Dave Martin, Associated Press
Inga Gibson, right, of Honolulu, and Mindy Gilbert, center, of Jasper, Ala., care for dogs and cats found in the Alberta City community of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday, May 13, 2011. Teams from the Humane Society of the United States searched for stray animals and lost pets amid the rubble left by April 2011 tornadoes.

I'm writing to clarify for readers that the Humane Society of the United States, or HSUS, recently mentioned in a Deseret News story, is not to be confused with local humane societies or pet shelters in Utah. According to recent public polling, 71 percent of Americans mistakenly think HSUS is an umbrella group for pet shelters ("Fewer Americans have pets, but dogs still lead the pack," Aug. 10). However, HSUS doesn't run a single pet shelter and gives just 1 percent of the money it raises to shelters — far less than what it shovels into its own pension plan.

Comment on this story

According to the charity watchdog American Institute of Philanthropy, the Humane Society of the U.S. spends as little as half of its budget on actual programs while spending up to 48 cents to raise every dollar — practices that earn HSUS a "D" grade. To get the most bang for your buck in caring for animals, donate to your local humane society or pet shelter, which is unaffiliated with HSUS. These groups may not have the same marketing budget to run tear-jerking TV ads, but that's because they're too busy using resources to care for animals.

Rick Berman

Executive director for the Center of Consumer Freedom,

Washington, D.C.