Dear Ms. Irwin,
As you are aware, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has for years documented indefensible animal abuse and cruelty in violation of Pennsylvania Humane Law 5511 at the Philadelphia Gun Club (PGC) in Bensalem Township.
On March 2, 2013, another live pigeon shoot was held at the PGC. SHARK was there from before the start until after it was over. Predictably, we recorded numerous instances of animal cruelty beyond the cruelty of the illegal shoot itself, and have put some of the evidence into a video that is on YouTube for you to view. Here is the video:
There is no question that this abuse violates Pennsylvania state law, as any reading of anti-cruelty statute 5511 will show.
The last shoot held at the PGC was March 16, 2013, and we documented more severe animal abuse. We will be presenting you with another video of abuses very soon, and expect your organization to file charges for all of those instances as well.
Bucks County District Attorney, David Heckler, has protected the PGC in the past.
First and foremost, if Heckler is blackmailing your organization into not charging the PGC, you should immediately report this to both the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Second, according to an email you sent to us on July 2, 2012, Heckler told you that "...he thinks that shooters are responsible to see that the birds are killed." As you will witness in the video, there was no attempt by the PGC to kill the birds that we documented and rescued. Other injured birds remain hiding in rocks on the Delaware shoreline of the PGC and neighboring properties. The vicitms are simply left to die slow and painful deaths. Heckler's statement to you, therefore, provides the avenue for you to file numerous charges against the PGC for the March 2, 2013 shoot.
In that same email, you wrote the following: "At our next board meeting I will probably brief the board about that concern that has been raised about [Redacted] being a member of the firm that has represented Philadelphia Gun Club."
In 2010, when a PA Humane Police Officer brought a charge against the PGC for animal cruelty, Heckler used his authority to intervene. Mr. Heckler brokered a sweetheart deal for the PGC that got them of the hook. That deal included the PGC making a donation to your organization. From the August 12, 2010 edition of The Bucks County Courier Times: “District Attorney David Heckler has asked the court to dismiss animal cruelty charges against the Philadelphia Gun Club and instructed pigeon shooters there to make a $200 donation to the Bucks County SPCA for a wounded bird that wasn't immediately killed by hunters.
Your organization played a role in Heckler's outrageous actions by accepting the $200 donation. This appeared to be a Bucks County SPCA whitewashing of animal cruelty. [Redacted]
As you know Ms. Irwin, PGC pigeon shoots involve the worst cases of animal abuse in Bucks County. Every year, thousands of pigeons are shot, wounded, abandoned, left to drown in the freezing water of the Delaware River or die on PGC and neighboring properties. You are the authority in Bucks County that is supposed to protect animals and charge for abuse.
SHARK has tried for years to get your organization to act, including calling your office during recent shoots and asking for an investigator to witness the cruelty for themselves. We have asked for assistance in rescues during shoots. The Bucks County SPCA has refused each and every time. This is an outrageous betrayal from a supposed animal protection organization with more than $9,000,000 in assets.
If you are not going to help fight the worst animal abuse in your jurisdiction, then we suggest that you return that money to those who donated it. You have not only failed in your mission - you haven't bothered to even make an effort.
You can expect us to call the Bucks County SPCA for each and every shoot in the future. I am not merely requesting your assistance and involvement - I absolutely expect it.
We have presented overwhelming evidence of indefensible cruelty. We have video of the abuse. We are willing to testify to what we witnessed. Your long history of inaction must now come to an end. Will you now finally take action?
The public deserves to know what the Bucks SPCA will do.