HSUS Roiled by Pacelle Accusations, Resignations

Feb 5, 2018

If you’ve been reading The Outdoor Wire very long, you know I’m no fan of the so-called Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It’s one of those false-flagged organizations that spends the majority of its millions of dollars in annual donations not on protecting and saving animals, but pushing animal rights causes and trying its best to demonize hunters, anglers, farmers and anyone else who doesn’t accept their position that animals should hold the same rights as humans.

For more than a decade, the “face” of the HSUS has been Wayne Pacelle. He’s been extremely effective in not only advancing their agenda, but representing them as something other than a fundraising machine that doled millions out to radical animal rights groups, but spend pocket change on animal shelters, preferring instead to destroy the animals that unfortunately found themselves under their care.

Now, HSUS is reeling under a week of unwanted publicity - about the man who’s been their very visible president and CEO. 

On Thursday, after what the HSUS Board called an “extensive investigation” into the allegations against Pacelle, the board voted to retain him- and closed the investigation. 

In response, seven members of the board resigned.

It seems that despite the “extensive investigation” proving nothing, senior women in the organization stood by their statements that they’d warned Pacelle- repeatedly- about his “behavior toward subordinates, donors and volunteers” - saying his behavior damaged the group’s work.

On Friday, Pacelle, despite having denied everything, including having been warned about his conduct, tendered his resignation, effective immediately.

In his place Kitty Block, HSUS International’s president, was named acting president.

Pacelle’s not the only HSUS senior executive to resign under a cloud. Last month, Paul Shapiro, another senior executive left after allegations of sexual harrassment.

Over the weekend it was reported by the New York Times that another board member, Erika Brunson, had resigned. Her resignation, however, came after she apparently tried to downplay the significance of the allegations.

As you can imagine, there are no tears being shed for Pacelle in the agriculture or restaurant industry. Over the past 10 years, he’s led HSUS’s efforts that successfully pressured food and restaurant companies to change animal-care practices, especially in the areas of chicken and pork production. 

There’s been plenty of outdoor industry chatter over the HSUS’s predicament this weekend as well. In fact, many who dislike the organization and its methods have said it may be the single event that finally opens people’s eyes to the truth about the group.

Our friend and colleague Bill Karr of Western Outdoor News (https://www.wonews.com) penned a great piece on the Pacelle saga that contains a comment from Humane Watch that pretty much summarizes the whole situation:

“We’ve been educating people for years about the crookedness of HSUS and Pacelle, from Pacelle’s use of deceptive fundraising tactics to the organization paying an $11 million racketeering/bribery settlement to the organization’s high overhead to its giving only 1% of the money it raises to pet shelters,” read a news release from Humane Watch. “But a ‘Humane Society’ whose CEO preys on women and whose board looks the other way is making it crystal clear that they don’t value humans—much less the animals they use to raise money from caring Americans.” 

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

--Jim Shepherd