August 26, 2021
As 2020 was winding to a close, a SHARK drone team spent a day in Thackerville, Oklahoma, filming the horrible conditions endured by the animals of the so-called Tiger King Zoo, which was run by Jeff and Lauren Lowe, the animal abusers of the Tiger King Netflix series. The visit was a real eye-opener, as animals were filmed in tiny cages, with little or no protection from the elements, and fed food that looked like it belonged in a toilet, not a serving platter.
We returned in the spring, spending a series of days filming while the Lowes actually tried to shoot our drones down, and used their vehicles to try to intimidate us. The intimidation effort did not work.
A drone team was there again when the federal government seized all the remaining big cats who were protected under the Endangered Species Act. Our drone shot images that were broadcast around the world.
When federal agents left, and the big cats were gone, there were still 61 animals left behind who were not covered by the seizure order. These included a camel, horses, ponies, goats, wolves, primates, tortoises, lemurs, emus, caracals, foxes and others. We continued to film those animals, because those animals needed help as badly as those who had been removed.
SHARK reached out to the USDA and called for them to take action and rescue the remaining animals at the Lowe Zoo. The petition to the USDA and USFWS requesting the removal of the remaining animals collected over 82,783 signatures.
We are proud to announced that last week the 61 remaining animals were rescued and placed with reputable Animal Welfare Act-licensed facilities! At long last, the Lowes are finally shut down. The effort was long and expensive, but we did what we needed to do to finally bring this ugly story to its conclusion.
Please generously support SHARK's work so more animals can be helped. Campaigns such as this one are very expensive, but they are effective and save lives.
John Root, Sheriff of Laurel County, KY is a horrible excuse for a lawman. That's not a statement we make lightly, but it's borne out by the facts on the ground. We first came across Root during our fighting against cockfighting in his jurisdiction.
Sheriff Root not only refuses to stop illegal cockfights, he had a bailiff on his staff, Jacklyn Johnson, actually working at illegal cockfights! Even after we made that information public, Root kept Johnson on his staff. The more we look into Root, the more corruption we found, and continue to find today. This includes Root’s allowance of illegal gambling machines in his county.
On August 12th, we released this VIDEO exposing Root's role in illegal gambling and cockfighting. Not long after, Root posted a long, rambling post to his Facebook page where he outright said he was going to allow illegal cockfighting to continue. We then released another VIDEO exposing Root, and then one more.
Exposing corruption is nothing new for SHARK. We’ve done it for decades, and it is always ugly to see. But we’ve never witnessed anything on the scale we see in Kentucky, where absolutely every level of government and law enforcement is aware of the ongoing corruption, has been aware of it forever, and has no intention whatsoever of stopping it.
On top of all the other challenges we face, we can rely of precious little support from the media, most of which is in the bag for the criminals and their corrupt law enforcement officers, like John Root. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such brown-nosing of bad guys like I see from the media in Kentucky, if they are present at all.
I’m not sorry that we went to Kentucky, because the animals desperately need help, but I know that other than SHARK, the animal protection movement is, as it is currently structured, completely unable and unwilling to deal with this level of filth. In our case, I know this battle is one that will literally go on for many years, and unless we get real serious, for generations, as this disgusting level of corruption is the only thing these people have ever known.
We’re up for this challenge, and have made more inroads than everyone else put together. That said, I’m not going to sugarcoat things. We have a very, very long way to go, and we will need considerable support to muster the front line, legal and media challenges that lie ahead.
Rodeo people pretend to be brave, tough guys - the kind of hardy souls who “Tamed the West.” This fallacy of course ignores the fact that the West was doing fine before these transplants came along and destroyed the culture of the aboriginal people who had already established a very long and intricate culture. Tame the West indeed.
Of course, rodeo people are not even of the variety of the first white settlers. Rodeo people today, like those who attend the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, wear their silly John Wayne outfits for a few days a year, and then settle back into their uneventful lives until their next opportunity to imagine that they are something more than what they are - fake cowboys.
There is, unfortunately, one thing that is all too real about rodeo, and this is of course the cruelty to animals. One particular horse became an icon of that cruelty this year - one of the victims of the misnamed “Wild Horse Race.”
As we have stated many times, the victims of this event aren’t wild - they are terrorized. In the case of this particular horse, he was injured early in the event, and the injury should have been obvious to anyone with even a less-than-average amount of animal knowledge.
When an animal favors a leg, it means it hurts, unless of course you are a rodeo supporter, in which case you have absolutely no idea what is going on, because frankly, rodeo people are just that stupid and careless.
So the idiots continued to run the injured horse until the animal could go no further, at which point he collapsed on the ground.
As far as we know, rodeo thugs didn’t report on the condition of this, or any of the other injured animals. The local media, which is the embodiment of gutlessness, did nothing to hold anyone accountable. No surprise here. I guess that means that it’s up to us to carry this issue forward, as is so often the case.
SHARK will be challenging these Roy Rogers wannabes, the unethical corporate rodeo sponsors, and the gutless media to examine this issue. All parties concerned will fight to avoid responsibility. We will insist. This is going to get good. Stay tuned.
Help SHARK bring freedom to dogs bred for research! Purchase a new Beagle Salvation T-Shirt and support SHARK's work exposing animal cruelty and abuse!
Click the picture of the t-shirt to go to the campaign website:
SHARK created the Beagle Salvation campaign to expose and rectify the plight and suffering of dogs imprisoned at massive breeding facilities. These dogs, no different than the ones we live with in our homes, are fated to be used for experiments - to be tortured and killed.
One of the many dogs SHARK has filmed with our drones at the hideous Envgio dog breeding warehouse in VA
These dogs deserve freedom from a life of suffering and when you wear this shirt, you’ll be supporting SHARK’s work to save animals. Please also consider making a generous donation directly to SHARK to support work that no one else is doing.