by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

Riddle me this:

Paris Hilton was recently honored by the Humane Society of the United States at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for her support of the “save the seals” campaign. The ceremony took place during a HSUS dinner for Nigel Barker’s new documentary A Sealed Fate. Said Hilton of the honor, “We all have cats and dogs we love, and they’re animals, and seals are the same.”

Now, right now, you may be wondering how the HSUS could actually give Ms. Hilton an award and pat on the back. After all, this is the same Paris Hilton they targeted last year for purchasing puppies from pet stores that do business with puppy mills; not to mention her shady history with the bevy of dogs she keeps at her mansion. As far as we can tell, the only support Paris has ever given the “Save The Seals” campaign is when she wore a “Club Sandwiches, Not Seals” sweatshirt.

Of course, the biggest tip-off for Paris’ award that evening may come from the fact that she donated $100K to the organization. In hard times like these, that might be enough for any org to brush off the past and forge a fresh relationship. I’m not saying Hilton’s concern towards seals isn’t genuine, but her support outside the pocketbook seems thin to garner such attention. I’m definitely willing to give HSUS the benefit of the doubt here; certainly I may be missing come crucial piece of participation from Hilton with regards to this campaign. Or is it all about the money and press?

Anyone else find this puzzling?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Adriana

    I think donating $100K entitles you to a little attention.

  • parrish

    Perhaps she’s learned from her previous ways? $100,000 can do a whole lot of good! Let’s hope her actions follow suit.

  • michael

    You’re right, Adriana. Money definitely talks. I guess I’d like to see a bit more action.

  • herwin

    nope , not puzzling at all. HSUS got money, Hilton got her image brushed up.

  • steph

    It’s things like this that make me understand why many ACTIVE animal rights activist don’t like the HSUS all that much. I can’t remember what exactly happened but one of my activist friends went do after hurricane Katrina to do animal outreach and rescue and basically….HSUS didn’t play very nice with other rescue groups or really do all that much in the end….or something…again i can’t remember.

    Plus HSUS still supports factory farming (the backed an egg company at one point) and all that.

    Not that they are so bad (hello peta) but i guess (just like any big non profit) they run it like a business in ways.

    I def rather THEY be in the spotlight for the good they do then Peta be in the spotlight for crap like sea kittens….

  • steph

    Sorry for double post! I found this article about the Vick dogs:

    This is one of he things that happened in LA actually. In nutshell, the HSUS solicited donations to help the dogs, but people involved with the rescue claim they never saw that money.

    I remember now that is what my friend said. The HSUS pushed donations for animal rescue, but none of the organizations (at least that my friends people worked with/talked to) got any support.

    So….yeah….that is what i heard about the HSUS.

    I personally support all smaller grassroots organizations anyway.

  • Adriana


    I’m an active animal advocate who has worked in Mexico and California for animal welfare. The HSUS has been very active!! They really know their stuff. People expect them to act like your local shelter, but they focus more on the bigger picture. I don’t see people complaining that animal shelters aren’t protecting whales from slaughter or racoon dogs from being skinned alive in China, just to name two of hundreds of examples. HSUS helps on both fronts, plus works to pass anti-puppymill legislation and rescue puppy mill dogs. How many local animal shelters have you seen doing that?

  • Glossglamzenfly

    Shouldn’t Hayden Pantiere (totally spelled that wrong) get that award? After all she was almost jailed over seas for supporting such causes. Makes you think.

  • Chris

    At least she is helping the bigger picture! Let the past be in the past.

  • herwin

    Yeah, HSUS very active ! also Peta ! And Peta does soooo much more than “Sea Kitten crap” thats just soooooo unfair to say. ;_;

  • herwin

    anyway, that miss Hilton donates 100K to the HSUS is great, and that she gets publicity also, after all she has many fans who look up at her. so thumbs up for Paris (and no, i didnt receive any money from miss Hilton , my pat on the back is free :-P )

  • petdefense

    She got the push bec HSUS is after $$$$ and is an animal rights political lobbying machine,HSUS only uses errant snitched off people to take down all of the pet commerce in the US. Now first off most will say that’s nuts. BUT what exactly do you KNOW about HSUS? Have you actually researched? Did u know they helped pass/draft anti-pet laws now in Federal Court? LIke Louisville KY? see and read it for yourself. HSUS does the manipulate whitewash act but their agenda is the same as Peta. only on the outside it’s not as radical. that’s why ALF got mad at HSUS bec HSUS donated $$ in CA toward the no violence terrorism. But yet HSUS hired JP Goodwin, convicted of terrorism. HSUS brags it passes laws, but altho they say to buy a dog from a good breeder, HSUS pushes laws against good breeders. They say to donate to HSUS for Vick dogs, but they advocated to have all the dogs killed. HSUS has also raided dog breeders and killed every single dog owned. Owners were not guilty of anything but HSUS uses quasi-legal authority. HSUS is trying to be the govt for God’s sake. HSUS is pushing laws saying a cropped ear dog means you’re a felon. HSUS has a 6pg report to fill out to rat out a dog/cat/animal breeder. HSUS printed a reptile book just for the govt, saying no reptiles should be owned as pets. and no birds either. If I didn’t know better, I would think this isn’t the USA anymore. Younger people in particular who donate to HSUS think it’s all roses and puppies. Little do they know HSUS takes most of the money and spends it on political lobbying, litigation, media ads, and making bad laws. All without you even knowing.

    • Zoe

      THANK YOU for posting this info. People are so hoodwinked by photos of cute puppy dogs and fluffy kitties they have NO clue what they are truely supporting!

  • TAC

    Death threats and kidnapping threats coming from the anti-Petland HSUS campaign?!?!?!?! HSUS and Wayne Pacelle show us YET AGAIN they are a domestic terrorist group! How dare you put the life of HUMAN BEINGS in jeopardy to raise MORE millions for your own personal use! You will be held accountable for your criminal actions by the US government. You are not going to sleaze you way out of this one Wayne. I am absolutely repulsed by the HSUS terrorist machine!

  • HSUS Vegan America

    Please, please, PLEASE get the facts about the Humane Society of the United States before donating to them. They only spent 4 cents of every donation dollar to hands-on animal care of dogs, cats, etc. according to their 2007 IRS tax return posted on their site. In fact HSUS spent more on staff travel expenses, yes travel expenses, than to this charitable cause. Now you will find more HSUS propaganda about their vegan America goal on their web site. Is this where you want your donations going? Again please get the facts!

  • Michael Parrish DuDell

    I would be A-OK with a vegan America and I completely trust that the HSUS is responsible with their cash!

    • WayneSucksHisOwnBalls

      Dude, are you kidding me? Are you high? You trust the HSUS corporate assholes? Have you looked at theor IRS tax returns posted on their site? The truth lies there. Dude, seriously, are you high?

  • HSUS Vegan America


    Please do the math on their tax returns posted on their site. See where the donations are being spent. You don’t have to be a CPA to see there is a LARGE problem there.