I've been a little behind on post this week because of the storms that have swept through Tennessee. I know this is little off topic, but I work for Nashville Humane ( www.nashvillehumane.org ) Right now people from there are out in the field helping people without homes care for their loved ones while they put their lives back together. It's heart-wrenching work. And it brings me to my point: if you're going to donate money to a relief organization, you should do it to a local one. National organizations like HSUS take some of your money and use it to hire big name people to run big name projects. I know no one at Nashville Humane has a car that costs as much as some of the jewelry worn by the people at the top of HSUS. (I have worked for HSUS. You won't see my picture on their website. Most of the people you see in those pictures were on-site for less than 10 minutes. That's all it takes to get your picture taken.)
Need an example? Here's Tennessee's animal friendly plate. It costs an extra $35 to support community spay/neuter. (http://tennessee.gov/revenue/vehicle/licenseplates/misc/miscdesc.htm). A whopping $15.38 goes to the spay/neuter program. That's right, less than half. The rest goes to various state agencies, as a form of voluntary tax, if you will.
Wouldn't it be better if you gave the whole $35 to your local shelter? (It would for you, you could take the whole amount off your taxes in most cases!) In addition to spay/neuter, you would promote disaster preparedness, education and a better community. Isn't that a better use of your money?