Larry Martino

Weekdays 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Photo of a sad-looking black-haired dog staring out through the wires of a kennel or animal shelter cage.

Are you ever up late at night watching commercial television? It seems that you’ll always catch at least one of those heart-wrenching animal cruelty commercials. With this in mind, a new report shows that very little of your donation filters down to the local level. In fact, Nevada’s animal shelters are being virtually ignored.

The Charitable Organizations That Collect Money For Animal Shelters

A new report conducted by the Center For Environment and Welfare reveals some disturbing details. Basically, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are considered our nation’s top pet-care charities. These two organizations plead for donations with those tear-jerking commercials. Whenever I see one of those ads that show a mistreated animal, it really gets to me.

Certainly, I may be naïve, but I always assume that the money donated to these two organizations will trickle down to local animal shelters throughout the nation. After all, those TV ads claim that donations will go directly to help mistreated animals. But how much of that money actually makes it to the local level?

The Shocking Facts About Where Your Money Goes

In the case of The Humane Society and the ASPCA, not much. Only 1-2% of their huge budgets make it to local animal shelters. For example, according to this report, the HSUS had a 2021 operating budget of $138 million dollars. That year, they collected revenue of $260 million dollars. That’s a pretty good haul. However, only $1.6 million dollars made it to local shelters in the form of grants.

Furthermore, the numbers for the ASPCA don’t look much better. In 2021, they raked in $390 million dollars in donations. They spent $302 million of that cash. Unfortunately, only $5.5 million dollars trickled down to local animal shelters. That’s only 2% of the ASPCA’s budget that year.

So, where does all that money go? In reality, according to the Center For Environment and Welfare, a huge chunk goes to fundraising, advertising and self-promotion. That’s right, we’re talking about those heart-wrenching TV ads that make you feel guilty unless you donate. All those pleas for donations you get in the mail cost money too. Executive compensation also takes up a large portion of the annual budget. Additionally, a good deal of the cash is stashed in offshore accounts or targeted for investments.

How Much Of The Money Goes To Nevada’s Animal Shelters?

In short, none. Zero. Zip. Nada. Per this report, the HSUS granted money to shelters in only 18 of the 50 states. Nevada is one of the 32 states which did not receive a grant in 2021. Moreover, the ASPCA donated money to animal shelters in 29 states. Once again, Nevada was one of the 21 states which did not receive a grant that year.

If you’re as shocked as I am about these numbers, you’re not alone. The report goes on to say that 8 out of 10 Americans incorrectly believe that the HSUS and the ASPCA represent the thousands of local pet shelters across the nation. The simple fact is, they don’t.

If you’d like your donation to go directly to a local Nevada SPCA animal shelter, you can click here. If you’d like to support the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society, donate online by clicking here.

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