In a recent article, I cited information from the Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) that concluded Michigan Animal Shelters had received $0 in grants from either the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) in 2021, you can find the link below.

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I received emails from both the ASPCA and HSUS. The following is an email excerpt from a representative of ASPCA Media & Communications:

In 2021, the ASPCA provided more than half a million dollars in grant funding that did not meet the threshold for reporting on our [2021 IRS form] 990 and is therefore not reflected in the report cited in your article. This includes grants made to Little Traverse Bay Humane Society and Michigan Humane Society, as well as CANTER Michigan. In addition, CANTER Michigan and another equine rescue – Horses’ Haven -- are official ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Partners, meaning we collaborate and partner with them regularly.


The threshold referenced is that donations under $5,000 weren't included in the report cited by the CEW and therefore weren't represented. But, what about that donation made by the ASPCA to CANTER in Michigan? What is CANTER?

CANTER Michigan is dedicated to providing off-track Thoroughbreds with opportunities for new homes and careers through rehabilitation, retraining, and adoption.

CANTER uses accredited, privately owned equine facilities for boarding, rehabilitation, and training—investing an average of $9,000 to $12,000 per horse from intake to adoption.

The ASPCA awarded a grant of $15,000 to CANTER in 2021.


But what about the donations to the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society or the Michigan Humane Society? Those donations were less than $5,000 and therefore they don't show up on any official tax return documents.

When asked for a total dollar amount given to Michigan in 2021, including the $15,000 grant to CANTER, in a year where the ASPCA had total revenue of $390 million, we received the following:

The ASPCA granted $23,000 to Michigan animal welfare organizations in 2021.

The ASPCA representative asked that I share the following:

All of the ASPCA’s lifesaving work is dedicated to rescuing, protecting, and caring for animals in need, and we are proud to partner with hundreds of local shelters and rescues around the country as we work together toward the same goal of helping save and improve the lives of animals in communities throughout the U.S. The ASPCA provided tens of thousands of grant funding to Michigan animal welfare organizations in 2021, and any suggestion that our lifesaving work is not in service of victimized and vulnerable animals in communities across the country is wrong and an injustice to our staff, donors, the organizations we partner with, and the animals we serve.


A representative with HSUS also reached out via email with the following, taking issue with CEW, the organization responsible for the report:

Jack Hubbard, of Center for Environment and Welfare, has ties with the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), which operates under the name CORE. The CCF acts as a “front” organization and is run by PR operatives who form multiple offshoot groups, such as Center for Environment and Welfare, that attack consumer-protection and public interest organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sierra Club, as well as the Humane Society of the United States.


Mr. Hubbard’s group promotes the interests of various industries by spreading false narratives under the guise of innocent-sounding charity names. While the CCF falsely frames animal welfare work as the narrow category of just giving pass-through grants to shelters, the HSUS’ work is broad and focused on helping all animals, not just cats and dogs. Our organization provides care for tens of thousands of animals each year

It should be noted that several Michigan organizations and shelters appear on HSUS 2021 returns but, there were no dollar signs attached to them. These bodies received food meant for adoptive pet parents to give them a head start on pet ownership. These programs are funded by the pet food companies that work with the HSUS. Donations may have been made to some Michigan organizations that were $4,999 or less, but they aren't reflected in HSUS's


You can read CEW's full report here, and the ASPCA's and HSUS's websites to learn more.

If you like to have an impact on the welfare of animals in your area, contact your local shelter or humane society and ask how you can make a difference in Michigan. Local Humane Societies and Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are not affiliated with the HSUS or the ASPCA.

Give local, help local.

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