Over the weekend of April 4th, 2020, a cow was discovered to be stuck in the mud along the bank of the Peace River in Wauchula, FL. The owner, Mindy Chapman Hayman, was repeatedly notified over a period of at least three days and not only failed to act to free the cow who her rescuers collectively named River, but hampered the rescue efforts of others, ultimately resulting in the death of this animal. After days of pleas to Ms. Chapman Hayman and attempted rescue efforts by others, River's freedom was finally negotiated. Her rescuers used shovels, wood, straps and their hands to free her from the mud. Because access was not allowed through Ms. Chapman Hayman's property the rescuers had to float her down the River nearly a mile. After much love and vet care, River's body was too weak from being trapped so long and she was laid to rest the day after her heroic rescue.
We ask that you bring charges against Mindy Chapman Hayman for violations of Florida Penal Code Section 828.12, Subsections 1 and 2, Cruelty to Animals. We also ask that the State exercise its civil authority pursuant to Section 828.073, Animals Found in Distress, and order the seizure of any and all other animals in her custody. Allowing her animals to roam along the river and elsewhere is a pattern for Ms. Chapman Hayman, documented by charges against her in 2017 and 2006. On April 15th 2020, her cows and calves were witnessed wandering along the riverbank outside of her fencing again. We appreciate your immediate action to ensure the safety of the animals in Ms. Chapman Hayman's possession so that no other cows suffer needlessly at her hand or by her negligence.
Our goal is to make sure every rescuer has the right to save the next River, as sadly there are more animals suffering. We are calling for a new law, River's Law. The law is currently being drafted by our legal team and with this legislative change we hope to accomplish the right to rescue ALL species if they are being subjected to cruelty or neglect.