Who We Are, What We Do, Where We Are Going
"Whenever we are allowed outside into the jail courtyard, I look out at the flocks of geese flying overhead and think that maybe, just maybe, some of those geese are ones that are still alive today because we warned them. And I think, yes, they were worth it."
These were the words of SHARK founding president Steve Hindi during a period of incarceration resulting from a hunter interference charge. Steve Hindi, the man who, eighteen years ago, would have been more likely to be behind the barrel of gun instead of in front of it.
After hunting for most of his life, Steve turned around when he witnessed a horrific example of live pigeon shooting. From that point on, compassion, not killing, became his life goal.
As volunteer president of SHARK today, Hindi has led the organization to numerous victories for the animals: statewide bans on horse-tripping and live pigeon shoots in Illinois, shutting down various hunting clubs and canned hunts across the country, international exposure of the truth behind rodeos and bullfighting, helping to prosecute domestic animal cruelty cases... This list goes on and on and continues to grow today.
The History of SHARK
SHARK’s Founder and President Inducted into Animal Rights Hall of Fame!
In honor of his achievements in animal protection over the past 17 years, and for many more to come, Steve Hindi was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame at the Animal Rights 2006 conference.
Steve Hindi is one of a kind. His freight-train determination, tireless spirit, and tell-it-straight attitude make him a unique asset to the animal movement. We, as warriors in the same fight, and animals everywhere are lucky to have Steve Hindi on the front lines.
~Alex Hershaft, President of FARM; Director, Animal Rights annual conference
SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) was founded in 1993 by former hunter Steve Hindi. As a "sportsman," Steve hunted many species of animals both on land and in the sea. He killed for thirty years until the life-shattering day when, en route to shark hunting in the Atlantic Ocean, Steve attended the infamous Hegins pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania.
The slaughter of thousands of nonhuman victims, and the involvement of children in the horrific killings, was too much for Steve to tolerate. He vowed to stop pigeon shoots, and went on to dedicate his life to ending the abuse of all animals.
Steve almost single-handedly stopped Illinois pigeon shoots, and rallied national support against the Hegins pigeon shoot. He went to pigeon shoots all over Pennsylvania, and graphically video documented the abuse. Pennsylvania courts are now dealing with pigeon shoots, with Steve's documentation as part of the evidence in the case.
SHARK is a non-profit organization with supporters around the US and beyond. SHARK receives no government funding and completely relies on donations and grants to work on issues ranging in scope from local to worldwide.
SHARK was honored when Bizarro creator, Dan Piraro, captured this facet of our work.
With a small core of volunteers, and a staff of three (two are part-time), SHARK battles tirelessly against bullfighting, pigeon shoots, turkey shoots, canned hunts (and all hunting), rodeos, circuses, zoos, and marine parks... any issue that involves violation of the innate rights of living creatures.
SHARK also conducts animal rescues and education projects. Steve Hindi has an open invitation to debate "the opposition". Because of his domination of past debates with animal abusers, however, it has been years since the opposition has been foolish enough to take him on.
SHARK's victories are hard-fought and proudly won. Of our many successes, some of the more noteworthy are listed below. For more detailed information about any of these individual issues, click on the underlined title.
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- Rodeo Animal Abuse:
Since 1993, SHARK has stood almost alone in exposing the horrific animal
abuse, countless lies, and corruption of rodeos in general and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
(PRCA) in particular. SHARK has forced a
multitude of important changes to eliminate some of the animal suffering at rodeos
- PRCA v. SHARK: SHARK
brought a lawsuit against the PRCA for having SHARK’s videos wrongfully
removed from YouTube based on false copyright claims. The case was settled when the PRCA paid SHARK $25,000 and promised not to selectively
enforce a "no videotaping" provision against SHARK at rodeos. By
standing up to these bullying tactics, SHARK is very proud to have won a
major victory for ALL animal activists by ensuring that animal abusers
cannot silence their critics on YouTube and elsewhere just because they
don’t like what they are saying.
- The PRCA National Finals Rodeo: The "Superbowl of Rodeos" was exposed when SHARK's video cameras documented Charles Soileau, then Vice-Chairman of the PRCA Board of Directors, secretly
shocking horses. SHARK went on to eventually expose the entire affair as a rigged competition full
of animal cruelty.
- YouTube Videos: SHARK has a
highly successful YouTube Channel with over 5 million total views. They have
120+ videos exposing animal cruelty and highlighting important animal issues and
educating the public. SHARK’s Channel is so successful, that in the
Non-Profit Category they are #7 most viewed of All-Time on YouTube. Everyday
nearly 20,000 people watch one of SHARK's video exposés.
- Horse Shocking: The cruel practice of electro-shocking of horses at the Cheyenne Frontier Days
Rodeo was exposed by SHARK for 3 years straight until the rodeo finally BANNED the practice in 2008.
This had a huge ripple effect throughout the entire rodeo industry and a
number of major rodeos now ban the practice of shocking horses.
- Media Exposure: SHARK
has been able to bring the issue of animal abuse to people through the media
like few other animal advocacy organizations. SHARK is responsible for stories in 1000’s of
newspapers, radio programs, film documentaries, and television news shows as well as international
media coverage. This includes newspapers like the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, and Los Angeles Times. SHARK's footage has been used in major rodeo exposés on television programs like Hard Copy, Europe's ARTE television network, and 20/20 and a number of award winning independent animal documentary films as well.
- Rodeo Criminals:
Dozens of rodeo criminals have been exposed through SHARK's videos, websites, and supporter updates. This includes exposing the President of the PRCA – Troy Ellerman, serial
killers, child molesters, and wife beaters just to name a few.
- Tiger Truck: Massive numbers of people, corporations, and government policy makers have been educated with SHARK's four-screened mobile video
vehicle. This moving video billboard educates and mobilizes people throughout American and Canada against
issues such as the meat industry, corporate cruelty through sponsorships of
rodeos, bullfighting and circuses, and the horrific fur industry.
- AT&T/Cingular Wireless: After a tireless two-year campaign by SHARK, AT&T/Cingular Wireless has stopped supporting rodeo animal abuse!! This is a major development, since AT&T was one of the rodeo’s few remaining “mainstream” corporate sponsors. While we don’t have a dollar amount on the sponsorship, you can bet it was a very significant amount of money.
- Trader Joe's: After a
local Trader Joe's sponsored a rodeo in Tucson that SHARK exposed for
shocking horses, the Trader Joe's CEO was quick to do the right thing and
say it was a mistake to sponsor a rodeo. Thereafter, SHARK informed Trader Joe's that another store in Castro Valley, CA was sponsoring a rodeo, and that sponsorship was also ended.
- Atlanta Humane Society:
Exposed the Atlanta Humane Society for their association with
the Professional Bullriders Association (PBR) in a misguided fund raising
scheme. Kudos to the Atlanta Humane Society for doing the right thing and breaking off all ties to the rodeo organization.
- Cotton Rosser: SHARK
has repeatedly exposed rodeo stock contractor Cotton Rosser in the media and
elsewhere for his cruel practices. SHARK has videotape of Rosser shocking animals that dates back to the mid-'90s. This
exposure culminated in 2008 at the Rowell Rodeo where horses were again
videotaped being shocked. Rosser was subsequently fined $2500.00 and is
currently being investigated for criminal charges as a result of his
company’s actions at the Rowell Rodeo.
- The Horse
Slaughter Industry: Through SHARK’s websites, videos, media stories,
and mobilizing supporters, SHARK played an important part in helping to end
horse slaughter in Illinois and nationwide.
- Pigeon Killing: SHARK
exposed the cruelty of these canned pigeon shoots and were instrumental in
ending these senseless blood orgies at the now infamous Strausstown, PA Gun Club. SHARK also exposed and eliminated the cruel practice of live pigeon shoots in Illinois.
- Rikki Rockett: SHARK
educated the animal loving drummer from the rock band Poison about the cruelty of rodeos.
Rockett was quoted in the media as saying that, “His fellow
bandmates agree, this will be Poison's "last gig" at a rodeo.”
- Matchbox Twenty:
After educating the popular rock band Matchbox Twenty about rodeo cruelty, they withdrew from a scheduled performance
at the 2008 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, stating "it would be impossible for us to put ourselves in the position of making money from what we believe to be the mistreatment of animals." This resulted in worldwide media attention on the issue of rodeo animal abuse.
- Killeen Rodeo: After
exposing the Killeen, TX rodeo for its cruel practices. The rodeo was forced
to not only cancel their cruel steer busting event, but also to replace the
- USAF Thunderbirds:
Exposed the United States Air Force's policy of supporting rodeo and giving joyrides to rodeo
announcers and rodeo queens with taxpayer's money.
- Dr. John Maulsby:
Exposed the Colorado State Veterinarian and Denver Rodeo Committee member, Dr. John
Maulsby for the grisly knife murder of an elk calf. Shortly after SHARK released this videotape,
Maulsby announced his resignation as the Colorado State Veterinarian.
- Choice Hotels: SHARK
convinced the international hotel chain to pull its sponsorship of the
National High School Rodeo Association after the company reviewed video and
photo documentation taken by SHARK at the NHSRA Finals Rodeo.
- Hilary Duff: Our
campaign and website exposing Hilary’s Duff’s support of rodeo cruelty
brought international attention to this often ignored facet of animal
abuse. Articles in the National Enquirer and Star magazines,
sent discussions and images across the Internet and other media reaching an
audience that was largely unaware of abuses inherent in rodeos. SHARK also
took the Tiger Truck to Hilary's hangout, the streets of Hollywood, to
expose the truth of rodeo cruelty.
- Marriott Hotels:
Successfully encouraged Marriott Hotels to withdraw support of
the National Western Rodeo in Denver. Marriott has since gone back on their word and they are once again supporting animal abuse at rodeos. Including rodeos where horses are electro-shocked to make them perform.
- Carrie Underwood: SHARK
urged the singer to cancel her performance at the horrific Cheyenne Frontier
Days Rodeo, which she subsequently did, proving that Carrie Underwood has a heart is as big as her talent.
- Akron Metro Parks:
SHARK exposed the Akron Metro Parks “Deer Cull”
as nothing more than a taxpayer funded slaughter fest run by Anthony Denicola and his
White Buffalo company. SHARK's videotape exposed the lie that the deer were killed painlessly with one-shot. The video shows how the deer suffered horribly and were eventually just inhumanely suffocated to death with plastic bags.
- Baylor Bears: Exposed Baylor University in Waco, TX for their horrendous treatment of its living bear mascots. The bears lived in a small and dirty cement enclosure and were subjected to torment by drunken students partying with loud music next to the bear's cages. SHARK forced the university to spend close to $1,000,000 upgrading the living conditions for the bears. Not a total victory, but it made an immense difference in the lives of these innocent prisoners.
- Campbell's Soup Rodeo
Sponsorship: SHARK’s tireless “Campbell Soup Kills” campaign persuaded
Campbell’s Soup and Pace Foods to terminate their support of the rodeo
- Starbucks Coffee: SHARK’s
intensive “Buck Starbucks!” campaign halted rodeo sponsorships by the coffee
- High School Rodeo:
Exposed animal abuse and political corruption at the National High School
Association's Rodeo Finals and the Illinois governmental departments.
Successfully pressured the Illinois Department of Agriculture to launch an
investigation into criminal animal abuse at the 2006 National High School
- Bullfight Barbie:
After a hard-hitting campaign spearheaded by SHARK, Mattel stopped production of the "Spanish Barbie." This doll, dressed as a matador, glorified the despicable murder of bulls to young children.
- Steer Busting National Finals:
SHARK exposed the incredibly cruel and abusive spectacle known as Steer Busting to the world. The practice of Steer Busting is so cruel that the PRCA cannot even hold this event with the rest of their finals in Las Vegas because of all the animals that they kill and injure.
- Donkey Basketball:
SHARK used undercover video to convince many schools to stop using donkey
basketball games as fund-raisers.
- Captive Bolt Killing:
Exposed and caused the shutdown of a Rock Falls, Illinois, dog pound after
exposing the use of captive bolt guns to kill dogs and cats as a means of
- Rocket Netting Deer: Exposed and eliminated the
rocket netting and captive bolt slaughter of deer in DuPage County,
Illinois. This graphic and disturbing footage was then used to eliminate the same cruelty in Cook County, Illinois, and went on to eliminate numerous rocket netting programs across the country.
- Horse Tripping: SHARK
exposed and contributed to the banning of horse tripping in Illinois. In "Mexican rodeos," horses are purposely tripped as an event. The animal victims are often headed for slaughter, so there is no reason for their abusers to care what happens to them. These horses commonly have their legs, backs and necks broken, as well as many other injuries. SHARK footage of these brutal events helped to get horse tripping banned in Illinois.
- Boys and Girls Club of
America: Exposed the Boys and Girls Club of America for the wildly inappropriate action of bringing children to witness the animal cruelty that is the PRCA Steer Busting Finals in Hobbs, NM. The Boys and Girls Club of America made a promise to educate all of their chapters that the rodeo environment is not appropriate for children.
- Corrupt Law Enforcement: Over and over and over again, SHARK has stood up for their rights and the rights of ALL activists in the face of police corruption and bullying tactics. Most law enforcement officers that SHARK encounters are professionals who do their job under difficult circumstances. BUT, when SHARK does run into a corrupt officer or a corrupt department, they are not afraid to expose them to the world.
- Turkey Shoots: SHARK
exposed and eliminated live turkey shoots at the Lone Pine Sportsman's Club
in Pennsylvania. SHARK’s video made news not only in Pennsylvania, but in an episode of the nationally syndicated news serial Hard Copy.
- PepsiCo: Forced
multi-national snack food and soda giant PepsiCo to pull its sponsorship of
bullrings in Mexico.
As SHARK's resources grow, we will take on more and larger projects worldwide. We are determined to eliminate the cruelty of rodeos and circuses, and the indefensible torture of bullfights with the continuation of video exposes.
Depending on resources, SHARK hopes to make legal challenges across the country against the cruelty of rodeos using existing cruelty regulations which we believe are currently ignored, and simply need to be enforced.
In addition, our Tiger Truck, a 4-screened mobile video vehicle, educates and mobilizes people against issues such as the meat industry, corporate cruelty through sponsorships of rodeos, bullfighting and circuses, and the horrific fur industry.
Depending on our resources, SHARK hopes to launch the world's largest fleet of Tiger Trucks to carry the message of animal issues to cities and towns around North America.
Depending on resources, SHARK plans to construct a website exposing and tracking animal serial killers, to keep caring people alerted in case their animal companions might be at risk.
We would appreciate your support on this exciting journey toward to more peaceful and compassionate planet. You will not find a more effective, efficient or dedicated organization. We look forward to having you as part of the SHARK Team as we press on for the rights of nonhumans worldwide.