On April 7th in Kankakee County, a private animal rights vigilante group conducted a raid of an elderly couple, forcibly taking their business away from them. The Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) is a private self-styled SWAT team run by high school dropout Scotlund Haisley who operates nationwide stealing animals from their legal owners and flipping them for resale. Haisley who pays himself a yearly salary of $90,000+ out of ARC funds, claims he is simply an animal lover “saving” animals, but he has no legal authority for any of his actions. In the Kankakee County raid, Haisley and his volunteer supporters accompanied two animal control officers to execute a search warrant on Adrian’s Puppy Paradise, owned by Adrian and Louise Gutierrez. Animal rights activists claim the business is a puppy mill to justify their theft of private property. The problem is, Kankakee County Animal Control Officers have no law enforcement authority to serve search warrants on licensed businesses either. The search warrant and resulting raid was illegally carried out. The resulting physical intimidation and coercion used to get this frail elderly couple to sign over their business to Haisley was also illegal.
Fox 32 interviewed Haisley and quoted him as saying, “It is our belief she shouldn’t be in operation. These conditions were extremely inhumane as well as illegal.”
These activists would have you believe that the Gutierrez family deserve to lose their business in an armed SWAT style raid simply because they are opposed to dog breeding in America. They throw around terms like puppy mill to sway your emotions and ignore the profit motive behind their actions. ARC is run out of a UPS Mail Drop in Washington, DC, and cleared $465,388 in 2013, all tax free. They do not run an animal shelter, have no law enforcement authority and founder Haisley has no documented education in animals. What is illegal in this situation is ARC’s actions and the two animal control officers who participated in this SWAT raid of an elderly couple.
In most illegal raids like this across America, the animals are flipped and resold in less than a week while the thieves run marathon fundraising scams off the media coverage of a puppy mill bust. Americans open their wallets and give donations of millions of dollars to animal rights groups believing they are helping to save a needy animal and the majority of which is simply pocketed by illiterate thugs like Haisley.
ARC is nothing more than a group of adrenaline junkies, led by a high school dropout, and backed by Hollywood money. In fact, Haisley was sued over an illegal raid of a South Dakota dog breeder back in 2009. In the court documents he admitted that he is in this business because it gets him better lap dances from strippers. In another raid in 2011, Haisley stole an aviary of exotic birds in Tennessee and turned over some of the birds to one of his pet flipping resale partners called The Bailey Foundation of Maryland, run by Beth Lindenau. Just over a year later, 40 dead animals were discovered in Lindenau’s home. Haisley is on record saying that the bird raid in TN was justified because, he said, “These are the worst conditions for bird’s I’ve ever seen.” He said nothing when his partner, Beth Lindenau was found to have killed some of them.
Adrian’s Puppy Paradise was licensed and inspected by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, passing numerous government inspections over a fifteen year period. If the Illinois Ag Department couldn’t find anything wrong with the Gutierrez business, then what right does Haisley have to run to the media and slander their reputations? In the old days, Haisley would have been drawn and quartered as a thief. Today he hangs out with Hollywood celebrities while his victims hide in their homes in fear.
Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon. Follow @KatharineDokken