I am not normally one to sing praises of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Anyone who follows my blog probably knows that, as I haven’t shied away from being critical of the organization and its apparent shenanigans intended to cause harm to the agriculture industry.

But in the spirit of balanced coverage, just as I have shared words about what the group has done that didn’t meet my approval, I will write about something it recently did that I appreciate.

A common complaint people have against HSUS is that in its marketing, it gives an impression that its primary focus is to help prevent neglect and abuse of pets and is a supporter of local animal shelters, but reports have shown that only a minute percentage of its budget goes toward pet shelters.

I was pleased to learn that HSUS earlier this month lent a hand to a local animal shelter and law enforcement agency as they dealt with a case of the mistreatment of dogs, cats, a horse and a couple burros.

On September 4, the Kingman County Sheriff’s Department in Kansas served a search warrant at a residence in which the previously mentioned animals were found. The agency requested help to transport the animals to an undisclosed safe location to get them the veterinary and nutritional care they needed. The local animal shelter, the Kingman County Humane Society (KCHS), was one of the organizations that responded to the request, but HSUS also responded and provided authorities with needed help.

According to a press release from HSUS, the animals there appeared to be living in a poor, filthy environment, and some appeared to be suffering from skin conditions. Some animals were running loose on the property while others were contained in makeshift pens where they were found crawling under trailers to access shade.

“I am proud we were able to work together to help get these animals the care they need,” Sheriff Randy Hill said.

At the time of this writing, no charges have been filed in these animal neglect cases. Kingman County Attorney Matthew Ricke told the Kingman Leader-Courier he would like to see all the evidence before filing any charges, and gaining all of that information regarding so many animals will take longer than it would have had it just been one or two animals.

“With the number of animals and the amount of work to be put into documentation, I expect it will take a little bit of time,” Ricke said.

Let’s see more welfare-related efforts

We have often blogged and reported about how there is a difference between animal welfare organizations and animal rights organizations.

Most donors to HSUS, I believe, consider the organization to be more of an animal welfare organization. Others who have done more research on HSUS consider it an animal rights organization. And I also believe most HSUS donors are more concerned about the care of animals such as these than they are about the type of housing egg-laying hens have or whether the breed of chickens used for the meat served at Burger King are approved by the Global Animal Partnership.

While nobody likes to see animal neglect situations like the one that happened in Kingman County, anyone can appreciate efforts to give such animals a better life.

I, for one, would like to see more of this type of activity from HSUS, and a lot less of the other activities it participates in that puts it in the spotlight. If they did so, they would be more deserving of the label “animal welfare organization.”