Anonymous takes pride in its reputation as a voice for the voiceless, defender of the helpless. And they have never hesitated to go after perpetrators of animal cruelty: from OpBeast to OpFunKill to OpKillingBay and more, Anons have exposed brutal husbandry and slaughter practices, named and shamed those who take part, and hacked, doxed, and @’d the powers that be without mercy.
Now they’re at it again in the state of Oklahoma. In June, local horse trainer Jeromy Mixon uploaded some photos of himself and a pal at work on a young horse to Facebook. The photos depict him and another man, Brad Stewart, sitting and standing atop a hog-tied and apparently unconscious very small horse, beating it with a bull whip and preparing to drive spurs into its neck. The gelding’s penis sheath is strapped down tightly, and he appears underfed, stunted, and possibly dehydrated as well.
Everyone on Facebook secretly hopes their posts go viral, and if that was Mixon’s hope, well, he got his wish.
As the Examiner reported, a police report of the incident had been filed with the local District Attorney, who is a Facebook friend of Mixon’s, and the DA had declined to prosecute. Well, you know how that went down, because you’re reading about it on this website.
A brand-new Twitter account called @HorseInOKAbused sprang up, tweeting outrage and using the time-honoured techniques of following as many influencers as it could (Twitter caps you at 2,000 until you have at least 1800 followers) and tweeting at celebrities, hoping for an rt to millions of fans. It also cc’s Oklahoman political figures like the local DA, the governor, the state government, and so on, seeking to make the issue a source of outrage across the state and a stain on its public honour.
From there, Anonymous picked it up, quickly launching @AnonsForHorses and announcing the operation via the traditional Pastebin.
On June 7th, horse owner and trainer, Jeromy Reece Mixon from Millerton, Oklahoma posted photos displaying his’ “training method” of a young horse on his personal Facebook. Apparently he felt rather proud of himself and choose to publicly display these photos but his ‘training” appeared to many to be an obvious case of horse abuse and cruelty.
Disgusted and outraged social media users reported the incident to the local sheriffs office who responded and a vet was called out.
What happened (or didn’t happen) next is utterly incredible. The McCurtain County District Attorney Mark Matloff elected NOT to press charges. Why? No answer has been given that we are aware of.
Could it be that this is because he is good buddies and Facebook friends with Mixon who also happens to be a Millerton fireman? In a small town of a population ~350 it seems rather likely their paths have crossed a few times.
They called a Tweetstorm for Sunday, August 2nd which topped 3,000 tweets and drove the hashtag #ShowUsTheHorse to the top of the Trending list in Oklahoma. It has now been tweeted over 14,000 times. A related Facebook page has 1,388 Likes so far.
Anonymous created a roundup of incriminating images and screenshots, including snaps showing Mixon is Facebook friends with the District Attorney. A petition demanding prosecution has already garnered over 1,600 signatures from around the world. A different petition has topped 2000 signatures. Additionally, they’re working on a collaborative Titanpad to list all official state Twitter accounts, so they can all be included and targeted with tweets.
In response, Mixon has set his facebook page to private, changed the spelling of his name to “Jeremy” instead of “Jeromy”, and doubled down.
On his blog he proudly reposts tweets from various professional veterinary associations and animal welfare agencies who condemn him, calling the post “Photos from Those Crazy Internet People.” [oops, we fell for the old Fake Incriminating Blog trick] Indeed, he has not shown anyone the horse, but at this rate of pickup it’s only a matter of time until people physically drive out to his stable and look for the horse themselves. What they’ll do if they find the bullwhip is not that hard to guess.