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Following the Money  It has come to light how the Humane Society of the United States gained possession of the dogs from the Indiana jeopardy tax assessment raid.  On June 3, 2009, the HSUS purchased all 241 of dogs seized from the Garwood’s farm in Indiana for the grand total of $300 as shown in page 1 of the sale agreement, signed by HSUS Indiana State Director Anne Sterling. 

There are a number of serious problems with this situation:

  • These dogs were seized using a warrant that included an order to seize and hold the dogs pending further instruction from the court.  The warrant was executed on June 2, 2009 and the dogs were sold on June 3.  The dispersal of the dogs is currently being questioned by Judge H. Lloyd (Tad) Whitis, therefore there was no instruction from the court permitting the release of the dogs. (Search Warrant Pages 1, 2 and 3)
  • The premise of the warrant was for jeopardy tax assessment, with the dogs being seize as collateral for a tax debt claimed by the Indiana Attorney General’s office as being in excess of $132,000.  
  • In the press release by the Indiana AG’s office on June 3, 2009, the seized dogs were stated to be “rescued animals now are being cared for by the Humane Society of the United States“, when in fact they had already been sold to the HSUS under the claim that the Indiana Attorney General’s office had “full power to sell the property” & “the Property’s title is free and clear from liens and encumbrances”.(clause 2)  I would have thought that the seize and hold order on the warrant executed approximately 24 hours earlier would be counted as an ‘encumberance’

I am not certain what I find to be more disturbing:

  • The ignoring of Due Process by the Indiana Attorney General’s office as noted by Judge H. Lloyd (Tad) Whitis
  • The fact that the HSUS is buying dogs for re-distribution to shelters and rescues and resale, at least in this instance.  I now question how many of the other dogs that they have ‘rescued’ have actually been purchased.  Considering the HSUS claims that the dogs were sick and neglected, wouldn’t this make the HSUS guilty of buying sick dogs for redistribution similar to the those targeted in their ‘puppy mill’ campaigns?  Wouldn’t the Indiana AG’soffice similarly be guilty selling sick dogs?  Or were the dogs simply neither sick nor neglected, and the Garwoods maligned?
  • The sale of the only collateral property possessed by the Indiana Attorney General’s office for $300  on a claimed outstanding debt of over $132,000

The combination of all these factors in a single case is incredible.

Copyright 2009 by Erica Saunders
All rights reserved

32 Responses to “HSUS Buys Dogs Under ‘Do Not Disperse’ Order from Indiana AG’s Office”

  1. Gail Smith says:

    Everyone should be calling the Indiana Attorney General’s office at 317-232-6201 to express extreme displeasure at this blatent violation of due process. HSUS MUST be made to account for their rehoming of each and every one of the 241 dogs it “purchased.”

  2. Barbara Deloge says:

    Since the HSUS does not have any facilities to house animals, and have in the past euthanized pets they obtain, it would be interesting to find out what they did with these animals

  3. Alice Harrington says:

    HSUS is very proud of what they pulled off in Indiana. Scotlund Haisley, HSUS Director of Emergency Services, said these cases are much easier to do because they do not have to prove cruelty and they get their hands of the animals more quickly. He said they prefer “not to do cruelty” because it is more difficult and time consuming to build that kind of case. They prefer the tax evasion “Al Capone” tactics and hoarder cases. Watch your animals closely folks.

    HSUS et al are building quite a “strike force” and wealthy donors are handing out $250,000 checks for fancy trucks and equipment. Remember–when people have equipment, a job title, resources, etc – they are going to use them. He also said that he and his team have no legal authority but he (and others) all wear badges and ACT like they have authority and people respond accordingly. This is also a standard HSUS tactic.

  4. Russ says:

    What I also find HIGHLY unethical and questionably legal is that in paragraph 4 it clearly states that HSUS will take complete ownership of the dogs BEFORE THE STATE RECEIVES PAYMENT. So lets look at this a bit more in depth. HSUS buys inventory and resells it at a higher than cost price (even at 10 bucks per dog they PROFIT by $2110) This now indicates that they are resellers and no longer working in a non-profit capacity.

  5. zotzer says:

    Erica,
    I’ve been sleeping on this, and just can’t get over how frightening this situation is. Forgoing the existence of a second order from the judge, allowing the release of the seized property, this seems to indicate an attorney general who knowingly ignored the terms of the original warrant. Let alone what he did to the state of Indiana, in selling those dogs for $1.25 each, when the state is owed over a hundred thousand dollars.

    For Russ, I don’t believe HSUS sold the dogs. This arrangement helped save the state (and HSUS) from actually caring for these dogs. They could simply be dispersed to shelters (which is, I believe, what happened)

    From what I recall of the press releases, the tax was not even assessed at the time of the raid.

    To those thinking the indignation about this is in any way a defense of sub-standard breeding practices…you are dead wrong. It’s about our rights as US Citizens being infringed, and that an attorney general and the HSUS colluded to do so is astonishing. There’s a little thing called the Constitution of the United States that is supposed to protect people from such abuses.

    Very scary stuff.

  6. YesBiscuit! says:

    Are the owners trying to get their dogs back?

  7. Greg S. says:

    How many more cases can be found like this one. That is the question.
    This is probably happening every day. This smells like a set up run by HSUS from the beginning. The sad part, do we know where these dogs went or even if they are alive?
    It appears when the States Attorney General’s office and HSUS team up, well it may bring on other questions in other states. Could HSUS be using the Attorney General’s office to further their own animal rights agenda? Very sad that the population does not understand who and what animal rights truly is. It is NOT animal welfare. Animal rights’ goal is to end animal use and ownership. The big question is “Has Animal Rights Gone Way, Way Too Far”! Wonder how many feel the government has been misguided when more laws were passed under the guise of protecting animals (ending animal ownership) than children. (It is very important to prevent the cruelty of cow tail docking in a state that is giving out IOUs) What is wrong with this whole picture?
    Greg

  8. Elizabeth Montgomery says:

    I hope they are going to sue both Hsus and the state. and get ;news coverage. That is the only way the public will relize what HSUS is all about and how they work.
    I hope someone has the guts to take away they non-profit status.

  9. working dogs says:

    This screams for a lawsuit. Anybody willing to donate?
    I am.

  10. Dixie Bitch says:

    This is nothing more than colusion on the part of the Attorney General of IN to defraud these ladies of their property. This should and could be tried under the RICCO act which is about what they took those dogs under. How can an AG condone the ignoring of a court order to seize and hold those animals by selling them the very next day without a judge’s order stating it was ok to sell them. And for $300.00?? Oh give me a break! That is little more than $1.25 per dog. Which have been offered to the public for upwards of $450.00 by some of the “rescues and shelters” that have taken them in. Folks there is a term for this it is called “THEFT UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW”. We should all call the AG and ask for his resignation and call the governor and ask for an investigation. We should also call the FBI and have them both investigated for not following the letter of the law.

  11. LSC says:

    What I don’t see being mentioned by anyone is that anybody has formally filed a bar complaint in the state of Indiana against the AG himself and any other Assistant AG handling the case. The complaint can at least question ethics, any bar assosciation takes the ethics complaints mildly seriosuly, but also willful and knowingly violating a judges order. That would be taken very seriously. I hope that somebody involved files a complaint.

  12. Mia says:

    This whole thing doesn’t come as a surprise to me. It’s called “legal theft”. Look what they pulled off in the aftermath of Katrina. The funds they appealed for, and got, were dumped into their coffers and did nothing for the animals. Dogs that were taken in were distributed to shelters across the country and offered for “adoption” (sale), others were promptly euthanized. (not saleable) This was all done before the people could get back on their feet and able to look for their animals. When their tactics were questioned and it looked like they were in for a lawsuit, they built a new facility in N.O. (bribery?) and everything was dropped.

    Did you ever notice that the “puppy mills” they raid are all small dogs? Easier to sell for more bucks — and they do sell them, folks, some for as high as $500. They talk about what deplorable condition these animals are in but they will be up for adoption within a week. It’s a win – win for HSUS because all of these dogs are “fixed” before they hit the streets. No more reproduction — “one generation and out” quote from good ole Wayne. I’m sure even if the owners tried to have their property returned to them, they would be returned spayed or neutered.

    The best thing we can do is spread the word, let as many people as you can know what’s happening. Try to dry up their money supply and by fighting every bit of legislation they are behind.(and this is considerable) Let your Legislators know that you want your children and grandchildren to know the joy of having an animal to love. Hound them (this doesn’t mean just one note) into paying attention. Let them know that if they have any aspirations of being reelected they had better pay attention! Don’t forget to have everyone (friends, family, etc.) do it too.

    Sorry, I get very long winded on this subject – it’s my passion! Until the public takes action on this we’re going to be steamrolled over by the AR groups. PLEASE help in the fight.

  13. hsus is nothing but a bunch of thieves !!!they only fill their pockets–pretending they are only for the welfare of animals. they do not have facilities for animals and if any are taken pretending they will house and care for them- they go down the road and kill them.

  14. KLMCats says:

    EXCELLENT article! Glad someone is asking these questions… when will the public get some answers? Would love to know how the state is going to get that $132k when they have sold the collateral for $300-

  15. maggie b says:

    When I read things like this my hair catches on fire I’m so angry. I can’t help but feel for the owners. When so much is wrong, how can we assume that any of it is right. I am taken back to the 20/20 expose where they proved on camera with experts that the animals taken were being illegally siezed from people that were caring for the animals well.

    I pray that they sue the shorts off everyone involved especially HSUS and win in a major way. Of course HSUS is hiding behind the attorney general and have a purchase agreement to prove it.

    I’d donate to help sue. I can tell you this, they choose their targets well. People least likely or able to fight back fall first. We can not rest one day as long as the rights of other Americans are trampled in the dirt by these criminals in sheep’s clothing. We need to let them know the dog community has teeth. “If the law doesn’t protect the worst of us, it can’t protect the best of us”

  16. Martha says:

    The scary thing is the HSUS is so linked to the Obama administration it isn’t funny. Things like this are going to happen more and more. If we only could get money (Hollywood) that backs the HSUS we could then fight them nose to nose. Until we are ‘backed’ by that kind of money the fight will always be uphill.

  17. You people are insane and soulless. The HSUS absolutely DOES have facilities to house animals– they have thousands of them! Where do you people get your information?? The animals were only technically purchased– the reality is that the HSUS paid $300 to rescue these neglected, abused animals from the horrible situation from which they came. The money was required for legal reasons, and because the state was greedy and wanted money. Why WOULDN’T the HSUS pay a measly $300 to rescue 241 sick, injured, neglected dogs? I HAVE SEEN PHOTOS OF SOME OF THESE DOGS. I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THEY WERE BEING BRED FOR PROFIT AND HORRIBLY MISTREATED. The problem with you people is that you actually don’t give a shit about animals, and are therefore unable to see the wrongdoing on the part of those who abuse them and use them for profit and entertainment. I have not seen one comment on here which actually expresses concern for the animals’ wellbeing. You people are missing a sensitivity chip. I am shocked that this web site exists.

  18. Bonnie says:

    I think this is “disgusting!!” These people always hit the ‘little guy.’ Then go ’round patting themselves on the back and thinking: “We’ve done it again.”
    Someone should put ‘them’ in a shelter!!!!!!!

  19. Tom says:

    I don’t even see how it occurred to that state attorney general to sell those dogs. Sociopaths are scary. They are valued by organizations like the HSUS because they seem to have this weird black magic about them. That attorney general needs to take responsibility for what he did and get some part of his manhood back from the HSUS.

  20. M says:

    YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GO BACK TO YOUR BUNKERS. YOU TALK ALL THIS CONSPIRACY CRAP, NOTHING ABOUT THE ANIMALS. YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THOSE DOGS. IT IS SICKENING HOW ALL OF YOU TALK ABOUT ANYTHING *BUT* THE WELFARE OF THE ANIMALS, AND THE FACT THEY LIVE THEIR *ENTIRE LIVES IN CAGES*. WHY DON’T YOU WATCH A FEW HSUS VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE. START WITH *EMERGENCY ANIMAL SHELTERS*. HOW IN THE WORLD YOU CAN SAY HSUS PROFITS FROM SEIZING THESE NEGLECTED DOGS IS JUST CRAZY TALK. YOU SHUT-INS NEED TO SEE THE WORLD AND WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON.

  21. debo says:

    wake up america!!! our rights are slowly,but surely,being ripped out from under us,and we are supposed to take that kind of gov’t control,and like it.i am talking about our constitutional rights,as written.don’t think,hsus is run by caring animal lovers,wanting to end puppymill abuse..oh,no ….they want all forms of animal ownership,breeding,and husbandry operations stopped across the country.their definition of neglected animals in deplorable conditions,keeps the media frenzy turning record numbers of donations into cash cows for an underhanded,illegal bunch of activists,that are targetting everything from dairies,to zoos.i’ve yet to see any…i mean,any,signs of neglect or abuse from hsus raids.they know small breed dogs generate alot of money,and sympathy,so,they show what they want,to get what they want from the uninformed,and gullible! how do you look,first thing in the morning?after a trying day ,playing with your kids?in the evening,after a hard day?are you always in best form,or could you use a shower,shave,or haircut?there’s always another side to look at,another story,but,not everybodys dogs are perfectly groomed 24/7,or is that grounds for charges,and seizure,now?better keep an eye on your possessions,big brother is coming for you!this country needs a major overhaul,starting with laws,that protect us,and not hurt us,through loop holes and corruption.shut down puppymills,stop unnecessary neglect,abuse,and inferior quality breeders,but,help the ones that want to make a difference,and allow them to be part of the solution.this is the meaning of a humane….society.

  22. Leslie says:

    In response to the comment by Russ: I’m not necessarily defending HSUS, but defending their status as a non-profit. They are NOT making a profit. Do you have any idea how much expense they’ve taken on in order to provide shelter, sustenance, medications, training, etc. to these dogs? Believe me, they aren’t making any profit at all. When non-profit rescues charge an adoption fee, it NEVER covers all of the organization’s expenses. That is why they are deemed a non-profit. I’d like to see you take in the dogs that HSUS took in and make a profit selling them. It just doesn’t happen. I’m co-founder of a non-profit rescue and animal welfare organization in my state, and there’s NO WAY I could profit from these dogs. Nor could you. But, if you feel strongly that you could do so while providing for these dogs every need, then I challenge you to take it on. I’d love to hear how much “profit” you make from simple adoptions.

  23. Russ says:

    Leslie,
    I’ll answer you directly. Look at the income vs the expendatures of a company or organization. In the strictest sense of the term “non- profit” you cannot show a profit at the end of the year. Now look at HSUS. they are showing a budget of available funds of over 200 MILLION dollars. Their expenses are around 20 Million… THAT is a profit. And One fraudulently begotten at that (ala Katrina). I’m sorry that you are so blindly following them under their false premises. HSUS has never been FOR the animals. I mean we’re not talking Jimbo’s pet rescue that might rescue 50 dogs a year, sell for 20 grand and have to pay 50 grand for their care and rehabilitation. I know this as I DO Rescue. The FACTS of the matter are:
    A, the dogs as per the siezure warrant stated they were to be HELD
    B, the AG did willingly and knowingly violate that condition
    C, HSUS did also willingly and knowingly enter into an illegal contract of sale. This now makes them Guilty of accepting stolen property and possession of stolen property.
    These are the laws. if you can cite specific laws that state this is ok, Please, provide them. I want to know the actual wording of the law and where it’s found. Obviously we all know this can’t be done otherwise I’d start rescuing exotic sports cars, wash them, change their fluids and Selling them to dealer… er, Car humane societies.
    To M and “you people are…”
    Many of the people on here are much more responsible as pet owners, breeders, rescues, etc than you are. The fact is we DO care about animals. We also DO care about our RIGHTS to have them. Apparently this has been lost in your distain for us. This is clearly an example of where the AG disobeyed a court order. That would be like having an ex disobey a court order from harassing you. In that context, you’d be all up in arms over it. So instead of coming on here and getting all wound up over it, LOOK at the documents, do your own research. the Fact that the story is about animals and not somebody’s barbie collection is irrelevant when talking about breaking the law.

  24. Jan B says:

    These cases are all crafted by HSUS and their legal counsel, Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal (You didn’t think Wayne was the brains, did you?). M,G & C also shake down tobacco companies, etc. Big, greedy and slick! That’s HSUS. They use their lobbying activities to own AG’s.. They did it in California, and now Indiana. You buy the AG, and you own the entire criminal justice system from the top down. This way you can get case law, too! Every American ought to be outraged. It’s not about dogs. It’s about a runaway, corrupt political system that’s buying our criminal courts and law enforcement. Shame!!!!

  25. Amy says:

    To Ridiculous: HSUS does not house ONE dog! If you think otherwise, you are completely misinformed. HSUS is NOT associated with local humane societies or shelters. The HSUS does not feed or house one dog. They do not donate to local shelters.
    And how do you know these dogs are abused or in bad shape? They were sold right away. How sick could they be? Or should the HSUS be cited for selling dogs that have health problems?

  26. Donna says:

    Seems the loyal faithful HSUS people are answering here–HSUS does NOT have a shelter–they collect lots of money acting as if they gave 2 hoots about animals rather than THEIR power. If you care about the animals give to the LOCAL shelters–work for the LOCAL shelters. They do more for animals in a day than HSUS has done since it was created.

  27. N says:

    I would like to talk with the person who originally wrote this & published this. I need to know if anything can be done. This does not happen only in Indiana but, all over to small kennel breeders of excellant quality dogs & including just dog owners to get trumped up charges & trumped up fees & criminal time to completely inocent people raising excellant, show quality dogs & other animals for pure profit. Please someone get back to me on this I know people pending in court art this time for this knowing their excellant care & quality of their animals. Please someone who knows something write back.

    • Hello N,
      We are well aware that this is not the only case of this type but an example illustrating the situation of numerous individuals across the US. It is however, the first case for which we have been able to obtain such a clear level of documentation. With luck and courage from others, it will not be the last.

      Correspondance may be directed to communications at AR-HR.com (replace at with @). We will be happy to hear from you.

      All individuals with documentation of similar events with a similar standard of documentation are also welcomed to contact AR-HR.com. Please note that AR-HR.com does require a high standard of documentation for the proctection of ourselves and those associated with our articles.

  28. LSC says:

    @ You People Are Ridiculous.
    Can you please provide a nation wide list of addressess of the HSUS run shelters? Even one address? You can’t can you? But if you can, I want paper trail proof it’s an HSUS run facility with HSUS employees being paid w/ HSUS funds located on HSUS tax forms. I’m willing to fly to that shelter to view it and the paper proof. Until then I suggest you change your retoric to include something that has factualy valid proof.
    And until the First Amendment no longer exists, this web page has every right to exist. I know it’s shocking that we Americans actually value our Rights which are GUARANTEED by our Constitution.
    If you really believe we are missing a sensitivity chip I invite you to assist me in my rescue. I’m in desperate need of foster homes for the cats that are being relinquished left and right because of the BSL, MSN, numbers laws, and all the other various onerious laws your kind insist on enforcing against every other citizen in this country. I don’t have enough room to house them in addition to my own pets and my family. I don’t have enough money to provide all the health care, food, and housing items to for them either. Instead I am forced to turn them away which pretty much ensures they are sent to the pound and will be euthanized in no time at all. Do I ever see you or your kind step up to the plate? No I don’t. Instead all I see is you accusing us of being animal haters, abuser, and greedy bastards, along with dropping your animals off at my front door because horrible little fluffy was too loud, or actually acted like an amimal and not a human.

  29. Jilian M says:

    Leslie picture this. HSUS takes people’s property and they send it on to the rescues to vet, to care for and spend money on. Since they either call the media in advance or have their own camera crew or both, they elicit a lot of sympathy thus money pours in to them. How much did it cost for the Katrina dogs at all the rescue agencies. This was not paid for by HSUS to care for these dogs, but they received over 30 million dollars. How much did they spend? Who is the looser here, often the dog with their life and the rescues who care for the animals loose. If you could add up what the rescues had in all these dogs that were sent all over the country….I think HSUS said they spent a few million transporting these dogs in jet planes. They could have bought a jet for what they said they spent! There is no telling how much it cost the rescues all over the country who accepted these dogs if we had the ability to add it up. Think about it. Why are all rescues who care for these dogs, always broke? HSUS is not broke.

  30. Susan says:

    Localhumane.org is an interesting place to start for good info on the lack of connection between the HSUS and your local humane society. Read the myths and get the facts.

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