Soon, the Humane Society of the United States will initiate its signature-gathering effort against bear trapping, hounding and baiting. If members are successful in gathering the nearly 60,000 signatures necessary to place the question on a referendum ballot, the debate will begin in earnest and at certain times will be very emotional on both sides.

Our organization will oppose their efforts.

It is important the public does not confuse the actions of HSUS with local animal shelters and the important work they do for animals.

The HSUS is a national animal-rights group that specializes in litigation and using the referendum process to promote its agenda. It raised $130 million last year and gave just pennies back to actually support local animal shelters.

The HSUS uses its money for mostly political purposes. Conversely, local animal shelters do the work of angels, caring for abused and neglected animals. My wife volunteers at one of our local shelters and we support them financially.

It is very important that people continue to support animal shelters and do not confuse the two organizations.


It is likely that $5 million will be spent during the referendum campaign, most of that by HSUS.

If I had one wish during the campaign it would be that the HSUS would abandon its referendum efforts and donate the millions to animal shelters. The positive difference that money could have on the lives of thousands of abused animals is endless.

David Trahan, Augusta

Executive director, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

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