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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

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