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SHARK 2017 Year in Review Final Part - January 4, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 4, 2017

DEAR FRIENDS,
 

This is the final part of our end of year mailer. We could not have done all the work we did without your support, so please continue to help us so we may help animals!
 

 

 

This past summer, Canadian animal protection organizations asked SHARK to document a controversial rodeo in Montreal in August, and the St. Tite Rodeo in Quebec in September. This was a massive undertaking wherein SHARK investigators teamed up with a Canadian veterinarian to film 20 rodeo performances in 12 days, with as many as three rodeo performances in a day. One rodeo started at midnight, and didn't end until 2 o'clock in the morning!

We cannot go into details of this effort just yet, but some of what was filmed is deeply disturbing. For now we will share part of a letter sent to us by Canadian law professor Alain Roy, who is leading the effort to hold rodeos accountable under Quebec's new humane laws:
 
"Words cannot express my profound gratitude to you for what you have done.

I did not have even a clue of what a super-human task this would turn out to be. But even if I had known the extent of the task, it would have been completely impossible to meet it without the unique skill, experience, dedication and (though well-concealed) the passion that you and your SHARK team undeniably – and uniquely -- have. No others on the planet, literally none, could have done this.”


As our supporters know, SHARK has worked to expose rodeos and its corporate sponsors for more than two decades. No individual or organization has done more to hold rodeos accountable than SHARK, so we want to do everything we can to help the Canadians, and to see what kind of ripple effect may be felt at rodeos in the US and beyond. 

SHARK has a rich history of collaborating with other groups in our fight for animals. 2017 provided two opportunities for us to help Canadians fight for animals. This shows why SHARK is an animal protection organization unlike any other. We have the equipment and skills to do what has to be done, and we are ready to be there to help others. Thank you for the support you've given to make our efforts possible!

This past May, SHARK was on Lake Erie with our boat, the Bob & Nancy, to document the slaughter of cormorants by the Canadian government.


The first day we were on the lake, we rescued a cormorant that had been shot in the face and had his lower beak destroyed (above). If we had not been there, he would have slowly starved and died a horrendously cruel death. The second day we were out we encountered the government killers - and they refused to shoot while we were present. The next and last day the killers had three police boats come out with them so they could feel safe while killing the innocent cormorants sitting on their nests.

Our partners in Zoocheck, Cormorant Defenders International and Animal Alliance of Canada, told us that because we were there, there were “far fewer” birds killed than in previous years. We take that as a great compliment, for everything we do is about saving lives.

 



• SHARK went to Cumberland, VA, to document Covance Research Products, which has an enormous compound where beagles are bred, warehoused and sold for experimentation. The video, in which you can see dogs in their cages, endlessly crying out, has been seen more than 75,000 times and has brought attention back to the issue of dogs being bred and killed for experimentation.

• In May, SHARK returned to the US Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), in Clay County, Nebraska, where we brought attention to an incredibly cruel program that leaves newborn lambs to die from exposure, hunger and predators.

• In June, SHARK went undercover to film a brutal shark killing contest held in New Jersey. Sharks are amazing animals that play a vital role in our oceans, yet they are tragically slaughtered often just for fun around the world. Our video captured the plight of sharks, how their bodies were butchered and their jaws cut out for trophies and their heads discarded.

• It is a tragedy when those who claim to be pro-animal instead are either scamming donors to get their money or they sell out animals by helping to pass legislation that hurts more animals. We created CharityCops.com to expose those who betray the animals we fight for.

• SHARK has filmed rodeos across our country, including the notorious Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo Days in Wyoming. Thanks to the efforts of a rodeo attendee with a conscience, we were able to expose a mortally injured horse. We also showed how corporations, such as Coca-Cola, enable such cruelty by continuing to sponsor rodeos.


 
• Early in 2017 we showed how horses at the National Finals Rodeo were electro-shocked and waged a campaign against CBS Sports for airing the cruelty. Our video has been seen more than 90,000 times and the petition we created has more than 11,000 signatures. As for CBS, the network still refuses to take responsibility for its outrageous and unethical behavior. We will continue our efforts to expose the network and apply pressure. Please call CBS and ask them to no longer air such cruelty. 1-212-975-4321 (ask to be put through to the complaint hotline)

• In late 2016, we legally filmed a dog breeding farm with our drone in upstate New York called Marshall Farms. After we left, we were stopped by the State Police and local county sheriff’s department who acted as security for the company and illegally stopped our vehicle and arrested both Janet Enoch and me. We released the video of that illegal stop in early 2017 and it has received more than 2,7000,000 views.
 


SHARK took on one of the most powerful politicians in the country and defeated him. SHARK stands against animal abusers and doesn’t back down in the face of frivolous lawsuits and acts of violence. SHARK chooses to defend animals others wouldn’t even think of such as pigeons, cormorants, animals in rodeos, and cownose rays just to name a few. SHARK score victories that save thousands of lives!

The amazing thing is, all that we have shown you in this mailer (and there is more that we cannot say publicly at this time) was completed with only four regular investigators, one part-time investigator, a small number of dedicated volunteers, and a budget less than the salary of what just one executive of a large animal welfare group makes in a year.
 
 
SHARK President Steve Hindi rescuing wounded pigeons at US Senator Inhofe's pigeon shoot in Oklahoma

Think about that; most large groups have dozens, or hundreds of employees and rake in tens of millions of dollars, yet they do but a fraction of what we accomplish with a team you can count on one or two hands. That’s what makes SHARK so different from everyone else, and why we ask for your support.

No one working with SHARK gets rich fighting for animals. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. In fact, part of the reason why SHARK was able to do as much as we have this year is because I had to raid my own retirement account for $100,000 to support SHARK this year. That’s how much I believe in this group and the work we do. 

If you believe in us, and want to continue to see major victories for animals year after year, then I implore you to support us with a generous donation now. I can assure you, you will see no better return for your donation than by supporting SHARK. Remember this - the lives we save, are the lives you save. 
 
Sincerely,



Steve Hindi
President, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness

• SHARK’s Youtube channel now has nearly 103,000 subscribers and over 940 videos that have been seen more than 82,600,000 times!  This is how we expose animal cruelty to the world!

SHARK 2017 Year in Review Part III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2, 2017

DEAR FRIENDS,
 

Here is Part III of our end of year mailer.  Thank you again for all your support!
 


 
 
 
• The mailer was originally completed in early November, hence some of what is written is outdated, such as the opening lines belowWe have also added links to videos that have been released since the mailer went out.
 
As we are putting this mailer together, the pigeon shooting season at the notorious Philadelphia Gun Club is about to begin. Other pigeon shoot sites will also be ramping up. Pennsylvania's pigeons only hope lies with a handful of SHARK investigators, who will have to endure not only the violence of gun-toting thugs, but also careless and corrupt law enforcement and public officials. Walking away from the pigeons is simply not an option. Instead, SHARK is redoubling efforts against this vile cruelty.

SHARK has invested in the latest high-tech drones that have incredible magnification. That means that we will be able to document all aspects of pigeon shoots as never before. This is important because Pennsylvania has a new anti-animal cruelty law that makes committing cruelty a felony - a much more serious charge than what it was previously.  We intend to use this law to have shooters and shooting club owners charged with felonies for any violations of the law they commit, and to do that, we needed to have the latest and most advanced technology available.

SHARK is the only animal protection group to have someone at a pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania successfully prosecuted, and that happened at the gun club in 2016, when we filmed a worker torturing injured birds. The charges that followed, and the guilty plea of the worker, made history. That will be just the beginning.
 
Only SHARK had the courage to put a boat on the Delaware River and rescue wounded pigeons in the middle of a snowstorm

The Philadelphia Gun Club and seven of its members, desperate to stop us,  have filed another lawsuit, this time in Pennsylvania. This comes after they suffered major defeats when two previous lawsuits they filed - one in Federal court and the other in New Jersey - were dismissed. As with the suits we've already won, we will emerge victorious again. The problem is that it will cost a lot of money, just as it did to win the others.

Why is SHARK the only organization getting sued by the pigeon shooters? Very simply, because SHARK is the only organization that is effective at fighting pigeon shoots. Other far larger groups with hundreds of times our resources and personnel have walked away. This isn’t supposition; it’s what has actually happened. Allow me to give you just a quick history lesson regarding the oldest and most infamous pigeon shoot location - the Philadelphia Gun Club.

n 2009, SHARK was asked by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to film a pigeon shoot at the gun cub and we agreed. Once we arrived, we realized a boat was needed to rescue pigeons drowning in the river. Although HSUS has boats, our request to use one was refused! So, we bought our own boat. HSUS meanwhile, with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, walked away, never to return.
 
Two wounded birds SHARK rescued at the Philadelphia Gun Club

Every round trip to Pennsylvania is 1,600 miles for us. The time away from our families is stressful, and then there is the financial toll of frivolous lawsuits. Why haven't we abandoned Pennsylvania's pigeons as others have? Because we've watched the wounded victims plunging into the Delaware River and drowning in the freezing water. They desperately need our help and, even though we constantly face threats and harassment, we will not fail them.

I hope I can count on your support to help us go forward. Our team is ready to go, as you will see in coming weeks and months, but we need your support to fuel our efforts. We won't just talk - we'll show you our efforts in graphic and sometimes painful detail, but you will know that SHARK is on the front lines fighting for our voiceless friends with everything we have at our disposal.
 


Our new drones have  proven their worth by capturing unprecedented video of vicious acts of cruelty committed at a live pigeon shoot held at the Thunder Ridge canned hunt farm in Tioga County, PA, on October 28th, 2017. 

Our drones filmed workers pulling the heads off of still living pigeons

 • You can watch the video of this cruelty HERE, along with videos taken using the same drone at Wing Pointe in November HERE and HERE.


SHARK received a tip regarding a pigeon shoot that was going to be held in April at Schrader’s Bridgeton Manor, located in Maryland. The SHARK Team made the 1,600 mile round trip from Illinois. We were there waiting to document the shoot, but it didn't happen. Word got out about the shoot and Schrader's owner apparently believed (correctly) that we would show up. This was a major victory for the animals!


SHARK 2017 Year in Review Part II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 29, 2017

DEAR FRIENDS,
 

Here is Part II of our end of year mailer.  Thank you again for all your support!
 


 
 
 


A planned two-day Labor Day live pigeon shoot that was to be held at the Wing Pointe canned hunt club in Berks County, PA, was cancelled due to lack of shooters! 

SHARK has documented horrific cruelty at Wing Pointe's pigeon slaughters for the past 6 years. We’ve released dozens of videos that have received millions of views and documented both pigeon shoots and tower shoots, where pigeons, pheasants and chukars are hand-thrown into the air and shot for fun. We’ve rescued more pigeons than we can count, including two chukars who were taken to a sanctuary.
 
Two victims of a Wing Pointe tower shoot: The pigeon (top) died in our arms, but two chukars (bottom) survived and were taken to a sanctuary
 
Our victories at Wing Pointe have been met with anger and violence from its supporters; SHARK investigator Janet Enoch was physically assaulted by a shooter as she sat in the SHARK van, and I was hit in the head with a metal dog chain and left bloodied. I was also intentionally hit by a van during a shoot, and a worker for the owner of Wing Pointe held SHARK Investigator Janet Enoch and myself at gun point after one protest. This is how desperate and disgusting pigeon shooters are, but while others  have backed away, we did not and we never will. 

LEFT: An employee of Wing Pointe’s owner drew a firearm at Steve Hindi and Janet Enoch. RIGHT: Steve Hindi after he was violently attacked at Wing Pointe. We risk the violence of pigeon shoot supporters because the animals need us

As we continued to expose Wing Pointe's shoots and the thugs who participate in them, we witnessed a dramatic decrease in attendance of shoots at Wing Pointe. The point is, the cancellation of the two-day shoot was no accident. If not for SHARK, this shoot would have happened and thousands of pigeons would have died.
 
This is not the end of pigeon shoots at Wing Pointe, but it is a very important victory and quite symbolic as Wing Pointe started doing Labor Day shoots in memory of the Hegins, PA annual Labor Day shoots which ended in the early 1990s. 
 


SHARK is elated to announce that legislation to place a moratorium, until July 2019, on vile cownose ray killing contests in Maryland, was signed into law this year. This is a monumental victory that only happened because SHARK was at the contests, putting ourselves at risk to document the cruelty and expose it to the world.
 
 
Thanks to SHARK’s hard work, these shameful slaughters have been shut down!

After being contacted by Fish Feel, a Maryland-based fish advocacy organization, SHARK filmed cownose ray killing contests on the Patuxent River in 2015, and 2016, where pregnant rays are shot at point-blank range with arrows and beaten with metal bats. Our video of the 2015 contest was so powerful and received so much attention that two of the three ongoing contests shut down! The third contest, sponsored by American Bowhunters, defied the public will and held a contest in 2016. This proved to be their downfall for the drone video footage we recorded of that slaughter was so horrific that it caused international condemnation of these killing contests, and was the catalyst for the Maryland Legislature to take decisive action.
 
Using our boat (top left) went head-to-head with bowhunters and filmed their cruelty up close, such as this poor ray who was shot with an arrow

Many of the animals killed in these contests are either pregnant or have recently given birth, so it isn't only the mothers we have saved, but their offspring as well. The many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours we dedicated to this issue have yielded a great victory with the three year moratorium while we will continue to push for a complete ban on these killing contests.
 
Without SHARK’s hard work and our graphic video, these majestic animals would have received no sympathy, no hope, and the merciless slaughters would have continued unabated. But because we chose to stand and fight for theses rays, untold thousands of pregnant animals and their children will be spared a violent death.

We sincerely want to thank animal protection heroes Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet for their support, for they made our boat, the Bob & Nancy, (see picture above) our drone cameras, and so many more things possible. Our boat and drones were a major reason why we were able to stop the merciless cownose ray tournament slaughters. 



SHARK is also pleased to introduce you to our newest tool for water-based campaigns: The Osprey (above), our new hovercraft, will help us enormously in rescuing wounded animals. The next time a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, strikes, we will be able to save lives using The Osprey, because hovercrafts can operate seamlessly on land and the water.