Skip to content

Humane Society CEO: The $4 Million Man



In a recent interview, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle was asked “how were you motivated to enter the field of animal welfare?” As one might expect, Pacelle replied “compassion for animals.” But Pacelle left out another huge motivating factor—his salary and benefits are really sweet.

Since 1994, Wayne Pacelle has raked in nearly $4 million as an animal-rights activist. In fact, according to HSUS’s most recent tax forms, Wayne Pacelle received $356,305 in compensation from HSUS in 2013—a salary that puts him in the top 1% in more than half of the states in the country. So his nickname of Wayne “1%” Pacelle refers to two meanings: His income ranking, and also the amount of HSUS’s budget that is given to pet shelters.

Because HSUS raises the money to pay for his fat-cat salary by running advertisements that mislead its donors, Pacelle must be laughing all the way to the bank. We have pasted the breakdown of Pacelle’s salary so you can see for yourself how much he has profited off his animal-rights work.

One noteworthy point: It is interesting that Wayne Pacelle’s compensation jumped by nearly $80,000 in tax year 2012. Regular readers may remember this as the same year that HSUS quietly sent $26 million to the Caribbean for “investment.” Was that a major raise-gaining achievement? Let’s not forget a local magazine’s profile of a day in the life of Pacelle: Writing a blog, having a couple of meetings, working on a book deal, getting a latte, and doing a radio interview. Tough stuff, there.

Our examination of Wayne Pacelle’s compensation over the years makes one thing clear—for a guy who hates farmers, he is a total cash cow.

*low-ball estimate based on previous tax years

More Stories

  • Southern Championship relocates for 2021

    For many years the Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitors Association has sponsored and operated the Southern Championship Charity Horse Show... Read More
  • Latest Issue WHYIR 20

    Read More
  • Latest Issue 3 1 31

    Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More