Former guide speaks about horse abuse in Havasupai

“There have been reports of everything from emaciated animals to physical abuse and death.”

George Heckard | 12news.com

SUPAI, Ariz. – Over the last several weeks and months, 12News has been following reports of serious animal cruelty in the town of Supai, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. On Tuesday, former guide Elisabeth Perry talked with us about some of the atrocities she witnessed.

The horses are used as pack animals to transport hundreds of pounds of luggage and containers up and down the canyon, which is how the abuse is often perpetrated.

There have been reports of everything from emaciated animals to physical abuse and death. She recounted an instance that happened recently where she and several others attempted to help a horse that was left for dead on the side of the trail. After over an hour of trying to get the animal on its feet, and to safety, the group had to move forward. After that, she had had enough, and quit her job.

She listed many things that she had seen, including horses being slain, bleeding out on the side of the trail and tourists who have said they followed miles of blood on the trail.

According to Perry, there are many companies who contract wranglers from the Havasupai tribe whose horses are abused. Companies such as REI and her former employer, Discovery Treks.

When asked about the situation, REI released the following statement:

“REI Adventures’ name is being incorrectly associated with stories and images that have no connection to our company, the trips we lead, or our business practices.

“We have offered trips into Havasupai for over 15 years and work exclusively with one pack horse company. They provide appropriate care to their animals, including regular veterinary care and rest days. In addition, we have approved one other company that they partner with when additional pack horses are needed.

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