What is the Humane Society Legislative Fund?

The Humane Society Legislative Fund was formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. HSLF is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

Why was HSLF created?

HSLF was formed in 2004 by The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals, two of the nation’s leading animal protection organizations. In 2006, the Doris Day Animal League joined forces with HSLF. As the new lobbying arm of three organizations that have long recognized the need for public policy changes for animals, HSLF has increased the public policy work of the humane movement and continues to build an army of trained political activists.

While The HSUS and other animal welfare organizations tackle a vast array of issues in the education, prevention and response of animal cruelty and suffering, there is a recognition that passing critical legislation to protect animals on the federal and state levels must be an important component of the humane movement. HSLF works to ensure that animals have a voice throughout the halls of Congress and with the thousands of federal and state lawmakers in a position to pass legislation to address the suffering and abuse of animals.

How can I become a member and what will I receive for donating?

To become a member, simply make a donation at the $10 level or higher. You will receive our annual Humane Scorecard of Congress so you know exactly where your legislators stand on animal protection issue. After donating, you will receive occasional email action alerts and other news about animal protection issues, which you can easily opt out of receiving at any time.

Are donations to the HSLF tax deductible?

No. Contributions or gifts to HSLF are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates.

How is my donation used?

As a nonprofit advocacy organization, we work very hard to ensure that as much of each donation as possible goes directly to programming (approximately 82%). As a registered 501(c)4 social welfare organization, we operate with a 60-40 ratio, per IRS guidelines. 60% of our work is social advocacy and 40% is direct political activity.

Does Humane Society Legislative Fund make fundraising calls to donors?

Yes. We do telephone fundraising calls throughout the year. We partner with Donor Services Group to ask some of our most compassionate donors to deepen their support of our work to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. These calls are a very cost effective way to increase our impact and help even more animals tomorrow and in the years ahead.

How can I be taken off your fundraising call list?

If you prefer not to be contacted by phone, please contact HSLF at (800) 876-5170 to have your name removed from our call list. We’d still love to stay in touch with you though to let you know about action alerts and other news about animal protection issues. Please click "Sign Up" on the bottom of this page to receive our emails.

Will you ever share my email address with a third party?

Notice: This Privacy Policy was amended August 25, 2016, and changes will go into effect 10 days from August 25, 2016 on September 8, 2016.

We will not sell, rent, or trade your email address to any third party, except from time to time, we may make the information you have voluntarily given to us, excluding credit card information (which will never be disclosed), available to third parties for marketing purposes, including sponsors and licensees that provide special programs or services we think you might find interesting or beneficial. HSLF uses very strict standards in determining which reputable companies become sponsors and licensees, to ensure that such organizations are committed to the protection of visitors' privacy and committed to the goals of HSLF. If your volunteered personal information will be used in any manner other than as stated above, such use shall be specifically posted. If you wish to update or remove your information, or if you do not wish your information to be shared with affiliated third parties, please email us at humanesociety@hslf.org or call us at (800) 876-5170. You may also unsubscribe at any time through our email communications.

How does the HSLF decide which candidates to support?

HSLF uses a variety of tools to assess both incumbents and challengers. For candidates with a track record on animal protection issues, we use the HSLF Humane Scorecard and we assess their leadership on animal protection issues. For challengers, we ask them to fill out questionnaires or otherwise query the candidates on their positions, we assess any existing record on animal issues through previous elective offices such as in a state legislature, and we examine their chances for winning the seat. We also rely on our supporters to inform us of individuals running for office who are supportive of animal issues.

Does HSLF consider other social issues or any other issues when deciding to endorse or oppose a candidate?

No. HSLF is completely non-partisan and supports Democrats, Republicans, and Independents based on a single criterion: animal protection. HSLF has a single focus, and does not evaluate candidates based on the many other issues that come before legislative bodies. If we were to consider other issues, no matter how important, it would be difficult to find a candidate to support. HSLF believes that animal protection voters must be an identifiable voting bloc in order to gain greater respect and attention from candidates. When we can influence the outcome of elections, more candidates will embrace our agenda of more humane treatment of animals.

What does HSLF do when a candidate is excellent in some areas of animal protection but not in others?

Sometimes we have to make a difficult decision, such as endorsing a candidate who is a great friend of wild animals but not necessarily as helpful with companion animals, or vice versa. Other times, we may choose to support an elected official who is the chairman of an important committee, who could take the lead on passing important pro-animal bills, even if the official does not support our entire agenda. In short, we don’t require 100% orthodoxy to our issues; we take into consideration the candidate’s district, how the candidate compares to his or her opponent in a race, and other information. An endorsement is always a judgment between candidates who are running for the same seat.

How can I learn how my elected officials voted on animal protection issues?

You can view the most recent Humane Scorecard.

Where do I find financial information about the Humane Society Legislative Fund?

You can view our IRS Form 990 on our website.

Do you have a question that is not answered here? Please email us at humanesociety@hslf.org.