Entries in Animals (4)


HBO Named in Lawsuit Claiming "Luck" Producers Ignored Horse Abuse

HBO/Time Warner(LOS ANGELES) -- HBO has been sued by a former employee of the American Humane Association, who claims she was fired by the group after she complained about the abuse of horses on the set of the cable network's short-lived 2012 series Luck.

According to, Barbara Casey alleges in her lawsuit that producers of the horse racing drama ignored cases of abuse observed by the AHA on the set.  The complaint states that some horses were drugged, and underweight and sick horses were put to work.

The lawsuit alleges that Casey repeatedly complained to the AHA and Luck's producers about the horse abuse and that she urged the AHA to notify the authorities.  The suit claims, "AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities."

It also claims the AHA told its reps not to document the death of one horse because it was killed during a production hiatus.

Casey says she was fired by the AHA last January due to her complaints.

The wrongful termination lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles and names the AHA as a defendant, seeks a maximum of $10,000 for each alleged labor code violation, plus unspecified damages.

HBO tells in a statement, "We took every precaution to ensure that our horses were treated humanely and with the utmost care, exceeding every safeguard of all protocols and guidelines required of the production."

Luck, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was cancelled after a few episodes due to the deaths of multiple horses during production.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Wranglers Say "The Hobbit" Killed 27 Animals, Producers Deny It

Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Although the American Humane Association, which is policing animal welfare on The Hobbit, said no animals were killed during filming, wranglers associated with the film claim that 27 animals died due to farming conditions, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Director Peter Jackson said on Monday that he "completely rejects the accusations" that the animals died of mistreatment, reports, instead blaming the deaths on natural causes.

In a statement released Monday, Jackson along with other producers of The Hobbit trilogy said that they "have always pursued the highest standard of care for animals in their charge.  Any incidents that occurred that were brought to their attention as regards to this care were immediately investigated and appropriate action taken.  This includes hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent on upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011."

"No animals died or were harmed on set during filming," the statement continued.  "We regret that some of these accusations by wranglers who were dismissed from the film over a year ago are only now being brought to our attention.  We are currently investigating these new allegations and are attempting to speak with all parties involved to establish the truth."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the $500 million trilogy, is set to premiere in the U.S. on Dec. 14.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Animal Rights Group Seeks Warning on New Matt Damon Film

Gary Gershoff/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A new movie starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson has become the subject of a special request by the folks at PETA in the wake of the killing of dozens of wild animals at a farm in Ohio.

In the movie, We Bought a Zoo, Damon stars as a father who moves his family to the countryside to help save a struggling zoo. Johansson takes the role of a keeper at the park, home to lions, tigers, zebras and bears, among other creatures.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a letter to the film's director, Cameron Crowe, urging him to include a warning at the end of the movie about the dangers of owning wild animals. In a statement, PETA’s Lisa Lange says, “We Bought a Zoo conveys the misleading and downright dangerous message that no special knowledge -- just a lot of heart is needed -- to run a zoo.”

The animal rights group also insists that the studio behind the film, 20th Century Fox include warnings on all marketing materials, including movie posters, reports E!

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Charlie Sheen Has History of Pet Deaths

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Charlie Sheen and pets go together about as well as Charlie Sheen and his ex.

The former Two and a Half Men star, who has made vicious comments about ex-wife Denise Richards for her failure to give him back one of their dogs, has had other pets die while in his care, reports  A source says, "His Chinese water dragon died because he didn't take care of it and a while back, when he was married to Brooke [Mueller], his bearded dragon fell in the pool and died.  Again nobody was watching the poor thing."

Sheen returned two pugs to Richards a while back, but one died of malnutrition.  He reportedly asked for the other to be returned to him to accompany him on his current tour, but Richards refused.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio