The Humane Society of the United States is back at their begging, running commercials with their president speaking oh-so-sincerely about how horrible the animals in the country have it and asking for money. With a hitch in his voice.
Kudos for his acting, actually.
No Kudos for his organization. If you're seeing these commercials and are tempted by the admittedly haunting images to send the organization money, DON'T.
HSUS collects a ton of money, yes. They own shelters, yes.
Here's the important bit though- 75% of donations go to paying salaries within the organization, and those shelters kill most of the animals that walk through their doors, to make room for "more adoptable" animals.
So ignore the over-the-top images (they dug up footage of someone CLUBBING A SEAL!) and the soft-voiced pleading from the president of the organization.
If you want to help unfortunate furry friends, consider the ASPCA, because at least they actually make the attempt to rehabilitate the animals. Granted, some dogs are euthanized when they show behavioral problems such as food aggression or animal aggression, but an effort is made to modify that behavior before the dog is given up on.
Not a fan of the ASPCA? Do some research and find a horse rescue near you. Then do some research on that facility and the people who run it. A little more work in this one as there is no country-wide organization to throw money at, yes, but these days good horse rescues are overwhelmed.
Since the ban of horse slaughter in the country more horses than ever are being neglected, starved, turned loose to fend for themselves, or abused. That's not artfully phrased begging, just the facts.
But please, if you do decide to donate to a horse rescue, do your research.
Because there are those out there who pretend to be a rescue, rather than actually being one. I know one place personally that claims to be a horse rescue but refuses to take any horse that cannot be "re-purposed." Then they charge a decent adoption fee, and the people who own it live quite well.
This is not the sort of place that needs your donations.
So talk to the boss at any place that you're thinking of donating to. Ask questions: What sort of horses do you take? What kind of rehabilitation do you do? What will my money go towards? Can I purchase and donate vet supplies instead? What vet supplies would you suggest I donate?
If they refuse donation of vet supplies, ask them why. If the answer is anything other than "We're very picky about what we use" or "we have an arrangement with a veterinarian" they're probably either not accepting horses that need extra care or they're not GIVING the extra care... also, if they say yes but only ask for wormers and vaccinations, find out WHY they don't accept donations of supplies like antibiotics or anti-inflammatories.
Ask them if there are any other items that you could donate in lieu of money. Places that refuse donations of blankets or leg wraps for any reason other than "we have too many" are a little suspect, to me. If they're spending the money on the care of the animals they should be perfectly happy to receive the items to care for the animals as well.
These points (with minor alterations depending on what kind of animal) can be applied to any animal rescue organization.
And HSUS doesn't even come close.