The Center for Consumer Freedom announced its advertising buy with a press release praising Pruitt and alleging “The Humane Society of the United States deceives donors with tear-jerking and manipulative images of dogs and cats, and then funnels the money to push a radical animal liberation agenda aimed at attacking farmers.”
Pruitt said he had no advance knowledge of the ad campaign and that it is coincidental with his consumer alert. The alert says the attorney general’s office has received complaints that HSUS mislead donors after last year’s Moore tornadoes by telling them their money would go to help local shelters and dislocated animals.
Cynthia Armstrong, HSUS’ Oklahoma representative, said the allegations are not true and that she directed those wishing to help animals and shelters affected by the storms to local chapters, which operate independently of HSUS.
Armstrong said the society is cooperating with the attorney general.
Armstrong and HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said they suspect Wednesday’s consumer alert is connected to other recent developments in Oklahoma, including Pruitt’s decision to join a lawsuit against California over egg sales and a proposed state constitutional “right to farm” amendment approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“Is all of that coincidental?” said Armstrong. “I don’t believe it is.”
Pruitt, however, said the events are not related. He pointed out that the California suit is over that state’s right to restrict interstate trade — in this case, eggs not produced according to California’s standards — and that it is his duty to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by charitable organizations.
The Center for Consumer Freedom, originally established to oppose smoking restrictions in restaurants, is associated with websites that claim some of the best-known animal welfare and nutrition groups are scams.
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