New Report: US Pet Shelters Suffering, Shortchanged by ASPCA and HSUS

Analysis of 2022 tax documents shows pet shelters in 17 states received no reported financial grants from either ASPCA or HSUS

Washington, DC – The Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) released a new report exposing the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for failing to support local pet shelters. 

A follow-up to CEW’s prior analysis of 2021 tax returns, a review of the organization’s 2022 returns found that despite an increased budget, the ASPCA reported zero financial grants to shelters in 23 states on their IRS tax documents. The Humane Society of the United States also failed to financially support shelters in 32 states and Washington, DC in 2022. 

In fact, the ASPCA and HSUS only spent 2% and 1% of their respective budgets on financial grants to pet shelters in 2022. 

While the ASPCA and HSUS sit on a combined revenue of over $530 million, pet shelters across the US are facing unprecedented financial hardship. According to recent polling: 

  • 74% of surveyed shelters and rescues feel as though their current funding levels are inadequate 
  • 76% believe donors are confused by the branding of the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA 
  • 64% believe this confusion has led to fewer donations
  • 98% reported not receiving assistance from either the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA

Where, then, are these organizations directing the millions they receive in donations? To the surprise of many donors, publicly available tax returns show that in 2022: 

  • ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker received $1.1M in compensation 
  • ASPCA spent $142.7M on fundraising and $6.7M on travel 
  • HSUS spent $5.4M in executive compensation 
  • HSUS paid their CEO $608,129 and spent $4.2M on travel 

CEW Executive Director Jack Hubbard had this to say about the findings: 

“In 2022, the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States raised over $530M in revenue thanks to ads featuring the plight of pets in need. But shelter pets in dozens of states did not benefit from these donations, thanks to the failure of these national groups to donate to local pet shelters. Donors who want to support local shelters deserve to know the truth – the ASPCA and HSUS are sitting on hundreds of millions in investments while paying their executives sky-high salaries. Shelter pets deserve better.” 

The full report and methodology are available here. All findings are based on 2022 publicly available tax returns and 2022 audited financial statements of both groups.