From an early age, Pacheco was 

outraged by social injustice, and

very motivated to fight against it. 

He grew up in the Midwest,

watching the Vietnam War on television and becoming

passionate about defending

democracy against communism.

Too young to enlist and

in high school, he wrote

to the CIA asking if he

could become an agent.

​They wrote back saying he

was too young and don’t call us,

we’ll call you.

He then applied to the FBI

and was accepted to work

at FBI headquarters

in Washington, D.C. 

Just days before leaving for

Washington, he was talked

out of it by his two mentors,

Father Thomas and martial arts

expert Steve Adams. 

It was the year of The Concert
for Bangladesh, and they

convinced him to instead

pursue his other passion:

helping impoverished children. 

Accordingly, he enrolled in the

Scholastic Program for

Ecclesiastical Students

and for the next year

studied to become a priest

while living with three priests

and seven brothers.

After a year in the Ecclesiastical

Program, he took a 

behind-the-scenes tour

of a large slaughterhouse,

where his passion for

defending animals

was unleashed. 

Witnessing the brutality firsthand,

he dedicated himself to defending

the most helpless of all,

and within days he founded

the activist organization The

Ohio Animal Rights Committee

at Ohio State University,​ and in

the first month he received

his first three death threats

from trappers and hunters.

Since then, his commitment

to defending animals has incited

violent opposition in many

shapes and sizes, from a man

waving a loaded .44 handgun

and screaming for Pacheco while

in the PETA office, to anonymous

packages mailed to Pacheco,

containing the blood-soaked

body parts of mutilated animals. 

Over the years he has received

so many death threats in the

line of duty that he stopped

counting early on.

In 1979 Pacheco left college

to work as a crew member aboard the Sea Shepherd under Captain Paul Watson on the Sea Shepherd’s

first whale protection campaign.

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, 

their mission was to ram

the world’s most notorious

pirate whale-killing ship,

the Sierra.​

Before embarking on the voyage

and in anticipation of the ramming,

the bow of the Sea Shepherd 

was fortified with tons of

concrete.

In the end, both ships were sunk

in Portuguese waters. 

Prior to the sinking and while the

crew was still in Portugal,

Portuguese authorities confiscated

the passports of Watson,

Pacheco and a few

others to prevent them

from leaving the country,

pending possible prosecution.

To avoid capture by the Portuguese Border Patrol and under the cover of night, Pacheco swam across the

border into Spain, hitchhiked to

Madrid and spent three days in

the Madrid airport waiting for a

passport and a ticket to London,

where he then worked with Ronnie

Lee, founder of the underground

Animal Liberation Front.

Pacheco was later named

Sea Shepherd’s 

Crew Member of the Year.

​While in England, Pacheco

also worked with the British

Hunt Saboteurs Association,

disrupting hunts and physically

clashing with up to 40 hunters

at a time, who hunted from

horseback and used whips

to strike the saboteurs; some

saboteurs were scarred for life

with whip scars across

their entire face.

When Pacheco’s visa expired, 

he returned to the U.S.

and moved to Washington, D.C.

to become a lobbyist for animals,

where he also organized the first

animal rights civil disobedience

training sessions in the U.S.

In 1980 he co-founded PETA

and for 20 years served as PETA's Chairman of the Board, specializing

in undercover investigations,

litigation and lobbying, before

leaving in 2000.

Meet the Founder

Alex Pacheco is often described

as the Father of the Modern Day

Animal Rights Movement 

in the United States.

As co-founder of both

the world’s largest animal rights

organization (PETA) and the

world’s largest non-profit

animal adoption organization

(Adopt-A-Pet), his 30-year

track record of victories for

animals is arguably unequaled.

He has received many awards,

ranging from induction into the

Animal Rights Hall of Fame

to The Peace Abbey

Courage of Conscience Award,

though his favorite is being voted 

Crew Member of the Year 

by the Sea Shepherd.

Meet the Founder

Alex Pacheco is often described as the 

Father of the Modern Day Animal Rights Movement

in the United States.

As co-founder of both the world’s largest

animal rights organization (PETA) and the

world’s largest non-profit animal adoption

organization (Adopt-A-Pet), his 30-year track

record of victories for animals

is arguably unequaled.

He has received many awards, ranging from

induction into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame

to The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award,

though his favorite is being voted 

Crew Member of the Year by the Sea Shepherd.

From an early age, Pacheco was outraged by

social injustice, and very motivated to fight

against it. He grew up in the Midwest, watching the

Vietnam War on television and becoming passionate

about defending democracy against communism.

Too young to enlist and in high school,

he wrote to the CIA asking if he could become

an agent. They wrote back saying he was too

young and don’t call us, we’ll call you.

He then applied to the FBI and was accepted

to work at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Just days before leaving for Washington,

he was talked out of it by his two mentors,

Father Thomas and martial arts expert Steve Adams. 

It was the year of The Concert for Bangladesh,

and they convinced him to instead pursue his other

passion: helping impoverished children. 

Accordingly, he enrolled in the Scholastic Program

for Ecclesiastical Students and for the next year

studied to become a priest while living with

three priests and seven brothers.

After one year in the Ecclesiastical Program,

he took a behind-the-scenes tour of a large

slaughterhouse, where his passion for defending

animals was unleashed. 

face1 branding Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at

Witnessing the brutality firsthand, he dedicated himself

to defending the most helpless of all, and within days

he founded the activist organization The Ohio Animal

Rights Committee at Ohio State University,

and in the first month he received his first three

death threats from trappers and hunters.

Since then his commitment to defending animals

has incited violent opposition and death threats

in many shapes and sizes, from an angry man waving

a loaded .44 handgun and screaming for Pacheco while in

the PETA office, to anonymous packages mailed to

Pacheco, containing written death threats atop

the blood-soaked body parts of mutilated animals. 

Over the years he has received so many death threats

in the line of duty that he stopped counting early on.

In 1979 Pacheco left college to work as a crew member

aboard the Sea Shepherd under Captain Paul Watson

on the Sea Shepherd’s first whale protection campaign.

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, their mission

was to ram the world’s most notorious pirate

whale-killing ship, the Sierra.

ship1 sscs Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at-1.3

Before embarking on the voyage and

in anticipation of the ramming,

the bow of the Sea Shepherd was fortified

with tons of concrete.

In the end, both ships were sunk in Portuguese waters. 

Prior to the sinking and while the crew was still in

Portugal, Portuguese authorities confiscated the passports

of Watson, Pacheco and a few others to prevent them

from leaving the country, pending possible prosecution.

To avoid capture by the Portuguese Border Patrol

and under the cover of night, Pacheco swam

across the border into Spain, hitchhiked to Madrid

and spent three days in an airport

waiting for a passport and a ticket to London,

where he then worked with Ronnie Lee,

founder of the underground Animal Liberation Front. 

Pacheco was later named Sea Shepherd’s 

Crew Member of the Year.

While in England, Pacheco also worked with the

British Hunt Saboteurs Association, disrupting hunts

and physically clashing with up to 40 hunters at a time,

who hunted from horseback and used whips

to strike the saboteurs; some saboteurs were

scarred for life with whip scars across their entire face.

When Pacheco’s visa expired, he returned to the U.S.

and moved to Washington, D.C. to become a lobbyist

for animals, where he also organized the first animal

rights civil disobedience training sessions in the U.S.

In 1980 he co-founded PETA and for 20 years

served as Chairman of the Board,

specializing in undercover investigations, litigation

and lobbying, before leaving in 2000.

The campaign brought to an

end the era of little old ladies

in tennis shoes, transforming

animal lovers into activists and

producing an explosion in the

birth of animal organizations.

The case also spawned the

birth of anti-animal-protection

organizations such as the

National Association for

Biomedical Research, which

is comprised of major drug

companies, federal government

agencies and major universities,

with membership fees exceeding

$100,000 annually. ​

The campaign also led to the

American Medical Association

commissioning a study by

Harvard University on 

how to defeat the animal rights

movement. The study described

Pacheco as "a national folk hero

to the animal rights movement." 

In 1989, a secret Animal Research
Action Plan 
by the American
Medical Association called for
divide-and-conquer tactics to
counter PETA and other animal

groups.

After the plan was leaked,

the AMA publicly acknowledged

their plan and boasted about

budgeting $21million to

carry it out.

The Silver Spring Monkey

campaign fueled an

unprecedented amount

of activism and a flood of

national media, with activities

ranging from illegal break-ins

into animal laboratories,

to peaceful protests

and civil disobedience

which continued to rise

for almost two decades.

​In the process, Pacheco was

arrested over 60 times.

Spearheaded by Pacheco,

the campaign produced

numerous precedents,

including:

The first and only

laboratory animal case
to reach the U.S. Supreme

Court.

The first and only arrest
of an animal experimenter

for cruelty to animals.

The first and only

criminal prosecution
and conviction of an

animal experimenter

on charges of cruelty.

The first termination

of a federal research grant
because of cruelty and 

violations of federal 

guidelines.

The first and only

confiscation of animals
from a laboratory.

Introduction of federal

legislation, signed
by over 100 members

of Congress, to force

the federal government
to terminate funding

for the laboratory

and to release the

Silver Spring Monkeys.

In addition, fifty-five U.S. 

senators, ranging from

Senators Jesse Helms and 

Barry Goldwater to

Senator Ted Kennedy, signed

a joint statement calling

on the government

to terminate funding

for the laboratory,

end the experiments

and free the monkeys.

Pacheco was called

to testify as the lead witness

before Congressional

Hearings  by the U.S.

House Subcommittee

on Science, Research

and Technology. 

He was called to testify

as the star witness

for the State of Maryland

in the criminal trial

and prosecution of

animal experimenter

Dr. Taub, in State of

Maryland vs.

Dr. Edward Taub.

The campaign paved

the way for the passage
of federal animal

protection legislation

– the 1985 Amendments
to the Federal Animal

Welfare Act. 

In 1991 the U.S. Supreme Court

ruled against the Silver Spring

Monkeys, and in defiance of

Congress the NIH immediately

killed half of the surviving

monkeys and the conflict

continued.

vivi poster1 Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at-3

Apart from the Silver

Spring Monkey case,

while Chairman of PETA,

some of Pacheco’s

most significant

accomplishments came

from the wide range of

roles he played in helping

convince many of the

world’s largest corporations

to dramatically improve

their policies

concerning animals. 

From leading a high-profile 

three-year successful

campaign against the

world’s largest corporation

at the time, General Motors --

in which Pacheco 

destroyed his own

GM car by setting it afire

in public during a press

conference in downtown

D.C. -- to his undercover

work in the Texas oil fields

owned by Exxon, his

track record of victories

for animals is remarkable.

During his tenure, the

New York Times described PETA

as the mover and shaker

of the Animal Rights Movement,​

and the organization became

a household name

to the point where an envelope

with nothing more than

"PETA" written on it

can be dropped into a mailbox

and it will still be successfully

delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

The legacy of his leadership

has contributed to the continuing

success of the organization,

which currently has over 6 million

members and annual revenues

exceeding $55 million.

Within months of founding PETA, Pacheco began working

undercover in a federally

funded animal research facility

in Silver Spring, Maryland,

less than 10 miles

from the White House.

For four months 

he gathered evidence

of cruelty to animals and

compelled the Montgomery

County, Maryland Police

Department and the District

Attorney’s Office to take legal

action, with Pacheco leading

law enforcement agents

into the laboratory,

carrying out the world’s first,

and to this day only,

police raid on an

animal laboratory.

Unprecedented, the raid

was covered on the

front page of the

Washington Post and

broadcast nationwide

on ABC World News.  

It was soon covered

on the front pages of

every major newspaper

in the U.S., often several times,

from the Wall Street Journal

and the New York Times

to the Soviet Union’s

largest newspaper Tass,

including coverage by

every U.S. television network. 

During his tenure, the New York Times described PETA

as the mover and shaker of the Animal Rights Movement,

and the organization became a household name

to the point where an envelope with nothing more

than “PETA” written on it can be dropped into a mailbox

and it will still be successfully delivered

by the U.S. Postal Service. 

The legacy of his leadership has contributed

to the continuing success of the organization,

which currently has over 6 million members

and annual revenues exceeding $55 million.

Within months of founding PETA,

Pacheco began working undercover in a

federally funded animal research facility in Silver Spring,

Maryland, less than 10 miles from the White House.

For four months he gathered evidence of cruelty

to animals and compelled the Montgomery County,

Maryland Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office

to take legal action, with Pacheco leading law enforcement agents

into the laboratory, carrying out the world’s first,

and to this day only, police raid on an animal laboratory.

Unprecedented, the raid was covered on the

front page of the Washington Post and

broadcast nationwide on ABC World News.  

It was soon covered on the front pages of

every major newspaper in the U.S., often several times,

from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times

to the Soviet Union’s largest newspaper Tass,

including coverage by every U.S. television network. 

spread 1 eagle Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at

Of course there was retaliation

for closing the laboratory,

and HHS Secretary Heckler

paid the price with her job.

Angered leaders of the

biomedical community pressured President Reagan, who in turn unceremoniously removed
Secretary Heckler from her

position as head of HHS (an agency

with the third-largest budget on

earth) and sent her to Ireland,

demoting and appointing her 

as the new U.S. Ambassador 

to Ireland.

In 2002, Pacheco continued

to revolutionize the world of

animal rights by co-founding

Adopt-A-Pet.

At one point, the front page

of the Wall Street Journal

reported that the three topics

the White House had received

the most calls and letters

about during that week were

the war, unemployment, and

the Silver Spring Monkeys.

 

When photographs taken

by Pacheco were broadcast,

showing severely mutilated

laboratory primates,

the case sent shock waves

through the biomedical

community worldwide.

Known as The Silver Spring

Monkeys Case, it generated

a political and social battle

that was fought in

Congress, in the courts, in the national media and in the streets, with Pacheco spearheading a 15-year campaign against the laboratory’s funding agency,

the National Institutes of Health, over the fate of the

laboratory primates.

The Washington Post wrote:

The case ignited widespread

public debate on the ethical

issues of animal research. 

It also turned Alex Pacheco

into a public figure

and helped make PETA

the largest, the most

powerful -- and the most 

feared -- animal rights group

in America.

The New York Times described

it as the nation's best-known

animal rights case. 

Filmmaker Oliver Stone, in

the forward to the book

Monkey Business: the

Disturbing Case that

Launched the Animal Rights

Movement, wrote ...

Out of the sad saga of the

Silver Spring Monkeys grew

one of the most important

social movements of our time.

Successfully targeted

companies include

multi-billion-dollar companies

such as Phillips Petroleum,

Shell Oil, Gillette, L’Oreal,

Revlon and Avon, to

smaller companies such as

Benetton, Tonka, Mattel,

Hasbro, Amway, Kenner,

Mary Kay and others.

In 1983, Pacheco went

to work armed and undercover

in Waco, Texas, closing down

the largest horse slaughter

operation in the world,

where over 30,000 horses

suffered. 

Working under dangerous

conditions, he was repeatedly

threatened and shot at by

horse ranchers and openly 
pursued by the Waco County

Sheriff and sheriff’s deputies,

who attempted to arrest

Pacheco on numerous

occasions.

The threats against him

by armed ranchers

reached the point where

Pacheco’s supporters

hired bodyguards for him, 

with the first two

sets of bodyguards quitting,

saying it wasn’t worth the risk.

In the resulting Waco, Texas,

horse slaughter case, a 

special prosecutor was

appointed, who convened

a grand jury, which in turn

subpoenaed Pacheco, 

with the sheriff then arresting 

Pacheco, charging him with

felonies ranging from

horse-theft to impersonating

a federal officer. 

Legendary criminal defense

attorney Richard "Racehorse"

Haynes came to Pacheco’s

defense, representing Pacheco 

before the grand jury and

successfully defending him

against all criminal charges. 

In the end, the world’s largest

horse-slaughter company

was permanently closed.

Pacheco then began

undercover work

in a Defense Department

research facility, which

resulted in a direct order

by U.S. Secretary of Defense

Caspar Weinberger, covered on

the front page of the

Washington Post,

permanently closing down

the Pentagon Wound Laboratory,

where dogs and other animals

were being shot in underground firing ranges to test new weapons

and bullets.

Unsatisfied, Pacheco led additional protests against 

the D.O.D. until the

Secretary Weinberger 

issued a second order,

ordering that no dogs or cats

are to ever be used again,

in any military ballistics training

or research, by the U.S.

Defense Department. 

Soon afterwards, the

underground Animal Liberation

Front raided the Head Injury

Laboratory at the University

of Pennsylvania, removing

60 hours of videotape

recordings of severe

brain damage experiments

being performed on live

baboons and taped by the experimenters themselves.

A copy of the videos ended up in Pacheco’s possession, and from

them he made the 30-minute

documentary Unnecessary Fuss,

showing university doctors

committing violations of

federal law while violently

scrambling the brains

of live baboons. 

A grand jury was
convened to investigate the
theft of federal property (the

videotapes), and while Pacheco

was holding a news conference

to call attention to violations

at the university, he was subpoenaed

by federal agents.

In return, Pacheco led

over 100 activists in an

orchestrated occupation

and surprise takeover

of 15 federal offices

at the headquarters

of the National

Institutes of Health,

the federal agency

funding the university experiments.

The occupation lasted four days,

generating national media

and substantial involvement

by members of Congress. 

On the fourth day of the

occupation, Pacheco met

in secret in a stairwell of

the occupied offices

with the Chief of Staff

for the U.S. Secretary

of Health and Human Services,

Margaret Heckler,

to broker a deal in which

Secretary Heckler

publicly announced 

the termination of

the $14 million Head Injury

Laboratory at the University

of Pennsylvania.

At one point, the front page of the Wall Street Journal

reported that the three topics the White House had 

received the most calls and letters about during 

that week were the war, unemployment, and

the Silver Spring Monkeys.

When photographs taken by Pacheco were broadcast,

showing severely mutilated laboratory primates,

the case sent shock waves through the biomedical

community worldwide.

Known as The Silver Spring Monkeys Case,

it generated a political and social battle that was fought

in Congress, in the courts, in the national media and

in the streets, with Pacheco spearheading a 15-year

campaign against the laboratory’s funding agency,

the National Institutes of Health, over the fate of the

laboratory primates.

The Washington Post wrote: The case ignited widespread

public debate on the ethical issues of animal research. 

It also turned Alex Pacheco into a public figure

and helped make PETA the largest, the most powerful -- 

and the most feared -- animal rights group in America.

The New York Times described it as the nation's 

best-known animal rights case.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone, in the forward to the book

Monkey Business: the Disturbing Case

that Launched the Animal Rights Movement, wrote ...

Out of the sad saga of the Silver Spring Monkeys grew

one of the most important social movements

of our time. 

ssm Oliver2pics Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-a

The campaign brought to an end the era of

little old ladies in tennis shoes, transforming animal lovers

into activists and producing an explosion

in the birth of animal rights organizations.

 

The case also spawned the birth of anti-animal-protection

organizations such as the National Association for

Biomedical Research, which is comprised of major

drug companies, federal government agencies

and major universities, with membership fees 

exceeding $100,000 annually.

The campaign also led to the American Medical Association

commissioning a study by Harvard University on 

how to defeat the animal rights movement.

The study described Pacheco as “a national folk hero

to the animal rights movement.” 

In 1989, a secret Animal Research Action Plan

by the American Medical Association

called for divide-and-conquer tactics

to counter PETA and other animal groups.

After the plan was leaked, the AMA publicly

acknowledged their plan and boasted

about budgeting $21 million to carry it out.

The Silver Spring Monkey campaign

fueled an unprecedented amount of activism

and a flood of national media, with activities

ranging from illegal break-ins into animal laboratories,

to peaceful protests and civil disobedience

which continued to rise for almost two decades.

In the process, Pacheco was arrested over 60 times.

Spearheaded by Pacheco, the campaign produced

numerous precedents, including:

The first and only laboratory animal case

to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first and only arrest of an animal experimenter

for cruelty to animals.

The first and only criminal prosecution and conviction 

of an animal experimenter on charges of cruelty.

The first termination of a federal research grant

because of cruelty.

The first and only confiscation of animals from a laboratory.

Introduction of federal legislation, signed by over 100

members of Congress, to force the federal government
to terminate funding for the laboratory

and to release the Silver Spring Monkeys.

 

In addition, fifty-five U.S. senators, ranging from

Senator Jesse Helms and Senator Barry Goldwater
to Senator Ted Kennedy, signed a joint statement
calling on the government to terminate funding
for the laboratory, end the experiments

and free the Silver Spring Monkeys.

Pacheco was called to testify as the lead witness

before Congressional Hearings by the U.S. House

Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology. 

 

He was called to testify as the star witness

for the State of Maryland in the criminal trial

and prosecution of animal experimenter Dr. Taub,

in State of Maryland vs. Dr. Edward Taub.

 

The campaign paved the way for passage

of federal animal protection legislation

– the 1985 Amendments to the Federal

Animal Welfare Act. 

In 1991 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against

the Silver Spring Monkeys, and in defiance of Congress 

the NIH immediately killed half of the surviving monkeys 

and the conflict continued.

SSM HAND black and white a1a photo.jpg

Apart from the Silver Spring Monkey case,

while Chairman of PETA, some of Pacheco’s

most significant accomplishments came from

the wide range of roles he played in helping convince

many of the world’s largest corporations to

dramatically improve their policies concerning animals. 

From leading a high-profile three-year successful campaign

against the world’s largest corporation at the time,

General Motors -- in which Pacheco destroyed his own GM car

by setting it afire in public during a press conference

in downtown D.C. -- to his undercover work in the

Texas oil fields owned by Exxon, his track record of

victories for animals is remarkable.

GM 7logos Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at-2.36

Free to over 17,000 humane

societies, animal rescue

organizations and the public,

its website hosts over 100,000

adoptable animals nationwide

that are viewable and searchable online, with over 48 million website

visitors annually. 

It is likely that Adopt-A-Pet

is responsible for the adoption

of more animals than any

other non-profit in the world.

In 2010 Pacheco founded

600 Million Stray Dogs Need You

with the mission to develop

safe veterinary formulas

to permanently end

the number one cause of

suffering and death for dogs

and cats worldwide --

dog and cat overpopulation.

The first formulas in

development are Spay

and Neuter Cookies, which

are being designed

to safely sterilize strays --

without surgery.

The objective is to

end the cycle of suffering

for the tens of millions of

stray cats in the U.S. and

end the cycle of suffering

for the 600 million stray dogs

worldwide, who give birth

to over one billion stray pups

each year.

The organization is also

dedicated to alleviating the

plight of the 15 million people

who have to be treated for

rabies each year, and

preventing the deaths of the

59,000 people who die from

rabies each year.

The World Health Organization

reports that over 95%

of all people who die from rabies

receive their fatal infections

from one source: stray dogs.

Though Pacheco co-founded

PETA at the age of 21 with

no money, no staff, no training,

no college degree and no

business experience,

he nonetheless played a

central role in raising

more than $128 million

in donations for animal

protection while living

a near possession-less life.

From the first five years of

PETA when he worked without

pay, often sleeping under his

desk in a sleeping bag, 

Pacheco’s commitment 

has not wavered.

His work has often

been dangerous, 

he has come to live with

threats against his life

by the abusers he exposes,

and he's been shot at numerous 

times and arrested over sixty.

He's been subpoenaed

many times by the FBI and

federal grand juries,

while animal experimenters

have put warning posters

on their laboratory walls with

his photograph, saying ...​

   

     Warning –

     If you see this man

     call security.

Described by those

close to him as a

modern-day Spartan

because of his Franciscan,

non-materialistic philosophy,

Pacheco remains an

innovator and, above all,

perhaps the world’s

preeminent defender

of animal rights.

**  Much was written regarding

the Silver Spring Monkey

campaign, including ... 

“Pacheco shocked the nation

into awareness of animal abuse

in the realm of science … with

the first laboratory animal case

argued before the U.S.

Supreme Court”

    – Publishers Weekly.

“The modern anti-vivisection

movement began in 1980

with the Silver Spring Monkey

case.”

    – Dr. Murry Cohen.

“Pacheco is widely considered

the founder of the modern

Animal Rights Movement.”

    – Dr. Andrew Kirschner.

"Until 1981, it didn't occur

to most folks that animals --

from mice to dogs to chimps --

might be abused in scientific

laboratories. 

Then came Alex Pacheco ... "

     - Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This landmark case …

filled a newly discovered void

in the American conscience."

      – Booklist.

“The most famous laboratory

animals in history.”

     – Author Kathy Snow Guillermo.

“The ensuing battle

over the monkeys’ custody

saw celebrities and politicians

campaign for the monkeys’

release, an amendment in 1985

to the Animal Welfare Act,

the transformation of PETA

from a group of friends

into a national movement,

the creation of the first

North American Animal

Liberation Front cell
and the first animal research case

to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.”

     – Wikipedia.

Successfully targeted companies include

multi-billion-dollar companies such as Phillips Petroleum,

Shell Oil, Gillette, L’Oreal, Revlon and Avon,

to smaller companies such as Benetton,

Tonka, Mattel, Hasbro, Amway, Kenner,

Mary Kay and others.

In 1983, Pacheco went to work armed and undercover

in Waco, Texas, closing down the largest horse slaughter

operation in the world, where over 30,000 horses suffered. 

 

Working under dangerous conditions,

he was repeatedly threatened and shot at

by horse ranchers and publicly pursued

by the County Sheriff and sheriff’s deputies,

who attempted to arrest Pacheco on numerous occasions. 

The threats against him by armed ranchers

reached the point where Pacheco’s supporters

hired bodyguards for him, with the first two sets

of bodyguards quitting, saying it wasn’t worth the risk.

In the resulting Waco, Texas, horse slaughter case,

a special prosecutor was appointed, who convened

a grand jury, which in turn subpoenaed Pacheco,
with the sheriff then arresting Pacheco,

charging him with felonies ranging from

horse-theft to impersonating a federal officer. 

Legendary criminal defense attorney

Richard “Racehorse” Haynes came to Pacheco’s defense,

representing Pacheco before the grand jury

and successfully defending him against all criminal charges. 

In the end, the world’s largest horse-slaughter company

was permanently closed.

Pacheco then began undercover work in a

Defense Department research facility,

which resulted in a direct order by U.S. Secretary of Defense

Caspar Weinberger, covered on the front page of the

Washington Post, permanently closing down

the Pentagon’s Wound Laboratory,

where dogs and other animals were being shot

in underground firing ranges to test new weapons and bullets.

Unsatisfied, Pacheco led continued protests

against the D.O.D. until Secretary Weinberger issued

a second order, ordering that no dogs or cats

are to ever be used again, in any military ballistics training

or research, by the U.S. Defense Department. 

Soon afterwards, the underground Animal Liberation Front

raided the Head Injury Laboratory at the University

of Pennsylvania, removing 60 hours of videotape recordings

of severe brain damage experiments being

performed on live baboons and videotaped

by the experimenters themselves.

A copy of the videos ended up in Pacheco’s possession,

and from them he made the 30-minute documentary

Unnecessary Fuss, showing university doctors

committing violations of federal law

while violently scrambling the brains of live baboons. 

A grand jury was convened to investigate the theft

of federal property (the videotapes), and while Pacheco

was holding a news conference to call attention

to violations at the university, he was subpoenaed

by undercover agents.

 

In return, Pacheco led over 100 activists

in an orchestrated occupation and surprise takeover

of 15 federal offices at the headquarters

of the National Institutes of Health, the federal agency

funding the university experiments.

The occupation lasted four days,

generating national media and substantial

involvement by members of Congress. 

 

On the fourth day of the occupation,

Pacheco met in secret in a stairwell

of the occupied offices with the Chief of Staff

for the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services,

Margaret Heckler, to broker a deal 

in which Secretary Heckler publicly announced 

the termination of the $14 million Head Injury Laboratory

at the University of Pennsylvania.

HHS Heckler Secretary Screen-Shot-2015-1

Of course there was retaliation for closing the laboratory,

and HHS Secretary Heckler paid the price with her job. 

Angered leaders of the biomedical community

pressured President Reagan, who in turn unceremoniously

removed Secretary Heckler from her position as head of HHS

(an agency with the third-largest budget on earth) 

and sent her to Ireland, demoting and appointing her

as the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

In 2002, Pacheco continued to revolutionize

the world of animal rights by co-founding Adopt-A-Pet.

logo Adopt1 Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at-3.

Free to over 17,000 humane societies, animal rescue

organizations and the public, its website hosts over

100,000 adoptable animals nationwide that are viewable

and searchable online, with over 48 million website

visitors annually. 

It is likely that Adopt-A-Pet is responsible for the adoption

of more animals than any other non-profit in the world.

In 2010, Pacheco founded 600 Million Stray Dogs Need You

with the mission to develop safe veterinary formulas

to permanently end the number one cause of suffering

and death for dogs and cats worldwide --

dog and cat overpopulation.

The first formulas in development are Spay and Neuter Cookies,

which are being designed to safely sterilize strays --

without surgery.

The objective is to end the cycle of suffering for the

tens of millions of stray cats in the U.S. and

end the cycle of suffering for the 600 million stray dogs

worldwide, who give birth to over one billion stray pups each year.

The organization is also dedicated to alleviating the plight

of the 15 million people who are treated for rabies each year,

and preventing the deaths of the 59,000 people who die

from rabies each year.

The World Health Organization reports that

over 95% of all people who die from rabies

receive their fatal infections from one source: stray dogs.

Though Pacheco co-founded PETA at the age of 21

with no money, no staff, no training, no college degree

and no business experience, he nonetheless played a central role

in raising over $128 million in donations for animal protection

while living a near possession-less life.

From the first five years of PETA when he worked without pay,

often sleeping under his desk in a sleeping bag,

Pacheco’s commitment has not wavered.

His work has often been dangerous,

he has come to live with threats against his life

by the abusers he exposes, and he's been

shot at many times and arrested over sixty.

He's been subpoenaed many times by the FBI

and federal grand juries, while animal experimenters

have put warning posters on their laboratory walls

with his photograph, saying ...

                     Warning –
                     If you see this man call security.

Described by those close to him as a modern-day Spartan

because of his Franciscan, non-materialistic philosophy,

Pacheco remains an innovator and, above all,

perhaps the world’s preeminent defender of animal rights.

ssm Floor Screen-Shot-2015-10-07-at-1.41

**   Much was written regarding the Silver Spring Monkey

campaign, including ... 

“Pacheco shocked the nation into awareness of animal abuse

in the realm of science … with the first laboratory animal case

argued before the U.S. Supreme Court”

     – Publishers Weekly.

“The modern anti-vivisection movement began in 1980

with the Silver Spring Monkey case.”

     – Dr. Murry Cohen.

“Pacheco is widely considered the founder

of the modern Animal Rights Movement.”

     – Dr. Andrew Kirschner.

"Until 1981, it didn't occur to most folks that animals --

from mice to dogs to chimps -- might be abused

in scientific laboratories. Then came Alex Pacheco ... "

     - Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This landmark case … filled a newly discovered void

in the American conscience."
      – Booklist.

“The most famous laboratory animals in history.”

     – Author Kathy Snow Guillermo.

“The ensuing battle over the monkeys’ custody

saw celebrities and politicians campaign for the monkeys’ release,

an amendment in 1985 to the Animal Welfare Act,

the transformation of PETA from a group of friends

into a national movement, the creation of the first
North American Animal Liberation Front cell
and the first animal research case to
reach the United States Supreme Court.”

     – Wikipedia.

Thank you for caring.

Thank you for caring.

Alex Pacheco

600 Million Stray Dogs Need You
Founder
Animal Rights Hall of Fame 
Inductee
Adopt A Pet 
Co-Founder
PETA Co-Founder 
Chairman (1980-2000)
Sea Shepherd 
Crew Member of the Year
Peace Abbey 
Courage of Conscience Award

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