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Animal Rights Activists Protest HSUS Board Member Brad Jakeman Over Animal Cruelty at Project Chimps and Lawsuit Against Whistleblowers

July 28, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The News

On July 25th, animal rights activists staged a protest in front of a clothing store in Sag Harbor, New York that is co-owned by a member of the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The protesters demanded that the board member, Brad Jakeman, and his colleagues drop the lawsuit filed against two chimpanzee caregivers who blew the whistle about animal abuse at Project Chimps, HSUS’s chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia.

While still employed by Project Chimps as an animal caregiver, Crystal Alba, one of the whistleblowers who HSUS is suing, meticulously documented inexcusably poor veterinary care, infrequent access to the outdoors, overcrowding, rushed introductions, a lack of sufficient enrichment when the chimps are confined to their concrete enclosures and other forms of neglect and deprivation. When Crystal’s efforts to effect change from within the organization failed, she and the second whistleblower, Lindsay Vanderhoogt, posted documentation of these abuses on

At HSUS’s chimpanzee sanctuary, Project Chimps, the chimpanzees spend all but 10 hours a week in concrete enclosures

In February, 2020, Crystal contacted the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) to ask for an inspection. In spite of the financial ties between GFAS and HSUS, GFAS made multiple animal care recommendations that echoed those of the whistleblowers and validated their allegations of animal mistreatment. Nevertheless, HSUS continues to assert that Crystal and Lindsay are simply “disgruntled employees” who fabricated the allegations, and it continues to attempt to intimidate and silence them through a defamation lawsuit.

Project Chimps, an HSUS chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia, is suing former chimpanzee caregivers Crystal Alba and Lindsay Vanderhoogt after they came forward publicly with evidence of animal cruelty

On July 9th, National Geographic published an in depth, investigative story about the animal cruelty allegations and the lawsuit against the whistleblowers. While it includes statements from both sides, the story paints a grim and disturbing picture of animal welfare that corroborates the allegations of the whistleblowers.

On July 9th, National Geographic published an in depth investigation that corroborated the whistleblowers’ allegations of animal abuse at Project Chimps, an HSUS chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia

Activists staged the protest against Brad Jakeman only after he ignored their efforts to talk to him. In addition to sending Mr. Jakeman emails, activists hand delivered a letter to his store several weeks before the protest. Organizers will continue protesting Mr. Jakeman’s store, Ryland Life Equipment (which, as an aside, sells leather, wool, cashmere and suede), until the Humane Society of the United States drops the lawsuit against the whistleblowers and demonstrates that it is improving the welfare of the chimps.

Animal rights activist protest HSUS board member Brad Jakeman at Ryland Life Equipment, the clothing store that he co-owns in Sag Harbor, New York.

The Southampton Press published a lengthy story about the protest

The Southampton Press published a lengthy story about the the protest targeting Brad Jakeman

In June, TheirTurn sent a letter to Project Chimps board member Amber Nash asking that the sanctuary drop the lawsuit against two whistleblowers who came forward publicly with evidence of animal mistreatment


Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Julia Adam says:


  2. Gretchen Edmiston says:

    I am sickened by an organization like HSUS becoming such a collection of money hungry jerks. HSUS is no longer about making big strides for the animals. They have been taken over by corporate profiteers. Moving in on a once fine organization devoted to animals, they are now a collection of ultra rich animal abusers trying to get richer off the money that had been collected from people like me, in the past. They couldn’t stand to see this animal protection group having so much money, and using it to support animal sanctuaries, just like they cant stand to see social security having so much money to be used to keep millions of human lives going as people age. So they maneuvered themselves into positions to be able to steal it for themselves. I hope they all end up in prison.

  3. Connie says:

    I just a very strong feeling that where there is smoke there is fire and the two workers used their voice to call attention to cruelty and/or neglect to the treatment received by chimps that already have suffered greatly being used for research. Every effort should be made to give them the life that they so greatly deserve and if that wasn’t being done, since they have no voice, the people who were their caretakers used theirs to bring attention to a huge problem. Scanctuary is the important word and if there is one reason to whistleblow, that is enough. To sue these workers who only seem to want what is best for the chips is totally out of line and should be ended. Very stringent inspections must be done by people who know how the place is supposed to be run and if it isn’t. Immediate action my be made on behalf of those amazing animals.

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