Local Prosecuting Attorney’s Disregard of Animal Neglect Prompts PETA’s Complaint to Supreme Court

For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382


Today, PETA filed a complaint with the Indiana Supreme Court requesting that its Disciplinary Commission investigate Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Chalfant for apparent systemic abuse of prosecutorial discretion. The move follows Chalfant’s failure to file charges in two cases of irrefutable, well-documented animal neglect exposed by the group: at The Veterinarians’ Blood Bank (TVBB), which keeps more than 900 dogs and cats perpetually confined to barren kennels and severely crowded pens and draws their blood every three weeks, and at East Fork Farms, a decrepit factory farm where piglets were left to suffer and die slowly while their mothers looked on from inside crates.

The complaint points to findings brought to Chalfant’s attention from PETA’s recent undercover investigation into TVBB, which revealed that the blood bank failed to provide veterinary care to Fox, a 13-year-old cat with bloody diarrhea who a manager admitted had “been going down a lot,” and a cat named Vivi who cried out in pain from a mouth infection that management had known about but failed to address for over nine months. PETA’s investigator was eventually allowed to adopt both cats and sought immediate treatment for them. Fox was ultimately euthanized due to gastrointestinal cancer, and Vivi’s mouth was in such poor condition that all her teeth required emergency removal. These failures meet the legal criteria for neglect, yet Chalfant, in a dereliction of duty, has refused to file criminal charges and representatives of his office have hung up on callers who have expressed concerns about the suffering at TVBB.

“Sick and injured mother pigs and their babies languished without care and a cat was left to suffer with a painful infection for months, yet the county’s prosecuting attorney is choosing to ignore the evidence,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is urging the commission to investigate his refusals to seek justice and, as appropriate, charge him with misconduct and take disciplinary action against him.”

PETA’s complaint alleges that Chalfant’s history of abusing his prosecutorial discretion dates to at least November 2019, when he declined to press charges after a PETA exposé of East Fork Farms revealed that pigs suffered from bloody, open sores; mother pigs were so injured that they could barely move; and dead piglets were left to rot near their surviving siblings. A subsequent Indiana State Board of Animal Health investigation concluded that workers’ “tossing of piglets” as seen in the exposé was not acceptable.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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