society kitties with you all and swear it's somewhat relevant.

Buck (left) was adopted at 2 months old right after I moved into my new DC condo, and Cash (right) was adopted about a week ago (Buck and Cash, get it?). I didn't mean to adopt two cats (bringing the total to 3 with old ass BooBoo in our mix, who I inherited after my mom died last year) but Buck was terrorizing the old girl and needed a playmate. Thanks to an Empty the Shelter event just before I wandered in for kitten number 2, Cash was really the only adoptable cat left at the NY Ave animal care facility, but just so happened to be the perfect addition to our mix. These two took to each other immediately and are inseparable. I mean absolutely inseparable, they don't even use the litter box without the other patrolling within inches. It's the ultimate cat bromance and I crack up every time I catch them prowling the house together. Right, crazy cat lady.

All this to say you can make a difference in the lives of animals who need love, affection and care. The staff at the Washington Humane Society are amazing and went out of their way to assure both new cats were brought into the right situation. I have never met a cat as well-socialized as Buck (he might be a puppy in disguise as he plays fetch, loves the car and hates most things fishy), and it is due to the hard work of WHS staff and volunteers that their animals are so well-adjusted for this cruel world of ours. I did not have to train him at all, and he is loyal, loving and mostly well-behaved. You know, for a kitten. Some things you just have to let go, like shredding up my cheap bonded leather chair. That's what I get for buying that cheap ass chair.

Who knows where these two started out (I believe Buck was found in an apartment complex with the rest of his litter somewhere in DC and Cash was surrendered due to a "landlord issue") but all that matters is we have each other.

Because if you can't trust your best friend to lick your ass, who can you trust?

If you are in DC, support WHS here. Give your time, your money or even your unused pet items like toys, blankets and food. Without the generosity of fellow Washingtonians, moments like the one above wouldn't be possible. The Washington Humane Society is supported almost entirely by private contributions, don't be fooled by those tear-inducing Humane Society of the United States ads with the Sarah McLachlan songs and sad-eyed puppies - almost NONE of the money donated to HSUS goes to shelters across the U.S. Lobbying does nothing to find animals like Buck and Cash loving forever homes, and local shelters need your money more than the fake blanket organization that is HSUS.

If you are not in Washington but still would like to help our shelter animals here have a comfortable life while they are waiting to meet their future owners, please visit the WHS Amazon wish list to gift goodies to animals in need.

I don't expect the government of DC to foot any of these bills since they haven't chipped in on the $5 million "water drinkability" project happening just down the street from my house, though the federal government kicked us down a few bucks for the cause (like the whole $5 million). Like anyone here actually drinks the water. And I don't expect the Humane Society of the US to help since it's more concerned with turning everyone vegan than it is with matching me - an adopter who can afford to keep her pets in this shitty ass economy - with an animal that needs a place to crash. That's a shame.

Shelters around the country have suffered increased number of animal drop-offs due to broke people not being able to care for their animals but I can't see that happening right now in DC. We have (warning: estimate) metric shit tons of money. It's everywhere. It reminds me of San Francisco circa 1999 with the dot-commers blowing shit up around town. Sure I've seen people dropping off animals as I'm picking mine up but it's a major metropolitan area with a lot of pet-unfriendly units, that's no shock. One potential landlord in NE wanted to charge me a $500 pet deposit. Really? For my one old ass cat that doesn't do anything? That's hostile.

Anyway, don't worry about these two, they are in good hands for the next 15 - 20 years. Trust me, spoiled rotten already. What other cats do you know who get raw bacon and chicken livers for dinner?

My landlord in SE allows me to have my cats, it makes me a much happier renter. Plus I'm forced to clean up all the time, it's a win-win.

Thanks, WHS.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Anonymous said...

They are lucky to have you.

Terry Ward said...

So your shameless use of your "sad-eyed" kitties in order to bash the HSUS is okay.

Why Terry, you aren't even comparing apples to apples.

My "sad-eyed" kitties' lives were saved through the work of the Washington Humane Society and thanks to the generosity of private donors who help fund their care at DC shelters.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society of the United States co-ops photos of abused shelter animals to pretend like it actually contributes to the care of animals like Buck and Cash.

I don't appreciate my babies being used to advance someone else's bullshit agenda.

If you don't care, you're welcome to give your money to HSUS. Just know that it isn't going to any of those sad-eyed animals.

Mark S said...

AG, it is bad all over. Out here in Vegas people leave their pets out in the fucking desert. I doubt they survive to the first night.

Another trick is to just drop the dog at one of the dog parks around town. We are sitting around the park, enjoying the night, chatting with our friends, and playing with our pups, and there is the sudden realization that one of the dogs is just hanging around, with NO OWNER! God it is so sad when the truck from Animal Control comes by to pick the poor pooch up.

Christ, if you can't keep your pet (and I understand that many folks out here are now on the street due to the housing meltdown) just take it to the damn animal shelter. All the nice things you said about the WHS apply equally to the Las VEgas Humane Society.

Word, Mark! At least if they have to die at the shelter it is done humanely as opposed to starving to death on the streets.

I wish I could take more in but I'm already in major crazy cat lady status with my three in our tiny ass condo.

The best I can do is to spread the word, support the WHS with my spare pennies and donate the toys and food we don't need.

I feel lucky to be in a position to offer these two a lifetime of love, but realize that not everyone with a heart is fortunate enough to also be able to feed their pets. That's heartbreaking.

Graybeard said...

Extra props for you, JDA - you've just jumped up in status by my opinion (worth exactly what you paid for it, I know). See, I have two rescue cats, too. And we lost another rescue shelter cat to an untreatable thymoma. We get to share life with the coolest cat I've ever met, a cat who acts so much like a little kid that it surprises me when he acts like a cat. A cat who comes up to me and taps me on the arm just to say "hi" - kind of a fist bump - and then walks away. One who acts like a little kid, and another who's "little miss ballerina".

The HSUS is actually just a fund-raising group that doesn't give a sh*t about helping animals. Like PETA, who euthanizes virtually all the pets who come into their shelter. All so they can push their weird agenda about "caring" for animals while not caring for them at all.

BADKarma! said...

Your description of your kittehs' bromance reminds me of my younger brother's 10-month-old puppy and his new, 3-month-old puppy's "sismance". Same thing. They've been inseparable (as in "joined at the hip) from the first second my brother brought the new puppy home.

Also, thank you so much for helping spread the message that the H$U$ is nothing more than an AR/Vegan PAC, and does as close to nothing to help actual animals as it can possibly manage.

W.C. Varones said...

Damn dirty vegans.

Renda Luvaas said...

1st time reader 1st time poster and you won me over to. I agree with your views of HSUS. I think PETA is another BS animal charity. Now from reading this I also found I really enjoy your writing style. I'll be reading more of you and I never followed politics or economics ...Thanks for bringing me into the world of adults at the tender age of 47 years old.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure people like me would have shared this a million times over if it weren't for the vulgarity listed inside. I wouldn't even suggest someone read it. There are plenty of other stories that get the same point across and are at the same time 'reader friendly'. You are a good writer and I look forward to some future postings... but I won't be reading another with such a poor choice of language.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sarah McLachlan is on the ASPCA commercial. They, along with the local shelters are reputable and actually helping the animals as opposed to the HSUS and PETA. That being said, enjoyed your article and it bless you for rescuing your two sweet babies!

Anonymous said...

I congratulate you on adding rescue kitties to your home but the Sarah McLaughlin commercials are usually ASPCA and they use the money to run their shelter and to fund their animal cruelty law enforcement. They were the first animal cruelty group in the US to actually be given law enforcement capabilities which influenced many other cities and states to do the same. They do a lot of good to stop cock fighting and dog fighting. They do a lot of good to help rescue animals and get them great vet care. They try to save animals that a lot of shelters would put down. I don't know about HSUS but the ASPCA who runs the sad puppy eyed Sarah McLaughlin commercials was one of the first animal rescue facilities in the US and does amazing work. I do agree that PETA is ridiculous though.

no one can say they are a crazy cat lady like me. I have 6 cats who are all very spoiled . all are rescued from various avenues but they are all healthy and happily lounging by their own pool everyday.

snowflake said...

Love it! I'm in kentucky and some of the best people I know are the volunteers I work with. Can't beat animal people. If you don't have money to donate theres always some way to help. Clean out your closets and donate some of those old blankets, towels, etc. I know at our shelters everything is greatly appreciated. Even giving of your time is always a help if just a hour a week. Animals love human attention and if you can't have one then this is how you can get your fix. Need exercise, dogs love to walk. Can't walk much? Cats love just to sit in someones lap and be petted. This helps to socialize them to be adopted. Time is just as valuable. Be creative! This is always a WIN WIN situation.

SarahBarnett said...

I work at the HSUS, and while I already sent an email in with my thoughts, I also wanted to post them here for readers.

Local shelters and rescues like WHS are wonderful, and deserve your support. If you can't support them financially, they often need volunteers and supplies as well.

As for the HSUS, we are different from local shelters, in that we focus on large scale, national issues. We are there to help all animals, and were formed in 1954 to address the issues that local humane societies and shelters cannot tackle. We work on nationwide reform, ending puppy mills, egregious wildlife abuses, the seal hunt, dogfighting - just to name a few of the campaigns we work on. We also are part of the Shelter Pet Project, which focuses entirely on promoting the adoption of shelter pets. We do focus on changing laws as well, because we want those who commit cruelty to animals to be held responsible.

To highlight a recent example of how we help pet owners, I'd ask you check out our Building Humane Communities program. In Atlanta, Georgia, we had one of our Building Humane Communities clinics, where about 300 people and their pets came, 1200lb of pet food was distributed, 250 free rabies vaccines were given, 125 sets of nails trimmed, and 45 people signed up for free training as well. About 71% of the animals met at the event weren't fixed, so thanks to a donor, we were able to arrange with one of our spay/neuter partners for nearly half of those pets to be sterilized in the future.

Regarding our commercials (which don't have Sarah McLaughlin in them), all the footage and photos used is ours. They are animals we rescued, cases and investigations that we worked on.

I'd encourage folks to learn more about our work, and what we do (www.humanesociety.org/about). Additionally, take a minute to check out the work of rescues and shelters in your area. We're not affiliated, but that doesn't mean we don't support the important work that they do in many different ways.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email me (sbarnett@humanesociety.org).

Anonymous said...

Isn't that sweet? Sarah Burnett thinks it's just hunky dory for the HSUS to misrepresent themselves in their commercials and pretend the money you send will actually HELP shelter animals. It doesn't. It won't. Less than 1% of their millions in assets goes to actually help pets.

Just like Katrina...they swooped in and 'rescued' hundreds of pets and raised over $30 million to help those pets. Then they DUMPED the pets on local underfunded and overwhelmed high kill shelters and left with all the money.

Yeah, your organization rocks Sarah. Oh and that is a sarcasm font, in case you missed it. :)

Anonymous said...

Sarah Barnett:

"Building Humane Communities" relied on a special donor for Atlanta spay neuter assistance?? HSUS can't use its tax-free $100+ million budget to pick up the tab? Unbelievable. What utter contempt you have for the donors and the animals you rip off and exploit to the point of abuse.

Your TV ads feature animals rescued mainly by other organizations - from Katrina pets to the 500 fighting pitbulls rescued by the Humane Society of Missouri, to puppy mill raids and hoarding cases your organization has a limited role in. HSUS volunteers lend a hand sometimes, while paid staff work the cameras for maximum fundraising potential. If you take the photos, and run the TV ads, you must be the rescuers, right?

The Shelter Pet Project, funded by the Ad Council and Maddie's Fund, is mediocre in its content and ineffective as well. But it does make it sound like the HSUS saves shelter pets.

The facts about where Humane Society donations really go - and do not go - are in the HSUS tax returns, available online. No showcase presentation in Atlanta or elsewhere, no press release and no HSUS-scripted, Sarah Barnett-posted drivel can change the shameful, ugly reality.

According to Charity Navigator, HSUS is also some $20 million in the hole.

I can just see their lobbyists prowling the Hill side-by-side with lobbyists from the industrialized food mafia, they probably meet at DC bars after a long day of lobbying for a cold brew. It doesn't matter what you believe, all that matters is how big your check is.

Here is the bottom line: the HSUS should be clearer in their marketing materials (read: ads) about what it is they do. Instead of trying to dupe meat-eating animal lovers like myself (my cats love bacon too, it isn't a crime) into handing over money thinking we're helping helpless little shelter puppies, they should clearly state their objective, their work and their goals. It's not hard. I'm not saying they can't do whatever it is they do, I'm just saying they need to get real with people about what that is.

Let them brawl it out with Cargill and Smithfield in public, no need to be sneaky about it. I bet if more people knew what HSUS actually does on that front, they'd be more willing to donate. I know I don't like the idea of baby pigs stacked on top of each other (which is why despite loving bacon we make it a treat and not a regular staple here at the Secret Lair).

In fact, if HSUS stops running deceptive ads, I would donate.

I know there are A LOT of people out there who are against industrialized meat, puppy mills, etc. So (and this is for you, Sarah, I'll follow up with an email when I have time), if I were the HSUS, I would put that "mission" at the forefront so people passionate about those issues can help. But it's so much easier to bilk sucker animal lovers (many of whom, like me, are local shelter adopters) into thinking their money is going to help those animals.

Oh and to Renda, THANK YOU and welcome aboard. A long time ago someone somehow turned me on to economics and politics (I NEVER thought I would EVER care about this stuff) so it's the least I can do to pass it on. I hope you stay, enjoy a laugh and maybe learn something.

To Anon at 11:05a, I'm sorry you don't find the language at all appealing but let me explain something... what I write about it boring. REALLY BORING. The Fed is boring and money is boring and Lord knows accounting is boring. But I also feel like I have a duty here to get the word out and take intentionally complicated issues and break them down to their most simple, base reality. I found very early on that wrapping it up with a candid, sometimes vulgar tone actually makes it appealing to those who wouldn't otherwise care about what it is I'm writing about. Many of my regular readers couldn't care less about the WSJ, or Bloomberg or any other mainstream financial media rag, but they keep coming here because they are able to laugh at such dire, depressing circumstances. And for me, being able to offer that to people is worth more than the risk that I might offend a few people with my F-bombs. I appreciate you taking the time to share your feelings on the language I choose to use and I assure you I don't make it a habit of dropping the F-word when I'm meeting with senators on the Hill (you'd be surprised how many people think I actually talk like this ALL the time). I hope you won't let that keep you from coming back to hear more about what the Fed is up to, whether or not you decide to share any of it with people you know is up to you. That's the great thing about this country of ours... I can be a potty mouth, you can be offended by it, and somehow we can still gain something from each other by our brief interaction in the big wide abyss that is the Internet.

It's beautiful. Absolutely fucking beautiful. Ooops, sorry, let another slip.

Anonymous said...

Pay no attention to Terry Ward, a known shill for the HSUS who thinks she is smarter than the average person John Doppler Schiff will soon appear.. he and Terry are like your two cats..only not as cute but intertwined when it comes to HSUS"defense". At least you own yur cats and are "using them" for good.. HSUS cares nothing for animals. animals are a ruse that they use to make people think they really care about kitties and puppies.. when what they really care about is control, power and money. It does not matter who sings the sad songs they still do not help shelter pets
Damn Dirty Filthy Vegns.. and that is too good for them.. LOL Friends Don't Let Friends Donate to the HSUS

Anonymous said...

does not really matter who is singing for whom ASPCA and HSUS have many crossover employees. They are closely aligned here in CA and lobby together all of the time..

Excellent, Excellent Post. Keep throwing a few curve balls in there. If left up to the HSUS and other orgs Like peta, household pets will become extinct.

Gee, did you know Wayne(head S**T) at HSUS doesn't even like animals?

Anonymous said...

HSUS's business model:

Let's not and say we did.