Breaking News


Back Door Deal for Serial Animal Abuser: Feds defer Watahomigie conviction  

October 20, 2017

Since SAVE began its mission one and a half years ago, the Havasupai tribal council has claimed that it would address issues related to the abuse and gross neglect of the pack animals. Those claims are patently false. The tribe has taken NO action against serial abusers like Cecil Watahomigie and others well known to law enforcement.


Therefore, with the recent news regarding serial abuser Cecil Watahomigie's conviction by the tribal court on charges related to animal cruelty, we do not feel that the sentence was commensurate for the crimes of willfully and consistently abusing and starving his animals. Further to that end, we have no confidence that there will likely be any degree of enforcement for fidelity of this inadequate and meager sentence.

The photo of the bay horse is one that Cecil is known to have abused. Imagine how many others have suffered this kind of intentional neglect and torture at the hands of this serial abuser. We encourage our supporters to contact the following people and communicate your disgust with the tribal judge’s totally inadequate sentence for this abusive packer. 

• The tribe's PR person, Abbie Fink, at 602-957-8881 or
• Council Chairman, Don Watahomigie, at
• Tribal judge: Heather M. Mitchell
• Tribal defense attorney: Muriel Scott - 928-769-2304
• Tribal prosecuting attorney: Brian Webb - 928-255-8600
• Havasupai Tourist Office - 928-448-2121
• Bureau of Indian Affairs: Supai, AZ - 928-448-2891


Note: The bay horse pictured at left, whose name was Hayduke, didn’t make it and had to be euthanized. In the top photo of the horse collapsed at a trough you can clearly see what happens when these Havasupai abusers are not stopped and aggressively punished for their crimes. Tribal chairman Don Watahomigie was quoted in the AZ Daily Sun saying "the tribe is very concerned about the health and welfare of our animals" and "cruelty is not the Havasupai way." If it is not their way then it is certainly their practice. And this recent handling of serial abuser Cecil Watahomigie by the tribe tells us that it remains their practice.

Remember two things: the tribe makes millions on the backs of those animals, and the tribal chairman does not live in Supai.

Please continue to Like and Share our posts so that others can help put pressure on the tribal court to hold this and every other animal abuser accountable.

Read the article online 

Emery Cowan can be reached at (928) 556-2250 or

Below are a few of the Havasupai rescues from the past year, who are now living the lives they deserve. We hope that ALL Havasupai pack animals can soon have the same peace.