Sunday, May 8, 2011


IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!! How many times have I heard someone speak of making a donation, only to find out it was not to whom they thought they were making it. The majority of people think that any SPCA or Humane Society falls under a national organization and their donations will filter down to their local one. Doesn't happen that way. The terms SPCA and Humane Society are genetic terms that anyone can use. You can be the biggest animal abuser ever and still call yourself an SPCA or Humane Society. So hopefully this asking for the intervention of the Attorney General will wake people up to where their donations are going.

By Erica Gaudet Hughes, Executive Director, State Humane Association of California           The State Humane Association of California, on May 3, 2011, filed a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General against the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), alleging unfair and deceptive fundraising practices which harm local humane societies and SPCAs.  The complaint alleges that ASPCA capitalizes on and intentionally reinforces the widely held, mistaken belief that it is a parent or umbrella organization to the thousands of humane societies and SPCAs across the country.

In reality, the ASPCA operates only one animal shelter and that shelter is in New York City. While it does fund projects in California, such expenditure is insignificant in comparison to the amount of money the organization raises in this state. For example, according to the ASPCA, it received $116.5 million in revenue in 2009. However, in 2010, California received only a total of only $352,100 from the ASPCA. That is only .03% of the ASPCA income, while California represents 13% of the national economy and undoubtedly donates proportionately to the ASPCA, especially based upon the targeted ASPCA solicitations in this state.

Most of us are familiar with the ASPCA’s commercials featuring Grammy-award-winning musician, singer, and songwriter Sarah McLachlan and comedian Dan Aykroyd. The commercials feature heartbreaking images of abused and neglected animals as a backdrop to their compelling plea for donations.  However, the commercials do not reveal that the ASPCA is not directly affiliated with any of the thousands of humane societies and SPCAs across the country.

Since such aggressive fundraising by the  ASPCA in Califiornia began several years ago, humane societies and SPCAs throughout the country have suffered. Erica Gaudet Hughes, Executive Director of the State Humane Association of California, explained, “Our member humane societies and SPCAs frequently report hearing from people who gave to the ASPCA believing they were giving to their local shelter. We believe they are missing out on funds that were intended for them and which they need badly to care for the thousands of local homeless, sick and injured animals in their care.”

The State Humane Association of California does not take issue with the work done by the ASPCA and has been involved in cooperative efforts with them. SHAC simply wants the ASPCA to stop capitalizing on and reinforcing public confusion regarding its relationship to local SPCAs and humane societies.
“Our member SPCAs and humane societies do not wish to stop the ASPCA from fulfilling its mission.  They just want the public to understand that when they give to the ASPCA, local SPCAs and humane societies do not receive a direct or significant benefit for local animals in need.”


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this does sound like another of the Berman-connected breeder schemes to attack organizations that lobby for better animal laws, the REAL issue breeders and animal profiteers like AKC and their puppy mills and factory farmers have with the big humane groups. Breeders and profiteers want no laws so they can torture for profit and skip out on taxes.

Who is behind this "state humane association of califonia?"

I don't agree with everything out of ASPCA but they do lobby for better humane laws, which are needed or the animal torturers like the AKC puppy mills and dog fighters can torture and steal freely with no regulations.

I am suspicious. This sounds like a sleazy Rick Berman breeder front group of puppy mill breeders, dog fighters, and that population (pretending to be a "humane" group just like NAIA used to pretend to do) trying to attack groups that do make some big, positive changes for animals. Just like the sleazy breeders (tax cheats like no other) making their yearly fake IRS complaints about big humane groups that are succeeding at getting better laws passed.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, that was my first thought but then I know this association and it would be hard to imagine them falling for Berman. Course it has been awhile and people change so it could very well be so.

However, I have always felt that it was deceptive. People do think that all SPCAs and Humane Societies fall under a national umbrella. I've heard it too many times and when I explain, they usually get a little upset.

I too don't agree with everything out of the ASPCA, they are a big disappointment to me these days. They do good work but they are also doing some bad work. I just hope that the good work is always more than the bad. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Honesty, Erica Gaudet Hughes is a No Kill nutjob. I also find an Erica Hughes as an AKC breeder.

She appears to be pulling or promoting this sleazy lawsuit against the ASPCA with a certain Ken White of Peninsula Humane Society.

They are the ones who sold that vicious pit bull that killed a kid!

if you look at Erica's twitters, there is more of the usual "pit bulls are persecuted by the media" crap because she doesn't care that she and her friends are getting people and OTHER PETS killed and hurt, and that pit bulls are being sold to people who can't handle them and abuse them too, thus hurting the pit bulls too.

These scumbags are attacking ASPCA because ASPCA pushes for better humane laws for animals, which the breeders and puppy millers don't want. And people like Peninsula Humane society (like Best Friends) want to do nothing but bad for animals, but try to move in on getting donation money.

the lawsuit is just an extortion attempt and more people hooked up with the Rick Berman No Kill faker breeders to try to hurt the big groups that actually get some big good things done for animals while Peninsula Humane Society is screwing over pit bulls and other animals and people too

Erica Gaudet Smith and her fake humane organization should be the ones getting sued for colluding with Rick Berman and the AKC and being dishonest about who they represent.

HonestyHelps said...

I bow to you Anon, I didn't do my job so thanks.

I was so happy to see this brought to light because for years I felt there was deception with the public's perception of SPCAs and HSs. Like I said, people change, board members change, and it's been awhile since I had contact with them. I apologize for overlooking my research obligation.

HonestyHelps said...

AND, I will check on all this info, Anon. If you have links, please send them.

Anonymous said...

I also have a feeling that Peninsula Humane Society is trying to distract people away from their nasty problems by trying to smear other groups.

After what Peninsula did, they should have had the whole management fired and replaced, because they sure aren't helping pit bulls or animals.

But instead they just shill for more $$$$

This seems to be an Erica Gaudet Hughes and White of Peninsula scam. These kinds of people will smear anyone for the $$$$$, even get involved with AKC puppy millers.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

This is all a Rick Berman ploy, right from his recent propaganda attack on other successful humane groups that get better laws passed, the dread of Berman's AKc puppy millers and dog fighters.

Berman offers his propaganda ploy to the small timers like this so they can cash in. They don't care one bit for the animals! This is an extortion scam!! Notice how the whole emphasis in this scam "lawsuit" is "donations."

They want the freaking cash so they can warehouse some more, get the rescue groups going broke actually helping the animals, and management can increase their salaries and perks.A la Best Friends!

When did Peninsula ever get anti-puppy mill laws passed? They do very little but warehouse and sell animals. And badly at that!

HonestyHelps said...

And it just keeps growing. BTW Anon, if you get a chance to go to this link:

I have the feeling you might have some kind words for Best Fiends as well.

Anonymous said...

Ken White of Peninsula should give up his salary and perks to the rescue groups that bail his butt out so he can take credit for what they do, and fundraise off their hard labor, instead of trying to shake down ASPCA to get more for himself and promote himself. I hope the rescue groups aren't falling for his self-promoting scam.

It has so stopped being about what is best for the animals, and has become a big Best Friends game of "lets make as much $$$ as we can"

Donating to Peninsula to let some egotistical management grandstand and try to extort more $$ through extortion and smear instead of pay for spays and neuters. Money badly spent. They don't deserve a dime with this creep pulling stunts like this Best Friends style. The board of directors needs to clean the place up.

HonestyHelps said...

Wasn't it a Peninsula Humane that had a pit bull they adopted out to attack? It may have been one on the East Coast, seems like I checked on that before. We'll do some research and run this down. Man, the shit just keeps getting deeper.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, just beginning to look into this and I have to say, so far, looks like you may be wrong. Can you send the links you got your info from?

Steve J. said...

Anonymous, your posts are pure drivel that have no basis in fact. Penninsula is a respectable organization that I contribute to; it is in no way associated with the parties you claim. If you want to express disagreement with the complaint that was filed, fine, but that doesn't give you the right to make things up. Shame on you.

Steve J. said...

And I should add the complaint in question was filed by the Northern California "Penninsula" organization. The pitbull incident came from the Virginia "Penninsula" organization, 3,000 miles away. In his/her haste to libel an organization he knows nothing about, our Anonymous Einstein apparently became confused. But it's reassuring to know his grasp of geography is consistent with his grasp of everything else.

HonestyHelps said...

Steve, appreciate your feedback. I spent yesterday researching and I have to say to Anon, I didn't find anything to back up those accusations. I saw one article that talks about the high salary of Ken White. San Mateo is not a cheap place to live and although the salary seems high to people outside of California, it's not high considering the cost of living in that area.

Although it appears to have Berman written all over it, Berman usually uses the solicting of donations from disaster areas as his accusations. This isn't quite the same.

I have to agree with this complaint actually. I think all humane societies and SPCAs should have disclaimers on their ads, etc. to the fact that they are not related. I think people need to know who they are donating too. We all need to donate to both groups, locally and nationally. They do different jobs and we need both of them.

So far, I will have to say that Anon's comments have no merit unless Anon wants to send the links that convinced him/her.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, I have a little more info for you.

This organization has a board of directors and I was looking at that today. SHAC represents agencies that are "no kill" and "kill". Looking at the board, I can see where you get some of your accusations but that doesn't mean it applies to Erica. She follows the orders of the board. From all I can see, she is a friend to our type of thinking, not an enemy. But she also has to play the political game of a non profit.

I'm thinking of taking your comments down because I haven't received any links from you to support what you are saying about two individuals.