Skip to content

Humane Society CEO Has Taken $3.4 Million, But Doesn’t “Love Animals”



Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle brags on his own blog that “Few are in a position to speak for the animals like Wayne Pacelle.” But do the animals really want this self-anointed “spokesman”?

Since joining HSUS, Pacelle has taken about $3.4 million in compensation. In 2012, Pacelle took in nearly $400,000, and we expect that figure to rise in 2013, bringing his total close to $4 million. And yet, here's a guy taking animal lovers' money who has written that “I don't love animals or think they are cute.” Pacelle has also said, “I don't want to see another cat or dog born.”

So what's his real motivation? Money and self-aggrandizement, we wager.

Along with the hefty bank he's pulled in for himself at HSUS, Pacelle seems to have received quite a few perks in the past few years. He released a book in 2011 called The Bond, which was slated for a six-city book tour. The irony of his book's title? Pacelle said previously that “there's no special bond between me and other animals.”

But Pacelle does seem to have bond between him and the limelight. The six-city book tour quickly morphed into a100-city, 18-month book tour. Pacelle even wound up hawking his book in India. That's a nice little tour to sell books and spread his brand around, and Pacelle is making money personally from the sale of his books—and it's likely his travel was paid for on the dime of HSUS donors. (If we're wrong, we'd love to see proof.)

Pacelle is now reportedly working on a second book about the “humane economy.” Perhaps that will be a 200-city, 100-country tour. Pacelle's that important, after all. (And doesn't he deserve a trip to the Bahamas to promote it while working on his tan?)

Then there are the glitzy galas that HSUS puts on. These events allow Wayne Pacelle to hit the red carpet with celebrities, socialites, and the wealthy, like the daughter of billionaire Michael Bloomberg or B-list actresses. HSUS last week had an event in super-wealthy Palm Beach, Florida, and it is planning a 60th Anniversary Gala sometime this year.

Capitol File did a puff-piece on Pacelle earlier this year, following him around for a day.His schedule consisted of  writing a blog post, visiting a Congressman, getting a vegan drink from Starbucks, having a 10-minute radio interview, and working on his new book deal, before going home to watch basketball. Nice work if you can get it.

All this adds up to a whole lot of hobnobbing, where animals are the convenient cover, but are too often left out in the cold. The respected watchdog CharityWatch finds that Pacelle's HSUS spends as much as 45% of its budget on overhead. Donor money should be treated with more respect. But this is Wayne Pacelle's HSUS.

More Stories

  • Latest_Issue_June_18_18

    Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More
  • WHOA Versatility revises class schedule

    The Walking Horse Owners Association has added 5 classes to its June 16 show scheduled at Tennessee Tech, Hyder-Burk Facility in Cookeville, TN. The show starts at 10 am and is a casual dress show (boots, long pants, shirts with a collar) and "Youth 11 and Under" are required to wear a safety helmet. Read More
  • Putnam Co. Fair selects judge

    The Putnam County Fair and Upper Cumberland Walking Horse Association are pleased to announce that Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tennessee will judge this year’s event... Read More
  • Wartrace selects judge

    The 112th Anniversary Wartrace Horse Show has selected John Fikes of Hamilton, Alabama to judge this year's event and has released their class schedule... Read More
  • Walking For The Children selects judge

    The Walking For The Children Show, scheduled for July 26, has selected Aaron Self of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. Read More
  • WHAA Summer Classic selects Cotten

    The WHAA Summer Classic, scheduled for June 16, has selected Joe Cotten to mark the cards for this years event... Read More
  • Obituary - Bill Carmichael

    Walking horse trainer, William D. "Bill" Carmichael, 59, passed away suddenly on Wednesday morning. He was born on October 13, 1958 to Audria Carmichael and the late William Carmichael. He married his adoring wife Cindy Conyers Carmichael and together they had two wonderful children... Read More