HSUS Director Warned by Feds Over Sore Horse

EricSwaffordCitationThe Humane Society of the U.S. has hired former Tennessee state rep. Eric H. Swafford (R-Pikeville), to do rural outreach and present lobbying tips to activists. The move comes as HSUS is fighting against a bill in the state legislature that would require documentation of animal abuse to be reported to authorities within 48 hours. HSUS has droned on about how this type of bill might impede its ability to do undercover investigations, citing its work to expose horse soring in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, and Swafford is supposed to give the group some extra firepower.

But it turns out that Swafford was himself warned by the USDA just last year along with one other person for showing a sored horse in violation of federal regulations. Now, just 8 months later, he’s on the HSUS payroll, and there’s nary a peep from HSUS about this USDA warning.

Talk about unbridled arrogance.

This shows us a lot about the low character of the leadership at HSUS. Recall how HSUS worked to rehabilitate convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick’s public image, outraging animal protection advocates. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle went so far as to say that Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner” (by the way, Vick’s employer had given HSUS $50,000—draw your own conclusions).

HSUS in 2011 appointed money-man Arthur E. Benjamin to its National Council. The previous year, it had emerged in the media that the company Benjamin founded and ran was potentially using fraudulent means to get federal education funding, and the U.S. Justice Department filed a civil complaint against the company in 2012. But hey, Benjamin was (and is) bringing in the Benjamins to HSUS.

The Tennessee bill that HSUS so desperately opposes passed the House and now goes to the governor. HSUS may lose this one. But we expect its trend of questionable associations and hypocrisy to continue in full.

Posted on 04/18/2013 at 6:34 pm by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Main


  • Yrrek N

    Seems the same structure as the Michael Vick situation, just with a different animal and a different form of abuse. Same play, same director, different cast.

  • savinghorses2

    Ok so let me understand, killer buyers who constantly are in trouble with the law for rampant animal savagery, take for instance the one going to court currently for offenses in Oklahoma, and recently the issues of stolen horses taken by greedy killer buyers and one owner got their horse back under weight and sick, but still managed to live while the others passed on the man’s property awaiting hauling to the Canada slaughter plant, what about the thousands of reports and arrests across the US of killer buyers abusing animals and threatening horse owners, video’s taken of killer buyers injuring horses to load them that were just perfect for their owners moments before. I love your lopsided point of view. People go into jail as felons and come out to become preacher’s, and attorney’s and people of stature and do the right thing. They had their way paved by people paying to help them get into law schools and people took them under their wings. Including the FBI, police, and fire who use criminals to consult on cases and won more cases than ever in history by hiring the same criminal element to expose the issue’s and then were hired on so they could protect the US! I just had to point this out! I am 43 and never in my life have I seen two sides miss the issues in every way! This is about a horrific criminally driven market the dark side of the horse industry, dangerous, uncompassionate, destructive, and horribly caustic in all ways-animal abuse and behaviors and you are taking the time to be angry at the HSUS instead of stopping the sadistic soring behavior? Why even write the story? So you can prove they have an insider who is attempting to turn over a new leaf? And if people are NOT allowed turn over a new leaf then I suppose you figure everyone in trouble with the law should just disappear? Your no better than the guy for getting an offense in your article. How pathetic that you only have time to pick at other people who are turning themselves into something better. If I didn’t know any better I would say you eat turkey legs claiming they are horsemeat and barking at PETA, if not, your low enough to be in the vicinity. Just slither on over there. And finally, I am curious, if you are so perfect, and so vocal what is it you are trying to distract everyone from so badly. Cause in my lifetime those who are against rescues, and helping animals or people are usually abusers of some sort. Just an observation.

    • WORSEKarma

      Are you high enough in the H$U$ hierarchy to qualify for all those Nummer-Noodles perks and retirement benefits paid for with the $19-a-month scammed from well-meaning animal lovers, or do you just aspire to be? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • savinghorses2

        Actually quite funny, I have never been in or given money to Peta, HSUS, or any other large organization. Just so know-I have never fallen for any of the tier charity scams. I am just stating that I am a professional horse trainer and it kills me that people actually WANT these horses injured and if someone comes in with an organization with the insight and experience to identify it doesn’t make it a crime. What amazes me is the pro-slaughter people are scamming for $20 dollars a month for the “welfare” of animals and honestly, they have done the exact same thing as HSUS and Peta. They are abusive, they are ultimately killing animals and they are taking people’s money under a supposed well-meaning disguise of welfare. So before you pitch the fork, maybe you should smell what’s on it! And I have saved horses without organizations money, assistance or input and made them into champions. I am so sick of opionated computer keyboard riders who have no idea what they are talking about or doing! I can tell you this much, it’s not about the organizations-it’s about the animals which I noticed you fail to mention in your stabbing comment! Oh and I never take any more from anyone, in fact, I own a couple of businesses including a retail store, I do not sell, lease, or adopt out animals. And I train for people only if they come to learn as well, otherwise buck off or be bucked off. Oh and before you begin your repartee I turned off responses. I am actually just a person who really does care about Walking horses and if you cannot understand that, then Worse Karma will actually come your way!

      • savinghorses2

        I think that you are ridiculous! I have never been involved in or given any monies to any charity over a certain size, why? Because all of the larger ones are revealed as scams. Look at United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army….As for the Idiotic response of who I aspire to be. I am a professional trainer, I have been in horses my entire life, I used to own a rescue for cats which by the way was totally in-house funded, accepted no donations at all. I have more than enough money. I have rescued animals over the years because I cared-which of course, escapes people like yourselves! I also have spent my life inundated into the horse industry-being independently wealthy and marrying well allowed me to do and go wherever I wished and wanted. So if you intend to be rude I am to assume a relative lack of experience in ACTUAL animal welfare is keeping you from understanding what people in REAL world experiences do out of the goodness of their heart. And I cannot say I agree with HSUS I just think that people condemning are also hiding something as well! I am simply stating that maybe we should consider that having a person who had experience in the soring on staff to have a better understanding of the situation. I worked in Tennessee Walker industry 5 years, I performed at the Jubilee and other big shows in the 80’s. I walked away repulsed and encouraging people to do the right thing and show natural gaited animals. I then opted to go into the industry of cattle horses and English performance and eventually Federal Dressage. I think that when I talked to a state Senator then about the soring issues he simply stated they know what they are doing they wont take it too far???? I also talked to animal control in their area, who said they donate too much money to their service and they cannot step in and ruin the extra funding. So I walked! If you think I am with HSUS, I am not! I have the Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Industry and Gaited animals are treated so badly for NO reason other than greed and fame. I used to be into the Hackney industry and I had to work hard to find the bad seeds like in Walkers-in walkers it was EVERYWHERE! And if mind so inquires, I help local agencies I know and can trust only after I have seen their financial records and verify what the people in the organization earn in pay or kick-backs. If its low-jackpot! They get money, no matter when they need it or how much! But if they should show the slightest issues with finances or don’t allow records reviewed, I will adopt a pet but I wont give to the thieves.

      • savinghorses2

        Nummer-Noodles? I am independently wealthy and ONLY help small organizations that prove where their money goes yearly in detail. I have NEVER given to HSUS or any other organization, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. All scams! If it took the internet to prove that to U then congratulations! You have caught up with the people who in the 1970’s realized all was a scam! I love it! This site and the organization for which it stands couldn’t figure out that the poorly run local Humane Societies always had their hands 30 or so years ago still do are just scamming, it took the internet to start a watch dog organization. Wow! Regular horse folks-we just get smarter every passing day. I am glad that slow folks are catching up, too bad it wasn’t before people got scammed at this level!

  • It’s sick what the depraved love of money has done to destroy the morality and honor in this world.

  • HSUS is using the convictions and animal abuse
    charges against them, by HSUS taking these people in and to stand with them,
    they are using there need to take the heat off of themselves from the media and
    HSUS. HSUS could have just harassed Vick to to no end but by standing up for him
    it made him indebted to HSUS the same thing is happening here by them hiring
    Swafford and not ruining him they will get a lot miles out of him, we had the
    same thing happen here in California last year when just after Senator Lieu
    stood up against a bill that would out law shark finning (where they cut the
    fins off live sharks and kick them over board still alive) instead of hammering
    him for not standing with HSUS they got him to author SB1221 and HSUS got it
    passed by ram rodding it though our law makers


  • What can we expect from HSUS but more of the same? Looks like we cannot believe everything on their website! I hope all from Tennessee are calling the Governor’s Office to urge him to sign that bill into law…and provide protection to the responsible animal owners and breeders in Tennessee.

  • This bill needs to pass and be passed in every state. HSUS did a undercover video at one barn and sat on it for over a yr before turning it over. Wonder how much editing they done? They don’t want this to pass so the scum bags can get donation.. Just like the message I sent wayne Pacelle I said HELL has a place for you and Keith Dane