I’m incredulous that Wayne Pacelle whines about the Center for Consumer Freedom while he uses his group’s $126 million budget that was collected off the backs of abused and abandoned cats and dogs to fund a multimillion-dollar pension plan, 50 lawyers who sue farm interests, and surrogate spinmeisters whose fabrications rival the best science fiction stories. His claim that HSUS has 11 million members and constituents overstates HSUS’s actual membership by a factor of 10, for example. [Humane Society president responds to CCF claims]

Here are the inconvenient truths about HSUS—and since Pacelle doesn’t contest them, I assume he concedes the points: Public polling finds that about 70 percent of Americans are under the mistaken belief that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group and that it spends most of its money on pet shelters, while in fact HSUS donates just 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters. The Federal Trade Commission complaints show dozens of examples of HSUS donors who have been confused and are no doubt a sample of a much larger constituency. More than 85 percent of the animals in HSUS’s recent TV ads are cats and dogs, and 99 percent of these TV appeals contain no disclaimer that HSUS is unaffiliated with local humane societies.

If the best Pacelle can muster in rebuttal is junior high name-calling and issue-dodging, then his commitment to building a humane world is about as thick as his skin.