PA: No place to visit! SHARK Campaign Against Pigeon Shoots Moves Into High Gear

This is an abomination! Sheer perversity and heartless cruelty! A shame for all who live in Pennsylvania. If you live in PA, please read below and contact these shameful and corrupt DA's (see contact info below); demand that they enforce anti-cruelty laws! Contact your legislators; legislation to stop cruel trapped animal shoots is pending in Pennsylvania. Please take action today and contact your representatives, urging them to vote for H.B. 1411/S.B. 843. Demand that they pass these laws and bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century!

If you don't live in PA, contact tourist offices and the Chambers of Commerce. Let them know you will not be spending your hard earned dollars vacationing in a place that endorses and condones such abuse and cruelty to innocent birds.

 Cruelty Never Stops

This poor bird was wounded at a pigeon shoot, struggled to a nearby
roof, where, without care or help, she tumbled into the gutter and suffered an agonizing death.

See her video:

And District Attorneys John T. Adams and David Heckler don't think pigeon shoots are cruel?


Contact them and ask that they prosecute pigeon shooters under
Pennsylvania' s cruelty statutes.

John T. Adams
Berks County District Attorney
Services Center, 5th Floor
633 Court Street
Reading, PA 19601
Telephone: 610-478-6000
Fax: 610-478-6002

David Heckler
Bucks County District Attorney
Bucks County Courthouse
55 East Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 215-348-6344
Fax: 215-348-6299

Read what SHARK sent to both DAs further down in this update.

And it's not just the shooters who should be prosecuted for cruelty. In the following SHARK video, watch how an innocent, wounded bird is treated by supporters of pigeon shoots.

See his video:

AVMA Is Not Responding to Inquiries About Their Stand on Live Pigeon Shoots

As stated last week, in the February 1 article in the Philadelphia Daily News that followed the January 30 slaughter, Philadelphia Gun Club attorney Sean M. Corr was quoted with the following:

"...the club follows all state-mandated euthanasia procedures," as determined by the American Veterinary Association (AVMA).

SHARK called the AVMA regarding this issue and asked for a formal statement on their stance of this issue.  A week later and we have yet to receive a response. 

Shot pigeon escaped the pigeon shoot area and drown in the nearby Delaware River.

Last week we asked you to call them.  So far no one has received a response from the AVMA.  Obviously, this is not a good indicator about their stand on this issue.  The AVMA was formed to help the animals and has betrayed the animals on more than one occasion and this is looking to be another one of those times.  

Please send an e-mail or make a call of your own. Please demand that the AVMA make a public and unequivocal statement that clearly defines where it stands. We will update you on the issue as soon as possible. Either Philadelphia Gun Club attorney Sean Martin Corr will be made to (again) eat his words, or SHARK will be initiating a new campaign to expose the American Veterinary Medical Association.

What You Can Do:

Please demand that the AVMA make a very clear and unequivocal statement that clearly defines where it stands with regards to live pigeon shoots.

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
email:  avmainfo@avma. org
Phone: 800-248-2862
Fax: 847-925-1329

Please let SHARK know if you receive a response.
SHARK's Letter to Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams

February 3, 2010
John T. Adams
District Attorney
Berks County, Pennsylvania

Dear District Attorney Adams,
On December 14, 2009, you contacted Humane Society Police Officer Johnna Seeton, and demanded that she withdraw the animal cruelty citations she had filed, just four days earlier, against a pigeon shoot held at the Pikeville Township Sportsmen Association. After she declined, explaining that her citations showed multiple violations under the cruelty code, you then took matters into your hand and sent a letter dated December 28, 2009, to Judge Victor Fredrick, telling him that the "...citations are to be withdrawn."

Your abrupt and unprecedented interference with a lawful prosecution caused a much warranted uproar. In response to that, you issued the following statement:

"I wanted to respond to your email to me regarding pigeon shoots.
On April 16, 2002, Judge Scott Lash of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County issued an opinion and ruling in the case of Johnna Seeton v. Pike Township Sportsmen's Association, No. 01-11736 which in pertinent part stated that pigeon shoots do not constitute a violation of 5511(c) Cruelty to Animals. Judge Lash also cites for support of that position the case of Mohler v. Labor Day Committee, 663 A2d 162. Furthermore, Judge Lash in that same case stated that the deprivation of veterinary care language found in 5511(c) does not apply to pigeon shoots. As I have told many of your fellow supporters, I understand your plight but I am bound to follow the law. The law as stated in Judge Lash's opinion is clear. My strong suggestion is that your only way to combat the law as set forth in the cases cited above is to lobby your state legislators to have them amend the Cruelty to Animals Statute, 18 Pa. C.S.A. 5511 to set forth that these type of events (pigeon shoots) are illegal. My research indicates that a Bill is pending in the Legislature regarding this issue however, I am not aware of the status of this piece of legislation.

John T. Adams
District Attorney
Berks County, Pennsylvania"

What you wrote is stunning; for not only is it clearly erroneous, but it is easily proven so.

You take the position that whether pigeon shoots violate Pennsylvania' s cruelty law, PA. STAT. ANN. tit. 18, � 5511(c), has already been answered in the negative by Pennsylvania courts, and that the only way to combat this problem is through the legislature. You base this on an April 16, 2002 memorandum opinion issued by Judge Lash of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in the case of Seeton v. Pike Township Sportsmen's Association.

The Truth:
� Judge Lash's April 16, 2002 opinion was in response to a motion for a preliminary junction - it was not a decision on the merits of the case. The purpose of a preliminary injunction is merely to prevent a party from going forward with a course of conduct until a decision on the merits has been reached.
Motions for preliminary injunctions often arise at the beginning of a case, well before either party has had the opportunity to conduct discovery, and are based upon evidence that is much less complete than that which would be presented during a trial on the merits. Judge Lash's opinion was issued before Plaintiff had any opportunity to conduct discovery, present evidence, and examine witnesses.

The Truth:
No Pennsylvania court has ever reached a decision on the merits as to whether pigeon shoots violate the cruelty law.
The Truth:
� The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has expressed skepticism about the lawfulness of pigeon shoots, noting that hundreds of birds suffer a slow and painful death, and that wounded birds that are retrieved are killed by a variety of methods that are contrary to accepted veterinary methods of humane euthanasia and cause the birds additional pain and suffering. (Hulsizer v. Labor Day Committee, holding that humane officers have standing to pursue civil injunctive actions).

The Truth:
Pennsylvania' s Animal cruelty Law, Title 18, section 5511, prohibits a person from wantonly or cruelly illtreating or otherwise abusing any animal. The law also prohibits neglect, abandonment, and depravation of food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care. Pigeon shoots violate each of these prohibitions.

Shooters and shoot organizers "wantonly or cruelly illtreat" the birds by intentionally wounding hundreds of pigeons at each shoot; wounded birds that are not retrieved and left to suffer from their injuries are neglected and abandoned; and wounded birds are never provided with food, drink, or veterinary care.

The statute could not be clearer - the intentional wounding of pigeons, without regard to the consequences, and the subsequent neglect and abandonment of wounded birds constitutes cruelty. Moreover, Pennsylvania courts have held that pigeons are not "game birds," and therefore the hunting exception to the cruelty law does not apply.

As disturbing as your obstruction of Officer Seeton's case was, including the groundless nature of your intervention, information has been presented to us which shows that your political campaign has received a significant amount of money, $1,000, from a political organization whose stated mission on their website is that they are "...dedicated to promoting and protecting bird shooting..."

With all of this before you - your own reasons refuted and a major conflict of interest exposed - we strongly ask that you recuse yourself from all association with this case, that you rescind your order and allow this prosecution to move forward, and that you do not participate in or impede any future legal action taken against the Pikeville Township Sportsmen Association and pigeon shooting.

Furthermore, on February 20 and 21, the Pikeville Association is planning on a two-day pigeon shoot which will result in the slaughter of thousands of birds, and the wounding, mauling and brutal suffering of thousands of others. The only way for you to clear your name, to allow justice to be done and see the law upheld, is to act immediately upon your recusal and redress of this situation.

Steve Hindi
President, SHARK

A similar letter was written to Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler.  Both letters will be up on PennsylvaniaShame. com later today.
Please Support SHARK's Efforts to Elminate PA Pigeon Shoots

The Humane Society of the United States has been trying for years to get legislation passed to specifically ban pigeon shoots, since the PA Humane Law is not being properly enforced regarding the pigeons.  We wish them the very best of luck and will continue to use our methods to help end this cruelty.

This includes SHARK continuing to travel to Pennsylvania almost weekly to attend the pigeon shoots and document the cruelty.  Our documentation is being sent to the PA legislators, PA media, PA law enforcement and uploaded onto our website and YouTube.  Billboards will be posted in the next couple of weeks.

These trips are very time consuming and costly, even as frugal as SHARK is.  Please support our efforts to eliminate the cruel Pennsylvania live pigeon shoots by donating here.  

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