HBO Sued Over Unreported Animal Cruelty During ‘Luck’ Production

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HBO is facing a lawsuit concerning unreported animal abuse occurring on set of its cancelled horseracing drama Luck.

In March of last yearHBO confirmed its decision to cancel the racehorse drama starring Dustin Hoffman Luck after only its first season. Although they promised safety of the animals was their first priority, throughout the production of the nine episodes, Paste Magazine reports several of their horses died during filming.

Recently, a lawsuit has been filed claiming both the network and its animal rights supervising committee, the American Humane Association, may have covered up even more animal abuse that had occurred behind the scenes. The Hollywood Reporter reveals the official document. Barbara Casey, who had worked on the set of Luck as the Director of Production in the AHA’s Film and Television Unit, is suing HBO for multiple counts of unreported animal abuse. She had allegedly been pressured to keep her lips sealed on the matter under threat of being let go from the team, and was eventually wrongfully fired for alerting authorities.

“In order to save time and money…minimize any disruption of its production schedule…rather than fully cooperate with AHA, continued to engage in and/or direct animal abuse and cruelty,” Casey states. Among the charges, she recalls underweight, sick, and retired racehorses being “drugged to perform.” Moreover, another horse, Hometrader, was killed, but because it was during a summer hiatus, his passing “did not count.”

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Las Vegas Activists Protest Backyard Chimp Permit

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“When the owner of Travis bravely showed her face, after the attack; I’m surprised anyone would want a chimp living next door to them. What about the rights of the animals? They are wild & shouldn’t be subjected to birthday parties etc. just for the owner to make money!! Wild animals belong in the wild, if you want to see one, go on one of the many holiday packages that allow you to see the animals in the wild!!”

LAS VEGAS (AP)Animal rights activists in a city already jittery from two separate chimp escapes this summer are protesting a Las Vegas-area property owner’s request to house primates in a residential area, saying the animals pose a public safety issue.

Activist Linda Faso said she and others were holding a demonstration next to the house


Friday afternoon, after distributing fliers in the area that featured a snarling chimp and a gruesome before-and-after shot of a Connecticut woman mauled by one in 2009.

“I’m opposed to anyone having a wild dangerous animal as a pet,” said Faso, a Las Vegas resident. “They’re cute when they’re babies but dangerous as adults.”

Town leaders are expected to review a use permit next week that would allow four chimps and a capuchin monkey on the property, which is located on a spacious lot in unincorporated Clark County, has large cages in the backyard and once held a permit for exotic cats.

The request was filed by Stacy Jones. A woman who answered at the home Friday said chimps are already living there, but she declined to give her name or comment further. She referred questions to owner James “Mike” Casey, who didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Casey holds a USDA permit for three chimpanzees and a small monkey affiliated with “A Great Ape Experience.” An online business directory says clients can hire Casey and the animals to liven up cocktail receptions or children’s birthday parties.

The listing also boasts a litany of charity work, including special appearances for children’s cancer groups and a school for autistic children.

But Casey’s also linked to a highly publicized chimp tragedy. For years, he co-directed a Missouri chimp rescue facility, where a chimp named Travis was bred. Travis went to live with a Connecticut woman shortly after he was born.

In 2009, the 200-pound, 15-year-old Travis mauled his owner’s friend, Charla Nash, who was trying to lure the animal back to its home.

Nash lost her eyes, nose, lips and hands before the chimp was shot by police.

The specter of animal escapes looms especially large around Las Vegas, where chimpanzees Buddy and CJ broke free from their backyard enclosure in July. The duo roamed the streets and jumped on vehicles before a police officer shot the male, saying he got dangerously close to bystanders.

CJ, the female, was tranquilized, but got loose a second time a few weeks later and was moved to a sanctuary in Oregon.

Clark County leaders plan to review the permit application in November after a town advisory board makes recommendations. County commissioner Steve Sisolak said he wants to gauge public reaction to the living arrangement, especially in light of the highly publicized escapes.

“I don’t think we’re holding anyone to a higher standard, but there is increased scrutiny because of the publicity, absolutely,” Sisolak told the Las Vegas Sun.

He also said Casey will need to explain why the chimps are living at a property without a proper county permit. “He’s going to have to answer some questions about why he didn’t do it in the first place,” Sisolak said.

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Not-guilty plea entered in animal cruelty case in Douglas – Worcester Telegram & Gazette –

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UXBRIDGE —  A Douglas man pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty after his fiancée’s dog was allegedly seriously injured while under his care.

Scott W. Morvan, 42, of 27 Franklin St., was arraigned at Uxbridge District Court yesterday on a warrant resulting from a complaint by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

According to the report filed by MSPCA Officer Christine Allenberg, her department received a complaint April 25 from Dr. Jonathan Babyak, a veterinarian at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Dr. Babyak was concerned that a 6-year-old Shih Tzu named Casey, who was brought into the hospital April 23, had suffered serious trauma, including eight broken ribs; trauma to the left eye, which left the dog without vision in that eye; trauma to the soft tissue of the left leg; and chest trauma so severe that a lung was punctured.

According to Officer Allenberg’s report, Casey’s owner told her that “her fiancé informed her that Casey had bitten him when he was trying to pick him up and bring him inside the house. He told her that he had kicked Casey. She then rushed Casey to Tufts University for emergency medical care.”

Mr. Morvan allegedly told Officer Allenberg during the investigation that Casey had bitten him and he dropped the dog while he tried to bring Casey and the owner’s other Shih Tzu inside.

On May 8, Officer Allenberg was notified by Casey’s regular veterinarian that the dog also had a fractured bone at the top of his leg. Officer Allenberg wrote, “Excessive force would have been needed to break that bone.”

Mr. Morvan was released on personal recognizance. He is scheduled to return to court Aug. 29.

via Not-guilty plea entered in animal cruelty case in Douglas – Worcester Telegram & Gazette –

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