Animals' Angels  Produces 
Hard-Hitting Exposé of the Knoxville Horse Auction and the Thompson Horse Company 

March 8, 2017   
A Bullet to the Head
Platinum Ticket, once a successful and well-cared for Thoroughbred racehorse, who later transformed into an successful show jumper, was discovered by Animals' Angels investigators in a kill pen at the Knoxville Livestock Auction, barely alive, with a bullet in his head.

Platinum Ticket in the kill pen at auction

Even before knowing the iden tity of the gaunt grey horse that they found in such horrific shape, Animals' Angels representatives documented his condition and called law enforcement, seeking to hold the auction and the owner accountable for such obvious neglect. To no avail.

Sonja Meadows of Animals' Angels expressed her frustration at the seemingly deliberate lack of enforcement:

"This was an open and shut cruelty case against not just the livestock auction in Knoxville, but also the horse trader who claimed ownership of Platinum Ticket - namely Jacob Thompson, who along with help from Tara Sanders, his long-time girlfriend, runs the Thompson Horse Company in Pitkin, Louisiana for Jacob's father Gary Thompson. Yet the police did nothing. If not now, when? What must we show to induce the police to do their jobs?"
Platinum Ticket's Final Ride
Animals' Angels produced the documentary exposé " Platinum Ticket's Final Ride" to spark public outrage and  bring an end to the on-going, appalling treatment of helpless animals at the hands of livestock auction employees and horse traders.

Platinum Ticket and his three pen mates, left at the Knoxville Auction for weeks by Jacob Thompson

Platinum Ticket's Final Ride tells the story of the life and tragic fate of this beautiful horse - from winning purses at the racetrack and ribbons in the jumper show ring - to his ruthless sale after his performance declined.

Platinum Ticket and three other, equally emaciated and sick horses, had been suffering in a pen for two weeks

Like tens of thousands of American horses each year, Platinum Ticket was dumped unceremoniously into the horse slaughter pipeline - a cruel road which usually leads to a brutal death in the slaughterhouses of Mexico or Canada.

This predatory business is largely unknown to most U.S. citizens because its practices are deliberately hidden from the general public.  The gruesome goal: wholesale slaughter of horses for the purpose of exporting horsemeat to Europe.

With sentient beings as their stock-in-trade, livestock auctions dot our nation's countryside from coast to coast. Every state is home to at least one auction, and Animals' Angels makes it our mission to visit them all.

Gritty Scenes from the 
Knoxville Livestock Auction
Animals' Angels recent undercover work at the Knoxville Livestock Auction this winter is the latest in a string of investigations there dating back all the way to 2012.  

Knoxville Livestock Auction is one of the largest livestock markets in the Southeast

During an April 2015 visit to  Knoxville, an Animals' Angels investigator documented Platinum Ticket's horrific condition in one of the auction pens.  

Platinum Ticket and his three equally ill pen mates received no care for weeks while in a pen at the Knoxville Auction

This auction has a well-documented record of inhumane treatment of the animals going through their sale, as demonstrated by footage from our numerous investigations, not to mention this most recent, egregious incident.  And owners like Jacob Thompson are equally complicit.

In fact, our lengthy investigation of Thompson uncovered his long history of criminal activity such as a 2016 conviction for first degree felony theft of livestock in Hopkins County, TX and another case in Mississippi that involved racketeering.  Thompson is presently in jail for violation of probation on the Texas case.

Bought ... and then Left Behind 
to Suffer
We're not sure how long Platinum Ticket was left to suffer with a bullet in his head, but we do know enough time had elapsed for it to become severely infected!

The poor, emaciated horse was in obvious distress but no-one seemed to care: 
  • Not the auction owners who kept him on their site for two full weeks without ever providing veterinary care.
  • Not the police who ignored our call to hold the auction and owner accountable.
  • Certainly not Thompson and Sanders who behaved with a callous and shameful disregard for this noble animal's condition. 
Fully aware of his appalling condition, horse trader Jacob Thompson purchased the Thoroughbred at the Knoxville sale two weeks previous. Instead of providing medical care as needed, he and his partner, Tara Sanders, left the poor animal unattended at the auction site in a manure covered pen for two full weeks!  

After calling police, AA was astounded that instead of securing evidence in support of a potential cruelty case, the officer who responded told our investigator to leave the premises - and then walked off with Tara Sanders, in what appeared to be a friendly conversation about the Thompson Horse Lot business

For fourteen days and nights Platinum Ticket suffered, along with three other, equally emaciated and sick horses - also owned by Jacob Thompson - without access to clean, fresh water, appropriate food or proper veterinary care. The bullet inside his head continued to fester.

This once powerful, elegant, confident Thoroughbred was unrecognizable, a mere shadow of his former self: a gaunt, fear-ridden gelding with a horrific wound in his forehead, barely able to stand, coat matted and uncared-for, skin covered in scars, eyes dull, feverish and full of suffering

An All-Too-Common Fate
Just what happens to worn-out race and show horses? How often are they sent to auction so their owners can extract one last ounce of money from them? Who are the people who run these sales and kill pens and why do they treat the animals in their care so poorly-despite animal cruelty laws that exist in every state?

Sadly, Platinum Ticket's fate is not an isolated one. Thousands of horses pass through auctions just like the Knoxville sale every week across the nation, and collecting stations like the one in Louisiana can be found in virtually every state.

the suffering at the Knoxville Auction is well documented by AA
Platinum Ticket's Final Ride produced by Emmy Award-winning Kramer Communications and scripted by award-winning television and documentary writer Lisa Feit is a no-holds-barred documentary that pieces together Platinum Ticket's journey, all the way from his once-pampered home to his ignoble and cast-aside fate in the pens of the Knoxville livestock auction. 

Be a Part of the Revolution!
This horse slaughter business is a huge money-making scheme and is nothing more than the sheer exploitation of an American icon for profit. Yet due to the inherent secrecy among the participants, the majority of the public is still unaware. 

horses at the Knoxville Livestock Auction 

Our documentary, Platinum Ticket's Final Ride , exposes the stark realities of horse slaughter in a way that will reach and inform a broad, new audience. In addition, viewers will be offered a candid look into the world of auctions, collecting stations, and those individuals who are profiting from the suffering of innocent animals like Platinum Ticket.

We've been stonewalled at every turn by law enforcement and the auction apparently has no intention of changing on their own - our film will pressure all parties involved to take action. 

The eye-opening footage contained in the documentary will reveal the true colors of the Knoxville Livestock Auction, the Thompson Horse Lot, and the feedlot's owner, Jacob Thompson, as well as Thompson's girlfriend, Tara Sanders, who brokers horses for him. 

Thompson's long-time girlfriend, Tara Sanders, who also brokers horses for him, took an active lead with law enforcement when an officer responded to AA's call at the Knoxville Livestock Auction - apparently speaking on Thompson's behalf

This film will put a spotlight on the seedy underbelly of the horse slaughter pipeline, exposing the indifference of owners (those who put Platinum Ticket in the pipeline), and the willful negligence and cruelty of auction owners and horse traders.

You can be a Mover and Shaker - 
For Real Change!
Platinum Ticket's Final Ride is currently in the last stages of production and we need YOUR help to ensure its release.

Any donation you can make will help us get this important and urgent message out to the public.

These horses were callously allowed to suffer - they deserve better, they deserve justice

If you can make a substantial contribution toward this film, you'll be recognized on-screen with a  movie credit:
Listed as a compassionate "Friend to Thank"
Listed as a "Bronze Sponsor"
Listed as a "Silver Sponsor"
$5,000 and up Listed as a "Gold Sponsor"

bound for slaughter

We urge you to watch the film's trailer and visit the website, then ask that you take a firm stand against this appalling abuse. 

Help us honor Platinum Ticket ... and expose the cruelty and neglect that has continued unabated in Knoxville and at other sites across the nation.  Your gift-as a friend or a sponsor of this important film-will give you a starring role in the revolution needed to ensure a better future for thousands of horses. 

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
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