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Our opponents rightfully see The HSUS as a threat to their reliance on animal cruelty as a standard practice. They attack The HSUS not because we don’t do enough—but because, from their perspective, we do too much. 

Richard Berman—a Beltway con artist behind a growing network of phony charities that fight against animal welfare—wants The HSUS to stop helping animals. He'd like to see us halt our campaigns against puppy mills; stop our intervention programs against urban dogfighting; stop working with law enforcement on animal fighting raids or in cases of abandonment and hoarding. He'd like us to stop working to end the extreme confinement of farm animals on factory farms.

The trusty hired-gun never reveals who is behind his capers. But what would you expect from a man labeled "Dr. Evil" by "60 Minutes"?

Donor advisories on Berman's organizations:
American Beverage Institute
Center for Consumer Freedom
Center for Union Facts
Employment Policies Institute Foundation
Enterprise Freedom Action Committee

Who is Richard Berman, and why is he attacking animal welfare organizations?

Richard Berman is a corporate front-man, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist and PR operative. Over the years, he has created a spider web of organizations whose aim is to attack established charities, nonprofits and public interest groups—from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to The Humane Society of the United States. He refuses to divulge specific companies financing his dirty work, but it is known that he launched this line of work by taking money from tobacco companies to battle those seeking restrictions on smoking—a template that has defined his career ... Read entire F.A.Q. about Richard Berman »

Animal shelter leaders and others are also speaking up about Berman: Read blogs written by former Washington Animal Rescue League CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman, Richmond SPCA CEO Robin Robertson Starr, Humane Society of Berks County executive director Karel Minor, San Francisco SPCA Co-President Jennifer Scarlett and TAILS Pet Media Group founder Janice Brown.

... a world of questionable claims, powered by donations from unnamed corporations, and a Washington agenda with many millions of dollars at stake."
The Boston Globe

Read More

The Agitator: BEWARE: Oklahoma's Mini-Nixon; Anatomy of a Smear Campaign; Beware the BIG LIE

This three-part series on how special interests are trying to intimidate, discredit and destroy nonprofits notes, "[T]here's an ugly, dangerous and utterly frightening campaign of distortion and intimidation being perpetrated against The Humane Society of The United States...."

The New York Times: Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties"

A look into how groups are working in opaque ways to shape hot-button political debates through organizations with benign-sounding names that can mask the intentions of their deep-pocketed patrons

Is the Humane Society Bad for Puppies? This Man Wants You to Think So

TIME magazine highlights the "sneaky tactics in a feud between a Washington lobbyist and a storied animal rights group."

The Boston Globe: An Industry of Distortion

The Boston Globe's front-page piece takes "a look inside an industry of distortion, where unnamed corporations pay richly to bend the debate their way."

Bloomberg News story: Richard Berman Unmasked, Asked to Answer to the IRS

"It’s an old and familiar story, the confidence man with his bag of tricks, working his scams until the cold light of day shines and unmasks him for all to see. That’s where Richard Berman finds himself today – exposed as the black bag artist for hire, a man who has made a hefty gain attacking charities, including The HSUS, on behalf of his industry patrons." Read more on Wayne's blog »

In the News: Richard Berman and his Misnamed Nonprofits

The nation's leading media outlets expose The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), its web of nonprofit spinoffs, and the man behind CCF's attacks on The HSUS and other advocacy groups.

Responding to the Opposition

On his blog, Wayne Pacelle shares the latest news on animals and counters attacks by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a corporate front group funded by the most reactionary segments of the alcohol, tobacco, restaurant and hospitality sectors.

CCF's Richard Berman, Living Large

Read our investigative report on where CCF's money really goes.

Our Commitment to End Dogfighting

On his blog, Wayne Pacelle describes how our efforts to end dogfighting are stronger than ever—despite what our opponents would have you believe.

Nieman Reports Asks Journalists, "Is Your Source Secretly a Lobbyist?"

"Richard Berman stands out as the unrivaled king of manipulation. You may not have heard of Berman, but you have undoubtedly—and possibly unknowingly— seen his work," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told Nieman Reports.

More Than 9 Ways CCF Distorts the Truth

Read our point-by-point response to CCF's latest stunt: "9 Things You Didn't Know About HSUS."

Letter to Members from the National Federation of Humane Societies

An attack by the Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) on The HSUS is "divisive and contrary to the stated goals of the National Federation" writes the National Federation of Humane Societies in a December 2011 letter to members.

Open Letter to Animal Shelter Directors and Friends from The HSUS

A Washington D.C. lobbying group that flies the false colors of the so-called The Center for Consumer Freedom/HumaneWatch is trying to divide animal lovers, one from another.

National Federation of Humane Societies Defends The HSUS

A coalition of local, state, and national animal welfare organizations calls on CCF in this May 2010 letter to end its smear campaign and disclose its funders. [pdf]

LA Times Editorial: Hounding the HSUS

Public attacks on The Humane Society of the United States by HumaneWatch.org take the debate on animal protection to a troubling place.

Atlanta TV Station Tells CCF to Stop Misrepresenting

Wayne blogs on the stern letter WSB-TV sent to Richard Berman. "This week, Berman received a letter that must have ruined his day." Read the letter. [pdf]

Center for Consumer Freedom: Non-Profit or Corporate Shill?

Get the facts about the Center for Consumer Freedom—and what they really support.

Things You Didn’t Know About the Center for Consumer Freedom and Richard Berman

The Center for Consumer Freedom is well known for going on the attack against proponents of animal protection, public health and other worthy causes. The HSUS turns the tables on the group with this critique.

CCF Retracts False Claim

The Center for Consumer Freedom expresses regret for false claim about The HSUS.

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