Your Help Is Needed

Hens Beaten up and Killed by Students

On Friday afternoon, April 11, 1997, high school students released 50 chickens at Horizon High School in Phoenix, Arizona. In the words of a Phoenix activist, "It was outright cruelty carefully preplanned which resulted in the death of some 36 gentle egg-laying hens. I know because our organization rescued 14 survivors on school property, one of whom didn't survive. The hens were beaten, kicked like footballs, hurled through the air, stuffed into student lockers, thrown into parked cars, and run over by cars. Bloodied bodies were found dumped in school garbage cans and videotaped by TV 15 and TV 3 News Teams."

According to an eyewitness, the students "threw the birds over the fence. That's when their legs broke" (Mesa Tribune).

Although 21 students were reportedly suspended, school administrators are not showing leadership and students have made a t-shirt boasting: "The Great Horizon Chicken Massacre of 97" and "I choked a chicken at Horizon."

What Can I Do?

  • Express your views and request a reply in a courteous but firm manner to Mr. John Stollar, Principal, 5601 East Greenway Road, Scottsdale AZ 85254. Ph: 602-953-4104; fax: 4144. The students at Horizon are getting a message from the school that cruel treatment of innocent birds is on a par with spraying shaving cream on cars. Horizon High School needs to draw up a strong Code of Ethical Behavior to be passed out to every student at the beginning of each term stating that animal abuse is a punishable crime, not a "prank." Violation of this School Code for amusement or ceremony in connection with any school function or activity shall be grounds for immediate suspension, repeating of an entire school year, postponement of graduation, and filing of criminal charges.
  • Arizona Statute 13-2910, Cruelty to Animals or Poultry, makes it a Class 1 Misdemeanor to recklessly subject any animals or poultry to cruel mistreatment. The filing of a complaint by local activist Dee Kotinas, who rescued the surviving birds, is being treated by local authorities as "frivolous." Demand that the law be upheld and request a reply.

    Commander Bruce Knappenberger
    Desert Horizon Police Precinct
    16030 North 56th Street
    Scottsdale AZ 85254
    Ph: 602-495-5006

    Mayor Skip Rimza
    City of Phoenix
    200 W. Washington St. 11th Fl.
    Phoenix AZ 85003-1611
    Ph: 602-262-7111; fax: 495-5583

For further information contact Dee Kotinas, Executive Director, Animals Benefit Club of Arizona, PO Box 26627, Phoenix, AZ 85068 (ph: 602-867-2169).