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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Lawsuit Reveals Never-Before-Seen Pictures of Dead Animals From ‘Luck’ and ‘The Hobbit’: HBO and American Humane Association in Hot Seat

Written by Michelle Kretzer | August 15, 2013

HBO and the American Humane Association (AHA) wanted to keep animal injuries and deaths on the set of the show Luck and other productions quiet, but one former AHA staffer is blowing their cover—and saying that animal injuries and deaths on sets happen too frequently. And allegedly, she has the grisly photos to prove it. Barbara Casey is a former AHA employee who worked on the set of HBO’s now-canceled horseracing drama, Luck. According to the wrongful termination lawsuit that she has filed, Casey was terminated after she balked at her employer’s instructions to ignore animal safety standards in order to save time and money. Casey is suing the AHA, HBO, and the show’s production company, Stewart Productions, alleging that they all willfully allowed horses to be abused and attempted to cover it up. HBO tried to get itself released from the lawsuit, but it was about as lucky as the horses on set. Casey’s lawsuit states that the companies’ negligence led to the deaths of four horses—one more than previously reported.

Mark’s Shadow, killed on the set of Luck, according to the lawsuit

Casey’s complaint describes several other disturbing instances in which the AHA’s lack of concern for animal welfare led to horrific injuries and even deaths. Twenty-seven animals were killed during the making of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but the AHA still slapped a familiar message at the end of the film: “American Humane monitored all of the significant animal action. No animals were harmed during such action.” The photos appear to prove otherwise:

Injured horse on the set of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, according to the lawsuit

Because of the conflict of interest that results from the fact that the AHA is supported by the film and television industry, the trademark “no animals harmed” assurances seem to be little more than empty promises. The only truly cruelty-free films are those in which no animals are used, period.

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  • susan gordon says:

    WRONG -MUST BE STOPPED !

  • susan parrish says:

    THIS IS ALL WRONG> we must stop these GREEDY bastards.

  • Georgina says:

    I believe that at the end of our lives, we must answer to someone or something. Whether it be a God, a Spirit or even yourself, at some point, we must be accountable for our actions and that is when I hope these people (monsters) will held responsible for their part in destroying something that was unable to defend itself. May those beautiful creatures rest in Peace.

  • Becky says:

    I think the “owners” are just as much at fault… Didn’t they realize that their animals were being “Tortured”… Well They should have the book thrown at them too!… Along with the Film Companies… I agree “How does this happen” and it takes one strong individual to report it?…. Where were the rest of the people just standing around “Watching?”… Horrific Behavior!!

  • Shirley Smiley says:

    I have alot of feelings for animals and don’t like to see them abused. I hope the film companies will have to pay for this and I do hope they will be punished.

  • Janet Reed says:

    Good job to Ms. Casey for blowing the whistles. Studios need more people like her on the set.

  • Lorraine Hertel says:

    Animals should never be exploited for money or fun. I am all for protecting domestic and wildlife.

  • htnguyen says:

    What can I do to stop this?

  • Roy Wild says:

    No animals should ever be used in movies, these large production companies do not give a damn about the welfare of animals.This is the movie “Luck” that starred that little half pint jewish shit Dustin Hoffman who had a ruck when the film was cancelled and said how much money he was out of pocket,never mind the concern for the horses that were harmed.

  • sharon says:

    I will never see any of these films. my cousin is a big film producer, just won an oscar. he promised he will find a way to stop this cruilty.

  • Rosemary Goeller says:

    Animal abuse is not entertainment. This needs to be stopped.

  • RAYA ENGLER says:

    IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF HI-TECH GRAPHICS, NO ANIMALS NEED TO BE USED FOR ANY REASON IN FILM MAKING. I HOPE THAT EVERYONE INVOLVED GETS WHAT IS COMING TO THEM FOR THEIR LACK OF FORESIGHT AND LACK OF COMPASSION. I SUPOSE IT IS CHEAPER TO USE AN UNWITTING ANIMAL THAN TO PAY GOOD MONEY FOR SOMEONE TO COME UP WITH THE GRAPHICS. HMMMMM. MAYBE IF WE SUE FOR MILLIONS AND PUT A DENT IN THEIR POCKETS THEY WILL BE FORCED TO FIND A WAY WITHOUT ANIMALS.

  • Merryla Fidler says:

    i would love to see justice done to these poor voiceless horses. Greed above compassion is surely sick.

  • Dave Star says:

    You can judge the way a country treats it’s human population by how it’s animal population is treated….THIS is why I’ve chosen to become a vegetarian !

  • Dave Star says:

    A county’s violent tendencies can be quite accurately guaged by how it’s animal population is treated… THIS is why I’ve chosen to go vegetarian.

  • jennifer says:

    how is this allowed to happen? lots of people ”in the know”-all looking the other way- utterly appalling.

  • Mark House says:

    The pieces of filth who made those movies should be arrested!

  • Sue says:

    This is so unnecessary! Do the producers treat the actors and actresses in this manner… no, they do not (they get fancy bottled water, etc.), so why treat the animals this way! Disgusting!

  • Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

    Everyone involved in whatever way in exposing these poor creatures to any injuries or death should be shocked with a shock stick so that they themselves have to run for their lives until they die! Nothing less would be suitable punishment

  • Bonnie says:

    So a film that has made MILLIONS if not billions of dollars from this movie cannot photoshop an injury on a horse…. This is the most discusting thing I think I have seen so far, this was done for pure entertainment and could have been avoided SO EASILY by using photoshop! The value of money is far to great to the majority of Western societies to care about the welfare of those with no voice and it’s fucking discusting! I hope that AHA are sued, and I hope that they have done to them in hell what they have done to such intelligent, gentle and innocent animals! DISGUSTING!

  • Patty Hamilton says:

    This abuse is totally unnessary. HBO and AHA should be ashamed of they way they treat these animals. On top of that trying to lie about the abuse. Really sick.

  • Lucy Peixoto says:

    Disgusting. Greed and arrogance took over comoassionate care and handling if these beautiful horses. All for a stupid mivie and all for money. May justice prevail.

  • Pam says:

    Whoever is running AHA needs to be fired and anyone responsible for the neglect should be charged. With all of the money made from these films, you would think the greedy filmmakers would take better care of the animals involved. I hope you are charged up the you know what for the deaths and injuries.

  • Kadybuggs says:

    I have vowed not to ever watch this movie due to the horrific things that happened to these animals and am constantly telling others not to either. This is so sad and pathetic.

  • Rayjean says:

    It is a shame that this is happening and it doesnt seem that movie making is worth this suffering. NO CARE NO MOVIES!!!

  • Nancy Haynes says:

    I’m glad I don’t have HBO and will not pay to see the Hobbit. Greedy jerks. Including the AHA.

  • Jaime says:

    This is terrible! How could the AHA lie to people? You trust something and it lets you down. Animals should NOT be used in film making-period!! CG is so advanced, you can’t hardly tell the difference anymore. Shame on all who allowed these tragedies to happen.

  • Chrissy says:

    Shame on AHA.. i am cancelling my monthly donation and will reassign it to another animal cause

  • Betty says:

    HBO and the American Humane Association This will hit facebook.Nothing but cruel and evil people to do this to animals.Shame one you and far as HBO you can take you stupid shows and stick them where the sun don’t shine. Barbara I hope you will this big for the animals

  • nina says:

    It disgusts me the way these horses are being treated in films. Many have died or have been crippled. It’s true the Assoc. to protect them is run by the movie production company. Thanks you PETA for bringing it to peoples attention. Another thought is the poachers who are not the best shot going after elephants in the wild. They leave babies orphaned or crippled. I know that the gov’t is putting together sharp shooter groups to go after the poachers and take no prisoners. I hope we see some relief soon with all the good work being done. I would like to join in some aspect. Thanks.

  • susan says:

    That is just disgraceful. Animals being treated so cruely and even let die. Animals are Gods creatures and should be cared for and not used as objects that are more or less disposable. I hope this is sorted out and these people are charged for cruelty.aitisbc

  • Richard Wylds says:

    I can’t believe that with all the technology we have that this kind things are still happening.I too will never watch hobbit or luck. .

  • Helen LeBrecht says:

    Criminal behavior towards helpless horses by HBO-perpetrators should be imprisoned! Inhumane treatment of horses must end!

  • MARJAN says:

    HORRIBLE!!!!!THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ANIMALS!

  • r manek says:

    stop this animal abuse in the name of sport this is cruel.

  • M Matthews says:

    When will American Humane Assoc finally be exposed to the public for the scam that it is. Even one of my co-workers told me “that ‘humane association’ is listed on the credits – so the animals must be cared for.” The truth has to come out.

  • Jan Cross says:

    I have been around TB race horses all of 40 years and will tell you that the photo of the TB that was over exerted and died on the set of LUCK was not fed or otherwise cared for properly. This horse is very gaunt and his coat tells the story that he is otherwise unhealthy. I suspect he was probably getting a third of the quality feed and hay that a horse in training needs. The poor boy also probably suffered from ulcers and possibly lacked necessary dental care. There was not a horseman on the set of the production or otherwise involved. The entire production was run by persons who are self serving, ego bloated bastards who did a great job of tarnishing the sport of horse racing.

  • Laura Ashcroft says:

    This needs to stop!! What makes people think this is okay? Stop animal abuse!

  • Lang Andrea says:

    Criminals and murders – no reponsabilty for animals on sets. There should be very strong punishment and heavy legal steps to protection, official control at sets withg animals. For my taste – this pictures should be taken of the market by legal officials.

  • Izzy Sanderson says:

    The movie/tv producers should never be allowed to own a single animal again this should be brought to court immediatly is inhumaine what they are doing to these defenceless and loving creatures! I am DISSAPOINTED!!

  • Terry Callow says:

    Those poor animals. What ever happened to love respect compassion and kindness to our fellow creatures? I hate the movie industry with a passion over this. Back in the late forties when they made The film Jesse James and they killed one horse in a fall into the river below there was uproar and I believe the AHA was founded, people then in the business had found love compassion and respect for animals. Not anymore it seems, it’s ALL ABOUT MONEY! BOYCOTT the film industry until things change for better for those poor animals.

  • Susan Carter says:

    I am so discusted and horrified that these horses were killed and harmed! Isn’t the humane society supposed to be involved in films containing animals? How can they get away with it? The producers and anybody else who let this happen needs to be punished severely and never be able to work with animals in the future.

  • Karen Hammond says:

    Stop this terrible cruelty now. Why do animals have to be abused just so you on TV and Movies can make a quick buck. It is not necessary and you people should be made to stop and as you do in your country sue. I am stopping now as I am so angry. Wicked, wicked.

  • carlos says:

    QUE POCA VERGUENZA

  • sandra bell says:

    Thank you Barbara Casey for being the only one at AHA to stand up for animals on movie sets. She put the animals before her job and I hope she will be rewarded on all levels by winning her lawsuit. The AHA and their meaningless claim tacked on at the end of movie credits is all a huge scam. Bob Barker exposed this sham years ago with the movie Project X. AHA directors have a good thing going — not for animals, but for themselves and their bloated bank accounts. Karma is not always swift, but it’s precise.

  • Marianne wilson says:

    No more contributions to the AHS I will stick with PETA until the AHS puts animal first!

  • Rosie says:

    Makes you wonder how many other animals have been injured in other movies. It will be hard to find any enthusiasm or trust in another movie with animals in it, ever again. Absoultely disgusting!!

  • Anna Maria Benjamin says:

    Outrage! Need to boycott the actors as well who profited greatly from the abuse!

  • Danielle says:

    I guess the one thing that never stops amazing me is how cold-hearted the majority of people are on this planet. The money hungry people of the world need to go live on an island made specifically for them- relieving them from any temptation to harm another being. Unfortunately- the island would end up being at least two continents big, if not more. This fight is one that is never ending- these animals deserve justice just as much as a beaten child does. There is no difference- other than a language barrier. Ago libre, and I hope to all that is good that these people take the consequences that they are served with and truly learn from there mistake.

  • Dana Shelton says:

    I had heard rumors of this barbaric practice known as ‘hobbling’ horses which led to an undisclosed number of equine deaths on the set of “The Hobbit”.    I could not find any credible info during searches, but I knew if we had heard some whisperings, that there was a great chance animals were, at least,  definitely mistreated and great probability that other heinous incidents had occured.  NOW, WE KNOW!  For this reason alone, my husband and I NEVER saw “The Hobbit” and never intended to.   ‘They’ (the scum who tolerate, allow and perpetuate such atrocities) only feel ones displeasure through box-office dollars.  

    I never watched the HBO show specifically due to the cruel and absurd premise of “Luck”.   I AM SICKENED THAT IN THESE United States, ANY HUMAN WHO ENGAGES IN THE TOTURE AND DEATHS OF ANIMALS IS NOT SEVERELY PROSECUITED TO THE FULLEST DEGREE ALLOWED BY LOCAL AND STATE LAWS!!!

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