Indiana lawmakers seek HSUS investigation

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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INDIANAPOLIS – Five Indiana state legislators have asked the state’s attorney general to open an investigation into The Humane Society of the United States.

In a letter to Attorney General Greg Zoeller, the lawmakers urged Zoeller to issue a consumer alert regarding fundraising efforts by HSUS. The lawmakers contend there is a “misconception between HSUS and local humane societies.”

“As you likely know, the HSUS raises money from Hoosiers with advertisements full of poor-looking dogs and cats, to intentionally leave viewers with the belief that the donations they seek will be used to help such poor little creatures,” the lawmakers wrote. “What you might not know is that of the hundreds of millions of dollars unwitting donors send to HSUS, with the intent of aiding these animals, less than 1 percent will make it to the local humane societies and shelters that provide for the direct welfare of animals.”

The letter went on to mention that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a consumer alert about the “common confusion between HSUS and local animal groups” while launching an investigation into the group’s fundraising practices. Pruitt has been investigating the animal welfare organization since 2014. In January, HSUS responded to the investigation with a lawsuit against Pruitt. The group charged that Pruitt was on a “politically-motivated fishing expedition” and improperly seeking access to privileged documents from the organization.

“Beginning in early 2014, Attorney General Pruitt called into question the reputation and fundraising practices of The HSUS through official government channels, in interviews, and on social media,” HSUS said in a statement at the time. “Yet based on communications with The HSUS and its attorneys, Pruitt has not received a single complaint about deceptive fundraising practices from any HSUS supporter.”

Lawmakers who signed the letter include Indiana Sens. Susan Glick; Brent Steele, Jean Leising; Mark Messmer, Carlin Yoder; and Jim Tomes.
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