|(Columbus, Ohio) - Meijer, a Michigan-based regional chain of retail superstores, has aligned itself with the anti-hunting group, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), in an online pet photo contest.
It has refused a U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) request to abandon the partnership.
According to information on the Meijer website, for each person that enters the contest, Meijer will donate $1, up to a maximum of $5,000, to the HSUS Foreclosure Pets Fund.
The money donated to HSUS through this promotion, while not going directly to its anti-hunting campaign, will free up money from the organization’s general fund that can be used to attack the rights of sportsmen.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the nation’s leading sportsmen’s advocacy organization, has urged Meijer to end its support of HSUS, but the company refused.
“While my answer probably isn’t going to completely satisfy you, it is important that you (USSA) and your members understand that we understand what you are saying. We believe that we have funneled this money away from the Humane Society and instead put it to use where we really wanted it, which is helping families and helping rescued animals,” said Meijer vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, Stacie Behler. “Our goal here was not to provide funding for the Humane Society of the United States, but instead for a fund that would be funneled out nationally.”
Behler did recognize that hunters and sportsmen are a huge customer base for Meijer and mentioned that the company has already received messages and emails from concerned sportsmen and some of those messages identified other sportsmen-friendly national organizations that will be helped in future programs.
“Sportsmen must send Meijer a strong message that its support of HSUS, the largest anti-hunting organization in the world, is not appreciated,” said Bud Pidgeon, president of USSA. “I encourage everyone to call and write the company to express your disappointment at the alienation of sportsmen this collaboration causes.”
The HSUS is America’s leading opponent of hunting, fishing and trapping. It led the charge in a a 2006 ballot campaign to ban dove hunting in Meijer’s home state of Michigan, contributing $1.6 million to the effort. It opposes hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and other public lands. In fact, the organization is a plaintiff in an ongoing federal lawsuit to ban hunting on the refuges, and is the lead plaintiff in other suits to manipulate the Endangered Species Act to ban outdoor sports. HSUS does not operate or oversee animal shelters or have any legal controls over them.
Meijer is a seller of sporting goods and hunting licenses and indicates on its website that it operates 184 locations throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
Sportsmen can make a difference. Companies such as Iams, General Mills, Accor Hotels, Pet Safe, Sears and Ace Hardware ended relationships with HSUS after thousands of sportsmen levied strong protest.
Sportsmen should contact Meijer CEO and President Hank Meijer at 2929 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49544-9428; phone – (616) 453-6711; fax – (616) 791-2572; email – firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that the company end its financial support of HSUS.