Press Release

Consumer Group: “Genesis Award” Celebrity Presenters Should Boycott HSUS

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is challenging fifteen celebrities to withdraw their planned participation in the 24th Annual Genesis Awards, presented by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Although HSUS saturates cable TV with advertisements suggesting a pet-rescue-focused agenda, tax documents obtained by CCF tell a different story. HSUS’s own IRS filings indicate that in 2008, it shared less than one-half of one percent of its budget with the hands-on dog and cat shelters that perform the thankless task of sheltering unwanted pets.

“Hollywood can do a lot better than cozying up to HSUS,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. “Even the California Lottery shares 34 cents of every dollar with public schools. But to HSUS, dogs and cats in shelters are only worth half of a penny.”

In 2008, the Humane Society of the United States put over $2.5 million of its donors’ money into lavish executive pensions-more than five times the $452,371 it donated to hands-on pet shelters and rescue organizations. HSUS spends most of the public’s contributions on lobbyists, lawyers, six-figure salaries, and costly fundraising operations. And despite an annual budget approaching $100 million, HSUS doesn’t operate a single pet shelter anywhere.

Stars slated to be on-stage presenters at the March 20 Beverly Hills “Genesis Awards” gala include Kristen Bell, Kaley Cuoco, Tony Denison, Emily Deschanel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Teri Hatcher, Peter Jacobson, Tim Kang, Eva La Rue, Jon Lovitz, Wendie Malick, Maria Menounos, Amanda Righetti, Michael Vartan, and Owain Yeoman.

CCF is calling on these celebrities to cancel their “Genesis Awards” appearances until HSUS pledges to direct at least 34 percent of its total budget to hands-on pet shelters-the same proportion that the California Lottery spends on the state’s schoolchildren.

“Somebody has to pressure HSUS into doing the right thing,” Martosko continued. “Maybe a little star power can convince this organization to get its priorities straight. Until then, there are dozens of deserving dog and cat shelters in the Los Angeles area who truly deserve Hollywood’s admiration and support.”

On Tuesday, CCF launched, an online watchdog project dedicated to analyzing HSUS’s activities and keeping the group honest. It includes a blog, an interactive document library, and a growing body of information about HSUS-related organizations and staff.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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