The deceptively named Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) has filed for dissolution, signaling the death of yet another one of Richard Berman’s schemes to line his pockets while undermining animal welfare.
HSSP was founded by Berman to attack the Humane Society of the United States, part of his ongoing strategy to defund the nation’s largest animal protection charity by frightening away donors. Berman selected disgruntled ex-HSUS employee Didi Culp as the figurehead of the organization.
Culp, a supposed shelter advocate who advises people to “get a better dog” from a breeder, may have seemed the ideal choice for the job. But when HSSP was exposed as a front group for Berman’s corporate clients, Culp became the subject of an ethics investigation for her improper use of Frederick County Animal Control facilities. The organization’s leadership fled, and Culp was left at the helm of a sinking ship.
The collapse of HSSP puts an end to Berman’s most recent attempt to deceive animal lovers. Don’t feel too badly for the millionaire tobacco lobbyist, however: Before the collapse of HSSP, Berman managed to funnel $765,483.00 of the organization’s “nonprofit” donations into his personal and corporate bank accounts. Berman has not disclosed how much Culp was paid for her services as the organization’s figurehead.
The shelters that Berman and Culp used as pawns received nothing, according to tax forms filed by the organization.