This is the man who the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), which is part of the Department of Interior, contracted with to "adopt out" wild horses rounded up from the Sheldon Refuge on the Oregon/Nevada border between 2010 and 2012.
The agreement all adoption contractors must sign, including Palmer, prohibits them from “send(ing) any animals to auction or slaughter." It also requires contractors to provide “safe and humane care” to horses prior to adoption, "to secure safe, humane good adoptive placements," and to annually supply the FWS with a list of all adopters each year.
Despite this, Palmer and J&S cannot account for the whereabouts of as many as 202 of the 262 horses received under this contract. All horses are microchipped by Sheldon before transport to adoption contractors to facilitate accountability, registration and tracking of horses. After a citizen complaint, the FWS investigated J&S Associates and was able to verify legitimate adoptions for a maximum of 29 of the 262 horses.
We suspect many of the missing horses ended up at slaughterhouses. In fact, one Alabama man who Palmer "adopted" horses to admitted to selling “a bunch” at a livestock auction. And in an email to an FWS official, Palmer wrote that he couldn't secure information about what happened to some of the other horses because the new owner was afraid of "getting himself or someone else in trouble."
The FWS investigation also raised questions about J&S' care for horses in its possession, particularly with regard to foals: “At least 10 foals deteriorated in condition from September to November 2012. The failure of these foals to gain weight was likely the result of J&S not taking the time and steps to provide individual care following weaning.”
Between Sept. 9 - 14, 2013, the FWS rounded up another 400 horses . Guess who they plan to use as one of their adoption agents? That's right. Stan Palmer. The horses are being held at the Sheldon corrals for 30 days while being processed, then -- if something doesn't change -- the FWS will ship as many as 240 of them to Palmer in Mississippi..
We can't let this happen. Not with so many questions lingering.