Friday, February 12, 2010

Local Shelters Distancing Themselves From HSUS

Shelter drops ‘Humane’ link
By Richard Reeder
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Cody, WY

In an effort to put donors at ease, the Humane Society of Park County has changed the name under which it does business.

The animal shelter on the Greybull Highway is now the Park County Animal Shelter.

Board president Leigh Dvariskish said unhappiness with the Humane Society of the United States led to the change.

The HSUS political agenda has created grief for us locally,” she said. “We’ve tried to get the message out that we don’t receive funding and aren’t connected to them, but it hasn’t worked.”

Dvariskish said the HSUS has a multimillion-dollar budget but operates no shelters. All their funding is directed at lobbying for the issues they support.

“Their intention is to push their political ideas, and some of them aren’t popular here locally,” Dvariskish said. “They lobby against hunting and other ag issues, even sometimes pets, and that makes people paranoid about where their money is going.”

Dvariskish said the board wants people to know their donations only benefit the local shelter.She hopes the name change clarifies the Park County Animal Shelter’s mission, which is to “take care of our county and our pets.”

“We have just a few people angered about the change because they believe if we have some sort of disaster, we’ll want the help of the HSUS,” Dvariskish said. “But if we have a disaster, it will be the people of Park County who will take care of us, not some big group.”

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If the Humane Society of the United States is all of the things they claim to be, then it seems odd that local shelters have to abandon the “humane” name in an attempt to distance themselves. It’s unfortunate that while our the HSUS is out gathering donations in the name of helping pets, our local shelters that actually do the work are losing out. The HSUS has shown that it will do whatever it takes to keep the money coming in, even when it’s at the expense of our hometown shelters. If you really want to help abandoned pets, let everyone know they shouldn’t donate to HSUS.

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