An Organization With A Good Cause Made A Serious Mistake

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about a legal settlement demanding a payment of $9.3 million by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to the parent company of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

The article reports:

Feld Entertainment, the circus’s operator, said Friday that the settlement resolves the ASPCA’s part in paying Tom Rider, the star witness procured by a larger group of animal advocacy organizations, to testify falsely about abuse he claimed to have witnessed at the hands of circus trainers. That lawsuit was first brought into federal court in 2000.

The payment releases the ASPCA from liability related to a racketeering counter-suit Feld brought against the animal organizations in 2007 after documents turned over in discovery showed that the plaintiffs made payments — often through a nonprofit managed by their lawyers — to Rider.

The case also involved the Fund for Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA. The Humane Society of the United States also became a defendant when it merged with the Fund for Animals in 2005.

Again, the ASPCA supports a good cause. Like many charities, it has grown so large that much of the money it receives goes to administrative costs. According to a website called Outdoor Adventures, the CEO of the ASPCA makes $500,000 a year. That seems a little high to me. Aside from the fact that the witness in the elephant abuse case seems to have been bribed, it it time to look closely at the activities and salaries of the people involved in all of our major charities.

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