Demand Restaurant Stop Endangering Animals in Live Displays


Target: T.C. Thorstenson, Owner of the “Hogs N’ Horses” Restaurant

Goal: Stop forcing live buffalo and steer into cruel displays for the sake of advertising

The “Hogs N’ Horses” restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona has a long history of unsafely displaying live animals to advertise its restaurant. Buffalo and steer are perched atop trailers where there movement is extremely limited and where they are in constant danger of falling and injuring themselves. Despite having a buffalo die from falling off the trailer, the restaurant has continued to exhibit animals in this manner with no remorse or consequence.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that Hogs N’ Horses routinely exhibits livestock “on top of a metal trailer outside the restaurant, where the animal can reportedly only access water by traversing a dangerously steep ramp.” As of July 2014, the restaurant is showcasing a steer, which both PETA and news publications like “Sonoran News” suspect is the same steer that fell and broke its leg in previous days. Sonoran News further indicates that despite public outcries against this inhumane treatment, local law enforcement cannot criminally charge the restaurant. Because these animals are technically livestock and not domesticated pets, the same animal cruelty laws do not apply in Arizona.

Forcing animals to stand on display is slavery regardless of the species. These steer and buffalo are made to endure the hot summer weather on metal constructions where they face the possibility of death via dehydration, fatigue, or falling. This is not a hypothetical situation; it has already happened multiple times and must be stopped from happening again.

Sign the petition below to demand that the Hogs N’ Horses restaurant treat these animals with the same virtue and respect as they would dogs and cats. Make the owner realize that even though these animals are technically livestock, they can still suffer and causing them pain is still animal cruelty.


Dear Mr. Thorstenson,

I am shocked to hear about your restaurant’s incessant and brutal exhibitions of live steer and buffalo. Despite reports of animals falling from their displays and sustaining injury—and in one instance, death—you continue this cruel, inhumane form of advertisement.

Steer and buffalo, while livestock, are still animals that can feel pain and suffer. Reports from news publications and animal rights groups indicate that you are limiting the mobility of these creatures and perching them on metal trailers during hot summer weather. Not only are they in danger of dehydration, fatigue, and falling, but they experience stress and anxiety in similar ways that humans do when physically confined.

Chances are you wouldn’t subject cats, dogs, or other domesticated creatures to this forceful act. So why put these innocent animals through this kind of torment? Even slaughterhouses that routinely kill livestock for human sustenance must abide by regulations that spare animals from unnecessary agony. Buffalo and steer are no different and deserve every bit of respect and proper treatment as other animals.

I urge you and your employees to cease your display of buffalo and steer and discourage similar acts in the future. Just because we consume these animals doesn’t mean we need to needlessly torture them as well.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alan R Walker via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. SamOuthorn says:

    As far as I know the days of the Wild West have past and gone… And how come there aren’t any laws protecting animals and preventing abuse in Arizona anyway?…Is this the USA or Asia?

  2. Sheila Jefferson says:

    STOP this NOW, abusive cruel heathens!

  3. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    For God’s sake. This should not be allowed. It is animal cruelty. The owner of this restaurant should be punished!

  4. Leave the damn Animal Kingdom alone! They’ve paid their dues…

  5. Just a girl says:

    Please explain the difference in Sea World, the circus, the Scottsdale rodeo…….The rules of using an animal to make a profit just put every Cowboy out of business! ! Get the facts before you jump on the band wagon……get a F@*#ing life people

  6. As a proud employee of Hogs N Horses and lover of all animals I find this to be completely inaccurate and borderline defamation of character at its finest! I have worked at Hogs N Horses since before opening to the public. Our Buffalo are family and treated as so. They are spoiled and loved! Harvey did not fall to his death from atop the trailer nor did TBone fall off and brake his leg. How do you morons come up with this stuff? The accusations, rumors, and down right lies are absolutely preposterous! You think you are doing justice when you are making threatening phone calls? Are you serious? You think that is ok? I feel 100% confident in saying PETA and the rest of you nay sayers have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been there, for 9 months watching TC work with his babies and loving where I work! Oh no, they have no shelter you say? Shelter from what? So what, it’s hot here. My dad and husband work outside, daily in this 105 degree weather, I’m sure the animals are more than ok! It’s not like it snows here. Do Buffalo in the wild have a barn or shelter to live in? Not likely! The buffalo in the wild may even have to look for food. We have trees as shelter if need be, most definitely have our water barrels full at all times, and have all enjoyed feeding them. They are better taken care of than most children. The death of both Harvey and Freedom devastated our friends, family, and all of us employees. Your negative words and harsh tongues I’ve about had enough of! How do you figure that anything we do is cruel? I say WE because WE are a family at Hogs N Horses. We support each other and look out for each other! You think because they can walk up and down a trailer it is cruel? They have an entire full size arena to play in! They can get down, it’s the same as us walking a flight of stairs. Please note that the picture posted with this petition is not one of our animals! I would NEVER work for anyone that I thought would hurt anyone or any animal. TC is not the only one affected by this! We all have been. Most of us are mothers and were devastated by the death of our own and would not put up with animal cruelty. Hogs N Horses is an awesome place to work. We work for the hardest working man I’ve ever known, a great man, and we take care of our adored animals. Instead of following such negative suit, I welcome you to come check us out and form your own opinion of this awesome saloon. So what you see a picture of one of the resident Buffalo or steer on top of the trailer. It’s cool. They are trained, and they walk up and down as they please! They are NOT forced to stay up there. Do your own research before you voice such negativity about our bad ass Saloon! Chances are if you do, you’ll love us!!! You can’t believe everything you hear!

  7. Michael Guest says:

    This is not entertainment. It’s cruel. Get it banned and shut down for good.

  8. Find another way to advertise your d… restaurant !!!!

  9. 1st, for quite a few years my husband and I call TC friend and we have never seen him neglect or hurt an animal. In fact quite the opposite. I’ve seen him kick people off his property and out of his events for not treating animals respectfully.
    If I may add the Sonoran News has never been a friend of PETA, they have just made PETA a part of the hatchet that is used to destroy people they dislike. I can not find any previous reports/articals of mistreatment of the buffalo despite their public displays for many years.
    Cave Creek is a small very political town and has it’s share of viscous nasty hateful people that resort to harming animals (pets and livestock) to hurt a human. There are several instances of this happening in the last year. Somebody did harm those buffalo but WHO remains the question that needs to be answered. Our own animals were let out several times. It was so frequent that MCSO installed cameras on the property. We have virtually had to padlock every gate on the property to protect our animals.
    The SN either doesn’t have or refuses to publish all the facts that surround the deaths of these beloved animals. I suggest they have an alterior motive behind their stories and call to PETA.
    DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK PEOPLE and don’t become part of the hatchet.

  10. Im a snow bird from Montana. I haul 3 to 4 horses to Cave Creek every winter to ride and bask in the sunshine. TC is the first person I met in Cave Creek 6 years ago. I consider him a good friend, I have never seen him do anything unethical towards man or beast. He may jar loose from time to time but he ALWAYS treats people and his animals with respect. He has always been one of the first in line when it comes to lending a hand to someone who needs help. Before anyone comments negatively on anything you should get know the person and subject you are commenting on.

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