|By PR Newswire||
|October 8, 2012 05:47 PM EDT||
MIAMI, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Circuit Court Judge in Miami-Dade County last month dismissed a lawsuit against Purebred Breeders LLC [Case Number: 11-38180 CA02], a small business working with reputable dog breeders. The court determined that the Humane Society of the United States ("HSUS"), which sponsored the lawsuit, completely failed to justify their allegations. The activist group filed its lawsuit through HSUS's in-house senior attorney Kimberly Ockene against Purebred Breeders, which is a family-owned Florida business that connects well-raised puppies with loving families hoping to find a new addition to their home. Ms. Ockene is currently being sued in federal court for conspiracy under the RICO Act as described below.
Purebred Breeders filed a successful Motion to Dismiss the complaint, asserting that HSUS failed to justify its allegations. According to Purebred Breeders, the activist group's complaint was just another attempt to influence the public against purchasing pets. Brian Bresnahan of York News Times discussed this tactic in his article The Governor and HSUS, "HSUS is an animal rights group which believes animals should have the same rights as people (erasing the line between people, pets, and livestock and between animal welfare and animal rights), promoting vegetarian/veganism, stopping animal agriculture, and banning animals like cats and dogs from being owned as pets." Purebred Breeders advisor, Brent Gattis, former Deputy Chief of Staff for the House Committee on Agriculture, states that, "HSUS is well-known for coordinating purported legal claims for publicity against responsible organizations and individuals. The Humane Society of the United States raises funds for its lawsuits and lobbying activities while leading the public to believe that the donations are supporting local shelters."
Currently the HSUS is being investigated by the IRS for tax fraud [Case File Number 29-92012] and six members of Congress joined the call for the IRS to act when they filed a letter with the Office of Inspector General Eric Thorson last year. In this letter the members of Congress wrote, "HSUS continually seeks donations through advertisements that claim the money will be used to help neglected or abused animals. The commercials deliberately lead the public to believe direct aid to animals is the main activity of the organization, as does the misleading similarity between the name of HSUS and the hundreds of local hands-on animal sheltering humane societies across America, which are wholly unaffiliated with HSUS and receive zero funding from it. However a line by line review of HSUS's 2008 Form 990 by HumaneWatch.org showed that less than one-half of one percent of HSUS's $99.8 million budget goes towards hands-on sheltering activities, and in 2009 that number rose to only 0.8%."
Mr. Gattis continues, "Purebred Breeders' experience in defending itself against legal claims is typical of the attacks other animal organizations and individuals have endured at the hands of HSUS's large stable of attorneys. HSUS's strategy against legitimate entities is this: force them to defend themselves in protracted legal battles over meritless claims, while also creating a false public perception of the group being attacked."
Purebred Breeders has joined other animal professionals in pushing back against HSUS's agenda. A ten-year legal battle on a lawsuit brought by the HSUS activist group against Feld Entertainment, owners of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was ultimately dismissed. Feld has now brought a Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations claim against the activist group [Case Number: 07-1532 (EGS)] based on information uncovered during the HSUS lawsuit. Feld Entertainment has alleged that HSUS engaged in an elaborate racketeering and conspiracy scheme involving at least one paid witness, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and malicious prosecution. HSUS in-house senior attorney, Kimberly Ockene, who filed the legal complaint against Purebred Breeders has also been named individually in the Feld RICO case. HSUS and Ockene filed motions to dismiss the claims. These motions have been largely denied and the case is moving forward against them.
SOURCE Purebred Breeders LLC