The Truth Behind the Humane Society of the United States
Over two years ago in August of 2015, you may have heard or read about the Humane Society of the United States coming out with an “investigation” about ThorSport Farm. With current events that have happened recently, like the President of Humane Society of the United States resigning from his job for sexual allegations a little over a week ago, I think it is fitting to share with you what I and others around me experienced.
Let’s take a rewind back in time…
Growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to experience life alongside my parents. They had businesses in several different industries and I had the opportunity to watch, observe, participate, and learn about what it takes to truly live the American dream. Getting up early before the sunrise, and laying their head down in bed at night with fatigue, my parents lived each day trying to be better than the day before. Hard working and determined, striving and wanting more for everything and everyone around them, their enthusiasm was contagious and their will to succeed was admirable.
Besides attending school, I was able to get involved in lots of extracurricular activities such as competitive dance, tennis, and soccer, just to name a few. My parents always encouraged me to experience and participate in anything that I wanted to pursue in order to find my “calling” at a young age. Little did I know my life forever would be changed when my mother signed me up for horseback riding lessons at a local farm in Ohio.
As soon as my fingertips touched the horse and I locked in eyesight with the horse, I was instantly hooked. This feeling overcame me – I was one with the horse. Over time, lessons added on and the passion for the equine world was all I could think about. With the competitive edge in my blood, I soon was looking for what I could do next to further my experience with horses. My parents located a professional trainer nearby that was ready to take me to the next level – horse shows.
Soon you could find me after school heading out to the horse barn, absorbing as much knowledge as possible and preparing for shows. Over that next decade, my life became school and horses (starting around age 8). We would travel to over a dozen states. We attended horse shows over 36 weeks out of the year (March-November) annually to broaden my horizons by training under several notable professionals in the industry. We created several agricultural and equine businesses and we built and developed two farm locations in Ohio and Tennessee. My father served (and still serves) on numerous boards, and we became deeply involved in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.
My childhood journey in the equine world was what created the foundation for my life. My parents were very supportive of me but also made sure I realized what “elbow grease” really was. My dad would be the coach at the shows and my eyes on the ground, always critiquing me…even if I won! There was still always something to improve on. My mother would always be the organizer and complete paperwork and help groom the horses.
After a show was over, my parents and I, horses in tow, would head home on the road – lots of times getting home in the middle of the night. But that didn’t mean it was time to rest, we would still clean stalls, give horses treats, and make sure everyone was happy in the barn before we headed home. Even to this day our barns are a major priority. Every single day the horses are fed at their scheduled times, let outside at their certain times, and the barns are kept prestigious and clean. Happy horses-is our middle name.
The list goes on about our schedule around our horses and dogs and animals. You could often hear someone say “When I come back to life, I want to be a Thorson horse or dog.” or “this barn is cleaner than my house!” For the people that know us or are around us, they know the standard we set for our horses.
As I stated before, my father served on many boards in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. With a brilliant mind and the will to never lose, my father was a strong advocate for ethical and proper care for the horses as he worked to better the industry. A major component to the success of the industry was promoting the great breed of Tennessee Walking Horse. Like in many aspirations in life, there will always be negativity from those who oppose your efforts; and one group that is very notable in doing so is the Humane Society of the United States. Most are familiar with the sad commercials on television saying “donate now!” But little do people know where those dollars really go…
One of the things that we learned when digging into the false accusations about the HSUS towards the TWH industry, is how corrupt and crooked the HSUS is. Through lots of factual and disclosed proof, my father’s attorney exposed a Congressman’s wife, who was a lobbyist for the HSUS, using her husband’s position in United States Congress to illegally get bills passed through the government. This was a extremely unethical, and better yet, they both lost their positions. (Article link at the bottom)
But there’s more –
Did you know what really goes on at the Humane Society of the United States? (Full article link at the bottom)
Here are some quick facts:
1) HSUS raises millions of dollars from American animal-lovers through manipulative advertising. The HSUS doesn’t run a single shelter and gives less than 1% of funds raised to shelters.
2) HSUS’s own donors and local shelters feel wronged.
3) HSUS puts more into its pension plan and Caribbean hedge funds than it gives to pet shelters.
4) While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-vegan agenda, “to get rid of entire animal agriculture industry.”
5) In May 2014, HSUS was a part of a $15.75 million settlement of a federal racketeering lawsuit.
6) HSUS’s own senior management includes others who have voiced support for terroristic attacks.
7) HSUS President, Wayne Pacelle, hired John Goodwin, who was apart of the Animal Liberation Front, a criminal group designated as terrorists by the FBI.
8) HSUS receives poor charity evaluation marks.
9) HSUS endorsed convicted dogfighting kingpin, Michael Vick getting another pet.
10) Given the massive size of its budget, HSUS does relatively little hands-on care for animals.
So that little punch from us came with a payback!
HSUS wanted to get payback. In August 2015, just a day before the Tennessee Walking horse National Celebration (the World Championship show) the HSUS wanted to play a little game called “attempt to cut the head off of the snake” aka ThorSport Farm.
Monday August 24th, 2015
During this week of the start of the Tennessee Walking Horse World Championship horse show – The Celebration, everyone was busy, working hard, and had great anticipation and high hopes of what would come for the entire show! The start of the show was under 48 hours away and I was petal to the medal- riding horses, making last minute barn décor changes, and getting ready for the show! All was going well until one of my prized horses, Roll The Gold, was having a relapse of colic. He had colic surgery earlier in the year and was still on the mend of recovering. The barn staff and I went through our usual routine of treating colic symptoms- hand-walking him and waiting on the vet. When the vet arrived, he strongly suggested that there wasn’t much hope and to put him to sleep. But we wanted to give everything we had, so we put him in our semi trailer with medication and hauled him to Rood and Riddle Veterinary hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. My adrenaline was running, because I was hoping and praying for him to come through. But, I didn’t want to rule out the possible, negative outcome – death. I stayed back and continued to keep riding horses and preparing for our show coming up. For those next couple of hours along his trip to the vet hospital, there were numerous breakdowns from phone calls and updates of “Bull” heading to Kentucky. (For more information on the colic sickness in horses, I attached an article below.)
When Bull arrived, they rushed him into colic surgery and soon the vet called to tell us it was too late. That phone call was very tough. It felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. I found myself gasping for air and trying to breathe. My world was shattered. Every snuggle goodnight with treats and every victory pass I ever had on this prized stallion came racing to my mind in a flash. I would never again be able to live those precious moments.
With rest and sleep on the backburner, I met the trailer with his body in it later that evening. words Few words were said when I looked at my boy. What once was a body of personality and love, was now lifeless and cold. I felt numb.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
I could barely sleep a wink as tears and pain crippled my body throughout the night. With the heartbreak in my mind, there was still a lot of work to be done for the day, as the world championship show started that next day. Besides show preparation, it was the day we were going to lay Roll The Gold to rest. We picked out a peaceful and beautiful spot to bury him. Losing any companion is tough, but burying them presents a whole new level of pain. It feels like all of the emotions that were ever experienced with this horse overwhelmed me and took over my body as I watched him get laid to rest. This was the end. As I walked back to my house, I felt like I was in slow motion…like a dream I couldn’t wake up out of. I stumbled and fell to the ground several times gasping for air. The short trek and route back to my house seemed so far away.
When I finally got back to my house, I called my father to talk. I explained the burial and we also talked about things on our list to get done – the usual. But before we hung up, (I can still remember hearing those words) “One more thing,” my father said, “That video that the Humane Society is going to release is about us.”
On the phone call, dad mentioned that the HSUS had a press conference coming out with the “undercover investigation” of our farm within the next hour. All I could say was “WHAT?” “HOW?” “OF WHAT?”
Earlier in the year, we hired a lady to work on the farm alongside many others, her job task consisted of daily barn duties: stall cleaning, feeding, horse turnout, cleaning, etc. Let’s just call this gal, Wanda. Well Wanda not only worked for us, but she was an undercover plant by the HSUS. She wore tall boots everyday even if it was 90 degrees out in July, and always wore hats. Always a hard worker and eager to be at the barn, she was really doing more than just the daily barn tasks. She was taking videos of everyone and everything at the barn.
After the HSUS held their press conference releasing a “video” of our farm, not only was my phone blowing up with calls and messages, but I soon found television stations setting up across the road from our farm, mailbox full of disgusting letters, and phone voicemails that could pierce a person’s ear. We were under attack. This is was just the beginning of this ordeal.
The video the HSUS released, was absolutely absurd, misleading, and false. Footage taken out of context with a horse sleeping, or a horse being cast and needed help from a human, products that are used for any horse breed, or even footage that wasn’t even our horse barn was all put into this video released to the public for them to persuade the public that we, ThorSport Farm, were the cruelest of all cruel horsemen. This video, like many others this organization produces, was absolute slander and wrong. It is sickening and disgusting to think that humans who are behind creating this video aren’t really in this for the animal, they are just trying to raise money.
Our Tennessee location farm stalls 78 head of horses, not only to my horses, but to many, many boarders that present numerous other disciplines of riding. Not only did this affect us, but it also put many others in a place of fear, for absolutely no reason. Thoughts of ceasing the horses or even arsonists, were things that crossed my mind, being in the managerial position for the horse farm. For people who love their horses, and their horses live better than most humans, it was absolutely astonishing to think that we were under attack by the media and the press, for being presented to the public as horse abusers.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
With everything that happened within previous 48 hours: losing one of my horses, being attacked by the Humane Society of the United States, and also preparing for the world championship horse show, the show must ultimately go on. Not only was this game on, but this meant war. For a self-proclaimed and hypocritical “animal rights” group to try this on us not only meant war, but they just woke up a sleeping bear.
My family poured our heart and soul into our everyday lives with the horses, they weren’t only magnificent animals, but they were family.
It was the first day of the World Championship and many asked if our farm was still going to still compete or event better yet, participate and carry the flag in opening ceremonies, but that frequently asked question was a simple answer: yes. When it felt like I had a million reasons to give up, I found that one answer, that fire and that passion inside of me and went on. Even when my mind had so many thoughts, worries, fear, and anxiety, I was at complete peace when it came down to the time to show. I remember why I started and why I loved this more than anything in the world, because I knew what I have worked so hard for, I knew who I was and what my family did and stood for. The Humane Society wasn’t there mucking stalls with me at 2 a.m. after we got back from horse shows, so horses could sleep more more comfortable at night, the Humane society wasn’t paying the bills for the amount of high-end care we put into our horses, instead, they were uneducated and ignorant to think that this video would ever get them anywhere.
The Show Went On….
The proceeding ten days of the world championship show were very high and very low! The competition part was amazing, my horses performed their best! What was so heart-wrenching was the aftermath of dealing with the letters, messages, and voicemails from the “angered animal rights’ folks. The vulgar language was far beyond foul and distasteful.
I felt like I had lived a whole life through those ten days. But at the end of it, I came out winning 9 World Championships and a whole new discovery of what I was really made of. Even though I was in so much pain and was experiencing things in life that I had never faced before, I found the beauty of the experience and dug down deep to showcase what I was really made of and what I felt so strongly for- my horses. It was one of the darkest times of my life still to this day, but I perservered and saw the light that was guiding the way. The one thing that pulled me through, was the will I found within me, I was blessed with magnificent animals, and was aware of the people that believed in me that surrounded me, I wasn’t going to backdown and hide, or give up. I was going to see this through.
As far as the Humane Society of the United States, I am a big believer that honesty and integrity, are two of the biggest character values one can have. For those at the HSUS carrying out their misleading and untruthful ways of “work,” they won’t last. Clearly, the CEO has resigned for other allegations. His time and many others has come and is done, and for those who do carry out their Christian-valued life, they will thrive.
Learning from this experience, I encourage to all to really dig deep and formulate your own opinion of things before jumping to conclusions. What something can seem like on the outside, really may not be true on the inside. There are people and things out there that truly don’t want positive things and they aren’t genuine people. Associate yourself with the things and people that do value you, it is what is important. Life is a gift, it is precious, why spend moments blinding ourselves on immoral or damaging thoughts and things, when the pure gift of opportunity and beauty is right in front of us? No dream is too big, and no sky is too high…don’t set limitations! Be the person you want to be!
Article links for you to read and also here are some pictures to bring a visual to your mind:
Facts about the HSUS-
CEO Wayne Pacelle resigns