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A new bill in Montana would force people accused of animal cruelty to pay for the cost of care of confiscated pets. This would go against the fundamental American value that we are innocent until proven guilty. Just because someone is accused of a crime shouldn’t force them to endure additional costs that can easily balloon into the many thousands of dollars — on top of their criminal defense costs.

Advocates of the proposal, namely the Humane Society of the United States, claim that the cost shouldn’t fall on groups like them. Yet their entire mission is to help animals, and they have more than enough money to cover the cost of services and care.

According to a recent tax return, the Humane Society of the U.S. raises over $100 million a year. It pays its top executives millions, spends close to half of its budget on fundraising, and has about $50 million sitting offshore in Caribbean accounts. There’s no reason a group like this couldn’t pony up to cover animal care costs pending the outcome of a trial. After all, people support the Humane Society to help animals — not executives. 

Will Coggin, 

director of research,

Center for Consumer Freedom,

Washington, D.C.

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