WSB-TV removed expose of US Humane Society, 14 May 2009

On May 14, 2009, WSB-TV in Atlanta (an ABC affiliate) aired a provocative investigative piece detailing how the Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) solicits donations from Americans who believe they’re funding pet shelters.

Instead, WSB reported, the HSUS spends the money lobbying and doesn’t operate a single pet shelter anywhere.

Most controversially, the HSUS hasn’t accounted for most of the money it raised after Hurricane Katrina, funds collected ostensibly to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

Shortly after this piece aired, WSB-TV removed it from its website. Other versions of the story quickly disappeared from YouTube after The HSUS made legal threats related to being publicly exposed.

The full segment tells a story about a greedy animal protection group that doesn’t appear to behave in a manner consistent with its public image.

Members of the public who donate money to animal protection organizations will need this information in order to decide whether The HSUS is a worthwhile organization to support — as opposed to local pet shelters.

If on the other hand, the WSB story is in error, WSB and HSUS should state their case publicly.
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2 Responses to “WSB-TV removed expose of US Humane Society, 14 May 2009”

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  2. jrollins Says:

    A few things:

    1) Just because WSBTV reported it doesn’t make it factual.

    2) You assume that the story was pulled from WSBTV and YouTube because of legal threats from HSUS. HSUS posted a detailed response to the allegations in the story here:

    Where’s the evidence that WSBTV and YouTube didn’t just pull the story because they were persuaded by HSUS’s reponse? Even if they did pull the story in response to legal threats, that doesn’t necessarily mean the story was true. Truth is an absolute defense to libel. Doesn’t this suggest that WSBTV doubted the accuracy of its own reporting?

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