It has not been a great year so far for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for good reason. Following its sexual harassment scandal that led to the resignations of CEO Wayne Pacelle and Vice President Paul Shapiro in January, the charity has now lost its accreditation from the Better Business Bureau’s charity-accreditation arm, the Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA). This news comes on the heels of Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, downgrading its rating of HSUS to only two out of four stars. The drop in status includes a one-star rating for financial metrics, indicative of financial waste. In addition, Animal Charity Evaluators, which researches the most effective ways to help animals and makes recommendations on the top animal charities, has also pulled its approval of the HSUS.
The news comes from the website HumaneWatch.org, dedicated to “keeping a watchful eye on the HSUS.” It says it is likely that the HSUS Board’s initial decision to retain Pacelle after an internal investigation revealed multiple credible accusations of sexual harassment was what spurred the BBB’s WGA to launch a review. This is bigger news than one might think considering HumaneWatch.org noted the BBB WGA is “notorious for having weak standards” and keeping the bar low for accreditation.