It’s pretty easy, actually. Real humane societies and shelters are affiliated with animal welfare organizations, like the 130-year-old American Humane Association, whose mission statement reads:
The mission of the American Humane Association, as a network of individuals and organizations, is to prevent cruelty, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children and animals and to assure that their interests and well-being are fully, effectively, and humanely guaranteed by an aware and caring society.
American Humane envisions a nation where no child or animal will ever be a victim of willful abuse or neglect. As a recognized leader in professional education, training and advocacy, research and evaluation, American Humane joins with other similarly missioned individuals and organizations to make this vision a reality.
Fakes, though, are affiliated with animal rights organizations, like the misleadingly named Humane Society of the United States. That group is notorious for cashing in on the good reputation of the American Humane Association (AHA), even though HSUS is a far more recently organized outfit and didn’t have a thing to do with the successes of the AHA. This isn’t to say that the fakes haven’t gotten on the bandwagon of pushing legitimate reforms already suggested by animal welfare advocates. But their participation is best considered a form of crypsis, since they have an agenda that goes far beyond the laudable aims of animal welfare.
Support animal welfare. Don’t get conned by animal rights groups trying to disguise themselves as animal welfare advocates.