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Fri Apr 22, 2016, 04:52 PM


Pack horses in Grand Canyon are being severely abused, starved

Last edited Wed Jun 8, 2016, 09:29 PM - Edit history (2)


Please, help us. Share our page, invite others to like it and share it too. Share our website http://www.havasupaihorses.org/#!the-secret-of-havasuspai/mainPage with everyone you. And sign and share our petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/815/945/903/save-the-pack-animals-at-havasu-falls./?taf_id=24179153&cid=fb_na

Also, many outfitters, like ‪#‎REI‬, who use pack animals in Havasu Falls are in a position to provide basic and consistent weekly aid. And we feel it is partially their responsibility. Many of them have known for years that there is no water, food, or shade at Hualapai Hilltop. Still, they profited off the backs of these animals without pause. Well, now the public knows and its time to step up.

We vow to help if these companies will come forward and work together for the good of these animals and ultimately for the people. Remember: Veterinary care a few times a year does animals no good at all if there is no food, water, shelter, rest, and especially if certain violent people are physically harming their animals.

REI: 1-800-622-2236 and travel@rei.com

National Geographic Adventures Call two numbers (800) 397-3348 and 1-888-966-8687 and email a strong comment online here

Arizona Outback Adventures 480-945-2881 and https://aoa-adventures.com/contact/

Pygmy Guides 928-774-4854 and http://www.pygmyguides.com/havasu-falls.html

Center Focus 928-567-8580 and http://www.thecenterfocus.com/contact.aspx

Tell these companies to come forward now with a commitment to help stop the appalling treatment of these pack animals. This can take many forms including insisting on adherence to a minimum standard of care (see our website HavasupaiHorses.org for such standards), working with and financially supporting the tribe to IMMEDIATELY provide:

1) adequate water and feed on a consistent basis at Hilltop
2) shade/shelter from the pounding heat at Hilltop
3) adequate water and feed in the village
4) a consistent delivery system for food and water in both locations
5) consistent veterinary and farrier care

Contact the chairman Don Watahomigie's at htchair@havasupai-nsn.gov and copy Vice Chairman: htvchair@havasupai-nsn.gov
and Tribal Secretary: htsec0@havasupai-nsn.gov - tell them to end the violence, provide consistent food, water, shade and rest, and to prosecute abusers immediately.

Look at the faces of these animals. They are worthy of our compassion. Together, we can do this. We can insist on integrity and kindness and responsible corporate and tribal action. Thank you all so much from us at SAVE and from the animals.

* * *UPDATE* * * 5/14

I found out that group, stopanimalviolence.com was launched last month to fight this:

from their press release:


...The SAVE Havasu Campaign (http://stopanimalviolence.com) features tourism and campground information to help people navigate their trip. However, the website also invites readers to uncover the 'Secret of Havasu Falls" wherein they can read about first-hand documented accounts of egregious animal torture and abuse. "There are so many reports of witnessed abuse and violence against these animals that we can only imagine what's going on when no one is looking," Ash continued.

The intent of the SAVE Havasu Campaign is to raise media and public awareness and to encourage tourists to boycott the use of all pack animals until minimum standards of care, written by concerned veterinarians who volunteer with SAVE, are implemented. This abuse must cease, and all the animals must be restored to health and treated with dignity. "While this extreme violence has been observed and documented for decades, few have stepped up to intercede on behalf of the animals," said Ash. "It's long past time for this systemic violence to stop."

Facebook page:

Please help spread the word, including asking local Arizona media to cover this. (I'm in Oregon, but I'm going to try to contact some Arizona stations, too.)

* * *

I saw this facebook post from a woman who just returned from a trip to Havasupai Falls. the way these horses are being treated is horrifying. Does anyone have connections with an animal group that could get involved and rescue these horses and pack animals?


Friends, as many of you know my sister Michelle and I just returned from a trip to Havasupai Falls a few days ago. While the falls were nothing short of amazing (just look at my recent photos), there is a horrifyingly ugly underbelly to Havasupai for which we witnessed, and that is the condition and treatment of many of the pack animals used to carry tourists belongings the 8-10 miles into the Grand Canyon.

I am an animal lover and advocate, but wouldn't consider myself someone that is overly sensitive to unfortunate and harsh realities in the world; this however was one of the most sickening scenes I have ever witnessed and I feel absolutely compelled to try and raise awareness to let travelers to that area know what exactly I saw. The horses and mules are skin and bones with open, bleeding sores all over their spines from the weight of the packs. They are malnourished, tied to posts with no shade from the direct sunlight, and whipped and beaten when they won't go any further due to exhaustion. We saw many carrying huge ice chests, one on each side of their bodies, with large packs and other gear piled high down the center of their backs - their hind ends literally giving out underneath them from the weight.

Thankfully Michelle and I carried in our own backpacks and didn’t use a horse or mule, but we easily could have, not knowing that our money and use of the service would have been supporting this disgusting behavior. My guess is that the majority of visitors who pay for a pack animal have no idea that this is happening either.

My hope is that our story can impact some of those traveling to Havasupai, making people think twice about the use of pack animals, and if I were to not atleast try for this I wouldn't be doing my part as a human being on this planet. The awe and beauty of the landscape wasn't enough to erase this tragic sight from my mind, and I would feel ashamed had I tried to just turn a blind eye to it.

I don't take to Facebook often to post things like this, so if you know me well, you know that this experience must have been significant and deeply bothersome to me. It was. And it is. If you're reading this, I hope you will share it, especially with those who have any interest in traveling to Havasupai. It is a place that is truly breathtaking, with a huge number of visitors per year and understandably so, but these defenseless and voiceless creatures need help.

This is a great website Michelle discovered yesterday, with information on the Havasupai pack animals and also what to do/know if you're planning a trip there: http://stopanimalviolence.com

And lastly, the pictures you see here I personally took. They are gruesome and I apologize, but they are real and more powerful than anything I could ever possibly articulate.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pack horses in Grand Canyon are being severely abused, starved (Original post)
Arugula Latte Apr 2016 OP
CurtEastPoint Apr 2016 #1
Arugula Latte Apr 2016 #3
AuntPatsy Apr 2016 #2
2naSalit Apr 2016 #4
Kali Apr 2016 #6
Name removed Apr 2016 #5
lonestarnot May 2016 #7
Arugula Latte May 2016 #10
lonestarnot May 2016 #11
Arugula Latte Jun 2016 #12
Ptah May 2016 #8
Arugula Latte May 2016 #9

Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 05:10 PM

1. This should be publicized far and wide. Unacceptable.

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 05:27 PM

3. Yes. I'm trying to think of different social network places to post this to spread the word.


I'm hoping people will share it on Facebook. Maybe a local TV station will cover it.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 05:16 PM

2. I've seen the same on an island in the Caribbean, horrific conditions, horses looked similar..:(

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Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 06:28 PM

4. A few things to know

when filing complaints.

All these tours are conducted andthe animals are owned by concessionaires like Xanterra and maybe some smaller private entities. It is important to know which owns and uses the animals you are pointing out. The NPS only permits these operations and I don't think there's a heck of a lot of oversight.

For Xanterra
Visit Xanterra's website for more details and to book a trip. Or call (303) 297-2757 or toll free (888) 297-2757.

You can also contact the Park Service and the Dept. of Interior with your concerns, this route will get more attention if a bunch of people just complain about what they saw and send pictures to the superintendent of the park and all entities over that person's head. They will pay attention to this.

Pile on, this is reprehensible and needs to be widely known. The culprits will be discovered as the NPS frowns on misbehavior of the concessionaires. There will be a price for them to pay.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 07:20 PM

6. not sure about that

Xanterra is at Grand Canyon, but Havasupai is Native run as far as I know, good chance the animals are tribal owned.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2016, 07:43 PM

7. Did you report?


Call 15 or 5. They will broadcast.

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #7)

Sat May 14, 2016, 01:03 PM

10. I'm going to call. If others could too, that would be wonderful. See update in main OP.


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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #10)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:35 AM

11. Where do you want us to call?


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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 8, 2016, 09:30 PM

12. Sorry for slow response. Please call any Arizona media you can think of and


the numbers provided in the 6/8 update. Thanks!

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Response to Arugula Latte (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2016, 07:52 AM

8. Havasupai horse owner gets probation in cruelty case


A member of the Havasupai Tribe must give up his four horses and will face three years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to two animal cruelty misdemeanor charges on Thursday. Leland Joe will be prohibited from owning or caring for horses during his probation and must also pay $1,200 in restitution as part of the plea agreement.

Joe was arrested in April and charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors related to cruel neglect and failure to provide necessary medical attention to one of his horses in the village of Supai in Grand Canyon. The felony charges have since been dismissed.

Three other horses on Joe’s property that displayed signs of severe malnourishment and had visible sores also were confiscated by state and federal authorities when they investigated Joe’s property on April 14. Joe spent five days in jail after his arrest.

The $1,200 in restitution will go to the Coconino Humane Association, which is caring for the horses. All of the animals appear to have been used as pack horses to haul tourists and other gear to and from the rim of Grand Canyon to the village of Supai and Havasupai Campground seven miles and 2,000 feet below.

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Response to Ptah (Reply #8)

Sat May 14, 2016, 12:56 PM

9. I wish he'd gotten prison time. There are still other horses being tortured.


The group Stop Animal Violence is working on this issue.

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