The Truth about the Stanley Brothers
June 22, 2018 
An Empire built on Suffering

There's one family everyone familiar with the horrors of the horse slaughter pipeline knows by name:  The Stanley Brothers. These notorious kingpins of the slaughter industry work with cohorts like large-scale Kill Buyer Mike McBarron to send thousands of horses to a terrible fate.  But when the EU banned horsemeat from Mexico, they saw a dip in their business.  Rather than turn to a more humane endeavor, they built a whole new offshoot of their evil empire: On-Line Horse Brokering, that preys on kind-hearted people and innocent horses.  Here's what you need to know to help shut them down!  

Horse in kill pen

If you've seen the viral stories on social media about two men at the Stanley Brothers' Bastrop Kill Pen in Louisiana placing a pit bull on a horse, then slitting the gentle dog's throat... and later beating a man who came to inquire about the dog... you know a little about the Stanley Brothers.  Their horse slaughter empire stretches across Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi, and their constant violations have created an interstate hell for horses.  (More on their illegal activities later, including good news that they'll pay at least a small price for one of their crimes...)
Animals' Angels first visited their infamous Bastrop Kill Pen in 2010 and found injured and emaciated horses living in deplorable conditions.  They filed complaints with local authorities, but the Sheriff's department was anything but helpful; in fact, they essentially protected the Stanley Brothers' operation. 

Injured and emaciated horse at Bastrop

  Since then, a lot has happened: The ban of Mexican horsemeat in the EU and decreased demand has caused a massive decline in US horses shipped across our borders for slaughter.  To make up for the loss, the Stanley Brothers have turned their kill pen kingdom into a social media monster.  Here's how their operation works... and how you can avoid buying into it:
  • The Stanley Brothers start by buying horses at auction and shipping them to numerous kill pens, all paired with Facebook pages.
  • They create posts claiming the horses are "going to ship any day" if no one "bails them out" for exaggerated prices.
  • Good-hearted people bail-out (actually, buy) the horses who are often not as advertised.  Some buyers receive a different horse than the one they paid for; others are stuck with hefty vet bills, or even worse - a dead horse. 
Starving horse sold by Stanley Brothers

s a result of this scheme, the Stanley Brothers are literally making a killing.  They've extended their fleet of trucks and added two more kill pens with matching Facebook pages to sell even more horses. Every day, more and more reports of dying, sick or injured horses in their pens surface on Facebook. 

Simultaneously, they continue to ship hundreds of horses to slaughter in Mexico each month, which further increases their profits. 

Animals' Angels just visited the Stanley Brothers' newest addition, a kill pen located outside the small town of Cleveland, Tennessee... with an accompanying Facebook page. Inside barren pens, investigators found horses and donkeys so severely emaciated that every rib was showing, and their spines protruded through their skins. The animals searched the ground for food, but there wasn't a scrap.  The nearly-dry water troughs looked like they hadn't been cleaned in weeks. Horses chewed the wooden fences in hunger and frustration. 

Barren pen with no food

  In the adjacent woods, investigators spotted several other groups of horses - many horribly thin and some with their auction tags still attached.  One was severely limping; another had an open sore on his hip; and still another had a dripping eye injury. All were searching the underbrush for leaves to eat. 

Emaciated horse searching for food

  Animals' Angels has notified local authorities about this remote location and urged them to launch an investigation . A full report will be released soon.
Besides the Stanley Brothers' shady horse brokering business, they have a long history of illegal activities that have cost countless horses their lives.
  • They've racked up approximately $40,000 in fines for numerous violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations:  Shipping completely blind horses; horses carrying infectious diseases; and horses unable to bear weight on all four limbs.
  • They operate their own trucking companies to maximize profits, using two different DOT numbers. Both accounts show numerous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Violations, including driving under the influence, excessive speeding and driving longer than allowed, putting the public -- and horses -- at risk.
  • On March of 2017, 19 horses were killed when their livestock truck, crammed full of 37 horses, flipped over on U.S. 82 near Greenville, Mississippi. 
  •  In August 2016, Boots Stanley and his friend Steven Sandler recorded themselves brutally slitting the throat of a pit bull at the Stanley Brothers' Bastrop Kill Pen. They posted the video on Snapchat where it went viral, making national and international news.  In a little good news:  Stanley and Sadler have each been sentenced to three years' probation and a $5,000 fine for this crime.  If they don't pay the fine, they'll spend 365 days in jail.  However, their probation will be reassessed in one year, and they could be entirely free after that.
  • In September of 2016, Boots Stanley's cousin, Michael Stanley, and father, Greg Stanley, reportedly beat a 65-year old man parked outside the Bastrop Kill Pen wanting information about the dog. Using a wooden board, they hit him in the face so many times that he needed reconstruction surgery.  They also videotaped this incident and it, too, went viral.
  • In December of 2014, a Collecting Station linked to the Stanley Brothers and operated by Jerry Earls in Mississippi made the news when concerned observers reported dozens of dead, dying and severely emaciated horses on the lot.  When the news broke, the Stanley Brothers quickly shipped the bulk of the horses to Mike McBarron for export to slaughter.

While some were rescued, the true fate of all the horses remains unknown. The Stanley Brothers were never charged and Jerry Earls was found not guilty of four counts of animal cruelty.

                          How You Can Help

Please, share, share, share this report so we can reveal the true nature of the Stanley Brothers' empire built on the backs of our horses.
Help shut them down by not buying into their "On-Line Broker" scam.  If you've already purchased a horse from them that wasn't as advertised or that showed signs of abuse or neglect, please report it.
If you want to rescue a horse bound for slaughter , go to an auction and bid against the kill buyers. If that's not possible, adopt through an established, reputable 501(c)3 rescue that cares for abused and neglected horses and donkeys, not one that partners with a kill buyer. 
By adopting through a legitimate rescue, you not only save the horse or donkey you take home, you save another as well:  The rescue can fill your horse's spot with another animal in need, so the cycle of giving continues.

And there's another way you can help.  Although it's difficult to see pictures of animals who've been abused, neglected, or perhaps are slaughter-bound, Animals' Angels is committed to bringing these atrocities to light and holding the abusers accountable using evidence we obtain in our investigations.  

It's only because of donors like you that we can continue exposing offenders and ensuring they face legal and financial consequences.  Any contribution you can make helps stop the cruelty. 

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so ALL donations are tax deductible. 

sonja inspecting trailer

Your support is crucial to continue the fight against animal cruelty.   Animals' Angels counts on you!  Help us be there for the animals.

Animals' Angels works to improve the conditions for farm animals and horses all over the country. 
Our investigators are out in the field nationwide, visiting auctions, kill pens, feedlots and slaughter plants to uncover the cruelty and abuse that animals all too often face each and every day.
Animals' Angels, Inc.
PO Box 1056
Westminster, MD 21158
[email protected]

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