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PFPD: Employee at Pigeon Forge stables arrested after video of him whipping horse shared online

David Allen Whaley, an employee at Goldrush Stables & Stage Lines, was arrested for cruelty to animals on Friday.
Credit: abscourtneyy

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — The Pigeon Forge Police Department said a person was arrested Friday after they learned about a video posted to social media that showed a horse being whipped several times in a row after it appeared to try and run away from an employee.

Police said they learned about the video at around 2:45 p.m. on Friday and went to Goldrush Stables & Stage Lines to investigate. David Allen Whaley, an employee there, was arrested for cruelty to animals.

The video appears to be filmed by a person several feet away from Whaley as he uses a whip on the horse. It also shows him yelling at it, and the snap of the whip can be heard in the video.

It was shared widely online, especially on TikTok. 

 Police said it was filmed in mid-May, and the horse did not appear to have any injuries when they responded on Friday.

Goldrush Stables released a statement on Facebook on Friday, saying

"Goldrush Stables recently became aware of a video currently circulating and would like to address this situation publicly. The video in question was captured over 2 months prior to being made public. In the span between the date of the incident and this video being published, actionable policies had already been implemented to correct this behavior and prevent it from ever occurring again.

The interest and passion of those that have seen the video did inspire visits from investigative agencies, which we welcomed. After learning we had already taken action in regards to the behavior in the video, details spurring the videos release, and conducting interviews, they have deemed our handling of this situation satisfactory with no further action.

Goldrush has always worked hard to not only ensure our guests happiness but our horse’s as well. We feel that this this incident was a failure in our mission but has provided further motivation to help ensure our horses remain happy and healthy. We understand the emotionally charged response and appreciate so many people being concerned for the well being of our animals."

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