Tag Archives: rescue

All Dogs are ‘House’ Dogs; Some Owners Just Miss the Memo

So, in a surprise twist that—oh, wait—happens all the time, Dogs Deserve Better was once again painted as the bad guys in an Ohio neglect case yesterday.

Here’s the news story:

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2015/02/03/mount-vernon-ohio-mt.-vernon-dog-owner-threatened-after-online-post-goes-viral.html

Since it appears the news station only called Dogs Deserve Better for a statement AFTER our office staff went home for the day (leaving a message just before 6 p.m.), I’ll be more than happy to create our rebuttal to the above story here in my blog.

1. Was it an animal rescue, or a “violent act of harassment?”

Neither. It was a stand against animal cruelty.

Image of the dog in distress
Image of the dog in distress
Dog looking for help under fence
Dog looking for help under fence

You see, while every one of you at your news station goes home to your WARM, happy, and healthy dogs sleeping on your couches, Joe Schmoe that you’ve just interviewed leaves his dogs outside for life.

Because, in his words, “They AREN’T HOUSE DOGS.”

But they are. HOUSE DOGS. Joe Schmoe is just too uncaring to know it.

Every dog is a house dog. Every dog wants to be a member of the family, and these two pit mixes you’re showing are no exception.

Pitbulls are some of the most chained dogs in America, yet they are short-coated dogs and don’t have the fur to endure the cold; they are among the first to freeze to death at the end of a chain.

2. Police are ‘concerned’ about an ‘out of state’ rescue group’s methods.

What would these heinous METHODS be, you might ask? Putting up photos of a dog in distress on social media and having people call the authorities and the news stations about it?

It’s called FREE SPEECH. Social action. Dog advocacy. Nothing sinister about it, although it sure is being purported as such.

3. Police say the viral response to our Facebook post ‘could have put lives in danger.’

Weren’t lives already in danger? The dogs who are forced to live outside in sub freezing temperatures on nights with wind chills as low as -7 are in danger of death every single day of the winter months. By people taking a stand against this treatment of our best friends, we are acting to SAVE LIVES.

4. Even ‘we’ (the news station) felt the repercussions.

So the news station and the police station get bombarded with phone calls asking for help for the dog? I would call that a success. Thanks to everyone who stood up for the dog and made a difference. We do have a voice, and we can and should continue to use our voices until laws and lawmakers and those tasked with upholding the laws understand that living beings have the right to live free of the danger of death at the end of  chain.

5. People came around his house and made threats and brandished pistols.

[I watch a lot of Judge Judy because my hubby likes her. She would say if someone DID brandish a weapon, wouldn’t that be the first thing you talk about instead of bringing it up at the end as an afterthought? I know I’d be blubbering on and on about that if it were me.]

Dogs Deserve Better asks for phone calls to police and local news on dog cases like this. We NEVER advocate violence. Anyone who becomes violent as a result of something they read online is standing on their own, and not as part of any group.

I can tell you that dog-loving Americans are getting fed up with the animal abuse and neglect. If they are acting out, I would suggest that lawmakers stop dragging their feet and get to making and enforcing better laws for Man’s Best Friend.

IF THIS REALLY HAPPENED, and I have no idea if it did or not, then it probably won’t be the first or last time.

However, neither I nor DDB are responsible for one person’s reaction to the abuse they are seeing. We simply point it out; we don’t advocate or condone violence in reaction to it. We ask for phone calls to flood the police and the media.

6. Blames it on his neighbor.

Our apologies and condolences go out to this neighbor. Do you know how much abuse she had to witness in order to decide to stand and ask for help for the dog? Can you understand for one second the fear she had to face just by going public with what she was seeing?

Can you bet that she might be harassed now that she outed the abuse she saw?  I wrote a blog already about the suffering of the neighbors who have the watch the abuse. It’s horrible, and once again, SHE is the one belittled right along with Dogs Deserve Better. https://ofdogsandchains.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/the-emotional-distress-of-watching-a-dog-chained-in-the-cold/

7. Dog warden found ‘nothing wrong.’

Color me shocked! Not. Dog wardens, animal control officers, police, seldom find ‘anything wrong’ unless the dog’s already dead. At that point they MIGHT start to think something is wrong, but you can bet in most cases there won’t even be charges filed.

News reporter—Shelby is it—do you have two eyes? Do you have a dog? Because anyone who DOES have two eyes can see that there’s definitely something wrong.

8. They are well cared for, but not HOUSE DOGS.

Joe Schmoe states the dogs were well cared for, but NOT house dogs. Then they were NOT well cared for, or they WOULD be house dogs. ‘Outside dogs’ and ‘cared for’ do not go together. Oddly, the news station continually showed photos of the dog inside, but then they admit the dogs live outside and proudly show the doghouses.

Doghouses are not something to be proud of.

In fact, I’d like to issue a CHALLENGE TO THIS GUY, JOE SCHMOE DOG OWNER. I WILL COME THERE AND CHAIN UP TO YOUR DOGHOUSES WITH YOU IN THE DOGS’ PLACE.

WHEN YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH AND CAN ADMIT THAT THIS IS NO LIFE FOR A DOG, WE WILL QUIT.  Deal?

Just give me a call at our office when you’re ready for our challenge. 757-357-9292.

9. She had a skin allergy, which is why she was red and patchy. I have ointment for it.

Did the news station ask to see the vet bill for the medicine? Any vet instructions for the skin allergy? Or, as usual, did they just believe whatever they were told.

I’ve never had a vet prescribe ointment for any of the dogs we’ve rescued with skin allergies. They had special baths, antibiotics, antifungals, and a myriad of other medicines by mouth considering what kind of skin condition the vet thought they had, but I have never been prescribed an ointment.

Do you know why? BECAUSE THEY LICK IT OFF.

So I won’t believe he had ointment for his dog’s skin allergy without seeing a vet bill and prescription for it.

10. He has doghouses with bedding, food and water, and even heat lamps.

Um, wow? Besides the obvious, that NO DOG DESERVES TO LIVE OUTSIDE and instead deserves to have a cushy bed INSIDE the home, I really didn’t see more than a few twigs of straw in the houses, and I didn’t see any food and water either.

And the heat lamp? Appeared to be on a crate INSIDE the home. What’s up with that.

11. Police chief says “because of all the phone calls and e-mails he couldn’t have responded to ‘something serious.'”

Come on! That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. Not only could he have certainly responded to ‘something serious’ but this comment in and of itself is exactly the problem.

Dogs are considered unimportant in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of law enforcement. If they HAD taken the problem seriously, the phone calls would have immediately stopped and the dog would have been safely inside and warm, and perhaps on her way to the vet.

12. Check the facts before posting on social media.

Hmmm. Ok, let’s check the facts. Yep, looks like we had our facts straight. Dog outside? Check. Dog has skin condition and low body fur to survive chained in the winter cold? Check and check.

13. Gave Samantha to a rescue group.

Well, then? I guess all’s well that ends well. I’d call that was a good day for Samantha.

Looks like you’re on your way to a new and better life, girl. Have a great one! Run, play, snuggle, do all those things that normal dogs get to do and you were deprived of. You sure deserve your happy ending.

Samantha on her way to a rescue group
Samantha on her way to a rescue group

14. Big FAIL for the OHIO POLICE and the TV STATION.

While your dogs sit inside cushy and warm, you condone and defend those who allow their dogs to suffer and die in the winter cold. You send a message that this behavior is acceptable and perpetuate the real crime against all of doghood: that chaining a dog outside for life is status quo when in fact it isn’t and it never will be.

We will not stop doing what is right and standing for the abused. We suggest that you use the two eyes you have to see the neglect right in front of you and do something about it, rather than defending the abuser.

P.S. To Anyone who may or may not have acted out with violence

Seriously. If anyone DID hold a gun on this guy or his family? That’s effed up. Two wrongs don’t make a right and all that.

Pip Pip.

You only give the dog owners who mistreat their pets ammo to paint themselves as the victims. Don’t do it.

Yesterday the real victim—the dog—got to safety and will get to know a loving, inside home and family. That’s what’s important.

Thank you so much to the Underdog Society-Knox County Dog Rescue who stepped up to rescue Samantha. If you’d like help with her vet bills, please fill out the form for our Hero Fund grant at this link, and we’ll be happy to help her on to a new and happier life: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/hero.html.

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The Emotional Distress to Humans Who are Forced to Watch a Dog Chained in the Cold

Gideon was rescued last winter by an Ohio humane society, and transferred to DDB
Gideon was rescued last winter by an Ohio humane society, and transferred to DDB

A cold spell is sweeping the nation, and I watch sadly as people frantically beg online and to authorities for help for chained dogs left out in frigid temperatures near them; knowing that for most help will not come.

Will these dogs die this time, this winter, today?

Would a more appropriate question be not WILL THEY die but HOW MANY will die this time, this winter, today?

And when these precious and helpless creatures DO die, frozen to the ground on their chains, neighbors who have watched the dog suffer (but were too afraid to take matters into their own hands) will bear the guilt of the dog’s death in addition to their own feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and anger at a system that’s let them down and the dog down.

The choices for a caring neighbor forced to watch a dog try and fail to survive in sub-freezing temperatures will become 1. take the dog, aka PROPERTY OF ANOTHER, into their warm homes or the vet’s office and risk being arrested for it, OR 2. to protect themselves and stand by and watch the dog die at the end of the chain.

Some choice.

The heartless and soulless humans who left these dogs—dogs who depend on them for empathy and kindness—out on that chain in frigid temperatures to die will not suffer a moment’s remorse for their actions. That I can guarantee you.

I become very depressed when a cold spell hits, and I feel immense guilt that I am sleeping all snug in my bed while dogs are dying out there in the freezing temperatures.

I personally feel the weight of each suffering dog on my shoulders and I feel like it’s all my fault that I haven’t succeeded in freeing every chained dog in America during my 12.5 years with Dogs Deserve Better.

This isn’t logical, of course, and I know that there’s no way I could have or should have been expected to personally free millions of dogs on my own. Yet I have a hard time releasing that guilt and just moving forward to the best of my ability.

I wrote a previous blog about how to go about helping chained dogs in the cold from a logistical standpoint, so I won’t go over all that again, but you can read it here: https://ofdogsandchains.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/dog-out-in-the-cold-what-to-do-what-to-do/

Today I want to talk about the emotional distress that caring humans feel when forced to watch a chained dog suffer in the cold.

Let’s face it, there’s something ‘off’ about anyone who puts a dog on a chain and thinks it’s acceptable under the best of conditions. Throughout history, those who oppress others (human and animals alike) have justified their actions and behavior with such ludicrous phrases as “he/she likes it out there. He/she isn’t suffering. He/she is happy.”

This is what we hear daily at Dogs Deserve Better when speaking to caretakers of chained dogs. “He likes it out there. He hates the house.”

Bullshit.

One wonders, are these people truly without emotions, or have they just blocked off emotions with regard to the oppressed in order to continue the abuse which—for whatever reason—is convenient and easier for them?

When it comes to dog chaining, I’m constantly asked by our supporters (with confused expressions) “Why do they have a dog at all if they’re just going to chain him/her outside?”

I think, outside of nefarious reasons for chaining dogs such as dogfighting, most people leave dogs on chains because it’s easier for them than bringing them inside to live.

Perhaps their father did it, and without a strong moral compass that tells them not to blindly follow in their father’s footsteps, they just continue the pattern without a thought to the suffering of the animal.

It’s true that living with dogs is akin to living with children. When you come home from the store, there is no guarantee you won’t see garbage strewn across your kitchen floor, or the chewed-up, missing limb from your coffee table.

You co-exist with dog hair, tell visitors to wear their shoes inside to save yourself embarrassment, and clean up poop/pee/vomit at inconvenient and annoying times and places.

But if you’re going to live with a dog, you must accept these conditions in exchange for the benefits of loving and caring for a fur creature that gives back as much as he/she takes.

Or, you can just take the easy way out and toss the dog out on a chain without a thought as to what the dog deserves.

I go up against people who chain their dogs way too often in court, and they will lie through their teeth in order to ‘get you’. Morals are not their strong suit, which is completely obvious given that they keep their ‘Best Friend’ on a chain in the backyard next to the garbage can.

Police and judges almost always (in my case, always) side with the dog abusers. Whether our society has evolved to a police state, or those in positions of power are just set on maintaining status quo and property rights is something that could be the subject of endless debate.

Whatever the case may be, there’s a good chance that if a caring citizen tries to get help for a chained or penned dog from authorities, they will be sorely disappointed.

If animal control or the police actually DO help you and make the owners take the dog inside tonight, great! Wonderful! Call it a day and go eat some pizza. You’ve done well, and the officer is to be commended.

If not, you are left with one heluva dilemma and one heluva load of emotional distress for which there is no end in sight. It’s disheartening, to put it mildly.

How can you possibly crawl into your bed tonight and know that the dog next door is struggling just to survive the night? That each moment through which you blissfully sleep is just one more moment of torture for a being who has done nothing wrong, has committed no crime, and wants nothing more than to be part of a home and family?

This emotional distress caused to caring neighbors is an extension of the abuse caused to the dog by those who chain, by police and animal control who turn a blind eye, and by judges who uphold owner’s rights to abuse both the animals and caring citizens.

Think about this. Say your home was broken into by armed robbers, and you had to watch as they beat your husband or wife, but you were tied to the chair in the kitchen and you couldn’t physically get up to help. You were helpless to do anything but watch as this beating continued, and someone you love was forced to endure pain beyond their ability to bear. It hurt you almost as much to watch it as it hurt him/her to endure the beatings.

Even IF this happened only once in your lifetime, AND you both survived, odds are quite good you’d be dealing with years of post traumatic stress disorder.

Watching a dog, a creature most of us love and feel an innate urge to protect, go through a similar torture every day on a chain for the 10-12 years of his/her lifespan and feeling helpless to do anything about it creates a similar post traumatic stress in neighbors.

The condition goes completely undiagnosed because the caring human is too embarrassed to even talk about the pain in therapy or with those who aren’t out and out dog lovers.

Most neighbors of chained dogs become depressed from watching the suffering of the dog next door;  this is a completely NORMAL human reaction to being forced to watch abuse.

I’m spoken to hundreds of people over the years who cry when they describe the condition of their neighbor’s dog to me. They can’t sleep, they can’t eat, and are an emotional wreck from witnessing the abuse day in and day out.

Something must change.

'Worthless' (their name for him, not mine) on his chain in 2002
‘Worthless’ (their name for him, not mine) on his chain in 2002

Before I formed Dogs Deserve Better, I helplessly watched Worthless suffer on his chain for six years. I was obsessed with moving—anywhere else—so that I didn’t have to see his sadness and pain every day.

But I knew wherever I ended up there would just be another dog on another chain;  moving wouldn’t solve the problem of what was happening to Worthless and every other unfortunate dog like him stuck out on a chain for life.

I took action after I formed Dogs Deserve Better, and rescued Worthless from his chain.
I took action after I formed Dogs Deserve Better, and rescued Worthless from his chain.

If you too are suffering from the trauma of watching a dog on a chain, I am truly sorry, both for you and the dog. I know this same pain, and my heart is with you in suffering each and every day.

If you have tried every method of getting help for the dog—to include speaking to the caretakers and asking authorities for help— and nothing has worked, only YOU can decide if you will act in the face of possible harassment by authorities to save the life of the dog in this or another sub-zero cold spell this winter.

Want my advice? I say you only live once (that you know of, anyway) and even IF you get in trouble for removing a dog from a chain in sub-freezing temperatures, it would be the best possible reason to go down; you will always be proud of yourself for taking the courageous stand.

I picked this dog up who couldn't stand, took him to the vet, and refused to return him to the owners who left him lay like that for three days. I was charged with theft and receiving stolen property. I didn't care. He was worth it.
I picked this dog up in 2006, took him to the vet, and refused to return him to the owners who left him to die like that. I was charged with theft and receiving stolen property. I didn’t care. He was worth it.

I know, I’ve done it.

In states with Good Samaritan laws as pertaining to animals (the only one that I know of is Ohio, but there may be more…if you know, please enlighten me), the word is if you act to save the life of an animal you won’t be harmed. I’ve never heard of a case using it yet, but I would always get plenty of evidence before acting.

I recommend that IF you are going to act to save the life of a chained dog, PHOTO DOCUMENT, PHOTO DOCUMENT, PHOTO DOCUMENT. Take both photos and video of the distress of the dog and the outdoor temperatures and conditions before removing him/her from the chain, and either taking him/her into your warm home or to the vet, depending on how dire the circumstances are.

If you live in New York state and run into trouble for helping a chained dog in frigid temperatures, Attorney Matt Albert has pledged to represent you FREE. (Regardless, be SURE to take a ton of photos and video, so he has something to work with in court!)

If you live anywhere else and you are faced with a life and death decision with a dog, I pledge to help you raise the money for attorney’s fees if needed when you take the courageous and morally right actions on the dog’s behalf. I will expect you to provide me with photo and/or video evidence of both the temperatures outside and the distress of the dog.

The bottom line is: ensure you get your evidence, and you get GOOD evidence. Evidence makes all the difference; if not in the courtroom, then definitely in the court of public opinion.

In closing, as an ordained interfaith minister, I hold a firm belief that there are man’s laws and there are God’s laws. All too often man’s laws are in direct violation of God’s laws and go against the conscience of a person of strong moral character.

Please. If you live near a chained dog out in the frigid cold, take EVEN ONE BRAVE ACTION today. Gather your courage; go talk to the caretaker.

If he won’t let you take the dog inside and refuses to take the dog inside himself, gather up ten neighbors who agree that enough is enough and go back WITH A PACK OF HUMANS STANDING STRONG AND TOGETHER. There is safety and strength in numbers.

We are stronger together, and we must stand together in order to stop animal abuse.

I’ve found that the best cure for my depression in the winter is to take action on behalf of chained dogs. You’ll find it helps you too.

Thank you for caring about them.

Ezekiel was a dog who was shot in the head and outside a church in the frigid cold. We rescued him just as the shooter was returning to finish the job! Ezekiel got a wonderful home and family because we didn't give up on him.
Ezekiel was a dog who was shot in the head and taking refuge outside a church in the frigid cold. We rescued him just as the shooter was returning to finish the job! Ezekiel got a wonderful home and family because we didn’t give up on him.

P.S. Here’s our volunteer page link where we have lots of free stuff you can print out to hand out in the neighborhood. http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/volunteer.html

She Was “Doing Something With the Dog.”…I Believe it’s Called “Petting.”

Yesterday I had to be in court in Tyrone, PA, on two charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct for my failed attempts to help this Bellwood, PA dog. Read my previous blogs for more info, or get caught up on the case here: http://dogsdeservebetter.org/papoliceabusepower.html

Since these were just summary charges (think traffic tickets—only more annoying—and majorly trumped up at that), I chose to act as my own attorney.

In hindsight, it’s a good thing I didn’t go to law school; then I would have no excuse for the way I get chewed up and spit out in the courtroom.

This is the best pic that shows how truly close to the road she was. Yep, right beside it.
This is the best pic that shows how truly close to the street she was. Yep, right beside it.

They couldn’t find any reason at all to convict me on trespassing (It wasn’t for lack of trying), as I had photos of the dog standing smack-dab beside the curb of the street.

The magistrate had to drop that charge.

The cop had no direct knowledge of anything that happened that night. Just the word of his ‘witness.’ And this is what they spend tax-payer dollars on…arguing?

He claimed that he called my house to discuss the situation with me before filing charges to get my side of the story, but that is untrue. He said there was no answering machine, but we have two. One takes a message if no one is on the phone, and the other picks up if we’re on the other line. Either way, if you call our home, you will hit an answering machine. He never called, never left a message.

I showed the above photo to the officer to point out how close to the street the dog was, and asked how I could possibly be trespassing with her on the curb.

He said that I could have taken the photo from BEHIND THE DOG.

I’m not even lying about that. Seriously! 

How could I POSSIBLY take THIS PHOTO from BEHIND the dog? Bwahaha.

I had to educate the officer on the law with regards to photographing dogs, and, well, anything in the public domain. It is allowed by law as long as it can be photographed and is visible from public property.

This officer thought I had to have the owner’s permission to photograph the dog. Not true.

I’m pretty sure I had the dog’s permission to photograph her, though. A dog who has spent her life tethered is happy for just about any kind of attention that isn’t doing her physical harm. She was sweet, a bit shy, and so attention-starved (and food-starved) it made me sad.

In order to make me sound more criminal, the officer claimed that his witness told him I was “Doing Something With the Dog.”

He made sure to repeat this twice, to ensure that the judge knew just how ominous my behavior was.

I believe that is called “Petting,” Officer.

“P-e-t-t-i-n-g.”

Here’s the definition in case you run into it again: To show affection through caressing or stroking: i.e. to pet a dog.

On the disorderly conduct—which I like to call “arguing without a purpose”—it was my word against the word of his witness, which is why I saw no point to going to court in the first place.

Good Lord! What she accused me of doing was so ridiculous and over the top that my husband Joe couldn’t contain himself any longer and started cracking up.

Which of course made me want to crack up too. But I know that judges get pretty irate when people laugh in their courtroom, so I tried to keep a handle on the cackling.

She even accused me of threatening to call Children in Youth (or whoever it is, I’m not sure who she said) about her kids having dirty clothes. I would imagine all kids would have dirty clothes in the summer…that means they’re playing. I never even noticed.

I do remember telling her kids that I felt sorry for them that they had to grow up believing this was any kind of way to keep an animal. And I don’t regret that for a minute.

Based on her testimony, either A: I had a blackout and turned into Darth Vader for no apparent good reason, OR B: she was lying through her teeth.

I’m going with B.

Keep in mind, this woman was NOT the dog owner. She was the neighbor across the street. I don’t know her from Adam, don’t care to know her, and I would have no reason to talk to a stranger.

In fact, one of my issues is that I’m incredibly shy in person, and have a very hard time talking to people I don’t know. Logic would tell you that no single woman would go up to a group of four people, two men and two women, and start verbally accosting them out of the blue. Why?

Calling them names? How do you call people names you don’t even know. Wouldn’t you need to at least be angry at them before you took that step?

On and on it went. When I had the chance to question her, she denied the things I knew to be true.

1. The young man, Zach, stated on our facebook page that his uncle is a Bellwood cop. Even though she said she was related to Zach in some way, neither she nor the cop would admit to being related or knowing anyone on the force who was related to them.

2. Denied that Zach almost physically accosted me, but she and her mother or whoever she was pulled him away. She did say he got about five feet away from me (when I walked up to him, yeah, I’m going to walk belligerently up to a young man I don’t even know and what, threaten to beat him up?) at which point in time she went up and ‘gently touched him on the arm to have him back up.’

3. Denied standing in the road, breaking the law of obstructing traffic, when I was trying to drive away. [PA 5507. Obstructing highways and other public passages. (a) Obstructing.–A person, who, having no legal privilege to do so, intentionally or recklessly obstructs any highway, railroad track or public utility right-of-way, sidewalk, navigable waters, other public passage, whether alone or with others, commits a summary offense.]

The magistrate wouldn’t give me the time of day about any claims that the charges were filed seven days after the supposed offenses in an attempt to ‘get even’ with me for inspiring so many phone calls about the dog’s condition to the Bellwood police.  The officer did admit to getting a lot of phone calls, but wouldn’t say how many.

The magistrate acted like I had no legal authority to be there, to take photos, or to advocate on behalf of the dog. He was obsessed with the fact that I didn’t call the police. I told him truthfully that it didn’t even cross my mind.

But I not only have the legal authority to advocate on behalf of any dog or child who is suffering, I have the moral obligation to do so. And so do you.

After twelve years of working with and for chained dogs, I have an expertise in the field of chaining and the cruelty laws that most people don’t have. I can look at a dog’s situation and tell instantly if the situation would break existing cruelty laws (if anyone bothered to uphold them), and if it’s worthwhile to even attempt to get the dog legal help.

That’s always a big IF.

What I didn’t tell him was that the reason it didn’t cross my mind is because my personal interaction with police has ALWAYS landed on the side of the abuser. 100% of the time.

(Make that 95%. I do remember one time a state policeman went to a home that had no doghouse in Cambria County, PA, and forced them to buy a doghouse. That was something, anyway.)

This is just another case in point.

The magistrate had absolutely no respect for me as an animal advocate or a human being. He acted like I was just a sheeple who is obligated to hand over every interaction on a dog’s behalf to authorities.

But I’m not, and neither are you. We have the power of the people to bring action on behalf of dogs. We don’t have to listen to those in positions of power who expect us to shut our eyes and obey.

Hitler thought that way too, didn’t he?

I broke no laws that night, and they trumped up offenses to punish me. That is the bottom line.

This fun time cost me $177. I assume when I refuse to pay they will have to continue doing this and my bill will continue to escalate.
This fun time cost me $177. I assume when I refuse to pay they will have to continue doing this and my bill will continue to escalate.

I received a $50 fine and court expenses in the hundreds. It cost me $177 for the two constables to come and pick me up at the Bellwood police station, handcuff me, and drive me to the magistrates office 5 miles away.

The total they expect me to pay is in the neighborhood of $470.

I informed the judge that I’m not willing to pay and requested jail time.

He refused. He said I have to wait until I’m in violation for not paying and they put out another warrant for my arrest. And then something about requiring an attorney. Which I won’t hire. So we will be back at square one again.

We took this photo of the dog yesterday while we were in Bellwood. She has straw in her house, and a new and longer tether. Minor improvements, but she's still dirty and her collar is too tight. I couldn't tell her weight as she didn't stand up.
We took this photo of the dog yesterday while we were in Bellwood. She has straw in her house, and a new and longer tether. Minor improvements, but she’s still dirty and her collar is too tight. I couldn’t tell her weight as she didn’t stand up.

It all gets very exhausting, but I firmly believe it’s necessary and I’m obligated to continue to practice passive resistance on behalf of animal activists the world over; and one Bellwood dog who still deserves better.

We do have the power of the people, and we are in the beginning stages of changing the world for animals. Those of us currently on the front lines must stand strong in the face of ridicule, abuse of power, and lies by those in control. It’s the only way change has ever been made in this world.

We taped the hearing yesterday, but I haven’t yet had the courage to listen to it and subject myself to their lies and abuse a second time. When I do so, if it is of decent quality and it makes me laugh, I’ll share some of the best parts with you all.

I believe in the power of laughter to uplift and renew. If I couldn’t laugh at the stuff that happens to me later with my husband Joe, I don’t think I would have lasted nearly this long.

My favorite funny of this whole incident so far has been the dog owner calling me “an old fat whore hog” on facebook. Obviously, it doesn’t get much more offensive that that, but it’s so damn funny, that sometimes I just roll laughing thinking about it.

See, I told you protesting was fun! Look at me laughing and enjoying myself. Hopefully you want to join me next time now that you can see just what kind of good time can be had by all.
See, I told you protesting was fun! Look at me laughing and enjoying myself. Hopefully you want to join me next time now that you can see just what kind of good time can be had by all.

On the bright side, my husband Joe made the four hour drive to support me yesterday, proudly wearing his shirt with the Dogs Deserve Better emblem. He has been at every single hearing or difficult situation within driving distance that I’ve had to face down since we started dating five years ago. I will never be able to express how much his support has meant to me through all this.

And, an adopter from Blandburg, PA, Taylor Hinckley, came to the hearing to support me. She gave me the below card and a photo of the dog she adopted from Dogs Deserve Better.

Just when I feel so diminished and down and out from the abuse the system hands out to me for speaking up, God sends an angel to lift me and remind me that I have value and have had many successes on behalf of those without a voice.

Thank you, to both Joe and Taylor for showing me people can still be good. I needed that.

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Lizzie is the dog in the front.
Lizzie is the dog in the front.

The Bellwood Dog Moved, Same Old Red Tether

While I was still in PA, I drove by the house where the cattle dog was tethered, but the place was empty and a for sale sign hung on the garage where the dog was last seen.

New to the case? Read the history of this case on my prior blogs and the webpage at: http://dogsdeservebetter.org/papoliceabusepower.html

I then got an anonymous tip that the dog and ‘oh-so-caring’ owner moved right beside one of the Bellwood Funeral Homes, up from where Cornmesser’s used to be.  (That’s Bellwood talk. Cornmesser’s was an old hardware store that was on the corner of Main Street … forever. Now it’s a daycare, but if you were around long enough, you still refer to it as Cornmesser’s.)

The tip told me that the poor dog has already been barking all night long at the new location, and neighbors have been complaining. The owner has been warned that if he/she keeps barking at night he will be fined.

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Dogs Deserve Better stands ready to take this dog into our rescue at a moment’s notice. If anyone can talk the owner into releasing this poor creature to rescue, give us a call at 757-357-9292 or send us an e-mail at dogs@dogsdeservebetter.org and we will be more than happy to find him/her a new, INSIDE home and family.

The photos make me feel sad; sad that he/she doesn’t have the loving kindness she/he deserves and is forced to huddle on the cement stairs begging to be let in.

I wrote this for the dog:

Huddled

I stretch my red tether,
crawl under the railing
So I can be closer.

To you.

I huddle on the step
hard cold cement
Hoping you’ll see me.

Will you?

Green paint in my fur,
lost hope in my eyes
How long will I wait?

For you.

—Tamira Ci Thayne

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