The Cruel Career of Bruce Rotz - An Animals' Angels Expose

Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 07:48
Investigation Category: 

During years of heartbreaking investigations around the country, Animals’ Angels investigators have found few kill buyers to be as persistently cruel and callous as Bruce Rotz.

Since 2008, our team has witnessed and documented countless atrocities and acts of neglect committed by the 58-year-old kill buyer, and we have worked tirelessly to expose his inhumane slaughter operations.

This month’s newsletter exposes Bruce Rotz’s brutal history and renews Animals’ Angels’ commitment to keep the notoriously cruel kill buyer at the forefront of our investigative efforts.

Who is Bruce Rotz?

For those supporters who may not have encountered him in our past fourteen years of newsletters, exposes, and reports, Bruce Rotz operates a horse slaughter operation in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

In fact, Rotz is one of the largest shippers remaining on the East Coast. He acquires horses by frequenting horse auctions in Pennsylvania, New York, and Tennessee.

After handling the horses he buys with complete disregard for their welfare (as documented by Animals’ Angels’ investigators who have followed many of his trucks in transit starting back in 2008), Rotz callously ships the horses to their deaths at the Richelieu horse slaughter plant in Quebec.

In addition to being a cruel, callous kill buyer, Rotz is also notorious for his violent, flaming hot temper. He once spotted Animals’ Angels investigators filming him and followed them down the road for miles in a violent effort to run them over!

Bruce Rotz is No Stranger to (Causing) Tragedy

As shown throughout years of investigations, Bruce Rotz is responsible for the suffering and death of many horses on an ongoing basis, but his negligence and culpability finally reached the national news back in 2013 when tragedy struck and 30 of his horses in transit to slaughter were burned alive.

A truck on Highway I-81 in New York had been transporting the horses to the slaughter plant in Richelieu when it caught fire, exploding into flames, and killing all horses on board. While the newspapers were quick to carry the story, even the stark horror and public outcry wasn’t enough to shut Rotz down.

Unaffected by the tragedy he’d left in his wake, Rotz continued to operate with impunity, and in 2016, another one of his trucks, pulling a crowded trailer filled with another 30 horses, encountered disaster on its way home from the auction in Knoxville, Tennessee. When the truck crashed, ten of the horses met a gruesome end inside the packed trailer.

Bruce Rotz Breaks the Law (Again)

As Bruce Rotz runs his inhumane slaughter operation, he isn’t above breaking the law now and again (and again).

Documents available to the public prove that Rotz has committed violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations multiple times, such as those violations shown in IES Case Numbers PA08035, PA08038, NY07290.

Once, after shipping blind and injured horses to slaughter, Rotz had to pay a $1,300 fine. Other documented offenses include shipping non-segregated stallions and failing to fill out the required owner-shipper certificates.

But none of those violations or fines seemed to change his ways. In fact, Rotz is currently awaiting trial for aggravated cruelty to animals after being accused of causing the senseless death of several animals by depriving them of food and water.

Bruce Rotz Makes Racehorses “Disappear”

Recent Animals’ Angels’ investigations suggest that Rotz is the “go-to person” when it comes to making former racehorses “disappear” without a trace.

On three different occasions our investigators caught Rotz with thoroughbreds in his trailer.

Luckily, due to Animals’ Angels’ documentation, there was a happy ending to one of these incidents, and the thoroughbred in question was recovered by its original owner. (Read the full account at Hawser exits New Holland trailer for good life (

Unfortunately, another incident ended in more tragic circumstances and resulted in felony charges being filed against the seller, a woman named Kelsey LeFever, who had promised to give four former racehorses a good home but then sold them to Rotz instead, who shipped them off for slaughter. (Read the full account at Kelsey Lefever: 'Every One of Them Is Dead' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report).

Then, just a few weeks ago, Animals’ Angels filmed Rotz at the New Holland auction again, this time conducting a trailer-to-trailer sale of a limping Standardbred, proving that his past troubles still haven’t taught him anything.

Bruce Rotz’s Online Sales

To our dismay, Rotz also has teamed up with several horse rescues, who photograph horses for him and advertise the horses on multiple online pages. It’s a perfect social media marketing ploy which generates lots of revenue for Rotz completely free of charge.

Currently, Rotz is keeping most of his horses locked up in an enclosed barn, making it a challenge for our investigators to observe and document their condition. However, multiple disturbing images released by Rotz’s helpers show distressed horses crammed into crowded pens.

The poor condition and visible injuries of the horses would certainty qualify as animal cruelty, however the helpers are afraid to upset Rotz by calling the police, since they might lose their privileges and access to the horses. So, once again, it seems Rotz is getting away with blatant cruelty.

Bruce Rotz Needs to Stop

After too many years of cruelty, abuse, and disregard for the law, we believe Bruce Rotz needs to be stopped and held accountable for all the suffering he has caused.

Animals’ Angels has made Rotz a priority in the past and will continue to keep a special place for him at the top of our investigation list as we monitor, document, and report on his activities and any violation of animal protection laws.

We encourage all our supporters and all animal advocates who read this newsletter, to share this information about Bruce Rotz with as many people as possible in an effort to raise awareness about his history of cruelty to animals.

Hopefully, our combined efforts will convince more and more buyers not to purchase horses on Bruce Rotz’s online platforms, thus supporting our ultimate goal of shutting down his operations for good