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Ex-HSUS Leader Gets 46 Months for Armed Robbery

This will probably be the last update we write about Scotlund Haisley for a while, since he was just sentenced to almost four years in prison. Haisley is best remembered for being the former lead of the Humane Society of the United States’ animal rescue team who was arrested earlier this year for robbing a Washington, D.C. Subway twice in one week. Haisley pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery and one count of robbery, and was sentenced last week. 

According to the Department of Justice, Haisley robbed a Subway restaurant on Jan. 20 and 24. He then took a getaway subway train away from the crime scene. He was caught at a metro station a few days later, still wearing the same clothes. During his arrest, two metro cards were found on his person, one of which he recharged using money he stole from Subway. 

He’s not exactly the brightest bulb in the box. And the robbery was the final event in a list of mishaps for Haisley dating back to his time at HSUS, when he was accused of aggressive, reckless behavior. 

His most serious problems first arose when he worked for HSUS as Director of Emergency Services from January 2008 to February 2010. At the time, we wrote that the team had the feel of a wannabe SWAT team. One member who quit said that disgraced former HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle defended Haisley, lauding him for his “cowboy ways.” 

Those “cowboy ways” appear to have helped land HSUS in hot water during two controversial raids.

The first raid was on a no-kill shelter in Hawaii owned by widower Norman Pang. Pang was in the process of transferring the animals to the Oahu SPCA after realizing he could no longer take care of the 400 dogs, cats, and birds in his care. Oahu SPCA asked HSUS for help in the transfer. HSUS “helped” in the best way they knew possible—turning the transfer into a spectacle. In the media campaign, HSUS accused Pang of running a “hoarding operation.” Pang filed a lawsuit against HSUS employees, which was later settled, according to records.

In the second raid, HSUS sent a team led by Haisley to assist the Second Chance Rescue in raiding Dan Christensen’s South Dakota property. The raid was based on a claim that Christensen, a hunting dog breeder, was abusing the animals. But the raid was illegal, as the initial search warrant was subsequently thrown out by a judge. The judge believed that the animal control officer “intentionally misled the issuing court by omitting material information in her affidavits and supplemental testimony.” 

After the charges against Christensen were dropped, the dogs were ordered to be returned. Unfortunately it was too late for 28 of the dogs who died in Second Chance Rescue’s care. These actions led to a $5 million federal lawsuit against HSUS and several other organizations.

These raids, mixed with the mass resignation of HSUS’s rescue team under Haisley, likely led to his departure from HSUS. 

Haisley went on to start Animal Rescue Corps, where he made about $100,000 a year, according to tax returns. But by last October, according to the animal-rights news website Animals 24-7, Haisley was placed on “temporary administrative leave” while ARC was “reviewing his status.”

It’s a long fall from grace. But justice is served.