Equine Rescue


Source: Front Range Equine Rescue Press Release

This email demonstrates the approach of this company trying to restart the unnecessary and cruel practice of horse slaughter in America
Darkside ruling by Fear and Intimadation

Darkside ruling by Fear and Intimadation

March 25, 2013, LARKSPUR, COLORADO – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) has received copies of an email sent by the lawyer for Valley Meat in Roswell, NM, threatening criminal prosecution against others for speaking about Valley Meat’s plans to begin slaughtering horses for food.  Valley Meat, which was previously suspended for inhumane handling of animals it was slaughtering, is aggressively pushing to become the first company in America since 2007 to engage in the inhumane practice of horse slaughter.  Valley Meat also employed Tim Sappington, who posted a video in which he curses at animal “activists” and then raises a gun to the head of a healthy horse and shoots the horse on camera.  Only after the video went viral, and after Valley Meat’s attorney responded with justifications for Sappington’s conduct, did Valley Meat finally terminate Sappington’s employment.

In response to the inflammatory video, there has been an international outcry and articles written by many journalists.  Since 2011, journalist Vickery Eckhoff has written over fifteen articles about the tragedy and dangers of horse slaughter for publications such as Newsweek and Forbes.com.  In response to her recent inquiry to Valley Meat, the company’s lawyer responded:

To whom it may concern: You are receiving this correspondence because you communicated to a person associated with Valley Meat Company, LLC a degratory [sic], defamatory or threatening statement or aided in deciminating [sic] the information necessary to conspire to do the same. . . .  Because of the statements you have made it is my recommendation [sic] that you retain your own legal counsel.  At this time any communications you made that threaten or harass any person associated with Valley Meat Company will be referred to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for investigation and prosecution under the Animal Enterprise Terroism [sic] Act (SEE BELOW).  Neither Valley Meat nor the Law Office of A. Blair Dunn will tolerate threatening or defamatory statements and will contemplate civil action against any individuals or groups that persist in that type of activity.

“This email, apparently sent to multiple individuals by Valley Meat’s counsel, demonstrates the approach of this company trying to restart the unnecessary and cruel practice of horse slaughter in America – lash out and intimidate anyone who questions Valley Meat’s practices,” says Hilary Wood, President of Front Range Equine Rescue.  “This is just a continuation of prior practices when Valley Meat sued us and others for defamation, because we publicized true statements made by public agencies regarding Valley Meat’s violations of New Mexico environmental laws.  I hope that more journalists address this attempted suppression of First Amendment rights, and expose every aspect of the shocking realities of horse slaughter.”

With respect to the Sappington video, Ms. Wood stated: “While the conduct of Valley Meat’s former employee demonstrates true malice, the death that each horse will suffer if any company begins slaughter will almost make Sappington’s actions look merciful.  Investigative reports and documented violations from American and foreign slaughterhouses consistently reveal the blatant cruelty inherent in commercial horse slaughter.”

Media Contacts:

Hilary Wood/FRER, 719-481-1490 info@frontrangeequinerescue.org

Front Range Equine Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education.  Since 1997, FRER has assisted thousands of horses through its rescue and educational programs.  Many of FRER’s rescued horses are obtained directly from livestock auctions and feed lots, which without FRER’s intervention would have shipped to slaughter.  Dedicated to the horses – On the web at www.frontrangeequinerescue.org


36 replies »

  1. One has to wonder about the lawyer sending out such poorly written communications. He comes across as a intellectual low-life on more that one level—morally and educationally.


  2. Evidently the attorney never finished grade school. How did he become a lawyer without learning to spell. Just makes his statements less than credible. I will say right here. He and Valley Meats can fork themselves with my blessing. Go ahead and sue. I am disabled. I have nothing to lose.


  3. Hope that slime has a fat wallet. He’ll need it if he’s going to take every advocate to court for exposing him and the company that hired him to protect them. This guy has no REAL idea how 80+% of Americans feel about their horses and other pets. If this guy were smart, he would walk away. I don’t know about you but I would disown even a family member who was pro horse slaughter!


  4. It really doesnt matter what they say anymore , the proof is in the pudding, the man shot the healthy horse cause he was mad at us for sticking up for the horses… No one should ever be allow to slaughter horses, the uk will not except any horse meat from the us.. and the slaughter of horses in cruelty to animals… everyone knows that and they dont care about anyone or anything but there pockets full of money, its blood money… sadly they have no heart….


  5. Seems like an “I am Spartacus!” moment to me. If “deciminating” information is a crime, he’s going to have to sue an awful lot of people.


  6. They haven’t opened and are already wasting our tax dollars with this nonsense. The FBI has more important matters to deal with.


  7. IN-freaking-CREDIBLE! I rather Doubt that this comes from any REAL boarded, employAble “attorney”! (Law School requires Accurate spelling, & a GED at least. IF he’d ever earned $200-$300 he could afford Typewriter WITH a “Spellcheck”, if n0t a computer? ) …. Haven’t any ACTual atty’s filed for Sapp’s arrest* for HATE SPEECH Threats?! I, for one, feel VerY threatened* by his actions & the Words of Chaves Co. “sheriff” as well!


  8. There are low-life, poorly educated attorneys who will do anything for a buck, just like the people we see in Politics who will sell out to Big Ag, Farm Bureau and the AQHA. Let’s never forget who funds these unnecessary and cruel enterprises. Let’s spread the threat as far as possible. Maybe every media and person who commented on the “snuff video” will comment and forward this information. This attorney cannot sue everyone, and we should commit to supporting anyone that he does sue. .And as my Mom always said, “one is known by the company that one keeps”.


    • Agreed! (Let’s SPREAD his threat* as far as possible. Maybe every media & person who commented on “snuff video” …& forward this info) Plz CONTACT all the ppl who Posted it on YouTube; there were 100’s of comments* on each*! (of 3 posts that I read; n0t even Original video) —> I believe the “posters” can send/answer* to their Own commenters? [& a great many “N0T-so-nice” be weeded out!?) ALSO, PPJg received huge # (both 1st announcemt +during Radio show); R.T has many on each* related… + 3-4 MEDA articles (Bloomberg, LA times, etc)
      •WONDER what this barely literate Atty would SAY??—IF 3000+ ppl took him UP on his ridiculous threat-to-sue!-each 1 with “UNfavorable Opinion” towards this previous Bankrupt & legally-cited “company” ?


      • TY : we are on the right course. And the buzz is certainly in our favor. If we weren’t making an impact, his misspelled nasty comment would not even be news.


      • TY. We just need to get the public more involved and nothing is more impressive than cruelty and stupidity being met with resolve from advocates and clearly defined ways where the public can quickly and easily respond. There are several on my FB page, if you need suggestions. Paula Denmon. Aka Polopaula


    • I concure, this attorney for Valley Meat needs to re-evalulate his skill sets, let him face off with a competant attorney and watch him get buried.


  9. NM lawyer Dunn is in the wrong sending threats out to people who know and disagree with the opening of a slaughter house that was closed for inhumane treatment of Animals. Health reasons Ty


  10. This duche is attempting to sue people when they are the ones doing everything that shouldn’t be done? Running a business that violates cattle standards? Keeping dead animals parts rotting with photos for proof? His employee KILLS a horse on camera? He tells lies-because the first several times he was interviewed at the beginning of this whole thing he was not getting threats, then after several press releases his closed down business was broken into, doesn’t sound like activists, sounds like someone doesn’t actually like the guy and broke into a shuttered closed building. AS for the other things the attorney is squawking about-he literally is angered because the horse people against horse slaughter have been posting comments pointing out that he stated he was getting threats after the video came out-well it came out this past week so they started this week, but the guy posted another news release from a month before that he says he was threatened so which is it? you were threatened before or after the video. Then the poster I noticed brought out three other statements he got from news releases that correct Mr. Santos’s statements about when he was harassed all the dates and verified information, So the journalist are quoting him correctly he just doesn’t like someone caught him and his in let me say it……..(alleged) lies. That’s the issue with pro-slaughter people they keep getting caught in their own lies because they can’t remember them. This is about regular horse people too, there may be some radicals that make rude threats or what ever but the average person does not they are more pro-active at finding resolutions, going to upper management if you will. What this guy needs to do is check his facts. He is also mad because the same poster-I should have kept his name-any ways he also verified that Santos’s statements say he will see meat to Europe, this is after the EU made its announcement it wouldn’t take the meat, then Santos was quoted saying, he would sell to Russia, (which recently banned US meats and joined the EU) so no there, then he posted proof that in the 1970’s America’s pet were dying from bute and too much protein in horse meats, so they Federally BANNED it, USDA document archive that proved it-its still in place and has not been overturned. He stated we are gonna sell it for pet food, so the commentor posted the entire USDA ban on horsemeat from pet foods… So yesterday he changed it to I will sell to Russia and Asia. So I imagine that he is really angry. Lets not even talk about the Oklahoma governor-her light bulb flickered out when she believed horses that are old and grey will die a humane death. I have a suggestion. I wont say who, but in order to test the ability of this line of work to happen we would like to try it out on a few people and they can tell us first hand if the captive bolt method works, I will leave it to your imagination who the line of cartoons will start with.


  11. People that profit from cruelty are sub-human. All of them, no other explanation. If ANY Christian believes that horses going thru slaughterhouses; being the fight/flight animals that they are; being one of the few domesticated animals that are taught to TRUST humans and never to hurt humans… from birth; don’t die fighting for their lives, terror-stricken, in intense pain and stress.. then don’t ever call yourself a Christian! God says to honor his creations… St Francis spoke that all living creatures have souls and are the beloved of God. SO, any that line up on the side of cruelty and terror for God’s creatures.. be it factory farm, fur farm, puppy mill, or horse slaughter house .. which is the WORST of the worst… you will ANSWER.. My prayer is that Ms. Karma pays you all a long protracted painful visit long before your final payment comes due when you leave this Earth.


  12. This is why that other advocate’s First Amendment case is so important. That video was horrible (Tim Sappington). If he was truly slaughtering the horse for consumption why did he take aim at animal activists and in the next breath shoot that horse?

    My statements regarding quality of life, crime rate etc are based on what Paula Bacon went through. They are also based on what happens in Mexico and Canada.

    Sorry but this man has been shut down in the past for improper disposal. If money was an issue then he needed to shut the plant. You don’t poison others because you don’t have money to fix your backyard.

    I’ve seen the video of what happens in a horse slaughter plant in Canada. A plant designed by Temple Grandin who is suppose to be the premier person on slaughter and calming animals. She’s even gone on record as saying the minute her back is turned–its back to business as usual.

    One thing is for certain–whoever wrote this letter needs to learn to use their spell check. Your suppose to be a professional. I don’t have to worry. I’m just me. It’s really poor form to send out letters with the misspellings that were so abundant. I wonder what a judge would say if you presented this document in Court.


    • I AGREE; I AM Threatened quite directly and without uncertainty BY this violent* disturbed “buyer-janitor man”! And so are ALL of you.
      In addition, I feel personally Threatened BY this biased “county Sheriff”, as I believe that: IF I should Go within his jurisdiction, he could & would Judge and Jail me*, for N0 reason! He has already “decided”, publicly – that EACH equine advocate HAS at some time, made* direct inappropriate, illegal threats Towards this Sapp ± the sorry-Valley meat sham. !

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  13. Ok, so many things make sense a little information on the Santos situation in NM this a human rights issue and the New Mexico Human Rights Projects is where the attorney is from, i’m sure this is great organization, however, it’s statement supports helping children to learn to not kill each other. Basically is about genocide and avoiding it, which is ironic that they are attached to a man claiming discrimination who is ready to perpetrate genocide.


    • Uh Oh—what Exactly does this* MEAN?? “the Santos situation in NM is a human rights** issue; the [illiterate] atty is from NM Human Rights Projects”…. I don’t compute… More info please!!
      —-»~“\`•> •>/”~«—-
      ::: ( _Q_?) :::

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  14. In my opinion, Valley Meats owners, their (ex)employee, and small town attorney are so out of their league, it’s almost amusing. Small time players trying to puff and posture so they’ll look scary to the army that’s descending upon them like hawks on a guppy. Being able to commit horse homicide doesn’t make them strong, powerful, or competent. Quite the opposite, in fact.


  15. I agree, these fellows are out of their league…give me a break. It appears his past history in New Mexico speaks for itself. Do I give a rats ass…we can take them all on to save our magnificient horses and other equines. Gee, doesn’t this guy have spell check or couldn’t he afford the software..
    Who was buying meat from this place anyway? By the way what is the Governor of New Mexico doing to kill this? We haven’t heard a peep from her. I hope that she is doing something behind the scenes. Its obvious by the people this guy hires. Are you telling me that these are the kind and humane people who will be employed by this House of Horrors??? No one in their right mind would find this a good occupation. Just absolutely disgusting!!!!


    • Also wondering: what is Governor* of New Mexico doing about this? I know she was DISpleased…
      • Most IMPortant, can the wonderful letter & bill by Jim Moran* actually STOP this from happening at all??
      & how soon* does he Expect an answer–from the Ag Secretary?
      • Also, can all these “damning” pieces of Evidence* (the video, the Threats, the Lies, the HATE speech, the “shirrif”, the Comments, more Threats, the incompetent lawyer & HIS Threats, more Lies, the Furor & reactions, the PAST illegal actions of the same “slaughter co,” our Fears, etc) —be subMitted & used by NM Dept of Ag. To DENY the final opening of valley meat sham co. ???
      • Not to be ignored, are those Inflammatory & Inappropriate comments/allegations made AGAINST the new Sec. of Agriculture posted BY ole’ Slaughter-Suey herself??
      Wouldn’t you think she’d get some Response 0r rebuke for such Actions?

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  16. Dunn is a lying blow-hard (MY opinion based on press interviews published and press releases).

    Why? Where are the proofs of threats?

    Anyone think Vickery would send a threatening email?….as a journalist? Seriously?

    My interpretation: Vickery asked questions and Dunn didn’t want to answer them because he knew the answers would be damaging to Valley Meats and associates.


  17. If it means that I can’t tell the truth because your clients want to sue me, sign me up. What FBI agent will take the time for such nonsense. Besides, these people forget that the BLM has harassed several federal agents trying to find out the truth about horse slaughter. Anyway, there is no substance to the claim that these people were harassed or any statements were made that were not true…sometimes people may become very emotional, but that is not a cause for criminal indictments. Surely, the FBI has better things to do than to listen to the dribble coming from people/companies like this. Has anyone consulted with the FBI about these things? I certainly reported criminal behavior concerning many things happening to horses, and wild horses/burros. The FBI was not pleased with the BLM, but as such, the Department of Justice has not found enough cause concerning politics I am sure, to make a case against any one of these people who try to stop the insanity of horse slaughter and the BLM or any subject concerning the abuse of horses and burros. As in this video, Valley Meat used the horse meat for something. Just what did the horse meat go into? As we have recently learned – there aren’t any subsequent investigations to test many meat products. Somewhere soon, some politician or someone who has the clout will be fed horse meat or their children will be fed horse meat under the disguise of being something else and then the fight will be on. Unless it can become a subject that can hold out on the senate floor it will be tabled again…but, if we can get someone like Rand Paul to have a fillibuster…the fight will be on. I don’t expect this, but if we don’t give up, someday it will happen. Hopefully there will be enough horses left to keep out of slaughter and enough horses that can be taken seriously in danger. As of now, we know that many horses are in danger because of the numbers that are left behind and the seriously stupid idea of castrating and giving birth control to mares that may leave them unable to ever conceive a foal. For now, these people are just piling on their problems when they threaten others with some letter from an attorney. I sure would love to contact the FBI and let them know that this company has used their agency to threaten people.


  18. This was also posted in The Horse: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31585/online-horse-shooting-video-prompts-cruelty-probe?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=health-news&utm_campaign=03-26-2013. In this article, Valley Meat Co. LLC stated that this was Tim Sappling and that he was never a full time employee. Here is an excerpt of the article: (Of course copied and pasted…what you think I am going to retype the entire article? )

    Online Horse Shooting Video Prompts Cruelty Probe

    By Pat Raia • Mar 25, 2013 • Article #31585

    Agricultural authorities in New Mexico are investigating whether a man who made a video of himself shooting his own horse should face animal cruelty charges.

    On March 21 a graphic video depicting Tim Sappington of New Mexico fatally shooting his own horse began appearing on YouTube; on the same day, the video began receiving national news coverage. In the video Sappington retrieves the halter-wearing horse from its paddock and leads the animal to a spot in front of the video camera. Sappington then pets the horse, turns to the camera, and utters expletives aimed at animal welfare advocates before fatally shooting the horse in the forehead.

    Blair Dunn, attorney for the Valley Meat, Co., LLC in Roswell, N.M., said that Sappington was never a full-time, regular employee of the meat processing firm. Rather, Sappington is a former independent contractor who performed construction and maintenance services for the meat processing firm on a contract basis. Valley Meat is currently seeking an inspection permit from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. The permit would allow the placement of USDA personnel at the processing plant to carry out horsemeat inspections there. Horse processing has not taken place in the United States since 2007, however it again became possible in November 2011 when Congress passed a federal funding bill that did not contain language specifically denying the USDA funds for horse processing plant inspections. If the permit is granted, Valley Meat, Co., would become the first U.S. facility to process horses for human consumption since the USDA funding was reinstated.

    On March 22, Ray E. Baca, interim executive director of the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) said in a written statement that the agency was investigating the incident depicted in the video.

    “The New Mexico Livestock Board takes allegations of animal cruelty very seriously,” Baca said in the statement. “After becoming aware of the video yesterday, NMLB immediately began to investigate and sought a warrant to search the premises where the shooting is alleged to have occurred. NMLB and the Sherriff’s Department executed the warrant as soon as it was granted.”

    Baca declined to reveal details about the probe of the shooting incident.

    “The NMLB is treating this case as it does any other investigation and will not be releasing further details until the investigation is complete,” Baca’s statement said.

    Sappington was unavailable for comment.

    Meanwhile, Dunn said that the video posted on the internet was “more than a year old,” and that Valley Meat owners did not condone Sappington’s shooting of the animal. He added that the shooting was legal under New Mexico statute.

    “We don’t support this kind of behavior, and there is no reason to use that kind of language,” Dunn said. “But it was his horse, on his time, at his property, and everything he did was legal.”

    Dunn also said that Sappington’s contract with Valley Meats would not be renewed.

    “We’re not going to have anything to do with him,” Dunn said. “He (Sappington) knows that.”

    MY COMMENT: Thereby giving Dunn a way out of the entire horrible incident…without legal charges being brought against him. Of course, did you notice, he was worried mostly about the language used. Lord. It’s really getting so you have to have everyone investigated to see if they are actually psychotic!


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