Estranged wife & ex-associates testify online against Animal Rescue Corps founder
WASHINGTON D.C.–– Due for arraignment on January 30, 2019 on two counts of armed robbery for allegedly sticking up a Subway sandwich shop on January 20 and January 26, 2019, Animal Rescue Corps founder Scotlund Haisley was already in legal trouble for allegedly assaulting his wife.
Reported Nick Beres of NewsChannel 5 on October 22, 2018, who had often spoken of Haisley’s work in glowing terms, “Haisley stepped away from day-to-day operations [at Animal Rescue Corps] to care for a serious liver condition which he says was made worse over the years from exposure to toxic levels of ammonia from feces and urine at rescues. Well, now I’ve also learned that just last week Haisley was arrested on charges of second degree assault in Maryland. He is out of jail on $5,000 bond. The details of the alleged assault have not been officially released to me by authorities.”
Lynne Haisley filled in the gaps
Lynne Haisley, Scotlund Haisley’s estranged wife, soon filled in the gaps in the comment string below Beres’ update on Facebook.
“His liver problems are from heroin use and hepatitis C before I met him,” Lynne Haisley charged. “I have been married to Scotlund for 16 years and have suffered emotional abuse from the beginning. He left me when my three kids were under the age of five and my son was a newborn to go on the road weeks on end to ‘save animals.’ The physical abuse started a few years ago.
“Two weeks ago I was physically assaulted by him and feared for my life,” Lynne Haisley testified. “He bit me twice on the arm, he punched with his fist twice on my head and backed me into a closet. Then he dragged me by the neck, choking me, and threw me on a chair. I escaped on foot to run to my friends’ house and he got in the car to follow me. I made it to my friends’ house and we called the police.”
“I am afraid for my life”
The police, Lynne Haisley said, “took pictures of all my wounds and went back to our house to see if he would show up. When he did, they found illegal street drugs and needles on him.
“I am terrified of him and he must stay in jail,” Lynne Haisley stated. “He has threatened to kill me and my sister too. He has abused our own dogs over the years in different ways. All while I stayed home taking care of our three beautiful children. Share my story. Please get the word out,” Lynne Haisley finished, reiterating “I am afraid for my life.”
Aunt: “No forgiveness.”
What Scotlund Haisley may have to say in response does not yet appear to be on the public record. But a variety of friends and relatives of Lynne Haisley affirmed her statements both on Beres’ NewsChannel 5 Facebook string and in direct discussion with ANIMALS 24-7.
For example, posted Ginny Kirkpatrick, identifying herself as Lynne Haisley’s aunt, “Scotlund has nearly destroyed Lynne and the children. For that, there is no forgiveness. I know the harm he has done.”
Whatever the origin of Scotlund Haisley’s liver condition may be, his liver was not even mentioned in his October 25, 2018 termination letter from Animal Rescue Corps chief operations officer Tim Woodward.
Fired effective on Halloween
Opened Woodward, “I am sorry that circumstances make this letter and these notifications necessary. I am equally sorry that those circumstances require the board of directors to place our responsibilities to Animal Rescue Corps, the animals in our care, and our supporters above any expectations you may believe you are still entitled to from this organization.
“In a special board meeting last night,” Woodward told Scotlund Haisley, “you were removed from the board of directors of Animal Rescue Corps by majority vote. In addition, it was decided that your employment with Animal Rescue Corps will terminate effective October 31, 2018. You will receive all compensation due, less any outstanding advances.
$61,000 unaccounted for
“These actions have been taken,” Woodward explained, because “On August 16, 2018 you received an email from me on behalf of the board of directors expressing serious concerns about the nature and extent of your expense of company funds. The concerns were addressed in a letter from the board of directors and the expenses were detailed in a spreadsheet that listed approximately $61,000 in expenses in question from the preceding four months.
“You were directed to provide an explanation and accounting of these expenses, to provide all receipts, cash log, and to take responsibility for any expenses that were personal in nature. At the same time, the board restricted any access you had to spend or commit funds of the organization, or to make operational decisions or commitments on behalf of the organization.
Failed to respond
“Despite the serious nature of the concerns,” Woodward said, “the large sums in question, and the complete restrictions placed on your authority by the board, you still, after more than two months and numerous subsequent requests, have not responded in any way to provide an explanation for the expenses in question, or take responsibility for expenses that were personal.”
Woodward closed by offering Scotlund Haisley “a last opportunity to take responsibility for your expenses which were personal in nature. In exchange for you taking responsibility for your expenses,” Woodward said, “I believe that Animal Rescue Corps would be willing to offer a mutual release of future claims and additional compensation.”
Scotlund Haisley was given until November 9, 2018 to respond, but apparently did not.
Testimonials from afar
Responding both to the Beres comment string and the January 28, 2019 ANIMALS 24-7 article Scotlund Haisley takes Subway to jail for alleged armed robbery, several dozen women and at least one man posted testimonials lauding Scotlund Haisley’s hands-on animal rescue work, in a 23-year career including stints with PETA, the American SPCA, the New York City Center for Animal Care & Control, and the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California, followed by leadership positions at the Washington Animal Rescue League, the Humane Society of the United States, and In Defense of Animals, before forming Animal Rescue Corps in January 2011.
But almost everyone who described actually working with Scotlund Haisley, or under his direction, told a different story.
“Cognitive dissonance on steroids!”
Observed former In Defense of Animals digital artist Mary Vogt, “It is somewhat surreal watching women tie themselves into pretzels trying to justify the horrible things Scotlund has done – especially to other women! Even when his wife shows up to corroborate. Even when people who worked closely with him share their experiences. Cognitive dissonance on steroids!”
Advised California animal rights attorney Marla Tauscher, “If you’ve gone on raids with Scotlund Haisley, I’d suggest getting a lawyer. Haisley routinely violated countless laws in the raids he did when pretending to be law enforcement and raiding people’s houses. He pretended to have the authority to do what he was doing, but the truth is he didn’t have a clue, nor did he care about the law, because,” in Tauscher’s opinion, “he was only in it for the money and the glory. He didn’t care one bit about the people whose lives he destroyed, or what happened to the animals he took, once he was done using them for publicity.”
“Never saw him actually do a rescue”
Agreed Florida animal orthotist and prosthetist Ronnie N. Graves, long involved in animal disaster relief work with several different organizations, “I had the misfortune of working alongside of Scotlund Haisley [in 2008-2010] while he destroyed the Humane Society of the U.S. disaster services team. I never saw him actually do a rescue,” Graves alleged, “but saw him push others out of the way when the cameras were around. After watching 14 of the very best rescuers quit, I pulled all of my equipment and my teammates from doing anything for HSUS.
“I knew of several sexual harassment claims made against [Scotlund Haisley] that got swept under the rug by [former HSUS president] Wayne Pacelle,” Graves said.
“We saw [Scotlund Haisley] break the law many times. He attempted to force our team to wear badges that he purposely made to look like law enforcement. Wayne Pacelle protected him,” Graves charged. “Myself and others gave testimony in a deposition against [Scotlund Haisley] for a totally bogus seizure in South Dakota. We turned in lots of evidence to the HSUS board of directors, who decided to do nothing until [Scotlund Haisley] cost them millions.
“He’s a parasite”
“I’m president of Florida Disaster Animal Response & Transport, a 501(c)3 [charity] and never taken a salary,” Graves testified. “I paid 87 employees to handle moving wildlife during the BP oil spill [off the Louisiana coast in 2010] and never took a paycheck. [Scotlund Haisley] can’t say the same thing. He’s a parasite who needs to be put away for a long time,” Graves opined.
“I feel very bad for his wife,” Graves said, “who got the very worst of his personality and still tried to make it work. I feel bad for the Subway employee that he terrorized. Can I see Scotland pointing a gun at someone’s head? Yes, I can,” Graves finished.
“Physically shoved me out of the way”
Consie von Gontard, an American SPCA field responder, offered corroborating testimony.
“We tried to stop [Scotlund Haisley] when he was with HSUS and failed,” von Gontard recounted. “I quit my dream job to get away from him.
“He actually physically shoved me out of the way,” von Gontard said, “took the dog I was carrying, put the dog back where I found him, and told the photographers to shoot him taking the dog out. He was red-faced furious that they dared take a picture of me instead of him. It was sadly hilarious at the time.”
Von Gontard said she had personal knowledge of alleged sexual harassment involving Scotlund Haisley at HSUS, and of Haisley engaging in domestic violence in a relationship prior to his marriage.
“I’m not the one going to jail if caught”
Admitted Christy Howard, a partner in Three Dog Bakery, of Dallas, Texas, “I drank the kool-aid after helping an HSUS case,” in which Scotlund Haisley “was in charge.”
After Scotlund Haisley formed Animal Rescue Corps, Howard said, “I was one of his early ‘sheep.’ I was in awe of him and what he was doing. Until he had me do an illegal seizure. He said, when asked why he wasn’t going with us, ‘I’m not the one going to jail if caught.’ He thought we were out of earshot, but nope, I heard it. I didn’t want to believe it. So I did what I was told to.
“Then I would see fundraising for seizures out of state and I would be in the pictures. They were recycled pictures from old seizures. He was just drumming up money.
“We would be covered in blood, sweat and tears (literally) as [Scotlund Haisley sat in his air-conditioned SUV. The camera would come out and he would be the first one in front of it.”
“Operation Broken Chain”
Affirmed former Animal Rescue Corps volunteer Keely Longer, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, “Many of us were there [at ARC] from the beginning and walked away because of what we saw. I was fooled initially too. Then I saw so much that wasn’t right I had to leave. I was around from 2011 until Operation Broken Chain,” a dogfighting raid undertaken in November 2012. “By then I’d seen all I needed to see to know something was off. That whole ‘operation’ was troubling,” Longer said. “Everything about it.”
The “Operation Broken Chain” raid originated when firefighters responding to a brush fire discovered a large number of pit bulls and beagles on the property. Two men were eventually convicted of related misdemeanor charges.
Founding board resigned
Recalled Dallas artist and photographer Kristina Bowman, an Animal Rescue Corps founding board member, “The entire original board, minus Scotlund and the chief operating officer [Tim Woodward], resigned all at once, on June 3, 2013, because of major issues with the way ARC was being run. Also, just about every major original team member resigned at the same time.”
Animal Rescue Corps went on to raise at least $2 million in the next four years after that. Scotlund Haisley was paid an average of about $100,000 per year, according to the IRS Form 990 filings for 2014, 2015, and 2016.
What will become of Animal Rescue Corps post-Scotlund Haisley at present appears to be almost as unclear as what will become of Haisley after all the pending charges against him are heard in court.