HSUS’s Faux SWAT Team, Redux
We recently updated you on the $5 million lawsuit filed against HSUS, CEO Wayne Pacelle, ex-employee Scotlund Haisley, and others concerning a 2009 “raid” of South Dakota hunting dog breeder Daniel Christensen in which HSUS’s Emergency Services team helped execute a search warrant that was later tossed out by a judge. After two years of the lawsuit trudging along, the presiding judge told the parties to get the show on the road.
There are a few court filings that bring new information to light. Among the filings are emails from former emergency services team members who resigned months before the Christensen raid took place. They paint a troubling picture.
We wrote before about former HSUS animal rescue team members Ronnie Graves and Allan Schwartz. They spoke to radio host Carroll Cox about the reasons why they left the team and outlined questionable practices, such as HSUS personnel wearing badges—seemingly giving off the false impression that they were officers of the law. They had problems with Haisley’s leadership of the team.
Among the court documents are copies of resignation emails for Schwartz and Meredith Shields, which go into depth about their issues. The allegations range from poor management in transporting animals from a puppy mill seizure to illegal, unsafe, or unethical actions such as overloading vehicles and driving through floodwaters. Read the emails in full to get all of the details.
To us, Schwartz’s most damning line is this: “When the motivation for the work done becomes the publicity and accolades received, then we have lost sight of why we do what we do.”
No kidding. These days, it seems that HSUS puts out a press release for every piece of litter it picks up. (Maybe Wayne Pacelle should contemplate Matthew 6:5. We’re sure HSUS’s religion department would help him.)
Last but not least, there seems to be a little bit of prescience in his email to Scotlund Haisley: “I could no longer put my professional reputation on the line or risk being arrested or sued because you chose to bend or break the law and disregard response protocols.”
Given that these emails were sent to Wayne Pacelle months before the South Dakota raid happened, we wonder if he wishes he had done something differently in the interim. If HSUS loses this litigation, that will certainly be a black mark on Wayne’s leadership.