If You Really Want to Help the Horses At HiCaliber, Read On

Here is one of our blog posts from October 12, 2016 regarding filing complaints to local animal welfare agencies.  It pertains to what we believe to be HiCaliber’s willful and illegal killing of horses which were attained with fraudulently collected donated funds.

San Diego County Animal Services were contacted first. That was mostly because as you will see in our earlier blog posts, Michelle Cochran and Romney Snyder related that Officer Dan DeSousa had “told them” shooting horses in non-emergency situations was legal. We contacted him and wanted a simple “yes” or “no” answer if it was legal or not to shot horses in non-emergency situations. He refused to answer and never did answer after being asked multiple times. Come on Dan, its really simple, yes or no?


Dan DeSousa then passed it to San Diego Humane Society/SPCA stating a possible “conflict of interest” because Michelle had been employed by SDCAS until she had a convenient “slip and fall accident” 6 or so years ago which according to her resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) she got a lot of mileage out of.
We have many screen-shots of the exact date of that “accident”.  Also information pertaining to her disability payment collection from San Diego County AND a personal injury lawsuit she had filed against a company who we won’t mention at this time. Suffice to say, that personal injury case was dismissed because information came to light that Michelle was perfectly capable of doing a lot of the things she said in the PI lawsuit she couldn’t do – hurt brain and all that.
We think she should be investigated for disability fraud because she collected, and could still be collecting, thousands of dollars in disability payments from the county.

The complaints filed in October regarding felony cruelty to animals was passed to San Diego Humane Society/SPCA and Officer Monreal was handling the case. In the blog at the link above is an email from Romney to the complainants where she is taunting him regarding SDHS doing anything about them shooting horses because they have employees of that agency that are volunteers and fosters at HiCaliber. Complainants indicated to SDHS that they’d trust that that would not be a conflict of interest (employees of SDHS volunteering and fostering for HiCaliber) and to please investigate.

Officer Stephen MacKinnon took over the investigation for SDHS when Officer Monreal didn’t appear to be doing anything – Note: when agencies are apprised of the fact that complainants have thousands of pages of FACTUAL documents and NOT hearsay evidence exposing wrong-doing and the investigating agency doesn’t ask for any of it, THAT is a red flag they are doing nothing). In his quest to sweep illegal activities at HiCaliber under the rug, he came up with guidelines for an organization in Illinois stating it was legal to shoot healthy horses (he had copied and paste what they wrote into an email to complainant. If he had actually read further, or maybe he did and didn’t think the complainant would, they also state that it is not OK to shoot healthy horses in NON-EMERGENCY situations and that a vet should be called). Begs the question of why is he using a pro-horse-slaughter organization in Illinois guidelines to enforce, or not, California laws?

So here we are 8 months later. How many more horses have been shot to death by Michelle Cochran and also Becky Marodi? We also know that at least one of the employees at SDHS that volunteers at HiCaliber is Kat Tarnowski, a primary player at the HiCaliber. We wonder if Kat has also been shooting healthy horses to death too? We refer to these horses as healthy because as part of the lies they tell their adrenalin-crisis-addicted followers is that all those auction horses are examined by a vet upon intake. That would mean they should have vet reports for ALL of the horses they get from the auction. They’ve been asked MANY times over the past couple of years for vet reports that they refuse to post even though they say they have them (kind of like the health certificates and coggins reports for all of the Louisiana horses they have written they have, but they won’t post them either).

The questionable killings of horses dates back long before the Ontario Auction horses and includes a nice old horse named Gorgeous George around Christmas time 2014. They got him from Mikes Auction just days earlier. He was the perfect sympathy donation horse because he had calcification on his knees which in the industry are called “popped knees”. Videos of George walking around were asked for to see if his popped knees were really giving him tremendous pain, or perhaps they were mostly unsightly and any arthritis could be controlled with mild anti-inflammatory medication. They produced a few photos, but those unsightly enlarged knees were perfect for pulling in donations, so of course they show still shots. Not only didn’t they post a vet report, or a euthanasia report, they wouldn’t post videos of him being walked around so concerned people could see what condition he was in.
Many horses have varying degrees of calcification and arthritis in their knees, but it doesn’t mean they want to die. Many people are of the opinion that there were no videos posted of George because he was already dead before they said they were going to put him down. In other words, they were still asking for donations for him.
We wonder if he died via “lead to the head”, or perhaps it was that awful one way trip opportunists in the horse slaughter biz known as kill buyers send them on.

We could go back even farther and ask about their fund-raising for a necropsy for the 7 year old gelding Flynn found dead (supposedly) in his stall in 2014 or thereabouts (we have screen-shots of that fund-raiser too). They never posted the necropsy report even after people asked about it a month after his death. That was the end of it and we never saw or heard anything more about it leading people to believe it was never done. That is fraud.

Some people are posting that “they used to be a good rescue”. The question is when? Talk to the hundreds of people they have harmed through the years and it would become clear that they have always lied in order to collect money from people that believe their self-promotion and hype which often can be proven false. And then theres that reality show-thing and being “celebrities” in rescue.

They have also left a trail of dead horses for years. Luckily, there are people that cared enough to monitor and gather information on their commission of fraud and crimes against horses dating back to at least 2012. They didn’t even file as a nonprofit until October 16, 2013, so there may even be a conflict on how much money Michelle collected for “rescuing horses” before they filed and at the same time was collecting disability payments from San Diego County for her infamous traumatic brain injury. Sure, she can collect up to a set limit in “other income” while collecting disability payments. But how much money she was making before HiCaliber was registered as a nonprofit is in question.

Back to the present, the blog at the link below outlines some terrible allegations regarding cruelty beyond a well-aimed bullet to the brain performed by an experienced shooter (its still illegal if healthy horses are being shoot but at least if someone is experienced we’d hope the horse didn’t suffer). We know Michelle “says” she has a Euthanasia Certificate, but it not only doesn’t include euthanasia administered with a bullet, she hasn’t ever posted it either. Then theres the AHT licensing that she won’t produce.


If you want to truly help the horses at HiCaliber survive and be taken to safety as some rescues are organizing to do behind-the-scenes, its time to type, type, type and email to the people listed below in order to have investigations opened.
And for those that think HiCaliber players can be made to fly-straight, maybe some would if they get in enough trouble, but the leaders in this organization have been hustling for years in our opinion. They will try yet again to land on their feet and move on to a new con if given the chance if people don’t track them.

The veterinarian for California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Dr. Annette Jones (annette.jones@cdfa.ca.gov) is also instructing people to file complaints with local animal welfare agencies. That has already been done beginning 8 months ago (how many more horses have been killed and disappeared in 8 months?!?!?) but if concerned horse lovers do as they are being directed by the state to do, maybe the complaints will be taken seriously this time (please see a portion of one of the complaint emails below):

Please send emails regarding possible animal cruelty to:
San Diego County Animal Services (Michelle’s former employer)

Dan DeSousa: dan.desousa@sdcounty.ca.gov

Jennifer Hill: jennifer.hill@sdcounty.ca.gov

San Diego Humane Society/SPCA:

Stephen MacKinnon: SMacKinnon@sdhumane.org

Please cc your complaint letter to Officer MacKinnon to:

Please be aware that the people listed above have a bad, unethical habit of sharing confidential information with those being complained about. With enough people filing complaints, there should be less to worry about regarding speaking the truth and being concerned because you will not be the lone voice in the wilderness trying to protect innocent horses.

There were several emails exchanged with Stephen MacKinnon that illustrated clearly that he didn’t want to do anything regarding enforcing California cruelty laws. Additionally, he never asked for any of the thousands of documents that we indicated were available regarding providing factual proof of wrong-doing by HiCaliber, Michelle Cochran, Romney Snyder and others at the HiCaliber.

Below is just one small portion of the conversations attempting to get this guy to do his job that he’s paid over $100,000 annually to do:

“What are you doing as horses continue to be illegally killed by Michelle and Romney at HiCaliber? Nothing…right?
We asked “Is it legal to shoot horses in non-emergency situations?”. Your reply to this question was a joke and demonstrates why so many people can’t stand cops. First you wrote that our “…question was too simplistic to say the least”. Could you be any more arrogant? After MONTHS of communicating with your office regarding our complaint about the illegal killing of horses at HICaliber you have the nerve to take a simplified version of our question and then criticize it. We called your office for months and were directed to an email address and given a case number. When we called Monreal she was never available. We were told many times, by other officers, that Monreal was waiting for documents from HiCaliber and the case was open. Now you tell us the complaint was completely investigated months ago. What a crock.
You then wrote “One only needs to point to hunters shooting game to initially answer your question and state that this is a legal act if properly licensed and regulated.” So, even though you knew the intent of our question, likely because we had asked it many times in many ways, in relation to the HiCaliber investigation, you chose to mock our efforts and compare their illegal acts to legal licensed/regulated hunting. Might we suggest that even hunting is regulated by California Laws regarding when, where, with what weapon and what animals can be hunted. Your analogy, comparing the illegal shooting of horses to legal hunting, is another statement by you and your organization that you are not in the business of animal welfare. It appears as though you are in the business of making money.

You then wrote “Assuming your question was actually is it legal to shoot a horse when there is no emergency present, that to would be legal. I can easily point to other rescue organizations nationwide who euthanize animals in their care simply because they are over-populated. …we understand that there are other organizations throughout the country that euthanize when they are over-populated, are unsuccessful in adoptions or fostering or are encountering other issues not directly related to health and behavior.” So lets talk about these statements.

1. Your acknowledgment of the intention of our question shows that you are arrogant and were mocking our questions related to serious crimes being committed with your approval.
2. You can easily point to organizations nationwide. You do realize that you are authorized to protect animals from cruelty in California using California laws. We know you spent a lot of time as a cop in the North East, but their laws, as well as the laws of 49 other states, do not apply here. You are ONLY allowed to use the laws that the people of California have enacted to protect animals from cruelty. California is very progressive in it’s animal welfare legislation. What nationwide organizations do should have nothing to do with your investigations and you, a life long cop, should know that and you should know better.
3. We will bite a little though. Of the Nationwide Organizations you are aware of, which ones euthanize horses in non-emergency situations by shooting them? Not that it would matter, but can you get letters from some that state that is what they are doing? Please provide this information or we will have to assume you made it up to protect your friends at HiCaliber.
4. Back to HiCaliber, Michelle and Romney. You used AVMA guidelines, a pro horse slaughter organization, to claim they say it is legal to shoot horses in non-emergency situations, but if you read the entire content of their Website you would see that they recommend emergency situations as the appropriate time to use a bullet to euthanize. Again, why wouldn’t you just use CA Dept of AG guidelines. They are the law here, not AVMA. You really went out of your way to disregard California laws and guidelines in favor of conjecture and out of state guidelines to justify the crimes of your friends.
5. Now, at this point even you should be aware that your response was supposed to be related to your investigation of HiCaliber. Why you keep choosing to distract and deflect from your task at hand is disconcerting to all of us. So when you state that you are aware of rescues that shoot horses that are not suffering from an emergency situation because of a severe injury or a severe illness, you should be referring to the actions of HiCaliber and your friends Michelle Cochran and Romney Snyder. While we are at it, maybe you can give us a list of rescues that constantly (every Tuesday at the Ontario auction in the case of HiCaliber) buy horses with donation money under the promise of caring for the horses, then they shoot them to make room for more. We will always contend that shooting horses is only acceptable in EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.
6. HiCaliber must have told you they shoot healthy horses because they were over-crowded. But how could that be true if they shoot horses then a few days later they are at the sale buying more using donation money. THAT IS NOT THE ACTIONS OF AN OVER-CROWDED rescue. Every week the same thing.
7. You claim that a rescue might euthanize (their prerogative as long as they euthanize legally) if they can adopt or foster, but again you can’t be talking about HiCaliber. The 56 horses they admitted to shooting last year (many more brutally killed because you are not doing your job) were NEVER offered for adoption. Several had adopters step up for them and MICHELLE THE ALCOHOLIC HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER CON WOMAN SHOT THEM ANYWAY. This is really what set us off. Now you are authorizing their continued crimes.
8. Here is one of my favorites. Maybe you are just a typical cop who expects people to go away when they tell them lies to protect their friends or avoid paperwork. We won’t stop until HiCaliber is stopped. You should know that! You wrote “…or are experiencing other issues not related to health or behavior.” You can’t get away with a statement like this to justify another’s crimes. What other issues are you talking about that apply to HiCaliber shooting and disposing of horses?
9. What California State Laws voids 597 and what about a comment on why you don’t consider the guidelines for shooting horses written by the California Department of AG valid and more valid than some Illinois based “pro horse slaughter” organization. How about a reply to these questions and the comments and questions above.
10. Finally, when you actually use California Laws and Guidelines, how can you not see the crimes they are committing?
11. BTW Mr. MacKinnon, horse slaughter activity has been illegal in California since November 1998. The practice, according to HiCaliber, has continued unabated since then. As a matter of fact, HiCaliber works very closely with a notorious kill buyer named David Meisner. She traders horses with him and sells horses to him which is another of her crimes. Horses being sent illegally to slaughter by far accounts for the largest segment of animal cruelty being perpetrated in California. Our organizations wants to know what your organization is doing about the cruel acts and abusive practices going on in the illegal horse slaughter industry. With your $60,000,000 war chest you could put an end to the practice. What have you done and what are you doing to stop slaughter activity? Anything? What can we do in order to get you to enforce the law. Have you read San Diego Humane’s mission statement. Just think, if you stopped horse slaughter activity, you would effectively shut HiCaliber down. We might be happy with that, who knows?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Baker Tanons says:

    I have been following HiCaliber since they were at the monastery. I admire them for doing the job no one else wants to. You have gone after Michele personally. Not just the charity. You must not have anything else going on in your life to go after these women. It’s obvious someone has pissed in your Cheerios, for you to be this cut throat at going after them. Yes, every organization needs to be transparent and I think they do a fine job. They have tough calls to make whether a horse should be put down or not. Do you have the finances to take on all of the horses that have extreme medical issues? Most of the people that relinquish these types of horses are people that don’t want to have to do the dirty deed of euthanization. Maybe you should step out of the shadows and take on your own horse rescue instead of trashing everyone else who tries to do this thankless job.


    1. Nobody pissed in any cheerios. We just think an organization that kills healthy horses should be put out of business. We do have a question for you however. What do you think it means for an organization to be 100% transparent, accountable and responsible? Your heroes at HC declare their organization meets these standards in their actions. Another question, if Michelle is such a good and smart business woman, as she often claims, why wasn’t she able to get her 2016 taxes during the 11 1/2 months the IRS gave her to file? We know you won’t answer because honest answers would cause you to admit Michelle is just a con woman liar.


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