Tammy Grimes, Founder of Dogs Deserve Better, faces her court trial on Friday. For those of you unfamiliar with the case, Tammy is being charged with property theft. You see, she came to the aid of a dog that was almost dead because his owners saw fit to keep him chained in the yard permanently with no water and no food. Tammy kept an eye on him while she and others contacted authorities. As time went on and nobody acted, she took matters into her own hands and did the only compassionate thing:
In her own words:
The dog at the center of all this, a dog we would eventually name Doogie, had been lying in the mud and rain for three days, chained to the dog house he had been attached to for years. He was unable to stand and was pawing the air in desperation. His owners chose to go four-wheeling all weekend and to work on Monday instead of getting him the vet help he needed and deserved, but most importantly was entitled to by law. A distraught neighbor had called animal control repeatedly over the course of the three days. But as so often happens, no “humane” officer called back. No one ever showed up. (Surprised? Trust me, it happens all the time, and not just in my town.) The frantic neighbor eventually reached out to me and to Dogs Deserve Better.
What I did next set in motion a chain of events that would eventually garner national attention, the wrath of some, the support of others, and an agonizing trial during which I had to listen to lies and mischaracterizations for three days: I removed that dog’s chain and I took him to the veterinarian. It was all very clear to me as I lifted the emaciated, wet dog into my van. I had been in animal rescue long enough to know that I would probably be labeled the villain while the dog’s caretakers wouldn’t even be questioned for leaving a suffering dog on the ground for three days, not to mention all the years they tied him to a shabby box in the yard; letting his toenails to grow so long they were curling back toward his pads, denying him vet care when he most needed it.
But I also knew that what I was doing was morally correct. It was the compassionate thing to do. It was the only thing I could do. Time was of the essence. A dog was suffering. I felt he was dying.
Read Tammy’s Full Letter HERE
NOTE from HoundsGood.com: It is a shame that while both cases have garnered national attention, this important case has not received much attention compared to the Vick case. But some of the issues are similar. People supported Vick in that “it was the culture” and he didn’t “know better” which goes beyond dog fighting and addresses the issue of freedom to kill and torture a pet just because its personal property. The right for Doogie’s owners to treat their personal property the way they saw fit overrode any protection he had according to anti-cruelty law. Please support any and all legislation in your local area that forbids chaining and tethering dogs like this.
If Tammy Grimes loses the case, this could send a message to others that the right to ownership overrides the humane.
Animal abuse is often also a missed warning sign for child and spouse abuse to come.
What You Can DO:
(Photo at left: the late Doogie thankful to walk again, thankful someone cared)
For those of us folks at home, contact Governor Rendell and urge him to pardon Tammy. Be level headed when you call. Take a deep breath if you have to, in order to let him and his staff see that we are not “crazy animal people” but a compassionate, rational, bunch who will not let this slide.
Governor Edward G. Rendell
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
***Educate yourself on local anti-tethering laws in your town or county. Support those working hard to educate the public. Anti-tethering laws do not prevent someone from tying their dog to their lawn chair while they are sitting at the beach, just to put minds at rest who think this is radical. It protects dogs like Doogie. If you look you will find every town has too many Doogies to count.
For our friends in Pennsylvania:
Show up (peacefully) at the Blair County Courthouse in support of Tammy. The address is 423 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg, PA 16648. Her court time is 11:00 am, but get there early as you never know when a schedule may change.
Read the Update HERE