It’s been nearly seven years since the Humane Society of the United States raided a dog breeding operation in South Dakota.
Even though he was never found guilty of inhumane treatment of animals, the wrongful raid cost Dan Christensen of Hurley not only his hunting dog operation, but also hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now there’s a new movie coming out this week about Christensen’s story.
“The Dog Lover” is a movie based on the true story of Christensen and the raid of his dog breeding operation on his farm near Hurley, which a court later ruled was illegal.
“It’s 95 percent accurate; I mean I couldn’t have hardly told them any better. It was really done professionally,” Christensen said.
What wasn’t professional, according to Christensen, was the way the Humane Society of the United States conducted the raid back in 2009.
“The search and seizure warrant was illegal, but it said on there, ‘Take all animals,’ Christensen said.
The animal rights group and volunteers took his 173 registered hunting dogs worth thousands of dollars. Christensen was charged with multiple counts of inhumane treatment of animals and was facing time in prison.
Other than the names that were changed, Christiansen says the film was so true to life that it brought back a lot of painful memories when the movie producers flew him out to Hollywood for its premiere.
“It was tough to watch sometimes, but I was glad somebody did it, so people could realize what goes on and how this can happen,” Christensen said.
Christensen was never found guilty and later sued the organization, but only got a small portion of what he spent in fighting the charges.
Don Jorgensen: What did it cost you?
Dan Christensen: A lot, I mean I still have nightmares.
KELOLAND News reached out the Humane Society of the United States for comment about this story; they replied with the following statement:
“Anyone reading the court records here will quickly see that the federal district court effectively dismissed every single one of the claims made against HSUS and our staff in a detailed written opinion. The same written opinion also reported that HSUS reasonably relied on a facially valid warrant in rescuing the animals involved. The backers of this film<http://www.whoattackshsus.org/protect-the-harvest/> ignored that court record, and have invested millions into trying to prop up cruel puppy mills and they have opposed the most basic animal cruelty law upgrades.”
‘The Dog Lover’ opens this Friday at West Mall 7 theaters in Sioux Falls.