Mary Kay ®cosmetics is not a sponsor of the Humane Society of the United States. A notice posted yesterday to the Dallas based company’s facebook page clarifies some confusion there. A Dallas based chapter of HSUS solicited and received a contribution from the wife of Mary Kay’s owner for an event purported to raise funds to stop puppy mills. This group then listed Mary Kay as one of the sponsors of the event. Many consultants for Mary Kay complained. Mary Kay then contacted HSUS and demanded that their logo and company name be removed from the website.
Why the fuss? According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, HSUS is an animal rights group devoted primarily to lobbying for laws restricting the rights of pet owners, livestock producers, and other individuals with animals. Only 3.64 percent of the money raised by HSUS is actually used to help shelters and animals. The rest is spent on lobbying and administrative costs.
Further, HSUS does not spend the money it solicits from pet owners for the purposes it claims. When Michael Vick was indicted for dog fighting, HSUS raised money to care for his dogs. In fact, according to the New York Times, HSUS did not care for Vick’s dogs at all and recommended they all be put down.
As Mary Kay found out, HSUS often claims that companies support them with money or support their cause when that is not the case. When HSUS was promoting the U.S. “boycott” of Canadian seafood, 78 percent of the companies it listed as boycotting the seafood were not, in fact, doing any such thing. Most had no idea HSUS was using their name.
The moral of this story is to be very careful about where you give your money. Make sure you thoroughly investigate a company. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints about the company. Search the internet to see what others are saying about the company, as well. Ask to see the annual report, something all charities must provide when asked. This document should contain an independent audit, a list of what funds were collected and where they were spent, and a summary of the group’s philosophy. Failing to do this could lead you to support a group that works in opposition to what you believe.