Investigators arrived at the auction at 7:34 pm. There were already 46 horses in the pen area and several large horse trailers were parked in the parking lot. Most of the horses were in good condition. One very pregnant mare (less than 10 days to foal) was observed as well as a TB who continuously was tossing his head (and we have seen this type of behavior in horses who have had head injuries).
At 1:02 am, a blue Peterbilt 379 truck arrived with a flat floor trailer and pulled up to the loading ramp. The parking lot was empty by then and investigators could not watch the loading without raising suspicion. At 1:34 am, the truck then left the sale barn, and investigators began following the truck. At 2:00am, the truck pulled into a service plaza just west of Tonganoxie, he pulled in and briefly went into the store. A closer look at his truck revealed that the truck was from Marland, OK and that there was no DOT # displayed anywhere. The name “Diamond Bar Farms” was visible on both sides of the truck. At 2:20am, the truck left the service area and continued west on I 70 for a while before turning south on I 470. The truck continued south and stopped again at 4:00am at the Matfield service area. The driver stayed with his truck the entire time and continued driving 15 minutes later. Investigators followed him for another 2 hours. 32 hours later, the same truck was documented in Texas close to the Presidio export pens.
A search of the Vin number revealed that the truck belongs to John Sanders, d/b/a JHS Livestock. Public documents obtained by Animals’ Angels indicate that John Sanders ships horses for slaughter via the Presidio export pens. These records also reveal that in April of 2012, Sanders used veterinarian David Snyder to sign the health certificates of his slaughter horses. However, according to newspaper reports, Snyder had already surrendered his veterinary license in March of 2012 due to facing felony charges for drug possession.
Animals’ Angels has reported their observations from that night to the FMCSA field office in Oklahoma (Complaint # OK-2013-007), highlighting that there was no DOT # and a different name displayed. On October 22, we received an answer back that an inspection had been conducted, our complaint had been found valid and that the carrier would be forced into compliance. Additionally, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has been informed about Dr. David Snyder.