“National Humane Society” behind the raffle uses the original name of the Humane Society of the U.S.
BOCA RATON, Florida––The web site for a shadowy entity incorporated in Delaware as the National Humane Society advertised for months that on December 14, 2018 the organization would raffle off a Porsche, a Corvette, a classic 1965 Corvette, a Tesla, a Maserati, a Range Rover, a Mercedes Benz, and $50,000 in cash.
On December 14, 2018, the National Humane Society announced a single winner, a “Shane O. from New Hampshire,” whose name and first initial match those of many New Hampshire residents.
The National Humane Society web site claims, on the donation page, that “We are one of the national leaders in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare, and your tax-deductible donation will help fight cruelty and make a life-changing difference for animals across America.”
Little verifiable program spending
But the National Humane Society claims program spending from 2015 through 2017 cumulatively amounting to $762,657, less over the whole three years than the average annual program budget of a typical mid-sized city or county humane society.
Program activity verifiable from the details given in National Humane Society filings of IRS Form 990 adds up to just a fraction of that much.
“Donations to the National Humane Society go to our shelters and breed rescues nationwide,” says the organization’s web site.
An “Ed Harris,” claiming to be “one of the principals here at the National Humane Society,” posted to Facebook on November 30, 2018 that “There are thousands of shelters throughout the country that we work with as The National Humane Society has branches all over the United States.”
But the National Humane Society does not actually operate any shelters or breed rescues.
“Payments for public education”
The National Humane Society filing of Form 990 for 2015 itemized grants to nine other animal charities, including shelters and breed rescues, totaling $62,212.
The greater portion of program spending, however, was said to have been $216,278 in “Payments for public education on importance of pet owners having their pets spayed and neutered to prevent pet overpopulation.”
But who got the money?
The recipients of the payments were not identified. Neither was any mention made of how the “public education” might have been done.
The National Humane Society filings of Form 990 for 2016 and 2017 claimed “Payments for public education on importance of pet owners having their pets spayed and neutered to prevent pet overpopulation” as the organization’s sole program expense, at $304,477 and $179,690, respectively.
Again there was no mention made of how the “public education” might have been done.
Web site, blog, & Facebook
The National Humane Society has a website, including a blog, and a Facebook page, publishing miscellaneous information about animal advocacy campaigns waged by other organizations, and some “public education” about spay/neuter, but maintaining a website, blog, and Facebook page are low-budget activities accomplished by even some of the smallest neighborhood “rescues,” working on budgets of next to nothing.
None of the recently available National Humane Society filings of IRS Form 990 identify any expenses at all for either “information technology” or “advertising and promotion” as part of the “Statement of Functional Expenses.”
Multiple “National Humane Societies”
The National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware was also incorporated in Indiana in May 2014, with the same Delaware address and the same principal officers, brothers Randy and Glenn Kassal.
The National Humane Society was the original name of the Humane Society of the United States, when HSUS was incorporated in 1954 by former American Humane Association publicist Fred Myer. But the National Humane Society advertising the car raffle is not related in any manner to the Humane Society of the U.S.
The Humane Society of the U.S. formally changed names in settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Humane Association, founded in 1876. But to this day, a check of www.NewsLibrary.com confirms, the Humane Society of the U.S. is still almost the only organization meant in headlines referring to a “National Humane Society.”
Amplified a garble
The National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware took advantage of that frequent point of confusion when on December 5, 2018 the Atlanta architecture firm McMillan Pazdan Smith misidentified the Humane Society of the U.S. periodical Animal Sheltering as a “National Humane Society” publication in promoting a recent article by McMillan Pazdan Smith employee Cary Perkins.
The National Humane Society page on Facebook promptly shared the erroneous McMillan Pazdan Smith posting.
The National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware is also not related in any manner to yet another National Humane Society, incorporated in Tampa, Florida in 2002 by longtime humane worker Carol Childs to operate a spay/neuter clinic and rehome dogs and cats.
The National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware does, however, have Florida roots. The cofounders, brothers Randy and Glenn Kassal, are both longtime residents of Boca Raton, Florida.
The National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware also claims to have at least one Florida program, more-or-less, specifically a pledge made in promoting the forthcoming car raffle that “All donations will help animals in California due to the wildfires and in the FL Panhandle due to Hurricane Michael.”
What the National Humane Society incorporated in Delaware has been doing meanwhile appears to have mostly been running raffles. The raffles are publicized as giveaways of luxury cars. An online list of winners, for whom only partial names and locations are given, shows a few with cars, but most are shown by themselves, and there is no mention of any cars either owned or distributed as prizes in the three most recent National Humane Society filings of Form 990.
Form 990 for 2015 reported $429,205 total income, most of it the net from gross revenue of $628,680 from gaming, after subtracting $200,000 paid out in cash prizes.
Form 990 for 2016 reported $487,384 total income, the net from gross revenue of $637,394 from gaming, after subtracting $150,000 paid out in cash prizes.
Form 990 for 2017 reported $450,911 total income, chiefly the net from gross revenue of $449,500 from gaming. No prize payouts were mentioned, either in cash or otherwise.
How are the raffles advertised?
The National Humane Society has not had gross revenue of under $628,680 since 2010 at least, Form 990 filings indicate. Raffles of pricy cars at $100 per ticket may account for most of the income, but how are the raffles promoted? IRS Form 990 filings offer no clue––unless the “Payments for public education on importance of pet owners having their pets spayed and neutered to prevent pet overpopulation” listed as a program activity are in truth expenditures for raffle advertising which may mention spay/neuter as well.
No recent National Humane Society filing of IRS Form 990, however, has reported “joint costs from a combined educational campaign and fundraising solicitation on Line 26 of the “Statement of Functional Expenses,” where advertising a fundraising raffle in conjunction with promoting spay/neuter would presumably be acknowledged.
The most surprising expenses itemized on National Humane Society filings of IRS Form 990, 2015-2017, were $77,400 for “occupancy” in 2015, $71,500 for “occupancy” in 2016, and $76,700 for “occupancy” in 2017––quite a lot for an organization whose only stated physical address is post office box #364 at a United Parcel Service store located at 40 East Main Street in Newark, Delaware 19711.
While UPS mailbox rental fees vary by location, the average appears to be between $35 and $50 per month.
In each year, 2015-2017, according to IRS Form 990, Randy and Glenn Kassal were paid $35,000 apiece. No other paid personnel were identified.
Other public records
According to www.floridaresidentsdirectory.com, which says “All information on this website is public information in the State of Florida as part of the voter registration database,” Randy Kassal, 66, has an estimated annual salary of $62,580. This could come from multiple sources. Randy Kassal is said to have a net worth of $1,058,798, residing in a Boca Raton high-rise condominium apartment. The real estate listing firm Zillow believes the condo might sell for $878,971, with rental value of $6,500 per month: $78,000 per year.
Glenn Kassal, 65, according to www.floridaresidentsdirectory.com, has an estimated annual salary of only $5,617, with net worth of $493,582. Glenn Kassal resides in a Boca Raton single-family dwelling that Zillow believes might sell for $536,607, with rental value of $4,498 per month: $53,976 per year.
Randy and Glenn Kassal appear to live quietly, leaving little public trace of themselves, except in an incident described by NBC-Miami on January 9, 2014.
Said the NBC-Miami report, “Glenn Elliot Kassal, 60, [of Boca Raton] was arrested when police saw him throw two plastic cups from his driver’s side window onto the lawn of Richard Templer, who had captured footage of Kassal driving his grey Mercedes driving past Templer’s home on Spanish River Road and throwing plastic cups onto Templer’s lawn.”
Glenn Kassal, the report continued, “admitted to driving past Templer’s home for the past seven months after going to get coffee and throwing his cups onto Templer’s lawn. Kassal told police he started throwing the cups onto Templer’s lawn because at some point Kassal had been walking his dog down Spanish River Road and Templer made derogatory and offensive comments towards him.
No seat belts, driving wrong way
“Police said Kassal’s daughter Kapiolani would join her father on some of these trips,” the NBC-Miami report added. “She told police Kassal would drive to that neighborhood to get coffee, and each time he would pass by Templer’s home and throw the cups on his lawn without saying a word.
“Jail records show Kassal was released the same day on $500 bond. He was also cited for not wearing a seat belt and traveling in the wrong direction,” the NBC-Miami report finished.
The National Humane Society raffles have been subjects of discussion at the Ripoff Report web site in 2013, at Planet-9.com/automotive in 2016, and at reddit.com/Scams/commentsin 2017, but appear not to have attracted recent attention from charity monitors and law enforcement.
But this was not always the case.
In March 2004 the Council of Better Business Bureaus Wise Giving Alliance advised donors and news media that “Despite written requests in the past year, the National Humane Society has not provided current information about its finances, programs, and governance. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance reports on national charities and determines if they meet 23 voluntary standards on matters such as charity finances, appeals, and governance. Without the requested information, it cannot verify if the charity meets these standards.”
Florida Attorney General’s Office
Earlier, Randy and Glenn Kassal were prominently involved in a Boca Raton-based entity called American Animal Protection Charities Inc., which began advertising a car raffle in September 1997, raising more than $30,000 by November 5, 1997, according to the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
On March 18, 1998, the Florida Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post reported that, in the Palm Beach Post‘s words, “The Florida Attorney General’s Office has sued American Animal Protection Charities Inc. and the two brothers who run the nonprofit organization. The lawsuit alleges that the organization falsely advertised a raffle and did not contribute money to known animal charities. Court records show the winner received $13,000 instead of the $60,000 or new car promised. The suit, filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, asked the court in part to order brothers Glenn and Randy Kassal to refund $99.95 each to 300 ticket holders and bar any future raffles. The Kassals’ attorney, Curt Levine, said there was no intent to do anything improper.”
There appears to have been no published follow-up, but earlier, on January 22, 1998, Palm Beach Post staff writer Dina Nelson mentioned that American Animal Protection Charities, “owned by brothers Randy and Glenn Kassal, sued Attorney General Bob Butterworth to bar investigators from obtaining records.”
National Humane Society filings of IRS Form 990 from 1999-2003 each declared that the organization had no fundraising costs in the preceding year. Of the claimed program spending, 92%, 98%, 92%, 89%, and 74%, respectively, was said to have been used for “public education on animal overpopulation and importance of neutering and spaying their pets,” just as in 2015-2018, likewise with no detail provided about how this was done.
The Kassal brothers were at that time paid $30,000 apiece per year, according to IRS Form 990.