2 charities, 1 name: National Humane Society, Care For The Wild, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2004:
National Humane Society
The Council of Better Business Bureaus Wise Giving Alliance
has 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.”
The National Humane Society discussed by the Wise Giving
Alliance was incorporated in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1998 by four
people including brothers Glenn and Randy Kassal, plus Barbara May
and Lillie Gara. IRS Form 990 filings do not indicate any subsequent
changes in board composition. This National Humane Society raises
funds primarily by raffling luxury cars. It has used an address in
Newark, Delaware since 1999.
Earlier, Glenn and Randy Kassal were prominently involved in
a Boca Raton-based entity called American Animal Protection Charities
On March 18, 1998, the Palm Beach Post reported that, “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 ticketholders and bar
any future raffles. The Kassals’ attorney, Curt Levine, said Tuesday
there was no intent to do anything improper.”
There was no 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.”
Bob Bomwell, speaking for the now Delaware-based National
Humane Society, did not respond to the question from ANIMAL PEOPLE,
“What became of American Animal Protection Charities Inc.?”
Bomwell also did not respond to the question when ANIMAL
PEOPLE asked why <www.WhitePages.com> traced the contact telephone
number listed on the Delaware-based National Humane Society web site
to an entity called “Human Services Sex Related.”
The five available IRS Form 990 filings of the
Delaware-based National Humane Society each declare that it had no
fundraising costs in the preceding year. The raffle costs,
including buying the vehicles, are apparently claimed as “direct
expenses other than fund-raising” in connection with gaining revenue.
This is not how other animal charities whose IRS Form 990s
ANIMAL PEOPLE has monitored during the past 14 years have interpreted
the Form 990 disclosure requirements pertaining to raffles.
If the apparent cost of running raffles is considered
fundraising expense, then the Delaware-based National Humane Society
has spent 77%, 71%, 69%, 73%, and 75% of its annual budget on
fundraising plus administration during the past five fiscal years.
The Wise Giving Alliance and ANIMAL PEOPLE recommend that combined
fundraising plus administrative expense should not exceed 35% of the
expenditures of a charity.
Of the claimed program spending, 92%, 98%, 92%, 89%, and
74% has been declared as having been spent for “public education on
animal overpopulation and importance of neutering and spaying their
pets.” No detail is provided about how this is done that permits
either the Wise Giving Alliance or ANIMAL PEOPLE to determine the
extent to which this activity might have overlapped promoting the car
The Kassal brothers were each paid $30,000 in the fiscal year
ending on May 31, 2003, for workloads of 25 hours per week apiece,
according to the most recent IRS Form 990 filing of the
Delaware-based National Humane Society. May and Gera were also said
to have worked 25 hours per week apiece, without pay.
“Our CPA fills out our form 990 in the way that he feels is
appropriate,” said Bomwell, who is not listed on IRS Form 990.
There is another nonprofit National Humane Society
incorporated in Florida. Using a Tampa address, it lists four board
members including longtime Florida humane worker and former
Montessori educator Carol Childs. Childs has also headed the Florida
Humane Society in Deerfield Beach since 1993. The other board
members are Childs’ daughter, Tampa attorney Kellie Lightbourn;
Lightbourn’s husband, Nick Exarhos; and Mary Curcio.
Lightbourn, 28, was Miss Virginia in 1999. News coverage
confirms her longtime volunteer work on behalf of animals.
Lightbourn and Childs both told ANIMAL PEOPLE that they had
no prior knowledge of the National Humane Society now located in
The name “National Humane Society” was also the original name
of the Humane Society of the U.S., when it formed in 1954. The name
was changed in settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Humane
Association, founded in 1876.
Care For The Wild
Care For The Wild USA is “no longer affiliated with Care For
The Wild International in the United Kingdom. We are now affiliated
with the Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence Fund in the U.K.,” Care For
The Wild USA spokesperson Rachel Adams wrote to ANIMAL PEOPLE on
Jordan founded Care For The Wild International in Britain in
1984, with the head office at his home in Rusper, West Sussex. A
longtime wildlife veterinarian, who had worked on every inhabited
continent for other conservation and animal welfare organizations,
Jordan intended for Care For The Wild to pursue conservation from a
welfare perspective, meaning that animals should never be hunted,
trapped, culled, harassed, captured, or bred for exhibition.
In 1991 Jordan’s daughter Sheena Bliss incorporated Care For
The Wild USA to assist in fundraising, with an office in Madison,
Jordan left Care For The Wild International after a 2002 split that
also included the departure of his son Chris Jordan, who had been
general manager. Now headed by Barbara Maas, Care For The Wild
Inter-national relocated to Kingsfold, West Sussex.
In early 2004 Jordan started the Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence
Fund from the old Care For The Wild International headquarters.
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
The existence of two separate non-affiliated Care For The
Wild organizations is reminiscent of the much older rift between the
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and the Dian Fossey Gorilla
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, of Atlanta, and
the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe, of London, U.K., both purport
to continue the work begun in 1967 by the late Dian Fossey at the
Karisoke Research Center, Volcano National Park, Rwanda.
“We are the original Digit Fund established by Dian Fossey in
1978,” says Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International director of
development Elyese Christensen. “Our name was changed in 1992. The
other fund is completely separate.”
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe web site states that it
was, “Founded by the late Dr Dian Fossey, after her favourite
gorilla Digit was speared to death by poachers in 1979.” Fossey was
murdered at Karisoke in 1985. Her will, written to endow the Digit
Fund, or one of them anyhow, was overturned in 1988. Which
organization best represents her intentions remains in dispute.