California Humane Association Files Complaint Against ASPCA

The California Humane Association claims ASPCA's fundraising practices are deceptive and detrimental to local SPCA's – claims which the ASPCA dismisses.

While the nonprofit organization, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has not seen the actual complaint filed with the California Office of the Attorney General, the organization dismissed the claims, as “incorrect and completely without merit.”

According to Erica Gaudet Hughes, executive director of the State Humane Association of California, the ASPCA’s advertising makes them appear as an umbrella organization for local SPCA’s.

“Our member humane societies and SPCA’s frequently report hearing from people who gave to the ASPCA believing they were giving to their local shelters,” Hughes said. “These shelters believe they are missing out on funds that were intended for them.”

In a statement, the ASPCA acknowledged that it does not have a formal affiliation with SPCA’s throughout the United States, but states that it does assist the country’s SPCAs, humane societies and shelters financially through its grant program. It also provides human and other non-monetary resources toward animal sheltering programs and innovations, legislative issues, anti-cruelty and disaster response efforts on a national scale.
“We welcome shelters and rescue groups across the country that might be in need of additional resources to participate in our grant-making program,” the ASPCA stated.

The ASPCA reported that, since 2008, it has awarded $21 million in grants for animal welfare and anti-cruelty assistance in all 50 states and other regions. In California specifically, the ASPCA reported that its average grant total per year for the past four years (2008–2011) will be nearly $1 million.

In 2009, the most recent year financial results are available, the ASPCA took in about $117 million in total revenue, according to

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