Press Release

Full-Page USA Today Ad Slams HSUS for Supporting Michael Vick as America’s Newest Dog Owner Encourages Humane Society of the U.S. Donors to Rethink Financial Pledges 

Washington, DC – A full-page ad from, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, appears in today’s USA Today, criticizing the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President Wayne Pacelle for supporting convicted dogfighting felon Michael Vick’s ownership of a new dog. Pacelle was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution claiming Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” The ad condemns HSUS for supporting the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback’s newfound dog ownership, and asks what is Pacelle thinking. points to the Eagles’ recent $50,000 donation to HSUS as one possible motivation for Pacelle’s indefensible suggestion that Vick should own another dog. Despite the words “humane society” in its name, HSUS is not affiliated with local humane societies anywhere in America. It spends tens of millions every year supporting a staff of 700, dozens of lawyers, and a bloated executive pension plan. Yet during the past year, HSUS shared just 1 percent of its multi-million dollar budget with hands-on pet shelters.

“It is dumbfounding that HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, who writes on his deep ‘bond’ with animals, would support and defend a convicted dogfighter who has helped commit horrible atrocities against defenseless animals,” said Rick Berman, CCF’s Executive Director. “When it comes to Michael Vick, HSUS has always had its priorities in the wrong place.”

Within 24 hours of Michael Vick’s arrest for running a Virginia dogfighting ring in 2007, HSUS began raising money online to “care for the dogs seized” at Vick’s home. Wayne Pacelle later admitted to The New York Times that HSUS was not caring for the dogs, and even recommended that officials “put down” (kill) the animals. Despite HSUS’s initial wishes, most of those dogs have since been successfully rehabilitated.

The ad reads in part:

Michael Vick is America’s newest dog owner. And Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the U.S., apparently thinks that’s fine. He has said:


Animal lovers should be outraged, and HSUS donors should be appalled at where their money is going. Remember that HSUS is NOT associated with your local shelter.

You can view the ad here:

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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