Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Head of Humane Society Is Named Kitty?

The new head of the Humane Society of the U.S. is named Kitty Block, and that's not even the funny part

The funny part (as in strange, not laugh-riot) is that she sued HSUS for sexual harassment and financial impropriety more than 20 years ago.

Kitty Block replaces Wayne Pacelle as president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle, of course, had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.

Ms. Block is being asked to make a lot of changes by major donors, including getting rid of anyone on the board who stood for Pacelle, including the Chairman of the Board. 

That does not look like that is going to happen, however.

The main problem at HSUS, of course, is the core business of the organization.  It's not about animals; it's about direct mail.  This is a direct mail mill with a long history of self-dealing and financial chicanery. 

Can Block fix that without killing the organization?  Probably not.

To be clear, this is not a new story.  More than twenty years ago HSUS was struggling with stories about executives getting free rent, big mortgage loans, and massive salary increases even as they paid prostitutes with donor dollars:

The society focuses on animal lovers, including "people living on fixed incomes," said Sam Bowman, a New York investment banker. Bowman left the society's board in 1988 after a bitter dispute, which remained largely internal, over some of the financial issues now resurfacing. "These appeals come in about animal abuse, and they send in $5 or $10," Bowman said. "And then it goes out in ways that one can't account for."

Yep, and that's still going on.  How many nonprofit organizations do you know that have had to pay over $15 million to settle a RICO lawsuit?

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