Taser Weapon Demonstrated on Large Bull - More videos below


Any Wild Animals Interacting with the Public in Any Way

Should have a Stun Collar (original concept) or Handlers

with Taser and conventional sidearm weapons ready plus ...

Page First Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 05:27:24 AM



Slow Internet Version

High Speed Internet Version (best)



    In Memory of Haley Hilderbrand

Music Sara McLachlan "In the Arms of an Angel"


ON THIS PAGE: Video of Bull being Tasered, News Accounts about Haley, Notes to Both PETA and manufacturers of non-lethal weapons, Video of Leopard Attacking Handlers while being released, Most Recent 25 Big Cat Incidents on Humans or instances in the news, News Story of police use of Taser's on animals in the past including cow, cat, pit bull dog and even a tiger, CBS 11 News Video about Haley (rough copy), sample photo of person posing with tiger, Person hugging tiger photo and more.  Either scroll or page down to see all information.

First, for all of Haley's family, friends and loved ones, my sincerest condolences.  I am so sorry for your loss.  This page has been prepared in hopes that animal attacks such as these can be reduced to none in the very near future through technology and innovation.  Its intention is to inform the powers that be that a technology is available/about to be available to prevent something like this from happening again.  For those that would argue that animals should not be used in this regard, I respect your position but this page is not about that.  As long as people do want to have interactions with wild animals and they are allowed to, making it as safe as possible is my goal so that no one has to go through what Haley went through.  Additionally, this page is not to lay blame on anyone. 

The bottom line is a 250 pound man is little or no match to a 400 plus pound wild lion or tiger.  Put a dead-man switch remote control on the handlers belt with his hand holding it down and any release of that button forces a predetermined voltage through the animals collar or belt. As little as necessary to stop the animal cold.  It could even be a varied voltage pulse charge that starts strong and tapers off as movement slows.  More details below.  

UPDATE: Dec. 29, 2005 - Another quick inexpensive existing item is a short solid chain tethering the animal to a 500 (or appropriate) pound weight.   A photo could be done with the person positioned behind the animal in a way where the animal could not even roll that way and grab the person.  It seems cruel to put an animal on such a short leash for potentially extended periods of time while a group of say students took photos,  but again, until it is outlawed safety of the person first is required.

With that in mind, please continue.  Additionally, a stun collar is what I believe to be an original concept that evolved in my mind during the course of this tragedy and the preparation of this page.  A stun collar could be activated by a handler or by an invisible barrier similar to those used to keep dogs contained within an area deemed safe for them.  More on this later on page.

I just heard on CNN that Haley Hilderbrand in Kansas died (Aug. 18, 2005) while being photographed with a tiger at an animal sanctuary.   The article and link to CBS News Story are posted below.  This struck me and I prepared this page within hours of hearing about it because I had just seen a video about a bull being Tasered on a Joke Video Page 2 days ago.  The Taser weapon drops the bull on the spot.  We should not lose another life because of an animal attack such as this in a controlled environment.    I would appreciate any and all assistance at getting this information publicized and into the hands of wild animal handlers everywhere.   A link to mail a link to this page appears toward the bottom.  It is setup to use your mail program so that you will easily be able to add addresses from your address book.     I am sorry this information has not been advanced to animal trainers and handlers everywhere already, or that they ignored this important new safety device.  Either way, I hope that this information gets into the right hands and that we never hear of such a tragedy again.

Videos below, press play button to start.  Watch either video depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Spread the Word: As of 5:00 am Sunday morning I have sent a page link to this page to the Humane Society, International and New York Office, the SPCA (American office), CBS, CNN, ABC and Fox News, as well as the USDA.  The link to e-mail a link to this page is located toward the bottom of page.  If there is an animal sanctuary in your area, please visit their website if they have one, get an e-mail address for them and then use the link at bottom of page to send a link to this page to them.

Special Update: Sheriffs deputies in Florida used 2 Taser's to subdue a tiger attacking a boy at a fair in Florida this past November, 2004.  Article Below.  Plus the most recent 25 attacks by big cats (which have occurred world wide, and the most recent 25 are since April of this year so this is happening pretty frequently) also appear below.   

Update: This is a special animal taser used in the bull video.  Photos and product information about this special taser and links to the manufacturer are provided toward the bottom of this page.  Amazingly, a fairly thorough search of the manufacturers site (Taser International) yielded practically no information on this weapon other than a photo of it and the demo video with the bull.  How new is this weapon?  

Humane Society's Press Release regarding the death of Haley:  included further down.   I have written the Humane Society about it and have asked them to visit this page.  The next day I saw the press release regarding Haley.   

News Articles About Animal Attacks

Example Photo - not Haley


To follow is a news article from the web, but you can view the CBS News Video by shift-clicking the following link.  In case the link is no longer working a rough copy of the video appears at the bottom of this page.  As this is in the interest of public safety, I hope CBS won't object to my utilization of the video:

Click here to View Story at CBS News.com


Photos from News Story



Following news accounts initially released, I heard the following detailed version of the story and am posting what I heard here:

Haley was finishing up the photos, and was standing over the Tiger, straddling it.  Apparently the tiger bent down and licked Haley on the foot.  It scared her as she didn't expect that and was looking at the camera and not the tiger.  She jerked her foot away and shrieked at the same time.  It startled the tiger and the tiger swatted at Haley.  I am not clear about what happened at that point, but my understanding was that Haley's neck was broken.   My own Uncle who was very dear to me was killed 2 weeks ago in a bulldozer accident and a tree toppled onto him, pinning him in the bull dozer and breaking his neck.  To follow are other news accounts that came out immediately after this tragedy occurred.

Tiger kills Kansas teen

Mauled while posing for pic

A Kansas teenager who was posing for her senior year photo with a Siberian tiger at an animal sanctuary was killed when the big cat suddenly clamped its jaws on her, police said yesterday.

Haley Hilderbrand was unable to escape once the 7-year-old animal pounced on her Thursday.

"The handler pulled it off of her," said Sheriff William Blundell of Labette County, Kan. "The tiger was later killed."

The 17-year-old from Altamont, Kan., was rushed to a nearby hospital and died of her wounds.

Blundell said no charges have been filed against Doug Billingsly, owner of the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary in Mound Valley, Kan. "We're still trying to figure out what caused the tiger to attack," he said.

On Monday, all 1,000 residents of Hilderbrand's hometown are expected to attend her funeral at a municipal auditorium in nearby Parsons, Kan.

"It's a terrible tragedy," Altamont Mayor Herb Bath said. "Everybody is friends and family here whether they're related or not."

For years, Labette County High School seniors have gone to the 80-acre animal preserve to pose for pictures with the tigers. Hilderbrand was carrying on the tradition when she was attacked.

Bath said Billingsly also keeps lions and bears on his property. "He's trained the animals, used them on Hollywood movie sets," he said.

Hilderbrand's classmates and teachers were in shock yesterday.

"She was really bubbly," senior Karla Trotnic told The Joplin Globe newspaper. "She always had a smile on her face. She was really outgoing."

A crisis center was set up in the guidance counselor's office for when students return to school on Monday. On the walls were photos of other seniors posing with Billingsly's tigers.


Tiger Kills Kansas Teen Posing for Photo

Thursday August 18, 2005 11:46 PM

MOUND VALLEY, Kan. (AP) - A Siberian tiger attacked and killed a teenage girl who was posing for photos at a family-run animal sanctuary Thursday in southeast Kansas, authorities said.

The Labette County Sheriff's office identified the victim as Haley R. Hilderbrand, 17, of Altamont. A statement from the office said Hilderbrand was at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary posing for photos with the 7-year-old tiger, which was being restrained by its handler, when the animal turned and attacked her.

Officers and handlers killed the animal. Emergency personnel were not able to revive Hilderbrand.

Doug Billingsly and his family opened the 80-acre sanctuary in 1994. According to the sanctuary's Web site, its animals include lions, leopards, tigers and bears. The site says the sanctuary has an affiliated Animal Entertainment Productions, which trains animals for stage performances, movies, television shows and magic shows.

Billingsly didn't immediately return a phone call for comment.


Press Release - Humane Society

The Humane Society (HSUS) Urges State, Federal Action Following Kansas Tiger Mauling

- The Humane Society of the United States today expressed profound sadness following the death of 17-year-old Haley Hilderbrand, who was killed by a tiger at a U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed wildlife facility in Kansas yesterday.

"This is a horrible tragedy that should not have happened and The Humane Society of the United States expresses our condolences to Ms. Hilderbrand's family and friends," said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. "No responsible animal handler should put dangerous animals and people together. We urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state officials to investigate and take appropriate action to ensure that this does not happen again to another child."

The Siberian tiger who killed Hilderbrand was housed at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary Foundation and Animal Entertainment Productions located outside Mound Valley, Kan. According to the group's web site, they house 23 tigers, leopards, lions and bears. The sanctuary's entertainment division trains wild animals for stage performances, movie, television, print and magic shows, the web site indicates. Pacelle said that USDA needs to strictly enforce its own 2004 policy that expressly forbids the public from interacting directly with big cats.

"People are naturally fascinated by these wild and dangerous creatures, but that doesn't mean they should have direct access to these powerful and unpredictable animals," said Pacelle. "A spate of recent attacks demonstrates that these animals pose a threat to public safety and should only be handled by highly trained professionals in controlled environments at accredited zoos."

Congress unanimously passed the Captive Wildlife Safety Act in December 2003. The law prohibits interstate shipments of dangerous large cats for the pet trade. Nearly two years after President Bush signed the bill into law, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still has not implemented regulations to enforce the law. Pacelle said that enforcement of this existing law combined with strong state laws prohibiting private ownership of dangerous animals can help to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Pacelle also points out that while this facility was licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, residents of Kansas are allowed to keep exotic big cats as pets. Two dozen states have strict rules and prohibitions on keeping dangerous wild animals as pets. Many of these restrictions have been enacted in recent years in response to an increase in the number of people seriously injured and killed by these animals.

"If people are not safe from tigers in licensed facilities with trained handlers, they're certainly not safe when their neighbor might have a big cat in their home, backyard, or basement," said Pacelle.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization representing more than 9 million members and constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country and are on the web at www.hsus.org.


Deputies Taser tiger to rescue teenager
November 21st, 2004

Two St. Johns Sheriff's deputies saved a 14-year-old boy from being attacked by a tiger late Saturday at the St. Johns County Fair.

The boy got near the tiger at around 10:20 p.m. when it was being transported from its exhibit to its cage at the end of the fair, according to the Sheriff's department.

Two deputies, Kevin Kier and Jerry Montague, responded quickly and simultaneously shot the tiger with a Taser stun gun (regular police model of Taser, not the animal taser), said Deputy Sheriff Greg Suchy.

The tiger gave up its grip on the boy, and "the tiger then turned and started gnawing on its handler," Suchy said.

The exact nature of his injuries were not available at press time.

The incident happened when the handler was moving the tiger from its exhibit to a cage in his truck.

The boy and some friends were watching the tiger being moved to the truck, when for some reason, the tiger went for the boy, hooking the boy's thigh and pulling the boy under him, Suchy said. That's when the deputies shot the tiger with the Taser's.

The handler tried to get between the tiger and the boy, and after the tiger released the boy, it then bit the handler around his neck and head, Suchy said. At one time, the handler's head was in the tiger's mouth, Suchy said.

The handler refused rescue and told deputies that he would go to the hospital after he returned the tiger to Jacksonville., Suchy said.

The orange and black male Bengal tiger weighs about 450 pounds, Suchy said.


4 days after Haley, August 22, 2005 Zimbabwe, Africa:  A 50 year old Japanese diplomat was visiting a 49 acres Lion and Cheetah wildlife park when she was attacked and killed by a hungry lion. 

August 18, 2005 MOUND VALLEY, Kansas. (AP) - A Siberian tiger attacked and killed a teenage girl (Haley Hildebrand) who was posing for photos at a family-run animal facility called Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary.

August 15, 2005 Clackamas, OR: Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a pet lynx after it pounced on a six-year-old girl and began clawing her head. Deputies said the owner reported the pet missing Friday to a Clackamas veterinary clinic, which contacted the sheriff's office. Attempts to trap the animal had failed. Free Online

August 6, 2005 MAYFIELD, N.Y.: A baby Siberian tiger was confiscated by NY DEC from Steve Salton. The cub was purchased in OH for $1000.00 and declawed and spayed but the owner was in violation of NY license laws and the state is waiting for the cub to heal before placing her in a sanctuary.

August 1, 2005 Brit Spaugh Zoo, KS: Bart the cougar walked through an open door on his cage in the North American section of the zoo and came face to face with a family.

July 23, 2005 Africa: The owner of the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch, Lourens van Straaten died after being mauled by a lion that he had bottle raised. Van Straaten, a taxidermist by trade, was given a suspended fine in 1994 for trading in rhino horn. He was also at the centre of controversy in 2004 when allegations were made about the condition of his lions and whether he had the necessary "performing animal" permits for the public handling of lion cubs. Van Straaten is not the first Eastern Cape lion breeder to fall victim to his charges. In 1996, Shumba Safaris' owner, JP Kleinhans, was mauled to death by one of his lions at his lodge near Patensie.

July 21, 2005 Pelican Rapids, MN: Dr. Roy Alexander Cordy is in violation of his order to remove all of the exotic animals from his farm and the tiger will be confiscated and killed if he doesn't find a place for the cat. Cordy, 43, pleaded guilty last year to depriving an animal on his farm of necessary food, water and shelter.

July 6, 2005 East London, Lion Park:  A bottle raised yearling tiger attempted to rip out the jugular of a 17 year old girl visiting him at the zoo. She was stabilized at the scene and taken to St Dominic's Hospital where she underwent a two-hour operation to repair the damage to her throat. Free online ...

June 27, 2005 Punta Gorda, FL:  Charlotte County gives Lions, Tigers and Bears 6 months to leave or get rid of their lions, tigers and bears for violation zoning laws. Free online...

June 25, 2005 Little Falls, Minn. AP- A lion and tiger owned by auto mechanic Chuck Mock bolted from their cage and pounced on a 10-year-old boy leaving Russell LaLa of Royalton, Minn., fighting for his life at Hennepin County Medical Center. The child is now a quadriplegic and on a respirator due to the severe injuries to his spinal cord and brain. Free Online...

June 22, 2005 Texas: Two rare white tiger cubs seized from a man trying to drive them into Mexico have found a new home in Wise County.

June 21, 2005 Heaven's Corner owner Kord McGuire recalls the day a run-in with the 200-pound cougar almost cost him his life. "I was transferring Zeb, who I bottle-fed when he was a baby, to my traveling van to go to an educational program for some Cub Scouts in Camden . Suddenly Zeb leaped up and took my arm in his mouth. He also bit me on the side, narrowly missing my kidney. As I fought him off, he went for my foot, shredding the brand new Nike tennis shoe I was wearing. I finally escaped by climbing on top of the cage."

June 14, 2005 Conway, AR: An unemployed sheet metal worker, facing an order to appear in court and a possible fine, says he'll go to jail before he gives up his aging pet cougar because of his violations of the exotic pet regulations.

June 11, 2005 Lima, OH: Perry Township resident Bradley Craft, 33, was attacked June 11 by his 3-year-old, 160-pound pet mountain lion, Niko. Health Commissioner David Rosebrock said Craft grabbed the cat's tail to prevent it from attacking his mother. Niko then turned on Craft, who was building an enclosure for the exotic pet at the time. Craft was bitten in the leg by the animal, Ellis said, adding that he had treated other animal attack victims at his practice. One of those lost a foot because of a pet bear.

June 11, 2005 Underwood, MN: Acrhangel Lion killed after escaping from cage in Otter Tail County. Attempts to contact the owner Mrs. Mears, were unsuccessful. On May 28th she was given 10 days to find homes for the 9 tigers and the lions in the basement her boyfriend David Piccirillo had left behind when he took tiger cubs to Florida for photo ops.

June 7, 2005 Beaverton, OR: Deborah Walding admitted buying and selling of endangered ocelots as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. As part of her guilty plea, Walding agreed to pay a $25,000 fine, cooperate with investigators probing animal trafficking and, in a unique twist, to speak publicly about her conviction at two upcoming national exotic cat conferences.

June 6, 2005 Johnson City : A bobcat escaped after his owner died and is being sent to a wildlife rehabilitator in Unicoi county.

June 2, 2005 Princeton: “I could feel the bones cracking and the warm blood in my eye,” Blakney recalled. “After some time, I decided he finally has me and I should play dead before I pass out. He remembers that the right side of his lower jaw was in about 17 pieces and that a doctor told him it wouldn't work to try putting them back together. So instead, surgeons made a metal jaw. Blakney quickly pointed out that he didn't feel the attack was the mountain lion's fault. “He was just playing out his instinct and was a very good lion through all my years with him,” "I raised him on a bottle from the age of six weeks said Blakney. He had the lion killed so that he didn't have to have rabies shots and had the mate killed as well so that she wouldn't hurt anyone, despite the fact that she was not involved. He sold their pelts to his neighbor. More...

June 1, 2005 Long Island, NY A Long Island man accused of chaining and beating his wife as two leopards crouched nearby had created a zoological horror show at his home. In the house were stuffed endangered animals and rotting animal carcasses. Suffolk police busted Anthony Barone on Sunday for the May 20 assault on Anastasia Barone, 33, and in the process discovered the leopards in a dank, feces-laden room. In an unplugged freezer investigators found the rotting carcass of a lynx. Anastasia Barone told authorities the lynx mauled the couple's 8-year-old son last winter. After the attack, Anthony Barone chained up the lynx, until it strangled to death. Barone was in the process of buying two black leopards, describes himself as a "big-cat trainer, animal lover". More...

June 1, 2005 Salisbury, NC
: Rowan County Park told 6NEWS a veteran employee was feeding the animals when he was bit on the left leg by one of the park's new bobcats. The worker was treated and released from the hospital.

May 28, 2005 Underwood, MN Underwood woman must get rid of 9 tigers and lion after three people were bitten by cats at her animal farm called Arcangel Wildlife. Mears has 10 days to find homes for the cats or the county will confiscate them.

May 19, 2005 Omaha, NE A serval on the loose has found a new home. The big cat was captured Wednesday at 59th and Franklin.

April 30, 2005 Minneapolis, MN Tiger attack victim remains in hospital after being attacked by the animals, whose owner, Grant Oly, was in jail on charges he failed to register them. In 2003, a tiger at the site was euthanized after it bit a 31-year-old pregnant woman.

April 25, 2005 Lacey, WA Serval lost and hybrid found. Donny Roder reported loosing his 40 lb Serval and authorities nabbed a Serval hybrid while looking for the lost pet, but this cat was larger and no owner found.

April 23, 2005 Coon Rapids, MN A Serval was discovered in the rafters of a garage and taken to the Humane Society. No owner has come forward.

For the complete list of all Big Cat INCIDENTS AND ATTACKS—shift-click the following link:  http://www.bigcatrescue.org/big_cat_news.htm 

My Copy of the CBS News Video, albeit choppy, appears below and the version posted here is fast DSL Internet Version:

Volunteers Being Tasered for Testing Purposes - Some are Law Enforcement Officials

Although I personally believe these are safe for use on humans, we have lost 3 people within 50 miles of my home after they were tasered.  All 3 apparently had cocaine in their systems.  It appears there may be some type of problem when the taser is used on a person who has cocaine in their system, possibly only in high doses though.  These three died in the past year.


 High amperage MX Animal TASER for animals only — No Human Use.


I just spent 20 minutes on Taser Corporations web site and although I downloaded the above photo from their site, I could not find one piece of information about this weapon.   I will find out how long it has been out and available, but based on Taser's site, I can't find anything besides the photo of the gun on their site.  No order code, page, even their press releases didn't seem to indicate anything about this new weapon.   With the absence of information at the Taser Corporate site, I checked some others.  I only saw it for sale at maybe one site or two, and it was priced at $1,499.00.  A regular Taser is about 500.00.


The following is a Press Release I found on PoliceOne.com website about using regular stun guns on animals such as pit bulls attacking, in one case a police K-9 dog which was nearly killed by a pit bull during a warrant arrest.  Batons, pepper spray and other attempts were ineffective, and nothing would stop the dog until it was hit with the Taser.   The press release is reproduced below:

Information for using the standard Police TASER on Animals
Preventing Potential Death of K-9    06/15/2004


NOTE: They are talking about the standard Police Taser below, and I am not sure at what point of development the animal version was in at the time this article was written in 2004. 

The TASER is not specifically recommended for use against animals as its main function. The main reason is that the TASER was created for "human nervous systems" not animals. Moreover, the TASER is designed to hit a standing vertical target which most animals are not. The shot would have to be altered and somehow aimed at the side of the animals where the wide center of mass is located and most animals don't attack from the side. Also, animals tend to recover very quickly compared to humans when hit by Taser's. The civilian range of 15 feet is somewhat limiting, too although law enforcement has cartridges for 21 feet. More research is required.

With that being said, there is still a good chance that the TASER would work on some animals temporarily. We have received several reports of police officers using the TASER on pit bulls during warrant entries and also where a pit bulls have attacked other dogs. It was used successfully in Titusville, FL police against a pit bull who was attacking and nearly killed a police K-9 dog. Kicks, baton strikes and pepper spray was ineffective on this pit bull. The pit bull was hit by the M26 TASER and both probes stuck in the side of the pit bull. It went on its back during the 5-second cycle. A dog handler was near with a pole and a collar and quickly slipped it over the dog's head successfully subduing it. The San Diego Police subdued a pit bull that was in a living room attacking another pit bull. The officer on scene was able to shoot probes into the dog and an animal control officer was able to collar the dog successfully. The older AIR TASER with only 7 Watts of power was also used to stop a pit bull that had jumped through a living room of a family and attacked the resident's pit bull. The two pit bulls fought for quite some time until San Diego PD deployed the AIR TASER successfully against one of the pit bulls and was able to be subdued by animal control (there is video of this event on VHS tape if you need it).

The more information we receive is that the TASER is working well against aggressive pit bulls. We in fact, now recommend that officers "try" the TASER against the dogs and let us know of their success. It is still an unknown area for us as we don't teach animal control tactics. However, the TASER is something that can be tried, but a game plan must be in place as to officer safety, deploying from cover, having lethal cover, and an animal control officer ready to subdue the dog during the 5-second cycle. Safety-wise, the electrical current won't pose a problem to the dogs. However, if a plan of what to do with the dogs is not formulated, the officers will be at risk.

The link for the special animal taser at the Taser.com website follows and was the only connection to the weapon I could find on Taser's site.  


Taser Corporation Main Site      Link On Taser Site Showing Animal Weapon


Leopard Attacks Those Trying to Release It Into the Wild

A leopard was being released and they were poking it with a stick to try and get it to come out of the cage.  The animal actually went after the person poking it with a stick instead of running free. 

Letter sent via e-mail to USDA Reps at NWRC Division:

National Wildlife Research Center
This information appears on their site:

At the Center, we welcome students, legislators, scientists, agricultural producers, and other interested individuals. We encourage you to ask our employees questions.

Mission and Objectives

The National Wildlife Research Center is the federal institution devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. The Center applies scientific expertise to the development of practical methods to resolve these problems and to maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife.

A Personal Note From The Author Of This Page

Also, for the cynical, I have no affiliation, stock or interest in any companies that deal with wild animals or sell products to handle wild animals, none whatsoever.  This information has been assembled solely out of sadness and hope that this can be prevented in the future. 

ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES: While preparing this page I saw multiple instances where PETA and other organizations setup for Animal Rights Advocacy have protested the testing of the Taser weapon on pigs, apparently conducted at the University of Wisconsin, and I have to say the following to those people who protested this study.  You have to see the bigger picture here.   We all should protest when needed, but we have to protest responsibly.  I don't like the thought of pigs or any other animal being subjected to a Taser, however, see the greater good.  I see thousands of lives saved because of the Taser over the next 20 years.  I see suicidal people being saved because an officer hits the person with a Taser before they commit the act, I see people drunk out of their minds or on drugs who might have been killed but lived to have a second chance because they were hit with a Taser instead of a 9mm slug between their eyes.   And now I see people at the circus, on a camping trip, at animal sanctuaries, biking in California and I see all of the people responsible or the people in these areas with Red Taser weapons and no longer just bait.  The big picture is the Taser and other non-lethal weapons allow people to have a second chance at life.  And in 20 years we are talking about a lot of people being saved, already there are hundreds of accounts.  I believe there may be a problem with using a Taser on someone with cocaine in their system as we have had 3 deaths in the metroplex where I live in less than 2 years and if I am correct, each one was found to have cocaine in their system.   Currently I understand they are wanting to test the weapon on pigs who have had cocaine administered to them to replicate the situation occurring with people being Tasered while under the influence of cocaine.  And people are objecting about this.  Do any of you think that the 3 people that died here in Dallas or their families would object to this testing?  I think not.   So lets see the big picture and lets consider what we are dealing with.  Again, I reiterate, I have no connection, stock, nor do I stand to gain anything by typing these words that are on this page.  My sister lives in the country and she has 2 pot belly pigs.  Every time I visit her I go visit the pigs.  I would hate the thought of them being electrocuted or given cocaine, but more so I hate the thought that 3 people in Dallas died after being Tasered.  Finally, I also think it is a bad idea for people to take photos or interact with potentially violent animals, but work on changing the laws not on bashing what I am proposing here.  I understand those feelings, but until laws are passed to stop people from interacting with wild animals, I hope to see no one else hurt in this manner. 

TO THE TASER CORPORATION:  The standard police Taser appears to cycle at 5 seconds, in other words, as I understand it when deployed it transmits electricity automatically for 5 seconds.  You probably already know but with animals such as a tiger as in Haley's case, the cycle time needs to be the maximum possible, hopefully at least 15 seconds, because in the bull demonstration video, the bull immediately attempted to attack (it appears) the one who fired the taser.  Also, in the leopard video on this page also, the leopard disregarded everything to attack the person who poked it with a stick, forsaking freedom even just to attack the person.  That alone tells a lot potentially about a big cats personality.  The taser for animals should administer a shock as long as possible without killing the animal to allow the maximum amount of time for handler and victim to get away and into safety.  The wires from the gun to the animal should be triple or greater the strength of the law enforcement version so the animal can't break the wires.  The handler should also be able to fire the gun and if need be drop it right there and run also, with the gun continuing to zap the animal for hopefully at least 15 seconds or more without the handler having to stand there and hold the button down.  In fact, it should be a 2 part unit, the gun and a remote control unit.   The handler would fire the weapon when necessary, toss the gun down and assist the victim or run to safety, and with the remote control, if the animal continued to be aggressive, they could utilize the remote control paired with the gun, the triple or greater strength wires would hold even if the animal took off running, and further acts of aggression by the animal would result in additional shocks initiated by the remote control unit still in the handlers possession.    Plus if the animal were to move away from the handler with the gun, if they dropped the gun the wires would be less likely to break, with the animal running and the gun dragging behind it.  Finally, each gun should have 2 remote control units with it, in case the handler fires but is too hurt to control the situation, another handler could take over the control of the weapon.   The bottom line for PETA and other animal rights groups, if you shock the animal all the way to the point of death without killing it, you have achieved your objective, which is to stop the attack, save lives and hopefully not kill the animal.

Another Possibility - STUN COLLARS: a collar to be worn by potentially violent animals, the collar could be activated manually via remote control and/or with the "invisible fence" concept used for dogs, where if the animal crossed a pre-defined electronic border, it would activate the collar, disabling the animals ability to maul or attack.  Collars could be painted or stained in the color blend of each animal so it does not stand out visibly.   Again, no one wants an animal electrocuted, but no one wants another person to die.  And ultimately this could save the animals life.  This could be another viable solution.

TASER Corporation and ALL Users of Taser Weapons -  It is my hope that the Taser Corporation will take the lead in insuring that the weapons they sell to law enforcement and others are used as they are intended.  This new safer weapon can stand to save thousands of peoples and possibly animals lives.  It is important that this and other non-lethal weapons be put in place without undue focus on the negative uses of the weapon.  The public, if this is not ingratiated into society successfully, stand to reject this wonderful new option for law enforcement.   Because of this and the future of the Taser Corporation, it is my thought that the sellers of these weapons lease the weapons to departments instead of selling to them.  With the stipulation that if the weapons are ever misused in such a way as to offend both their peers and the public, the weapons because they are leased could be pulled away from that department entirely.  Doing so would send a very loud, very clear message to those small number of rogue elements out there that the misuse of a taser will not be tolerated at all.  The citizens would probably send a very loud, very clear message when voting that they want law enforcement and others that are not going to get a life-saving weapon banned in their community.  The future of this technology I believe could be dramatically affected by a negative public perception. 

UPDATE: A week after posting this our new Police Chief in Dallas has ruled that officers can only use the Taser in situations where the criminal is actively aggressive toward the officers.  It is now the same as if they were using their billy clubs -  they can only use the Taser in situations where their billy club is authorized for use.   Our hats are off to our Police Chief for taking this important stance.  Until it is determined that the taser is truly safe for all people, it is my hope that restraint will be used.  I also learned from this report that no deaths have occurred with suspects Tasered by Dallas Police.  The deaths in my area were with other nearby departments.  In Dallas we did have an event where a bunch of officers piled onto an aggressive, very large domestic assault suspect to hold him down and restrain him, about 9 months ago.  I am talking about 7-8 officers.  The suspect suffocated to death.  No officers were charged.  The suspects wife had called to say her husband was assaulting her.   She was in tears the next day stating: "I didn't want him to be killed."   A suspect can be killed without any weapons.  If the Taser had been used with this extremely large man, I am sure he would be alive today, unless he had cocaine in his system which I believe he did, and there are some reports that Taser's may have a greater, or altered effect on someone who is on cocaine.  In Fort Worth they banned the hog-tie method of restraint after at least one (and possibly more)  suspects there died while in police custody after being hog tied by officers. 

Steele Shepherd

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This page first posted the day after Haley Hilderbrand was tragically killed, August 19, 2005.  It is my hope that no other person will be killed in this fashion ever again.


Let the wisdom necessary to insure this never happens again flow freely through all of us, particularly those in positions of authority who are able to insure this does not happen again, and those that currently depend on the income derived from activities such as this, grant them the wisdom necessary to devise new methods of business that won't place anyone in the animal kingdom at risk, man or beast.  With the advances in photographic special effects, a person could have their photo superimposed onto a background with a tiger in it and with a little skill, no one would be able to tell the difference, and no one would be endangered.  The personnel at animal sanctuaries could pick this skill up pretty easily.  Whatever it takes. 

Finally, rather than blame, accuse, ridicule, berate or make light of a situation like this, my brain searches for solutions.  As with my suggestion for Train Safety and 18-wheeler Safety improvements also on this site, tragedies force my brain to search for solutions.  I am sure this is true for many people; in my case I've afforded myself an outlet and platform to voice these thoughts.  I challenge others to contribute to this idea or come up with a better one.  Make the world a better place where possible.  

Use the Information Request Form link at the bottom of each page to contact me with any additional information, comments or suggestions you may have.

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Well it didn't take too long to get a copy of a Taser video where the Taser probably should not have been used - you be the judge from the clip that follows.   I viewed several times but was not able to ascertain exactly what happened.  In some ways I don't even thing the barbs penetrated her clothing as she does not demonstrate the typical reaction such as locked legs and arms, etc.  Let me know what you think.  I think an attempt to Taser her was made, but that in fact she was not shocked.  The new line of Taser weapons coming out will include video cameras built into the weapons and this should help those using the weapons be more responsible and if they are not used properly, evidence will indicate that.  Video follows:

Tiger owner sought bigger venues for animals
Ron Knox of the Joplin Globe Summarizes Progress in Case
Sanctuary remains closed in wake of investigation into fatal incident
By Ron Knox
Joplin Globe Staff Writer

When Doug Billingsly and his father, Keith, first opened the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary in 1994, the sanctuary was supposed to be exactly that — a small home for wild and domestic animals that had nowhere else to go.
Billingsly was familiar with other, similar sanctuaries, places that served as a model for his conservationist programs. And when speaking about conservation, often at schools and town events, he would talk about the responsibilities of taking care of fur-bearing and feathered friends.
Now the sheer scope of that responsibility is being weighed by federal investigators as they continue to gather and examine evidence after a tiger killed 17-year-old Haley Hilderbrand, an Altamont, Kan., girl, at Billingsly’s sanctuary more than two weeks ago.
Although Billingsly did not return several phone calls to comment for this story, Billingsly’s family members have said that the sanctuary will remain closed as they try to recover from the incident.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which inspects and licenses exotic animal compounds, has been gathering evidence to see if Billinglsy used the required restraints during a photo shoot where Hilderbrand was allegedly straddling the tiger.
Billingsly, according to a spokeswoman for the family, was holding a chain hooked to the tiger’s collar and Hilderbrand was straddling the tiger near the end of the photo shoot when the tiger licked her foot, startling the girl.
Hilderbrand jumped and yanked her foot away and either squealed or screamed, startling the tiger which stood up and knocked Hilderbrand to the ground. The tiger then turned and hit Hilderbrand’s head with its paw, possibly breaking her neck.
A relative of the girl obtained a gun from the Billingsly home, and shot and killed the tiger.
The department requires animal handlers to place “significant barriers” between animals and humans, said Jim Rogers, spokesman for the department.
Rogers said he didn’t know when the investigation might conclude. Because the investigation was continuing, no more information was available, Rogers said.
But, by using public documents along with interviews from several of Billingsly’s former associates, the Globe was able to provide a glimpse of Billingsly — a conservationist interested in both preserving his big cats and becoming a player in the exotic-animal market.
Seeking broader audience
After some experience with big animals — he kept bears at the sanctuary — Billingsly received his first big cat at the sanctuary around October, 1994, records show.
But as time passed, Billingsly apparently realized that the world of entertainment reached a wider audience — an audience that needed to see the cats to understand the importance of conservation.
“It is quite obvious that something beyond education is required,” Billingsly wrote to the Department of the Interior in 1999.
In the late 1990s, Billingsly traveled with a Vegas-style show called Randy Miller’s Predators in Action, where cats performed in magic shows. The show traveled to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, with Billingsly assisting another handler while Miller stayed in Los Angeles.
During those tours, Billingsly helped lead four of Miller’s big cats through the show.
Miller, in a phone interview, said his primary handler always took the necessary precautions with the animals, and showed Billinglsy how to do the same.
“He was taught to have the proper equipment — pepper spray, a cane,” Miller said. “If one of the animals gets out of control, it’s not a fair fight.”
After Miller and Billingsly parted ways, Billinglsy made his way to Las Vegas, where big cats are as much a part of the shows as showgirls and slot machines.
For a time, Billingsly bounced from job to job, said Keith Evans, owner of Lion Photo Studios, where guests can get their pictures taken with big cats.
Evans said Billingsly worked for him for three months in 1999 between other jobs around Vegas. He worked in the lions’ habitat at the studio, caring for the cats.
Evans said Billingsly never worked with the animals during the photo sessions.
Back home, records show the sanctuary incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, with Billinglsy as the director and his father Keith as the secretary, signing all of the checks and money orders Billingsly needed for his federal permits. Records show the shelter held three African lions and six tigers ready to be bred.
Canadian links
In the fall of 2002, Art Frewin, a magic and theater promoter, got a call from a friend in Las Vegas.
An old friend told him about a kid who was out there working with big cats. He needed some work, she said, and he seemed like he knew what he was doing.
“It was a mutual friend of ours,” said Jerry Frewin, Art’s wife. “He said he needed money for this project. He seemed like a nice enough kid.”
Jerry Frewin said Billingsly wanted a place where he could find a steady audience for tigers on tour. The couple, who live in Ontario, thought Canada might work.
By 2002, Billingsly’s Mound Valley collection of cats and other animals had grown exponentially. He had 14 tigers, five lions, 10 bears, a liger (offspring of a male lion and a female tiger) and two other cats at the sanctuary.
Billingsly had also began to trade big cats in large quantity. During the year he planned his tour of Canada, he traded seven tigers to a place in Mathis, Texas, called Wayne’s World Safari. That same year, Billingsly also sent three tigers back to Vegas, to a magician and showman named Rick Thomas.
Billingsly gave Art Frewin the power of attorney in August of 2002, with Sharon Billinglsy serving as notary, so that Frewin could help set up the Canada trip and negotiate in the often complex world of importing and exporting exotic animals.
Two weeks later, Frewin sent a letter and an informational packet to the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service explaining the Canadian tiger tour.
“Our intent is to try to determine if there is enough support to establish a Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary Foundation in Canada,” Frewin wrote.
The applications Frewin sent included a younger tiger and an older tiger to accommodate different-sized events around the country.
But the department never got the chance to approve the tour. By the end of 2002, Frewin said her husband had dissolved their relationship for business reasons.
Show biz
Billingsly quickly turned to other projects. He had made appearances on television and his cats had found their way into movies and shows around the country.
Then, that same year, Billingsly began lending animals to Gianni Mattiolo, a fairly well-known animal exhibitionist who tours cats around Europe and Asia.
Mattiolo took one tiger from Billingsly in 2002, complete with all of the appropriate Department of the Interior permits.
In November that year, Billingsly applied to send two more cats to Italy with Mattiolo. But when the department received the application, some parts were missing, including the application money, the department said.
Trade lawyers representing Billingsly at the time corresponded back and forth with the department, and finally Billingsly and Mattiolo had to re-apply for the permits in January 2003.
By November 2003, Mattiolo had the cats. But the department apparently never had the permits.
“We have no record of a permit being issued that would authorize the transport of these specimens to Italy,” Tim Van Norman, the department’s permit chief, said in an April 2004 letter to Billingsly.
Billingsly’s lawyer at the time said he didn’t remember how the issue was resolved, but a search of the federal registry shows only the application, not the permit.
“It certainly doesn’t appear by the public record that there was ever a resolution to this issue,” John Kalitka, Billingsly’s former attorney, said in a phone interview.
Kalitka now works in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The department took no formal action against Billingsly.
After that, Billingsly’s rotating stock of big cats slowed down. In 2004, he loaned out four cats, while he oversaw the birth of three others, records show. He stopped breeding lions and all but two bears, and his tiger breeding leveled off.
During 2004, Billingsly remained in contact with Mattiolo, scheduling another transfer of cats to Italy — a tiger and two leopards — for this summer.
But at the sanctuary in quiet Mound Valley, two days before the tigers were supposed to leave, a startled cat reached out and killed Haley Hilderbrand.

Deputy Uses Taser to Stop Bear

By Associated Press, January 5, 2006
MILTON, Fla. -- A sheriff's deputy got a shock when a bear came toward him as he searched for a prowler. So he gave the bear a shock with his Taser.

Homeowner Charlie McQueen Smith called Santa Rosa County deputies Tuesday night after finding her air conditioner torn from her kitchen window.

Deputy Ray Dykes thought he was looking for a prowler.

"When I pulled up, I saw the reflection of an animal's eyes. It looked like a little bear cub," he said. "I got to about 40 feet and it stood up, and that's when I knew it was fully grown."

Dykes used his Taser gun when the bear got too close.

"He was about seven or eight feet away when I shocked him," he said.

The bear fell to the ground, breaking the connection with the weapon, which administers a strong electrical charge. The animal fled into the woods and disappeared.

Smith said she's lived in the home since it was built in 1960 and had never seen a bear there before Friday. The bear showed up then and visited several times over the weekend. Smith suspects the smell of fried chicken might have enticed it to try and come inside. A trash pit near the home might also have been a lure, officials said.

If the animal returns, the Florida Wildlife Commission will likely capture and relocate it, said commission biologist Pat Bowman.

"Between the Taser shock and the garbage removal, I would like to think this bear is going to stay away," she said.

Black bears are protected by state law.

Update:  The earliest mention of a Taser weapon on film is believed to have been in The Enforcer with Clint Eastwood, 1976.  "Dirty Harry" is battling against some homegrown terrorists who use a Taser to shoot a barb into the mayor while kidnapping him.  In the film they state it is capable of delivering 25,000 volts.  Surprised to see a mention of the Taser so far back.

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