Even Sarah McLachlan changes the channel when she hears her own gut-wrenching song the ASPCA uses to elicit pathos from viewers during their commercials. I’ve never sat through the commercial to find out, so I wondered, where does your donation money go when you donate? With a overtly manipulative commercial such as this, the question is raised with good reason.
Your Donation Money
What I found was that according to CBS News, the ASPCA was actually sued by California for misleading viewers. The problem that the California government had was that the ASPCA refers to themselves as a national organization, but are based in New York City, allegedly catering almost exclusively to animals in need in New York City (and not California, as California donators are led to believe).
In response, the ASPCA said, “The ASPCA is a national organization dedicated to helping animals wherever there is a need. Animal welfare supporters are happy that we aid local communities, offer field investigation and recovery services and provide critical life-saving programs all around the country.”
They also added, “In 2010, the ASPCA gave over 600 grants totaling nearly $7 million for animal welfare and anti-cruelty assistance in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia. In California, the ASPCA’s average grant total per year for the past four years will be nearly $1 million by the end of 2011. And, the organization has pledged $250,000 in grants in 2011 to animal shelters and rescue groups in the Los Angeles-area with funding aimed at saving the lives of animals in the Los Angeles community….”
The ASCA is non-profit, right? So that means that all of your money goes to shelters right? Sort of. What I found is this: As of 2013, the President and CEO made $566,000. Directors make upwards of $100,000 and animal behaviorists are paid about $65,000. And we haven’t even talked about advertising. According to the Examiner, in 2013, the ASCPA spends about $.27 per dollar donated on actual care and placement. This does not include money spent on high-end pay-per-plate dinners and other similar fancy fundraisers. None of that is reported in that number.
Let’s get down to brass tacks. According to the Examiner: at the high end, some claim as much as just below 50% of donations goes to the animals. At the low end, there is a growing group of critics claiming the ASPCA uses only $11.00 of every $100.00 donated on the animals. In order to get an idea of the most likely situation for yourself, consider these verifiable statistics regarding how many animals the ASCPA “saved” in 2012. The ASPCA themselves claims they saved 4,000 dogs last year. Their IRS statement for 2012 shows $226 million dollars in gross receipts. That would mean each dog was given $28,250 of care and supplies. This sounds excessive to us…but you be the judge.
Will you still send donation money?