Best of Miami 2012 - Best Citizen: Richard "Kudo" Couto

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Photo by Ian Witlen
Best Citizen
Richard "Kudo" Couto

A few years ago, local real estate agent Richard Couto adopted a Rambo-esque nickname: "Kudo." He began driving his Range Rover into what's known as the C-9 Basin, an unincorporated area of Northwest Miami-Dade County notorious for unlicensed slaughterhouses and a horse meat black market. He filmed undercover video of animals being slaughtered. He broke into the farms at night and catalogued their inventory, and once even stole a doomed baby pig he renamed "Oreo." He carried two cocked and loaded handguns and wore a flak jacket. He was doing what local cops and politicians -- who by all accounts knew about the illegal slaughterhouses -- were too apathetic or corrupt to tackle themselves. Kudo has been called crazy, but he's really just brave and effective. Through compiling a huge amount of undeniable evidence, he bypassed local police departments and went to state attorneys, who sparked a raid that dismantled the entire C-9 Basin. Now cops have no choice but to work with him. His horse slaughter investigations have led to stronger laws statewide. His undercover videos of hogs and cows being brutally slaughtered have netted felony prosecutions. These days, Couto has ditched the Range Rover for a more utilitarian pickup truck, tricked out with SWAT-level surveillance and commando gear. He's Bruce Wayne for South Florida's hoofed citizenry.

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10 comments
Hawkstone14
Hawkstone14

It is people like him that make a huge difference.These poor creatures can not defend them selves and look to us humans to protect them.Those people that have their comments about what is good and right and how money is spent?Take a good look at yourself and ask why your the way you are and why don't you care about the importants of defencless animalsYou must be lacking in your life somewhere to make such comments.What are you doing in the world to make a difference? Mr. Couto has worked very hard to help save may animals from harm.He has put himself in great danger plenty of times throughtout his efferts.I have been following his stories for years and I am amazed how he continues and never gives  up.I am sure he has seen the devil and is brave enough to fight and keep strong in his belief. P.C.S. Weeki Wachee, Fl The Nature Coast

Christy Lee
Christy Lee

Kudo absolutely rocks...I can't thank him enough for the countless lives he has saved out there, and the ones he is still fighting to save.  I've been out there, and you cannot believe the atrocities that take place.  Decent people have been saying for years that the cruelty and illegal butchery that take place in the C-9 have to stop, but finally one person stood up and did something about it.  If you agree that enough is enough, then stand up and help...go to http://animalrecoverymission.org/ and help. REALLY HELP!!!!!

Irishmc1
Irishmc1

Thank you Kudo.  Your work is appreciated by many people and animals.  God bless you!

Christy Lee
Christy Lee

I can't thank Kudo enough for all the lives of animals that he has saved and the ones he is still working to save out there.  I have been to the C-9 and you would not believe the atrocities and  blatant animal cruelty that takes place there.  Decent people have been complaining for years about it, but finally one person stood up and fought to do something about it.  Thank God he got help from the State Attorney's office.  It only takes one person with real courage to change something, and now there is an army fighting this.  I'm proud to be in it.   If you want to help, all you have to do is go to http://animalrecoverymission.org/ and stand up and do it.  And by the way, the beautiful horse in this picture is a descendent of Secretariat.  She was found in the C-9 basin, tied to a fence, in the line to be butchered, sick and starving.

Claire North
Claire North

 Calne, I care and a whole lot more people care about the illegal and barbaric slaughter of our animals, including equines. Get a soul!

Claire North
Claire North

we need more people nationwide like Kudo..I support him and his team, and these slaughterhouses and their riff raff need to be driven out of the USA, for good!

Jeanette
Jeanette

I am very proud to call Kudo "friend."  

Country girl
Country girl

Couto deserves a medal. I wish him continued success in his quest to do the right thing. Wish he would run for office.

Tml666
Tml666

He influenced lawmakers and t is the intelligent way to bring about real change. That is called having real conviction and principle and that's why most people can't understand.

GetSmartDummy
GetSmartDummy

 dumb comments all around and a big part of the problem is people like you.

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