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HSUS reaches for soft drink cash

The Humane Society of the United States is taking advantage of social media to raise money. The animal rights organization leads in polling on the online Pepsi Refresh Project. The project solicits ideas that are voted on by Facebook users and the top 32 vote getters each month receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $250 thousand.

“Why shouldn’t HSUS pony up to the trough; that’s really what they’re good at is raising money,” says David Martosko, with the Center for Consumer Freedom, which applies pressure to HSUS through its HumaneWatch.org website. Martosko contends that less than one percent of the funds raised by HSUS are used to shelter animals.

“I think it’s wonderful that we live in a country where people want to help animals, but I think it’s disgusting when activist groups redirect that money in a way that doesn’t reflect the donor’s intent,” says Martosko.

HSUS is an effective fund raiser. The group solicits donations using among other methods, two-minute television spots featuring pictures of seemingly suffering animals. The message the organization conveys is that donations can help these animals. Some of the money raised is used to promote passage of ballot initiatives that affect animal agriculture, and in the case of Missouri this past election cycle, dog breeders.

Martosko believes the last has not yet been heard from HSUS on Missouri’s Proposition B, which narrowly-passed. The measure limits to 50 the number of dogs a breeder can maintain.

“Their goal is to start with that 50-dog limit and then ratchet it down, and ratchet it down, and ratchet it down again until nobody can breed dogs. That’s what they want,” says Martosko. “And if you don’t care about that that’s fine, but now delete dogs and insert cows. Now do you care about it?”

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