What do you do?

Our goal is to help improve the financial situation of thousands of struggling pet shelters across the country. We’re doing that by helping people realize if you really want to make a difference with charitable giving for pets, it makes sense to give locally where the money is truly needed.

While a lot of people care about helpless animals and a lot of people are giving, the issue is that their money isn’t getting where they probably think its going. Here’s the glitch: the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is using their money for a lot of things besides helping pets struggling in underfunded shelters. Working with the shelter community and the veterinary profession, we hope to improve that situation.

We’re also working with corporations, foundations and other institutions to show them ways they can help at the local level as well.

Many local pet shelters are locked in a day-to-day struggle just to make ends meet. They simply don’t have the time, the people, or the ability to speak out and get noticed. So we’re trying to be their advocates and give them more voice and more presence.

Who are you guys?

We’re a group of people who love animals and are working to improve a bad situation. Diana Culp is an educator, veterinary technician and shelter professional who formerly served as director of education for the Humane Society of the United States.

Who funds you?

The Humane Society for Shelter Pets is funded by a group of foundations, corporations and individuals who understand the critical financial circumstances facing shelters across the country. They believe that encouraging the millions of people who care about animals to donate locally can go a long way toward solving a difficult problem, one that needlessly contributes to animal suffering.

Are you against the Humane Society of the United States?

We’re not against HSUS. We’re for any organization that stands up for the standards and ideals of true animal welfare. But let’s be honest, HSUS is trying to change the world in a lot of different ways. They’ve got their own ideas about what’s right and wrong regarding the status quo of animals in society. That goes for farming and food, family pets and wild animals too. At the end of the day, we think our country’s policies and laws should reflect the will of an informed public, not just an activist agenda.

The problem is that many people think HSUS is working hard to improve the shelter situation in communities across the country, but frankly, they’re not. People respond to their poignant and emotional fundraising appeals, but the money isn’t going where donors think it’s going. In fact, just a penny of every dollar HSUS raises actually goes to pet shelters.

Fundamentally, donors’ money isn’t getting where it’s really needed. It can’t buy the food and medicine shelter animals need and it can’t pay the electric bill. And the thing is, conditions are getting worse, not better. Government budgets are getting squeezed more every day, and that’s going to mean less support from localities for pet shelters.