Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Urgent Horse Situation in Havasupai Falls

A horrific situation was brought to my attention by someone who had gone up to Havasupai Falls this past weekend. She personally witnessed horses deceased from starvation and numerous others being starved to death along with a pony digging through the trash for food. The pack horses are also in bad shape. It is time for this to stop!

The horses that are in the most dire condition are located in the Supai Village which tourists must travel through to get to Havasupai Falls . The village can only be reached on foot (8 miles) or by helicopter.

One group witnessed one of the pack horses falling off the cliff and just being left to die in agony!!!

Peta has been notified. More needs to be done.

There are several business that are benefitting from the tourism which should be contacted.

Airwest Helicopter 623-516-2790
(if they are taking people in and out why can't they bring some horse feed with them)

The Lodge 928-448-2111

The Camp Grounds 928-448-2121

We are waiting to get contact info for the tribal police. The only way this situation will be corrected is if tourism is affected. Please make calls and forward to anyone you think can help by getting involved.

Thank you,


Carrie Singer, President/Founder
A 501(c)(3) organization providing a lifeline for animals in need and disadvantaged pet guardians.
480.488.9298 o
480-488-9363 f

PACC911 Board Member


  1. If the tourists continue to pay for their packs to be taken down by the horses/mules then they are keeping the abuse going. I saw first hand the horrors of horses with severe injuries being forced to carry the packs and riders back and forth. The tourists I talked to were clueless or blind to the abuse. They didnt even know most of these animals are horses not mules. Its sick that so many just dont care! I discovered this back 2006 and the only group that wanted to help was PETA. No media wanted to touch this story. I always see beautiful pictures of the Havasupai falls but never a story with the neglected animals in thie travel magazines. If it was child abuse something would have been done.

  2. Everyone should also contact the local news stations. If we get enough people to call in- they will do a story on it. People need to see the way these horses look and are being treated. If they air it on TV maybe it WILL help. I found a couple different phone #’s and email addresses – but you can contact reporters directly by going to the website and searching their bios.

    Story ideas – local media

    A) You can contact the FOX 10 Newsdesk by calling (602) 257-1234, then option 3 or by fax at (602) 262-0181. You can also e-mail the assignment desk at
    *Be sure to have as many details as possible in your e-mail*
    NOTE: Due to the high number of e-mails FOX 10 receives, staff members may not be able to respond to your questions.

    B) or directly to the reporter at

    C) Call (602) 260-1212 to report a complaint. Call 12 for Action volunteers are standing by Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to take your call. You can also use our online complaint form. (This is only to complain about a business- but we can still use it to complain about the pack horses)

    D) News tips and story ideas
    If you see news happening, or know of something that should be covered in The Arizona Republic, email us at with as much detail as possible and your contact information. You may also call the newsroom at (602) 444-NEWS (6397).

    Good luck everyone- we need to get the word out!

    (From Michelle)

  3. The indian reservations are immune. I have tried getting media attention. Its like they live in their own world untouched by the laws that govern the rest of us. The only way to stop this is to hit them financially. If the tourists stop paying then they have to clean up their act. Most tourists think its all part of the experiemce to see skinny dirty horses and poor people. Maybe a group of demonstrators should go casuing a stir. Not sure with it being reservation land if that can be done either. This whole animal neglect being witnesses daily by tourists and allowed to continue is really sick!

  4. I went ONLY ONCE. The way those horses and mules were treated was unconscionable. I saw first hand the whipping and a horse fell by the wayside and they just left it. This was quite a few years ago and I didn't know what to do about it

    Jann Kemp

  5. The Indian Reservation is a Soveriegn Nation and only the FBI can intereceed. Much of thier tourism is from out of the country so it is important to see how we can get the FBI involved and the horrific abuse of horses into International news.
    I too have seen this starvation first hand this last Labor Day and have been trying every way I can to bring it to everyone's attention and get people involved in working on a solution.

  6. ABC-15 picked up the story- Check it out and make comments to help get this national picked up.

    Here is the link for the story:

  7. I have read all that is being said about the Havasupai horses and I have seen it first hand and it is very sad. .. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a Federal agency as is the FBI and the money to pay them comes from the government ... tax payers!!!!.... their job is to make sure the Indians abide by the rules and the Havasupai have rules against animal cruelty. They should not be stalling that is thier job. There is no reason why people should have to go in for a year and a half to train them to take care of thier animals it does not take that long to learn. I think it is very nice that has been done and I realize that much animal cruelty is ingorance. A lot of money is made on tourism and I do not know how it is spread around to the tribe. But that being said there is no excuse for animal cruelty and if there is a hard ship with an animal owner then there are many people who would buy the horses to get them out of a bad situation and the owner would not have that burden.

  8. Barb Beck of has e-mailed me that they are working on this. She and another person who works with the tribes thinks that this may in part be due to economic problems on the reservations, and that sending donations through bonified organizations for helping with this problem is a positive helping action.

  9. Hi,

    I'm not with H.E.A.R.T., but I have been in contact with them, just to clarify.

  10. you all think that you are doin the right thing well your all wrong!

    i do admit that the packers are neglecting their horses, i see it every day of my life and have to deal with this i myself dont like it i own 2 horses i love them dearly.

    but the thing is airwest does a fine job delivering horse feed to those who buy at hilltop,when ordered it is transported to the landing pad in the canyon so buyers can wheel barrow their feed home i myself do this every 2 weeks 10 sacks is worth $100.00 then $50.00 dollars more to transport on the helicopter, i make hour and have 5 kids and i still manage to feed my horses and i think that the ones neglecting the horses should be punished not the whole tribe.

  11. My name is Sara Jones. I just arrived home from a weekend in Havasupai. I was not prepared for the animal abuse and neglect I witnessed. Yes, there were some Supai families that appeared to be taking care of their horses. The reality is that most were not!!! Thank you to the tribal members who have a conscience and a heart for living things other than self. I am apalled at the starving, abused, neglected, and dehydrated horses. Something has to be done. Can hay and pellets be donated by some animal food manufacturers? Can Airwest Helicopter donate their time and choppers to deliver donated food for the horses?
    Can someone please help me figure out how to save these animals? My heart is heavy with sadness. I took photographs of the young horse laying on the side of the trail on Sat. morning, October 3. It was apparent that it was dying of starvation. When hiking out on Sunday Oct 4, I looked for the suffering horse. It was laying in the same spot, dead. Not one member of this tribe did a thing about it. I told one of the wranglers(for lack of a better word), about the dying horse, and he acted as though it was no big deal. I will say that i am thankful that this horse is no longer suffering in misery.THESE HORSES NEED HELP!!!!! They are in small pens searching for any morsel they can find on the bare dirt floor. No hay, no grass, no water, not a crumb anywhere in site. This is going on day after day, week after week, and month after month. I witnessed at least 50 horses in desperation...some tied up so tightly they couldnt even lay down to die.
    The work horses have it a little better. They are fed just enough to survive, so that they can pack campers supplies, food, people, and other heavy items. They walk like prisoners linked together by tattered rope. Its 8 miles of rocky terrain to the hilltop, where there is no water for the horses. They are unloaded, and reloaded for the treacherous hike back to the grounds. Their backbones are raw, legs cut and bleeding. Some of the work horses have deep wounds through their necks from ropes and constant friction.
    One of the horses that I unfortunately witnessed in pain, forced to continue walking, had its insides hanging out of its rectum. I believe this is called a prolapse. I pointed it out to the Supai wrangler... she didnt care. I prayed in silence. These horses need a miracle.
    Someone PLEASE HELP!
    The Havasupai Falls are beautiful and breathtaking. It was hard to enjoy the beauty beyond the suffering that was taking place in the village. It is burned in my brain, and I won't rest easy until these horses are rescued.

    Please email me, if you can give me any suggestions.

  12. If you have firsthand knowledge about the dire situation in Havasupai, PLEASE contact me! Thanks very much.

    Ashley Mauceri
    The Humane Society of the United States
    Deputy Campaign Manager, Animal Cruelty Issues
    t 301.721.6474