Haisley formerly headed Animal Rescue Corps, In Defense of Animals, HSUS emergency services, & Washington Animal Rescue League
WASHINGTON D.C.––“On Saturday, January 26, 2019, 50-year-old Scotlund Thomas Haisley, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with two counts of Robbery of an Establishment,” the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department announced to media in the early hours of January 27, 2019.
“On Sunday, January 20, 2019, at approximately 6:37 p.m.,” the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department elaborated, “the suspect entered an establishment,” a Subway restaurant, “located in the 4400 block of Connecticut Avenue, Northwest. Once inside, the suspect approached an employee with an object and demanded U.S. currency. The employee complied. The suspect then fled the scene.”
Returned for seconds
“On Thursday, January 24, 2019, at approximately 8:50 p.m.,” the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department continued, “the suspect entered an establishment located in the 4400 block of Connecticut Avenue, Northwest,” actually the same Subway restaurant, according to ABC-7 television news.
“Once inside, the suspect approached an employee and demanded U.S. currency,” the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department media release repeated. “The employee complied. The suspect then fled the scene,” but this time was identified.
“In surveillance video of both robberies,” ABC-7 explained “the suspect, wearing the same outfit with a ski mask on, can be seen approaching an employee and demanding money at the register behind the counter. In the first robbery, it appears the suspect holds and points what appears to be possibly a gun at the back of the employee’s neck.
From $101,572/year to alleged $300 stick-up
“Police said the suspect took off with approximately $300 in cash in the first robbery. At least in the case of the first robbery, he both arrived and left on the Metro. The nearest Metro station to the Subway restaurant location is Van Ness-UDC on the Red Line, which he appears to have taken at least when he left, based on surveillance video.”
Haisley until September 2018 was founder and president of Animal Rescue Corps, incorporated in Washington D.C. in January 2011.
Raising $2.7 million through 2016, Animal Rescue Corps paid Haisley $97,256, $95,114, and $101,572 in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the most recent year for which an Animal Rescue Corps filing of IRS Form 990 is available.
Haisley in a September 27, 2018 interview with Nick Beres of Scripps Media, Inc. attributed his departure from Animal Rescue Corps to “possible liver failure,” including inability to “hold food or beverages down,” resulting in his becoming “very exhausted” to the point of requiring a blood transfusion.
An October 2018 “GoFundMe” posted on Haisley’s behalf raised $5,130.
Haisley suggested exposure to ammonia fumes during raids on alleged animal hoarders had caused his illness.
Former co-workers have, however, persistently named Haisley in allegations of substance abuse, beginning in 1996, when Haisley was among the first people hired by the then newly formed New York City Center for Animal Care & Control, and was also among the first people to leave the NY-CACC.
On the streets
A January 1997 profile by Bill Workman of the San Francisco Chronicle said Haisley “ran away from an abusive home life in L.A. at the age of 11,” and lived “on the streets for five years until he got a job as a construction worker in the nation’s capital.”
Workman also reported that Haisley “didn’t learn how to read until he was 16, and finally got a GED diploma a year later.”
Former co-workers have also persistently alleged that Haisley has had continuing difficulties with what Haisley himself has termed “dyslexia.”
Haisley worked for PETA for a time before moving to the New York City Center for Animal Care & Control.
Three years at HSUS
After departing from the NY-CACC, Haisley was briefly chief animal control officer for the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California; was executive director of the Washington Animal Rescue League for seven years; and was director of emergency services for the Humane Society of the U.S. from January 2008 until February 2010.
In that capacity, Haisley in July 2009 led a multi-agency raid on Pang’s Animal Haven, a nonprofit no-kill facility in Nanakuli, Hawaii, two days after the death of cofounder Bonnie Pang. Her husband Norman Pang had already surrendered the 400-odd animals on the property to the Oahu SPCA. HSUS became involved after the Oahu SPCA requested logistics assistance.
The Honolulu prosecutor’s office in September 2009 declined to prosecute neglect and cruelty charges recommended by the Hawaiian Humane Society, which had unsuccessfully sought to prosecute the Pangs in 1995.
Norman Pang then sued the Humane Society of the U.S. and a variety of codefendants, including four HSUS staff members and three members of the Hawaiian Humane Society staff.
The Pang case was in mid-2010 settled out of court.
Haisley, less than two months after the Pang’s Animal Haven raid, led another multi-agency raid in which Hurley, South Dakota hunting dog breeder Dan Christensen’s dogs “were seized under an improperly obtained warrant as videographers from the HSUS filmed the events,” recounted John Hult of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, after the 2016 release of a fictionalized film based on the incident.
The film, The Dog Lover, was financed by Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil and funder of the anti-animal advocacy organization Protect the Harvest.
Haisley left HSUS after 11 of the then-18 members of the HSUS emergency services team either resigned or threatened to resign in protest against his leadership, according to documents obtained by ANIMALS 24-7.
Two of those who resigned, Ronnie Graves and Allen Schwartz, detailed their reasons for departure on the October 18, 2009 edition of The Carroll Cox Show, an environmental news and discussion forum broadcast on Sunday mornings by the 48-year-old Hawaiian talk radio powerhouse KWAI 1080 AM.
Also a longtime columnist for Hawaii Fishing News, Cox was for about 10 years a wildlife law enforcement officer for the California Department of Fish & Game. For another 10 years Cox was a special investigator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Defended by Wayne Pacelle
Graves and Schwartz explained to Cox that they were particularly concerned that Haisley had asked them to wear badges resembling those worn by law enforcement officers, and that this could expose them to legal liability.
“I want the scum to think we are law enforcement,” Graves said Haisley told them.
Graves and Schwartz then took their concern to then-Humane Society of the U.S. president Wayne Pacelle.
“I like the cowboy ways that Scotlund brings to the team,” Graves said Pacelle responded.
Pacelle resigned from HSUS amid allegations of sexual harassment in February 2018.
Haisey, after departing from HSUS, was introduced as chief executive officer at In Defense of Animals on June 4, 2010. Haisley was terminated there by mid-September 2010.
Haisley formed Animal Rescue Corps three months after that.
Birds went from one bad situation to another
The new organization enjoyed a burst of good publicity after taking in 116 exotic birds who were impounded in August 2011 from Hookbill Haven Aviary in Portland, Tennessee. Owner Lasandra Walter, 69, pleaded guilty to four counts of cruelty just two weeks later.
But many of the birds were reportedly turned over to the Bailey Foundation, a bird rescue charity founded by former National Aquarium bird caretaker Beth Lindenau. Forty animals were found dead at the Bailey Foundation address in January 2012. Indicted on 69 related charges, Lindenau was acquitted of all counts in September 2012. Her husband, Brady Decker, originally indicted on 93 counts, pleaded guilty to six counts of neglect in June 2013.