What do Big Cat Rescue and the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) have in common? For starters, they’re both animal rights organizations that rake in millions of dollars and are notorious for their underhanded methods of manipulating the public through campaigns of misinformation.
Big Cat Rescue's intricate web of deception was designed to ensnare compassionate animal lovers through the use of exotic cats which each possess heart tugging background stories that are often embellished and occasionally fabricated.
Similar to Big Cat Rescue, the HSUS faces accusations of purposefully fooling the public into believing they’re an umbrella organization associated with local animal shelters across the country. That confusion among many other questionable tactics ultimately led to the Oklahoma Attorney General conducting an investigation into their organization.
So how are Big Cat Rescue and the HSUS connected? Through our research, we have discovered that Big Cat Rescue has spent tens of thousands of dollars sponsoring an animal rights conference called Taking Action For Animals (TAFA), an event created and organized by the HSUS.
Last year Big Cat Rescue spent $25,000 to become a Diamond level sponsor for the conference. According to the 2014 TAFA pricing brochure, it costs $25,000 to obtain the exclusive Diamond Level sponsorship:
Why would anyone anyone shell out that kind of cash? The answer is quite simple, marketing.
It seems as though the whole point of sponsoring TAFA is to get exposure for your brand. That is evident just by taking a look at the pricing brochure. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can have your organization's name and logo plastered everywhere and we mean everywhere, including a subway billboard in Washington D.C. :
Why does Big Cat Rescue waste money on such seemingly fruitless activities when they could put the money to better use such as improving their cages which have been stagnant in design for decades?
To make matters worse, all of the money was practically wasted since the HSUS had to pay $5.7-million in a racketeering settlement due to a lawsuit that filed against them under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Digging a little deeper, we managed to find out that Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, and Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the HSUS, are former colleagues.
In an article published on Big Cat Rescue's website, Carole Baskin mentions how she and Wayne both serve on the board of Humane USA (emphasis added):
It's interesting to know that Wayne was a co-founder of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Carole Baskin has contributed thousands of thousands of dollars to the legislative fund, presumably with her own money.