"Whenever we are allowed outside into the jail courtyard, I look out at the flocks of geese flying overhead and think that maybe, just maybe, some of those geese are ones that are still alive today because we warned them. And I think, yes, they were worth it."
These were the words of SHARK founding president Steve Hindi during a period of incarceration resulting from a hunter interference charge. Steve Hindi, the man who, eighteen years ago, would have been more likely to be behind the barrel of gun instead of in front of it.
SHARK’s Founder and President Inducted into Animal Rights Hall of Fame!
In honor of his achievements in animal protection over the past 17 years, and for many more to come, Steve Hindi was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame at the 2006 Animal Rights conference.
Steve Hindi is one of a kind. His freight-train determination, tireless spirit, and tell-it-straight attitude make him a unique asset to the animal movement. We, as warriors in the same fight, and animals everywhere are lucky to have Steve Hindi on the front lines.
~Alex Hershaft, President of FARM; Director, Animal Rights annual conference
Alex Hershaft & Steve Hindi (r)
After hunting for most of his life, Steve turned around when he witnessed a horrific example of live pigeon shooting. From that point on, compassion, not killing, became his life goal.
Read about Steve's conversion from hunter to activist in "I was a fish killer".
As volunteer president of SHARK today, Hindi has led the organization to numerous victories for the animals: statewide bans on horse-tripping and live pigeon shoots in Illinois, shutting down various hunting clubs and canned hunts across the country, international exposure of the truth behind rodeos and bullfighting, helping to prosecute domestic animal cruelty cases... This list goes on and on and continues to grow today.
The History of SHARK
SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) was founded in 1993 by former hunter Steve Hindi. As a "sportsman," Steve hunted many species of animals both on land and in the sea. He killed for thirty years until the life-shattering day when, en route to shark hunting in the Atlantic Ocean, Steve attended the infamous Hegins pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania.
The slaughter of thousands of nonhuman victims, and the involvement of children in the horrific killings, was too much for Steve to tolerate. He vowed to stop pigeon shoots, and went on to dedicate his life to ending the abuse of all animals.
Steve almost single-handedly stopped Illinois pigeon shoots, and rallied national support against the Hegins pigeon shoot. He went to pigeon shoots all over Pennsylvania, and graphically video documented the abuse. Pennsylvania courts are now dealing with pigeon shoots, with Steve's documentation as part of the evidence in the case.
SHARK is a non-profit organization with supporters around the US and beyond. SHARK receives no government funding and completely relies on donations and grants to work on issues ranging in scope from local to worldwide.
With a small core of volunteers, and a staff of five (two are part-time), SHARK battles tirelessly against rodeos, bullfighting, pigeon shoots, turkey shoots, canned hunts (and all hunting), circuses, zoos, and marine parks... any issue that involves violation of the innate rights of living creatures.
SHARK also conducts animal rescues and education projects. Steve Hindi has an open invitation to debate "the opposition." Because of his domination of past debates with animal abusers, however, it has been years since the opposition has taken him on.
SHARK's victories are hard-fought and proudly won. Of our many successes, some of the more noteworthy are listed below. For more detailed information about any of these individual issues, click on the title.
- Rodeo Animal Abuse: Since 1993, SHARK has stood almost alone in exposing the horrific animal abuse, countless lies, and corruption of rodeos in general and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) in particular. SHARK has forced a multitude of important changes to eliminate some of the animal suffering at rodeos across America.
- Senator Inhofe's Cruelty: In September 2014, a SHARK Investigator infiltrated a live pigeon shoot fundraiser for James Inhofe, the senior US Senator from Oklahoma. The story of his cruelty ran worldwide, sending Inhofe and his staff running for cover. SHARK exposed number state and federal violations which are still being pursued.
Alone Against the Rodeo
Click here to watch the award-winning 2001 30-minute investigative documentary, Alone Against the Rodeo, which tells the story of SHARK's efforts to expose the Rodeo Mafia, and profiles SHARK president Steve Hindi. The film won the Brigitte Bardot International Award for its hard-hitting story of cruelty and corruption in the world of American rodeos.
- PRCA v. SHARK: SHARK brought a lawsuit against the PRCA for having SHARK’s videos wrongfully removed from YouTube based on false copyright claims. The case was settled when the PRCA paid SHARK $25,000 and promised not to selectively enforce a "no videotaping" provision against SHARK at rodeos. By standing up to these bullying tactics, SHARK is very proud to have won a major victory for ALL animal activists by ensuring that animal abusers cannot silence their critics on YouTube and elsewhere just because they don’t like what they are saying.
- The PRCA National Finals Rodeo: The "Superbowl of Rodeos" was first exposed in 2007 when SHARK's video cameras documented Charles Soileau, then Vice-Chairman of the PRCA Board of Directors, secretly shocking horses. SHARK went on to eventually expose the entire affair as a rigged competition full of animal cruelty. SHARK again exposed the NFR in 2012 and 2013 for continuing to use electricity to make horses perform.
- YouTube Videos: SHARK has a highly successful YouTube Channel with almost 57 million total views and over 650 videos exposing animal cruelty and highlighting important animal issues and educating the public. Every single day nearly 40,000 people from 196 countries watch one of SHARK's video exposés. (Statistics as of 11/2014)
- Pig Fighting: In August 2014, SHARK investigators documented a violent and cruel pig wrestling spectacle sponsored by the St. Patrick Parish of Stephensville, Wisconsin. News of the cruelty was reported nationwide, and SHARK continues to expose the Catholic Church for its refusal to stop the cruelty, which violates Wisconsin humane law, including a law prohibiting a fight between an animal and a human.
- Horse Shocking: The cruel practice of electro-shocking of horses at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo was exposed by SHARK for 3 years straight until the rodeo finally BANNED the practice in 2008. This had a huge ripple effect throughout the entire rodeo industry and a number of major rodeos now ban the practice of shocking horses.
- Troy Gentry:SHARK waged and won a three-year battle (including a victorious federal lawsuit) against the US Fish and Wildlife Service that forced the federal government to turn over the videotape of Gentry’s canned hunt killing. On October 25, 2010, SHARK released that video on YouTube so that Gentry’s killing of an innocent bear can be seen by everyone.
- SHARK Exposes Worthless California Rodeo Law: In 2013, SHARK exposed as worthless a California law requiring rodeo veterinarians to report rodeo animal injuries. Tim Eastman, veterinarian for the California Rodeo Salinas, filed a report indicating three animal injuries, while a SHARK investigator video documented twenty-three injuries. SHARK reported the inconsistency to the California Veterinary Medical Board, which incredibly chose to side with Dr. Eastman, and ignore the video documented injuries that Eastman failed to report.
- GEICO Insurance: Exposed GEICO Insurance for their sponsorship of the PRCA and their cruel rodeos. Thankfully GEICO stopped supporting this cruelty and death.
- Riverdale Rodeo: SHARK Shuts Down Cruel Barnyard Scramble in Riverdale, CA. This event, where dozens of young animals are thrown into a horde or rampaging children is no more.
- Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo: In 2013, SHARK exposed the close and corrupt relationship between the Jordan Valley Rodeo Association and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department. SHARK’s evidence came from not only its own cameras, but also from the cameras of the sheriff’s department, which were obtained through a public records request. The rodeo association actually had sheriff’s personnel on the rodeo board, and they ordered deputies around like private security. The rights of SHARK investigators were completely ignored. One SHARK investigator was not only arrested, but brutalized. One sheriff’s deputy who was also on the rodeo board improperly accessed police computers to gain personal information - which is an offense that could have (and should have) resulted in incarceration. As a result of the flagrant corruption of the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department, three SHARK investigators filed lawsuits against the department.
- Media Exposure: SHARK has been able to bring the issue of animal abuse to people through the media like few other animal advocacy organizations. SHARK is responsible for stories in 1000’s of newspapers, radio programs, film documentaries, and television news shows as well as international media coverage. This includes newspapers like the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, and Los Angeles Times. SHARK's footage has been used in major rodeo exposés on television programs like Hard Copy, Europe's ARTE television network, and 20/20 and a number of award winning independent animal documentary films as well.
- Rodeo Criminals: Dozens of rodeo criminals have been exposed through SHARK's videos, websites, and supporter updates. This includes exposing the President of the PRCA – Troy Ellerman, serial killers, multiple child molesters, poachers, and wife beaters just to name a few.
Bizarro creator Dan Piraro created this illustration after learning
of the FBI’s attempt to smear SHARK. (click to enlarge)
- Tiger Truck: Massive numbers of people, corporations, and government policy makers have been educated with SHARK's four-screened mobile video vehicle. This moving video billboard educates and mobilizes people throughout American and Canada against issues such as the meat industry, corporate cruelty through sponsorships of rodeos, bullfighting and circuses, and the horrific fur industry.
- SHARK Aerial Angels: In 2011, and again in 2013, SHARK’s “Angels,” camera-equipped, remote controlled aircraft exposed illegal burning at a pigeon shoot site called Wing Pointe in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Wing Pointe workers burned thousands of dead pigeons, and used tires as an accelerant. While the burn was illegal on its own, the burning of tires was especially egregious because of the health and environmental risks. Although the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) admitted that the burns were illegal, the agency would only warn the pigeon shooters not to burn again - even after the second time our Angel exposed them. In 2013, SHARK’s “Angels,” were included in a segment of the award-winning PBS show NOVA, as part of a look at drone technology.
- AT&T/Cingular Wireless: After a tireless two-year campaign by SHARK, AT&T/Cingular Wireless has stopped supporting rodeo animal abuse!! This is a major development, since AT&T was one of the rodeo’s few remaining “mainstream” corporate sponsors. While we don’t have a dollar amount on the sponsorship, you can bet it was a very significant amount of money.
- Cruel Celebrities: SHARK has exposed unethical and hypocritical celebrities that are fraudulently masquerading as compassionate, morally-bound people.
- Trader Joe's: After a local Trader Joe's sponsored a rodeo in Tucson that SHARK exposed for shocking horses, the Trader Joe's CEO was quick to do the right thing and say it was a mistake to sponsor a rodeo. Thereafter, SHARK informed Trader Joe's that another store in Castro Valley, CA was sponsoring a rodeo, and that sponsorship was also ended.
- Atlanta Humane Society: Exposed the Atlanta Humane Society for their association with the Professional Bullriders Association (PBR) in a misguided fund raising scheme. Kudos to the Atlanta Humane Society for doing the right thing and breaking off all ties to the rodeo organization almost immediately.
- Cotton Rosser: SHARK has repeatedly exposed rodeo stock contractor Cotton Rosser in the media and elsewhere for his cruel practices. SHARK has videotape of Rosser shocking animals that dates back to the mid-'90s. This exposure culminated in 2008 at the Rowell Rodeo where horses were again videotaped being shocked. Rosser was subsequently fined $2500.00 and is currently being investigated for criminal charges as a result of his company’s actions at the Rowell Rodeo. As of 2013, SHARK is still documenting Rosser shocking animals and the PRCA just doesn't care.
- The Horse Slaughter Industry: Through SHARK’s websites, videos, media stories, and mobilizing supporters, SHARK played an important part in helping to end horse slaughter in Illinois and nationwide.
- Pigeon Killing: SHARK exposed the cruelty of these canned pigeon shoots and were instrumental in ending these senseless blood orgies at the now infamous Strausstown, PA Gun Club and at the Pike Township Sportsman's Association. SHARK also exposed and eliminated the cruel practice of live pigeon shoots in Illinois.
- Rikki Rockett: SHARK educated the animal loving drummer from the rock band Poison about the cruelty of rodeos. Rockett was quoted in the media as saying that, “His fellow bandmates agree, this will be Poison's "last gig" at a rodeo.”
- Oklahoma State Prison Rodeo: SHARK was instrumental in helping to get this cruel rodeo shut down after 69 years. click here to see the video that ended it.
- Matchbox Twenty: After educating the popular rock band Matchbox Twenty about rodeo cruelty, they withdrew from a scheduled performance at the 2008 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, stating "it would be impossible for us to put ourselves in the position of making money from what we believe to be the mistreatment of animals." This resulted in worldwide media attention on the issue of rodeo animal abuse.
- Killeen Rodeo: After exposing the Killeen, TX rodeo for its cruel practices. The rodeo was forced to not only cancel their cruel steer busting event, but also to replace the stock contractor.
- USAF Thunderbirds: Exposed the United States Air Force's policy of supporting rodeo and giving joyrides to rodeo announcers and rodeo queens with taxpayer's money.
- Dr. John Maulsby: Exposed the Colorado State Veterinarian and Denver Rodeo Committee member, Dr. John Maulsby for the grisly knife murder of an elk calf. Shortly after SHARK released this videotape, Maulsby announced his resignation as the Colorado State Veterinarian.
- Anthony DeNicola and White Buffalo: SHARK exposed Anthony DeNicola and his White Buffalo company at the Akron Metro Parks “Deer Cull” as nothing more than a taxpayer funded slaughter fest. SHARK's videotape exposed the lie that DeNicola was killing the deer painlessly with one-shot. And after illegally damaging SHARK's camera equipment, DeNicola paid SHARK $17,000 as a settlement.
- Cowtown Rodeo: SHARK exposed the Cowtown weekly rodeo in Pilesgrove, NJ. This rodeo secretly shocks horses with a "non-standard" electrical prod against the PRCA's own rules. The PRCA doesn't care though and the shocking continues to this day. In 2013, moments after being shocked, Duke died on the arena floor. Video can be seen here. Cowtown proves every week that the PRCA humane rules are worthless.
- Choice Hotels: SHARK convinced the international hotel chain to pull its sponsorship of the National High School Rodeo Association after the company reviewed video and photo documentation taken by SHARK at the NHSRA Finals Rodeo.
- Hilary Duff: Our campaign and website exposing Hilary’s Duff’s support of rodeo cruelty brought international attention to this often ignored facet of animal abuse. Articles in the National Enquirer and Star magazines, sent discussions and images across the Internet and other media reaching an audience that was largely unaware of abuses inherent in rodeos. SHARK also took the Tiger Truck to Hilary's hangout, the streets of Hollywood, to expose the truth of rodeo cruelty.
- Marriott Hotels: Successfully encouraged Marriott Hotels to withdraw support of the National Western Rodeo in Denver. Marriott has since gone back on their word and they are once again supporting animal abuse at rodeos. Including rodeos where horses are electro-shocked to make them perform.
- Carrie Underwood: SHARK urged the singer to cancel her performance at the horrific Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, which she subsequently did, proving that Carrie Underwood has a heart is as big as her talent.
- Akron Metro Parks: SHARK exposed the Akron Metro Parks “Deer Cull” as nothing more than a taxpayer funded slaughter fest run by Anthony DeNicola and his White Buffalo company. SHARK's videotape exposed the lie that the deer were killed painlessly with one-shot. The video shows how the deer suffered horribly and were eventually just inhumanely suffocated to death with plastic bags.
- Baylor Bears: Exposed Baylor University in Waco, TX for their horrendous treatment of its living bear mascots. The bears lived in a small and dirty cement enclosure and were subjected to torment by drunken students partying with loud music next to the bear's cages. SHARK forced the university to spend close to $1,000,000 upgrading the living conditions for the bears. Not a total victory, but it made an immense difference in the lives of these innocent prisoners.
- Campbell's Soup Rodeo Sponsorship: SHARK’s tireless “Campbell Soup Kills” campaign persuaded Campbell’s Soup and Pace Foods to terminate their support of the rodeo industry.
- Starbucks Coffee: SHARK’s intensive “Buck Starbucks!” campaign halted rodeo sponsorships by the coffee giant.
- High School Rodeo: Exposed animal abuse and political corruption at the National High School Association's Rodeo Finals and the Illinois governmental departments. Successfully pressured the Illinois Department of Agriculture to launch an investigation into criminal animal abuse at the 2006 National High School Rodeo Finals.
- American Airlines: Victory! After SHARK exposed them, American Airlines is no longer sponsoring the cruel and deadly Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo! SHARK was very disappointed when we first learned American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines were sponsoring the horrific animal abuse at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. So thank you American for getting out of the rodeo cruelty business!.
- Bullfighting Barbie: After a hard-hitting campaign spearheaded by SHARK, Mattel stopped production of the "Spanish Barbie." This doll, dressed as a matador, glorified the despicable murder of bulls to young children.
- Steer Busting National Finals: SHARK exposed the incredibly cruel and abusive spectacle known as Steer Busting to the world. The practice of Steer Busting is so cruel that the PRCA cannot even hold this event with the rest of their finals in Las Vegas because of all the animals that they kill and injure.
- Donkey Basketball: SHARK used undercover video to convince many schools to stop using donkey basketball games as fund-raisers.
- Captive Bolt Killing: Exposed and caused the shutdown of a Rock Falls, Illinois, dog pound after exposing the use of captive bolt guns to kill dogs and cats as a means of euthanasia.
- Rocket Netting Deer: Exposed and eliminated the rocket netting and captive bolt slaughter of deer in DuPage County, Illinois. This graphic and disturbing footage was then used to eliminate the same cruelty in Cook County, Illinois, and went on to eliminate numerous rocket netting programs across the country.
- Horse Tripping: SHARK exposed and contributed to the banning of horse tripping in Illinois, Oregon, and Nevada. In "Mexican rodeos," horses are purposely tripped as an event. The animal victims are often headed for slaughter, so there is no reason for their abusers to care what happens to them. These horses commonly have their legs, backs and necks broken, as well as many other injuries. SHARK footage of these brutal events helped to get horse tripping banned in Illinois. Our continuing efforts and videotape has resulted for calls to ban horse tripping in a number of states, including a new law in Oregon!
- Boys and Girls Club of America: Exposed the Boys and Girls Club of America for the wildly inappropriate action of bringing children to witness the animal cruelty that is the PRCA Steer Busting Finals in Hobbs, NM. The Boys and Girls Club of America made a promise to educate all of their chapters that the rodeo environment is not appropriate for children.
- Corrupt Law Enforcement: Over and over and over again, SHARK has stood up for their rights and the rights of ALL activists in the face of police corruption and bullying tactics. Most law enforcement officers that SHARK encounters are professionals who do their job under difficult circumstances. BUT, when SHARK does run into a corrupt officer or a corrupt department, they are not afraid to expose them to the world.
- Turkey Shoots: SHARK exposed and eliminated live turkey shoots at the Lone Pine Sportsman's Club in Pennsylvania. SHARK’s video made news not only in Pennsylvania, but in an episode of the nationally syndicated news serial Hard Copy.
- PepsiCo: Forced multi-national snack food and soda giant PepsiCo to pull its sponsorship of bullrings in Mexico.
SHARK is determined to eliminate the cruelty of rodeos and live pigeon shoots. Also the cruelty found at circuses and the indefensible torture of bullfights with the continuation of video exposés, legal action and sponsor pressure.
SHARK hopes to make legal challenges across the country against the cruelty of rodeos and live pigeon shoots using existing cruelty regulations which we believe are currently ignored, and simply need to be enforced.
In addition, our Tiger Truck, a 4-screened mobile video vehicle, educates and mobilizes people against issues such as the meat industry, corporate cruelty through sponsorships of rodeos, bullfighting and circuses, and the horrific fur industry.
We would appreciate your support on this exciting journey toward to more peaceful and compassionate planet. You will not find a more effective, efficient or dedicated organization. We look forward to having you as part of the SHARK Team as we press on for the rights of nonhumans worldwide.
SHARK Declaration in Support of Non-Violence
SHARK's mission is to nonviolently battle animal abuse whenever and wherever possible. We consider those who commit terrorism in the name of animal protection to be among the greatest threats to future gains for nonhumans.
SHARK stands against terrorism wherever it is to be found, no matter what cause it hides behind. This especially includes terrorism hiding behind the cause of animal protection.
Read more about SHARK's position on violence HERE.