Leading animal rescue organizations across the state condemn the presence of Mindy Patterson, Co-Founder of The Cavalry Group, at the Carriage Operators of North America (CONA) Convention being held this week in Charleston. Patterson is scheduled to speak on Friday. Charleston Animal Society, Pet Helpers and the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association are asking the Mayor of Charleston to withdraw from the convention or strongly disassociate the City from views expressed by other speakers, specifically Mindy Patterson. Animal rescue organizations also ask local carriage operators to walk-out during her presentation.
Patterson is notorious in the animal welfare community nationwide as a defender and proponent of puppy mills (by her own admission in her bio at https://www.thecavalrygroup.com/About-Us), horse soring and horse slaughter. Patterson was at the forefront of the hard-fought campaign opposing the ‘Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act’ (Proposition B) in the Missouri 2010 election. Missouri is the epicenter for puppy mills in the United States.
In addition, in 2012, the Cavalry Group was the major driver of opposition to Measure 5 in North Dakota, which would have made it a felony to torture or mutilate a dog, cat, or horse. The Cavalry group’s mission is clear: stop any legislation that would protect animals from cruelty and inhumane treatment.
City Officials Will Appear at Same Conference as Patterson.
Charleston city officials, including the Director of Livability and Tourism, will be speaking at the same conference, which is very concerning for animal rescue organizations and those concerned about animals.
According to the conference agenda, a Charleston “city official” will welcome the group and the Director of Livability and Tourism (Dan Riccio) will make a presentation to the convention. “Mindy Patterson’s appearance here is concerning for all of our community and we would hope our public servants are sensitive to being associated with this polarizing figure,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. “Because our community loves animals and was even named ‘Best Dog Town’ in the United States in 2014, we believe the City should reconsider participating in a convention that has invited a person who defends puppy mills, which are widely known to abuse and torture thousands of dogs across the country and have led to the majority of states enacting laws to crack down on them.”
In fairness to the City, it may be unaware of who Mindy Patterson is, which is why we are encouraging the City and media to look into this. But now that the City knows, will our public officials still participate in the CONA conference?
“Regardless of who is bringing Mindy Patterson to Charleston, it is alarming and outrageous! South Carolina is one of a few states that does not have laws cracking down on puppy mills, which makes us ripe for their proliferation. Puppy mills are one of law enforcement and animal lifesaving organizations’ biggest challenges due to the sheer volume of dogs abused in the mills,” said Carol Linville, Founder/President of Pet Helpers.
News links: Advocating Shutdown of USDA Animal Abuse Statistics CS Monitor, Horse Slaughter Supporter?, Campaign Irregularities, NYC Carriage Debate NY Daily News, Patterson Defending Puppy Mill Listed as One of the Worst 100