Skip to content

HSUS and Co-Defendants Pay $15.75 Million in Racketeering Lawsuit



reprinted from HumaneWatch.org

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shows TV commercials of abandoned and abused cats and dogs, raising money off of the confusion that it’s a pet shelter umbrella group. (It doesn’t run a single pet shelter anywhere.) Maybe its commercials should instead show HSUS’s lawyers paying a racketeering settlement with their tails tucked between their legs.

This morning news broke that HSUS and its co-defendants, including two HSUS employees, have agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle a long-fought lawsuit filed against them under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act—a law that’s been used to go after the mob.

The suit stems from litigation that animal rights activists, including an HSUS affiliate, pursued against the owner of the Ringling Bros. circus, Feld Entertainment. In that case, activists claimed that the circus was unlawfully harming elephants in its care, and their key witness was a former Feld handler.

However, as that case unfolded over a decade, a payment scheme was discovered going from plaintiffs and their lawyers to this witness. The court eventually threw out the lawsuit, finding that the witness was a “paid plaintiff” who was “not credible.” This paid witness even “lied” to the court.

Feld then filed suit under RICO, alleging bribery, illegal witness payments, and other torts. The ASPCA settled in late 2012 for $9.3 million. And today, the other co-defendants have paid $15.75 million.

The animal liberation movement has long been associated with extremist, bullying, and sometimes even terroristic tactics in pursuit of its radical goal to institute prohibition on how we use animals, whether for food, fiber, or entertainment. The FBI cracked down on the terroristic fringe over the past two decades. And the suit-wearing, lawyered-up part of the movement has now had its day in court. It comes up $15.75 million poorer, but with its inner workings exposed, the rest of society should feel better off.

Sadly, the real losers in this case are the thousands of individual donors who gave money to HSUS thinking that they were helping local animal shelters, only to find that their donations are footing the bill for HSUS’s mismanagement.

More Stories

  • Obituary – Sam Hartsell

    Sam “Shot” Hartsell, age 74, of Newport, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nan Hartsell and parents, Floyd and Viola McMahan Hartsell... Read More
  • WHOA announces International judging panel

    The Walking Horse Owners' is pleased to announce the three judges selected by current WHOA members. Charlie Brown, Shelli MeHaffey and Lonnie Messick will officiate the 40th Annual International Pleasure & Colt Championship.

    Read More
  • Savannah Lions Club adds classes

    The 52nd Annual Savannah Lions Club Show, scheduled for June 23 at 6:30 pm, has added two classes to their original schedule... Read More
  • Scrivner selected to judge Mid-South

    The Mid-South Walking Horse Association Show, scheduled for July 14, has selected Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Pugh Bourne Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More
  • WHOA Versatility revises class schedule

    The Walking Horse Owners Association has added 5 classes to its June 16 show scheduled at Tennessee Tech, Hyder-Burk Facility in Cookeville, TN. The show starts at 10 am and is a casual dress show (boots, long pants, shirts with a collar) and "Youth 11 and Under" are required to wear a safety helmet. Read More
  • Putnam Co. Fair selects judge

    The Putnam County Fair and Upper Cumberland Walking Horse Association are pleased to announce that Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tennessee will judge this year’s event... Read More
  • Wartrace selects judge

    The 112th Anniversary Wartrace Horse Show has selected John Fikes of Hamilton, Alabama to judge this year's event and has released their class schedule... Read More