If you've seen the viral stories on social media about two men at the Stanley Brothers' Bastrop Kill Pen in Louisiana placing a pit bull on a horse, then slitting the gentle dog's throat... and later beating a man who came to inquire about the dog... you know a little about the Stanley Brothers. They have been in the slaughter horse trade for a very long time and their horse slaughter empire stretches across Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi. In addition to their slaughter horse business, they have created a set of online broker programs, offering horses at inflated prices to well-meaning individuals hoping to safe a poor soul from slaughter. Unfortunately, this only adds to the Stanley Brother’s profit and enables them to gain access to even more horses, more trucks and more locations.
They have a long history of illegal activities that have cost countless horses their lives. They've racked up approximately $40,000 in fines for numerous violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations: Shipping completely blind horses; horses carrying infectious diseases; and horses unable to bear weight on all four limbs. In addition to these federal violations, countless complaints for animal cruelty have been filed on a local level.
On 5/26/18, Animals’ Angels investigators visited their newest kill pen in Cleveland, TN. The pen is operated by Terry Clark, who also videotapes/shows all the horses for the broker program. The large property with extended pastures and adjacent wooded lot is located in a very remote area. The location is ideal for the Stanley Brothers, since it is out of reach for the Cleveland animal control unit.
Inside barren pens, investigators found horses and donkeys so severely emaciated that every rib was showing, and their spines protruded through their skins. The animals searched the ground for food, but there wasn't a scrap. The nearly-dry water troughs looked like they hadn't been cleaned in weeks. Horses chewed the wooden fences in hunger and frustration. On his Facebook page, Clark claims that the horses have access to over a hundred acres of clover filled fields and a spring. When our investigators visited, the horses were stuck in empty pens with no way to reach the surrounding fields.
In the adjacent woods, investigators spotted several other groups of horses - many horribly thin and some with their auction tags still attached. One was severely limping; another had an open sore on his hip; and still another had a dripping eye injury. None of the injuries showed any signs of veterinary treatment. The horses were searching the underbrush for leaves to eat. Again, if these horses had access to the lush fields, why would they be scavenging through the woods and the underbrush?
Animals' Angels has notified local authorities about this remote location and urged them to launch an investigation.