By Glen Wunderlich
Lansing, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- It’s not whether one wins or loses, it’s how the game is played – or, so we were taught.
And, when it comes to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), it didn’t play fair and it lost – big time.
The Fund for Animals (FFA) filed a frivolous lawsuit alleging animal abuse by Ringling Brothers circus (owned by Feld Entertainment, Inc.) in 2000, along with the ASPCA, Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute, and former Ringling Bros. employee Tom Rider.
Although HSUS was not an original party to the suit against Feld, it merged with one of the original parties, FFA, in 2004 while the suit was ongoing.
The lawsuit was dismissed by a District Court in 2009 and an Appeals Court upheld the decision, ruling that the animal-rights extremists had schemed to pay its lead witness, Tom Rider, more than $190,000 – his only source of income during the legal wrangling.
Years after defending itself from a lawsuit filed by these animal rights groups, Feld Entertainment, Inc. (FEI) fought back, filing a lawsuit against animal rights extremists under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in 2007. FEI amended its complaint in 2010 to include HSUS and two of its lawyers and is now the recipient of a $15.75 million settlement for attorney fees from HSUS and its codefendants. That’s in addition to the ASPCA's payment to Feld of 9.3 million to settle in 2012.
It was HSUS’ relationship with Mr. Rider – how the game was played – that turned the tables on the animal rights whackos. The court found that Mr. Rider was “not a credible witness” and that he “often gave conflicting answers and was repeatedly impeached on the witness stand.”
It has been determined that HSUS tendered six payments to Wildlife Advocacy Project (WAP) that were earmarked for plaintiffs’ witness, Tom Rider, and those payments were made from an HSUS bank account, on HSUS stationery and sent by a HSUS employee, Jonathan Lovvorn.
The court found that Rider’s testimony was motivated only by money. After more than a decade of litigation, which was prolonged because of a failure by HSUS and the other groups to disclose the payments to Rider, the case was dismissed for lack of standing.
Now comes Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS writing on his blog: “Fortunately, insurance proceeds are expected to cover a substantial portion, if not all, of the contributions from the Fund for Animals and The HSUS toward the collective settlement by a dozen parties.”
However, there’s another one of those pesky technicalities: HSUS has no insurance coverage for this litigation and has sued its liability insurance company, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburg, for its denial of coverage.
Pacelle also suggests the following: “… with the funds Feld is receiving from the many parties to the case, The HSUS urges the company to combat the killing of tens of thousands of elephants for their ivory.”
After years of duping its contributors into thinking their donations will help homeless dogs and cats, while they pay themselves triple-digit salaries and fund millions of dollars in pensions annually, Wayne Pacelle wants to tell others what to do with their money.
In fact, just send those contributions to Washington-based HSUS, and they’ll take it from there. Promise, wink, wink.
About Glen Wunderlich Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the third weekend of September each year.