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September 22, 2006

Comments

Harold

I had 4 dogs taken from me last august. They where taken by one individual who gave them to a vet. This individual stated that I abused and neglected my dogs, which is totally untrue. This individual simply wanted to hurt me and used my dogs as an avenue to do so. Since this time my dogs went into rescue, I found this out after 2 months of searching. The vet that she took them to was my own vet. This vet lied about having knowledge of my dogs for 2 months. Now the rescue groups that took my dogs are refusing to return them to me because of the accusations of one person all the wile there are many others that know my dogs and me and are stating that I never abused nor neglected my dogs in any way. Anyone that know me knows I treat my dogs better than I do myself, you see I don’t have any human children but my dogs are no less than children to me. It’s very sad that some of these rescue groups choose to operate in this kind of way. Breaking the law and working in a deceptive and secretive manner is counterproductive to those that work rescue in an honest and moral way. To date I have spent tens of thousands in attorney fees to get my dogs back from a rescue group that has or had my dogs with little to no ground gained. Not only are these people refusing to look at all the facts involved but there not coming forward with any proof that my babies where abused or neglected. They have also brought lawsuits against me for telling my story to the world. My dogs and I are being punished for the accusations on one individual without having the opportunity to defend myself. Their needs to be some regulations placed on how animals can be taken from an alleged abuser, abuse and neglect needs to be proven not assumed before anyone can seize our pets.

Assumed Guilty
Dewey906@yahoo.com

MistyMountains

Got an 'emergency' message that Doogie would die within 24 hours, and so on. I cannot find that on her site or Doogies health update. That was a very good articel. Thank you....

Laila

"Unfortunately, turning the dog over would likely mean he'd be returned back to the owners, at least until the investigation is complete. Afterall, all you property law versus humanity folks agree that even abused dogs shouldn't be taken from their rightful owners until they're proven guilty in a court of law, right? Due process and the law supercedes a dog's suffering."

This is not true.In the state of Pennsylvania, where I happen to live, the S.O.P. states that the dog is taken into custody by the HS/AC pending the results of an investigation.
If the allegations are unfounded, the dog is returned to the own.
Is the charges are substantiated, the rights of the people to their dog are NOT deemed revoked until they are found guilty in a court of law.
Because allegations of animal cruelty had been made, once the dog had been treated, if he were in such dire need or care, the HSO should have taken custody of the dog, and he should have been seen by their vet. And they should have held him pending the outcome of an investigation.
They could NOT return the dog to the family because they were now in possession of the dog, and those allegations had been made, until it was investigated.
Please remember we have the right to unlawful seizure of property, and in the state of Pennsylvania, dogs are considered property.
I may think that the treatment of such an elderly dog was reprehensible, but that does not change the fact that there Tammy broke the law.
Not circumvented it.. Broke it.
I understand why, but as was said, two wrond don't make a right. And now should those allegations of abuse be true, there is now no way to prosecute the owners of the dog.
So where then is the justice?
I hope that the owners of Doogie/Jake sue Tammy in Civil Court.

Jamie

WOW! You are really on a rampage arent you? You say that rescuers should take a bow...but you condem Tammy? I dont understand. You can plainly say that you would have left that dog there to die? Did you not see on television where he is up and walking? His 'owners' were going to have him put down, instead of making the RIGHT steps in dog ownership. Please - lets focus here! Quit beating up Tammy and focus on doing GOOD for dogs - like she did for Doogie/Jake. Next time you receive a call from a woman crying, begging for your help - you go attempt to help - see the dog, hear the crying - lets see if you walk away, and not care. If you can do that - I would hate to be your dog.

Editor's Note: Here's a question for ya - WHeeeeeeeeeeere's Doogie? Let's make this clear - NO ONE said he didn't need to be rescued. The clear fact is that now his alleged abusers will go scot-free because Tammy refuses to allow Doogie to be examined by local authorities. That, my dear, is called hearsay in a court of law. So why hasn't she produced him? What is she afraid of? OR is she too busy basking in the warm glow of the spotlight??

Marc Sayer

I am sorry, this is a line that simply must not be crossed. Breaking the law is never the answer. If the law is not working, fix it. But breaking it is never right, no matter what. Back when parents used to teach their kids morals and right from wrong, we use to get the old "two wrongs do not make a right" tale. It was true then, and it is just as true now. Back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, we heard about how the ends can not justify the means. Again, it was true then and it is just as true now. Maybe this dog was abused or neglected, it certainly seems so. And if so, the law must be forced to deal with it. When we start to substitute our own personal judgements for the rule of law, we can reap only chaos. Yes this may have been justified in some or even most people's eyes, ... this time. But what about the "rescuer" who believes dogs should not have to eat dog food and decides the law is not protecting the dogs she sees each day on her walk because they are "forced" to eat dog food, so she steals them and refuses to return them? Or the "rescuer" who steals dogs out of her neighbor's back yard because she thinks they are being abused and mistreated, and when told she must return them she refuses? Sound crazy? Well one of these two scenarios is true and happened here in OR a year or so back. The "rescuer" was wrong, the dogs were well cared for and the owners adored them. The "rescuer" substituted her personal judgement for the rule of law, and the dog owners paid a terrible price. Was the rescuer right? She believed she was, just as Tammy believes she is now. No one else could say for sure, because she refused to tell anyone where the dogs were. Would the owners have been right to take the law into their own hands? Their rationalizations would have been the same as Tammy's, the law was not protecting the dogs. Would it have been okay if the owners had beaten or killed the rescuer, or kindnapped her? If you say no, stop and think a minute. Why is it okay for Tammy to break the law when the safety of the dog is in quesiton, but not okay for the dog owners in the above scenario to break the law to protect their dogs? There really is very little difference. In both cases the individual is putting themsleves above the law, using the claim of "protecting the dogs" as justification to do so. IN both cases the law is unable or unwilling to help. So why is one okay and not the other. And if you say they are both okay, are you really advocating the use of physical threats and/or violence? Has our society fallen so far that people are no longer protected by the law?

Or what about the rescue who decided (inccorectly) that another rescue was abusing dogs (without ever even having been out to that other rescue BTW) and, through subtrafuge and lies, took possesion of some of their dogs, refused to return them, and when they could not handle one of them, had it PTS? Sound far fetched, something contrived to make this point? Well it's not. It's another true story of someone thinking their opinion puts them above the law. Would the rescue whose dogs were "stolen" have been justified in going after the person that runs the rescue that stole them? There is no doubt they caused suffering and cost the lives of at least 2 of the dogs they stole. And the law was unable to help retrieve the dogs, so there was no other timely legal recourse. What would we accept in that case? Could they have beaten the location of the dogs out of the person that runs that rescue? Could they have threatened the people fostering the stolen dogs? Could they have stolen them back? You see this is the line, breaking the law, substituting our personal judgment for the rule of law. Once you cross that line, no matter how good the intentions, you are on your way down that slippery slope. And once we as a society cross it, we are headed toward anarchy.

We simply can not and must not cross that line. Instead what we must do is act in ways that reinforce the laws and make them more effective, and when the law fails, we must change it and/or force the law to do what it is meant to do. In the long run more animals will be saved that way. Breaking the law only opens the door for more crazy folks to do more crazy things, things that end up hurting more animals. The line between the good guys and the bad guys must be clear and easy to see. Good guys pratice civil disobediance, they rasie a fuss, they make change happen, they do not steal dogs.

If this is how DDB conducts itself, I am afraid it has lost my support. And frankly, I think Tammy belongs in jail, right next to the owners of that poor dog. No matter what, stealing dogs is NEVER rescue. I simply do not believe that this was the only option. I also believe that this probably will hurt efforts to get the local ACs in that area to do more to protect dogs. It has hurt rescue overall, and it has probably reduced whatever protection animals had in that particular area. The next time a dog dies of abuse or neglect in that area, or an AC anywhere treats a rescue poorly, remeber this event because there is a direct connection. This is one of the ways rescues becomes the enemy in the eyes of ACs.

And to top it all off, Animal Planet has Tammy as a candidate for "Hero of the Year". There is something seriously wrong with us when we suggest that someone who steals a dog should be praised as a hero.

I am sorry but as harsh as it sounds, this is a bigger issue than just one dog. Yes that dog was in bad shape and the owners were wrong. I agree. They needed to be prosecuted. I agree. Something needed to be done. I agree. But not what Tammy did. What Tammy has done will not see them prosecuted. It will not strengthen the animal protection laws. It will not help protect dogs better in the future. In fact it will do just the opposite. It was WRONG. It was illegal. We can not simply ignore the laws when we do not like them, or pick and choose which laws we will abide by.

Not that it would make that much difference, but if Tammy really feels this was the only way to protect the dog, and believes that she was right, she should stand up for what she believes in and do her time. At least that way she would be showing some consistency and some backbone. If she felt stealing the dog was the only way to go, then she should say so and she should pay the price for her beliefs. I would buy into the, "it was wrong and I will pay the price, but I saw no other way to save that dog" tactic a whole lot better than this current tactic of hers.

Annette

I don't believe she had the right to take the dog in the first place. It is my understanding that calls to HO/ACO were made over a weekend, when this whole thing transpired. This is normally when officers are cleaning up existing cases. If the dog had been in that shape for that long, why did the neighbors and concerned citizens not get involved before then? Humane officers & Animal Control Officers are trained to uphold the law, but the also have the right to remove an animal from a situation where it is in immediate danger. Since Tammy has held this dog without letting an independent veterinarian examine it, & it has improved so dramatically, the arguement in court will now be that he wasn't in that bad of shape. I know he was in terrible shape, but the courts deal in facts and documented information. If she only let a vet that she worked with examine him, there will be an argument about the validity of his findings - (trust me). The owners were irresponsible and negligent, if they believed he was in that bad of shape and wouldn't recover, they should have been responsible and put him down. That's hard, but it is what grown up's do. I know that DDB will argue that's not the answer, but I don't believe letting the dog suffer is either. Too many people keep dogs too long for very selfish reasons, some also just hope the dog 'dies on it's own', but it rarely works like that. Quality of life does come in to play! Who knows how long this had been going on, the dog is truthfully quite old. Honestly, it's pretty amazing a dog that size lived that long regardless, so obviously they took some care of it.

I don't agree with dog's spending their lives on a chain, it stinks. My dogs are part of my family, nothing more, nothing less. They only spend about 2 hours (total) a day outside. Only 1 is tied, because he can clear my fence in pursuit of a cat & I wouldn't forgive myself if he got hurt (or caught the cat). I do know of radicals in all things/beliefs, and radical is not good - period. My beliefs are not better or more accurate than yours, just as yours are not better or more accurate than mine. Provided we both follow the law, then we're somewhat ok.

HO/ACO have specific procedures for removing a dog from it's home. For good reason, their court case gets credibility! They go to the home, inspect the situation, if the dog is not in immediate danger - they leave a note for the owner to contact/comply with the laws, but if the dog is in immediate danger they can remove the dog. (While I don't think it's right, Doogie had lived that way for some time, obviously). The Officers then go back, if they haven't heard from the owner, & THEN they can remove the dog. This allows a paper trail, court orders, etc.. to be filed and recorded. This adds to their case. I think Tammy has dealt a blow to both AR/AW in her zeal. I will never agree with what she chose to do, as it would set a dangerous legal precedent. I'm sorry, but private organizations DO NOT have the authority to remove a pet from private property, & I hope that they never do. As I said, there are some truly great & impressive AR/AW people & then there are scary/radical ones who run over people & animal rights to further their own beliefs.

I do agree animals have rights, but the humans do to.

Ray Crum

I am an old man. I have owned dogs for well over 50 years. I never heard of AR, BSL or Tammy until a few days ago when I was laid up and went to a Yahoo group to pass the time and research an idea to breed Akitas.

This whole thing is CRAZY.

You can't trespass on somebodys land and take their property. Yes, by God, my dog is my property. That makes me legally responsible for his treatment and actions. It also gives me the legal right to protect them.

The terms ninja, boost, rescue, and free are just bull for steal.

If I don't like the way my neighbor treats his 600 head of cows in a drought do you think I have the right to load em up on a cattle trailer and take em out of the state and "rescue" them till their fat then Adopt them out to Armour Star?

If my neighbor was riding fence and got caught in a storm and by the time he and his horse got home they were both pretty ragged I do not have the right to "rescue" his poor old mistreated $5000 pony. No matter how poorly a video would show it to look.

I got dogs. I don't think sister Grimes or anybody else ought plan on stealing them. They'll get a video of a sneak thief getting a load of buckshot.

20 years ago I put a man out of the horse business because he mistreated them. I did it leagally. I did it when he told me he'd shoot me. I did it legally. I have not been to any conferences or TV shows. I just did what needed to be done. Legally.

I don't know if this will get printed. I really don't care, I just needed to say it.

The lady that wrote the first part of this makes some good points. Anybody that mistreats ANY animal ought to have to be responsible, under the law. Not by som fool vigalante.

Ray

Jade

I have no doubt that thousands of tax exempt dollars will be spent to ensure that Grimes receives the due process that she so callously chose to deny the dog's owners, whatever name you want to call him by. It is THEFT, plain and simple. NOT "liberation", "rescue" or some other politically correct term coined only to evoke sympathy! Dog owners "deserve better". The U S Constitution guarantees it. With "best friends" like that, pet owner's don't need enemies! Animal rights is just plain wrong. Period!

Nina

You wrote: You're generalizing about what you, someone who doesn't agree with (and probably doesn't even really understand) animal rights, believes this alleged "agenda" to be.

Discrimination is wrong. Blanket generalizations rarely define the individual. Whenever you say animal rights is this or that, you're talking about me. Remember that. If your comments don't describe me, then they're wrong. And personally, I know I wouldn't want to make any statements I knew were not accurate.
===========================
My reply: I do feel my statements are accurate, which is why I typed them. Again, many JQP who claim to be AR are well-meaning, but misguided by the AR movement's agenda and do not understand there is a difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Others know exactly why they are AR and agree with that agenda.

Obviously, you disagree. Ifyou feel I am the one who is wrong or misguided, please feel free to educate me as to what you feel the differences are between animal rights and animal welfare and, what you feel the AR movement's goal is.

Nina

rita marie

Anytime something like this happens there is always alot of hype and hoohah. The reality is that many of us who are in rescue find these situations all too often. We do contact the authorities but more often than not "there isn't anything we can do" is the response we get. "Does it have food,water,shelter"? Yah sure food dish crawling with bugs,rancid water and oh yea the beautiful cardboard box he/she lives in. I am about to be involved in a situation now where there are "many" dogs housed in filthy conditions and we will contact the authorities -but these are throwaway animals -a place the county probably uses as an impound. So then what -leave them rot and die there? I don't think so. This may get media attention it may not, but I'll tell you this -I've already gone in with a camera. The authorities are sometimes part of the problem,especially in small towns. Tammy did do what needed to be done whether or not you agree with her methods. I think you might want to get on the other side of this for awhile to see what we see -all the time. How about volunteering to do some video footage of a slaughter house? That'll keep you up all night. McD's burgers -mmm good!

Marjorie

Oh, Nina...

And here I was impressed.

...Was...

I specifically addressed the rest of my comment to everyone...not you, but I guess that's spilled milk now.

Blanketing all animal rights supporters with one brush is as stupid, silly, comical, misguided, moronic, dishonest, and any other related adjective you can think of, as is breed banning.

So, when you say things like,

"Animal Rights people may not all be guilty of committing crimes, but the animal rights agenda is not where the majority of dog and cat owners want to be..."

You're generalizing about what you, someone who doesn't agree with (and probably doesn't even really understand) animal rights, believes this alleged "agenda" to be.

Animal rights is ideological. Most animal rights supporters own domesticated animals. (The ethics of which I would be happy to discuss at another time.)

But, since the primaries in this case aren't animal rights activists, then what the #&@% is all the AR bashing about?

Just another "golden opportunity" to put down what (selfish or poorly informed) people believe the hated "AR" to be, I guess.

Discrimination is wrong. Blanket generalizations rarely define the individual. Whenever you say animal rights is this or that, you're talking about me. Remember that. If your comments don't describe me, then they're wrong. And personally, I know I wouldn't want to make any statements I knew were not accurate.

tismyself

The Altoona Mirror has a copy of the criminal charges against Tammy. The 'to wit' statement is so consice there is no way the entire conversations between Tammy and Paul were relayed in it. The humane officer did see her with the dog at the vet. I'm wondering why he did not exercise his authority and take the dog right there or call the police in right then. Why don't they get a court order to hand over the dog, or a search warrant to find him? Tammy states she offered to turn the dog over to the humane society twice with no response, but would not return him to his owners. The arrest record statement leaves enough room for doubt. It's her word against his. I'm hearing she always worked with the society before, so the heck is going on? Is it standard policy to allow a person still in possession of stolen property to remain out on bail versus holding them in contempt?

Marjorie

A couple of points about the "Editor's Note" after my previous comment:

I asked what could be done, in a future case like this, where the dog was in need of emergency veterinary care due to long-term neglect (not, by comparison, because it unknowingly got loose one day and was hit by a car), and where it was likely that handing the dog over to authorities would mean it would merely be returned to the owners who caused the suffering in the first place.

I don't think anyone in this debate doesn't understand that Ms. Grimes' legal responsibility was to return the dog to authorities. The question is, should she have to, or are there other (legal) options that would have guaranteed some protection for this voiceless animal?

"Step A - Hold Doogie until Human Society arrives..."

While I'll never know the exact reasoning without talking to Ms. Grimes in person, the obvious concern seems to be that the authorities would simply return the dog to its owners...the same people who left the dog to die chained in the mud. This would make all her efforts completely wasted.

"Step B - If no help is forthcoming, call the police"

Ditto what I wrote above. Actually, even more so. If animal control is not available, the police would almost be guaranteed to immediately return the dog to the owners because the police aren't authorized or equipped to keep dogs involved in investigations.

Knowing several police officers myself, I can almost guarantee they'd take the dog back to the owners, then report the incident to animal control, once the office was open, or an investigator was available, then leave it up to him or her to make the decision to remove the dog from the owner's care.

Not good for a dog like the one in this case, although it makes perfect sense to those who vow property rights over humanity.

"Step C - Contact the local TV station"

Media is about as likely to be interested in this story as they are about the thousands and thousands of chained dogs living lonely lives of desperation. Chaining dogs is a legal practice, so the media almost universally doesn't care.

The likelihood they'd hear of this case and decide to IMMEDIATELY (I mean, in time to save this dog) do an in-depth story on the cruelty of chaining dogs or neglecting dogs to backyards, is pretty unlikely.

Could Ms. Grimes or the original complainant have spinned the situation in such a way as to get media interest? Maybe. But they'd probably have to say it was a pit bull that was attacking newborn infants. (eyeroll)

"(Tammy went on this rescue ready to film..."

If I were to intervene on a dog's behalf (and planned to remain law abiding), the first thing I'd bring with me is a video camera. (If I didn't plan to remain law abiding, I certainly wouldn't make a record of my actions.)

Side note: I recently had the misfortune to witness the first roaming dog in my neighborhood, in over 15 years. Day after day I discovered this dog digging holes, toppling garbage cans and compost bins, and worse, behaving aggressively towards innocent people, myself included.

After being stymied by animal control at just about every turn, I vowed that, should I have the chance to catch this irresponsibly owned dog, I would wisk it off to a faraway shelter. Having no tags of any kind on its choke chain (yes, the moronic owners not only use a completely unnecessary choke chain, but they let the dog loose wearing it), which leads me to suspect it is not microchipped either, the chances that it would be reunited with its jerky owners is minimal. Any home a humane group could find for it would be better than the one it's currently in.

So, while I always try to stay on the "up and up", I am prepared to circumvent the current system, to prevent a dog from returning to its negligent owners.

Would my actions be legal? Absolutely! Would I video tape it? Absolutely NOT!

In any event, making a video recording of my actions would prove my intent was to hide nothing and objectively show the conditions I found at the scene.

No one can say the dog wasn't in bad shape BECAUSE OF the video we've seen. Otherwise, all the naysayers and wannabe animal abusers could just say the dog was in fine shape. Now, they can't. And that's all because of the video record.

" - and did not call the local media until AFTER she filmed - this is considered biased reporting in ANY journalist circles)"

Pretty much every single video account of an incident in progress is filmed before the media is contacted.

Could Ms. Grimes have just filmed the condition of the dog, and sent that footage to the local television station, and hoped they decided it was worthy of more investigation? Sure. But what a heartless b#$ch that would make her, now wouldn't it?

"Step D - Help local law enforcement prosecute cruelty and neglect cases by turning over the evidence - namely Doogie - for examination."


Unfortunately, turning the dog over would likely mean he'd be returned back to the owners, at least until the investigation is complete. Afterall, all you property law versus humanity folks agree that even abused dogs shouldn't be taken from their rightful owners until they're proven guilty in a court of law, right? Due process and the law supercedes a dog's suffering.

"Step E - Remember - this dog is NOT YOUR PROPERTY - if the dog is to be surrendered - that surrender should be done through the local humane officer."


Again...like everyone...agreed...except where the dog is likely to be returned to its negligent owners.

If what I'm hearing is there is absolutely no way to protect this dog from being returned to the owners who left it to die, chained in the mud, then I'm starting to lean towards total support for Ms. Grimes' actions.

But there must be other options. For goodness sakes, a dog was recently granted an order of protection. Could that be an option?

What about being assured an affadavit (and the video) was enough evidence to hold the dog at animal control until the owners could be found guilty in court?

What about a foster home? Is there an opportunity to have the dog held by a neutral, third party, until the investigation is complete? (One recent case, in another region, did just that. The dog's owners were not allowed to have the dog back, due to neglect. They sued and lost, after the court learned that the previously emaciated dog was now the picture of health in its foster home.)

Are any of these ideas possible options, or are we limited to "hand the dog over to animal control" who'll probably just return the dog to its torment?

Is there any other view other than "she should have just given the dog back to authorities"? I mean, how helpful is that kind of comment? Would've. Could've. Should've. Just blindly follow the law, even when it allows for animal abuse. Uh huh. Are we really that unoriginal in our thinking? Are we really that heartless?

tismyself

Tammy did not take the dog to steal it, if so why did she not take the others at that home as well? She took it for emergency medical care. The humane officer did meet her at the vet and said to get treatment, then did not answer her calls. We are not talking about idealogical reasons, but proof of neglect and suffering as confirmed by the vet. If an impartial entity could board the dog while a cruelty investigation takes place, that would be great. If the humane officer had taken over at the vet there would not be a situation to speak about.

Editor's Note: We agre. However, the humane officer was not allowed to see Doogie - Tammy would not turn Doogie over - that is undisputed, even by Tammy.

tismyself/amy

Editor;
You can't steal my dog. I keep her inside with me at all times and she only goes out supervised, so good luck on that.

Editor's Note: Of course not, silly. Made ya look though.

mariebel

Tammy did what had to be done. In all the years she has been educating people to the cruelty of constant chaining/penning of dogs, she has never felt it necessary to take these measures. As it has been said before, if she had turned Doogie/Jake over to police he would no doubt be returned to the abusers. The Arnolds have said in print and on TV that they were going to kill their family memeber soon, they just didn't get around to it yet...while he is in the clutches of agony and hunger and thirst and fear while going in and out of Consciousness. Why do they even want him back ? THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM ANYWAY. And by the way, can you believe he said that miserable suffering dog was a family member ? Oh .. please.
I would like to submit that the Arnolds are the criminals and manipulators, and watch and see if they don't try to find a way to sue for money in the future.
Instead they should be thanking Tammy Grimes for saving them the cost of the kill shot, the vet office charge and the incineration of the dogs carcass as well as the criminal charges they should be facing,

Nina

For some reason this didn't go through the first time. I hope it wasn't censored, because it is fact.

Marjorie, glad you approved of my post, but I wish to make one thing known LOUD and CLEAR:

I am for animal welfare (AW), but am not an animal rights (AR) advocate....oh no.

Yes, Marjorie, Animal Rights people may not all be guilty of committing crimes, but the animal rights agenda is not where the majority of dog and cat owners want to be.

And, I truly believe that many who refer to themselves as AR don't understand the difference between animal rights (the AR's true agenda) and animal welfare.

Nina

Caveat

Folks,

I repeat my question, paraphrased because I'm too lazy to look for it:

If there was a group of fanatics who believed that all dogs should be chained and they trespassed on private property in the owner's absence, snatched a dog, relocated him and chained him up, announced it to the media, made claims about improved health and refused to divulge his whereabouts, would you support it?

There's a big red herring here and it's starting to smell. Everyone who has posted here loves dogs. My comments have been based on the only available facts as disclosed by the perpetrator.

As for legal options, here's what I personally have done in the past in many situations where I felt a dog, cat or whatever needed help:

1. Called the SPCA, given my full name, address, phone, the name and address or if unknown, the address of the abuser. An objective report of my observations. My concerns. They would usually respond to one of my calls within a half hour because I'd built a relationship with them and they knew that if I called, it was the real deal.

2. Approached ignorant pet owners and offered to book their pets in at my vet's clinic for a medical exam, for shots, neutering, whatever and to pay for it with an interest free, open term loan. The offer was usually accepted. Was I rich? No, just committed and I also tend to trust people. So far, so good.

3. Pushed at the municipal level for leash-free areas, subsidized vet clinics in core urban areas, changes in bylaws to give a financial break to owners who formally train their dogs or who have their dogs certified as Canine Good Citizens.

4. Alerted the media to a situation so they could snap some photos and run an article - again to educate people - this has way more impact and is much more productive than the half-baked concept we are discussing.

These are just a few examples of approaches that not only work but keep one on the up-and-up.

Would I tie up my dog? Yes, I had to restrain my big dog because he could get over my 5-foot fence and liked to run around the neighbourhood like a racehorse. Potential disaster on the hoof.

Oh, did I mention it was never unless I was right in the kitchen where I could see him or outside with him and never for more than 1/2 hour? Did I mention that I walked him every day of the year for 9 years for 1-1/2 hours before work in the morning, an hour after work and also took him to a safe conservation area for a good full out run at least 3 times a week, year round?

Did I mention he got the best medical care possible, much better than what I get, that he had the best nutrition, lots of toys and playmates, close contact with his friends and family?

Did I mention that I respect and admire dogs, that I'm captivated by the mystery of them, that they make me feel a lot better about being a primate because they actually like us? More than I can say for a lot of humans.

Did I mention that people like me are actually in the majority? Or will you all spit out the propaganda that tells you we aren't.

If you believe that vigilantism is justified because your beliefs are the ones that matter, you are supporting a very dangerous concept.

Be careful what you wish for.

Now, I have to get back to doing some real work.

Thanks for the fun, folks - and turn those frowns upside down - we're working on it!

Nina

A needed repeat:

It isn't about the chain!

EmilyS

"problems caused by chaining"... more b.s. hype.

The problems that chained dogs sometimes exhibit have nothing to do with the chain itself. Dogs cause trouble because of bad genes, neglect, isolation, lack of exercise and stimulation and sometimes more explicit cruelty such as beating. UNCHAINED dogs who are kept in a backyard (or kennel) 24/7 with little human contact exhibit the same symptoms as chained dogs... except sometimes they also ESCAPE their backyard and go around the neighborhood causing problems.

Plenty of dogs are kept outside on chains AND ALSO get sufficient attention, excercise etc and live happy, normal lives.

IT'S NOT ABOUT THE CHAIN!

The hysterical hype about chaining is yet another example of ARists attacking pet ownership and trying to develop conditions under which society accepts that government... or private citizens or nonprofit organizations... make and enforce rules about how people must care for their pets... rules that go far beyond the need for humane loving care.

Why don't AR groups focus their time/attention/money on educating pet owners on how to properly train/socialize/integrate their pets into their home life?

Because ultimately they DONT WANT happy, trained, integrated pets.

Extreme ARists LOVE when the press sensationalizes the few bad attacks, so they can hype their hysterical summits about "dangerous dogs (i.e. dangerous breeds, as Best Friends is currently doing). They ignore the REAL public health issue: millions of people getting bitten by their own pets

PETA has made their goal of "no pets" explicit. Best Friends officials have denied to me that this is part of their own agenda... yet the actions they are taking, and the causes they are supporting... are perfectly in line with that agenda.

Marjorie

Oh, my, Nina. You said pretty much what I was about to write.

To all:

As an "AR" person, I find the thoughtless name calling as laughable (and as inaccurate) as those who label all pit bulls vicious. If you're doing that, you're no better than the breed banning folks. Actually, you're worse, because you should know better.

I'm an "AR" person (for lack of a better term) and I am neither a fanatic nor a criminal. (In fact I don't know a single person who is more law abiding than me. Yes, that probably includes all of you.)

If you "think" (and I use that term extremely loosely) that all people who support AR are criminals, or condone criminal activity, then you're so blindly filled with ignorance and hate you've lost all credibility.

There are millions of so-called "AR" people, and how many of them commit criminal acts? I'll bet the percentage of pit bulls who attack is higher, but you'd never label all pit bulls as vicious, right? (shaking head)

Much of what I've read in this debate is shameful. Especially from those who should know a thing or two about publishing false (or misleading) statements or blanketing entire groups with one label.

I find it repugnant.

In addition, I need to point out that only someone without any experience dealing with chained dogs would suggest this practice isn't abusive or that it doesn't cause undesirable behaviors. There is a term for it: "chained dog syndrome".

The problems caused by chaining are so obvious that, without knowing a dog's history, I can predict whether or not it was likely chained. I've often announced to shelter managers that a dog I'm training for them had previously been a chained dog. Invariably they look up the dog's history and find that it was "kept chained in the yard". It leaves a legacy on that dog's brain. And it's ugly.

Then there's just the issue of compassion. Leaving a social animal isolated, so it can't have the vital physical contact its brain is constantly craving is inhumanity on a level I can't even articulate.

Why not keep a fish out of water?

Why not keep a horse underwater?

Why not clip a bird's wings or force a solitary tiger to live in a pack?

It is sick to think there are people out there who think chaining a dog (or any animal) is okay. It isn't, and that's why many cities have passed laws making this cruel practice illegal.

If you can't even attempt to be compassionate in the care of your animal, then you shouldn't be allowed to have it.

Heck, from what I'm reading, people would be more upset about abuse of some valuable Elvis paraphernalia than they seem to be about the suffering of living, breathing animals. And, ultimately, this discussion just shows why allowing ownership of any living creature is so perilous. The owner can ignorantly or maliciously cause any amount of suffering, and the poor, owned thing has no recourse. It just suffers in silence.

It's one thing to sanctimoniously vow you'd "never harm an animal". It's quite something else to actually say it's your right to do anything you want to your property, living or not.

There are actually people here who think it is okay the dog was left, for days, to die.

Heartless. Totally heartless.

Some people have been eloquent and insightful in these posts. Some are doing nothing more than perpetuating hate, ignorance, and intolerance, all for the sake of some theorized agenda against what they call "AR fanatics".

So sad (and if they only realized, more than a bit embarrassing for themselves).

As I said in my original comment, this issue isn't as much to do with taking the dog in the first place (AS THE ACO AGREED!), as it was the decision not to turn the dog over to authorities after the fact.

THAT is the issue.

If you wouldn't rescue a dog from the situation it was in, please tell me you never plan to own an animal because clearly you can't be trusted to do the right thing by it.

Now, please. If there is a discussion to be had, it is about what is right and what is moral to do, in cases like this, when it is likely the (emergency treated) dog will just be returned to owners who will most likely continue to cause it the exact same suffering from which it was rescued.

Is there anything that can be done to stop an animal's suffering, or do we leave it to courts, which we know:

a) take forever;
b) don't have the animal's best interests in mind when they rule, anyway?

Did Tammy do the only thing that could be done to ensure this dog didn't suffer one day longer, or did she pre-empt a court system that (might have) sided in favor of the dog?

Personally, I'm tired of the ignorant name calling and petty personal attacks. But I would LOVE to read reasoned, cogent, well thought out, legal OPTIONS for what Ms. Grimes could have done, once the emergency veterinary treatment had been accomplished. That is, if there are any legal options out there.

EDITOR's NOTE:
Step A - Hold Doogie until Human Society arrives, just as one would wait with a child until social services arrives (2 calls to HS were logged but the called did not leave an address or phone number)

Step B - If no help is forthcoming, call the police (the police were not called)

Step C - Contact the local TV station - have them come out - media ALWAYS prompts a more efficient response from unresponsive local agencies (Tammy went on this rescue ready to film - and did not call the local media until AFTER she filmed - this is considered biased reporting in ANY journalist circles)

Step D - Help local law enforcement prosecute cruelty and neglect cases by turning over the evidence - namely Doogie - for examination.

Step E - Remember - this dog is NOT YOUR PROPERTY - if the dog is to be surrendered - that surrender should be done through the local humane officer.

Nina

What an eye-opener for me as an AW (not AR person). I now see that there are extremists in the AR world AND the anti-AR world. And, BOTH those extremists will do WHATEVER it takes to accomplish THEIR goals:

Some AR will: take and NOT return a dog---clearly theft

Some ANTI-AR will: leave a dog to suffer even though authorities were called and had not responded

Not one AW person on any blog or list has stated that
Tammy was right for helping the dog (I only read that she stole), nor has any one AR person stated she was wrong for not returning the dog (I only read that she was right for helping the dog). What is GOING ON? Have people lost their sense of logic and reason?

Tammy did the right thing by taking that dog for treatment, but wrong when she didn't return it.

Why is this so hard to comprehend for most people on BOTH sides of this issue?

Nina

Caveat

Leisa -

Right on! I wholeheartedly support freedom of speech, but with one small caveat - you may believe what you want to believe but you must allow others the same luxury.

It is a luxury and a hard-won one at that.

Like you, I've enjoyed noting the difference between those who are really putting it on the line to fight breed bans and other plans geared towards the elimination of dog ownership and those who aren't.

Like you, I enjoy having the opportunity to view the thought processes, the specious reasoning and the reliance on emotion rather than logic in discussing the issue.

Do we employ stunts sometimes to bring attention to the issues? You bet :) De we break the law? Nope. We won't risk that - the issue is too important.

We work overtime, all the time at our own expense, but always within the rule of law to raise awareness, to combat mythology perpetrated by self-interested hypocrites in the media, the government and elsewhere and, most importantly, to challenge and change discriminatory, unconstitutional legislation.

The hardest part is raising awareness among ALL dog owners that the jig is up, it's time to step the $%#@ up and shell the #^$% out because there is a pandemic on the march - a sinister plan to eradicate the longest standing relationship on the planet - between humankind and dogdom. Fifty thousand years and counting.

I'll fight for it and I know you will. Who's in?

Selma

Leisa Boysen

The police were never called by the dog thief.
Stealing is wrong.
Animal rights people are crazed and delirious.
This was all media hype.
DDB gets to play martyr for the dogs and break the law and continue to harrass in the name of "helping" the poor doggies.
Best Friends gets richer.
The AR's continue to bring up how you must break the law to make a change. How creepy is that?
The only good thing this whole situation has done is to separate the wheat=the anti-BSL fighters (us "real ones")from the chaff=those weirdo psychotic animal rights people who advocate breaking the law. The lines are drawn...those of us who are really actually in this for no other reason than to be able to keep our dogs ie: our PROPERTY, are taking notice of all those who talk the talk but miserably fail to walk the walk. The ones who are elitist and believe they are the only ones who are "good" enough to have an "American Canine" as one AR ranted about recently.
Oh BTW...love to read the manical rantings and nastiness of the animal rightists on here-no wonder they are all listed as domestic terrorists.
Barbara-fantastic job, yet again-of an honest and truthful post. YOU rock!
Leisa

Caveat

I am fully aware of what and who dogs are. The issue is whether a citizen has the right to take the property of another citizen for ideological reasons without due process.

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