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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lies.. the truth.. and that line between

It has been over a year since I last wrote in this blog. In the last year, I have spent a lot of time researching issues in shelters and rescues.. and working on art and writings related to those issues. When I first started this art project, I thought it would be images of animals that had died in the sheltering system. But, it did not take me long to realize that isn't the full story... far from it. What I have fallen into is a huge mess.. the truth is sticky and messy and not always hard to see. Many think dogs and cats are dying at the hands of the shelters because the shelters just are not trying hard enough.. but, the reality is.. things are so much more complex and twisted than most people realize. Politics, ego, mental issues, greed, a throw away society, lack of empathy/sympathy, control issues, ignorance and for some to play out the fantasy online as a hero are all leading to the suffering and deaths of so many animals. Lately, the news has exploded with various issues in the rescue and shelter community and I just want to take a moment to discuss the situations of three very different news stories that all relate to problems within the rescue/shelter communities.

A few weeks ago, a young woman volunteered with a rescue called the 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida (although they are registered as 100 Plus Animal Rescue, Inc) to help pick up a dog from a home near Tampa and bring him into the rescue. It appears that it was a situation where the dog owner was in hospice and the family had reached out for help placing the many dogs that had been in his care. This is always a very sad and difficult time for a family in this situation and it looks like the rescue had looked at the many dogs they had and decided to take in a small one. The volunteer went to the property as directed to get the dog and there was an incident. While on the property to take in the dog, she was attacked by the many other - larger dogs  and she was left with many wounds on her leg which required not only a trip to the ER, but a hospital stay as well. (some argue that this was a case of trespassing and others that she was invited- but, that is not the part of the story that I am most interested in) As if that situation was not bad enough, the actions of others afterward led to a complete uproar and left many speaking out and questioning the rescue on a variety of issues beyond the safety and care of volunteers.

Although the story has been removed from the news site that aired it- the Facebook post about it is still available here . (*** It has been brought to my attention that the story was saved on Youtube and can be seen by clicking here.) Basically, the story seems to go.. that the volunteer was told off by the rescue for not lying about the mauling and what dogs did the damage. What I have found in some cases when it comes to rescue in general is that some are more interested in the lives of the animals over the well being of the community in which those animals are placed. Now.. this is FAR from a majority that believe this.. but, it simply takes one to place a known dangerous dog into the community.. to have another incident with that dog would simply destroy the fact that rescue animals are worthy in the eyes of the general public- it is this that upsets me for all rescues. It is not the first time (trust me.. I have much more to say on the issue in regards to unrelated rescue situations) that people have behaved in a truly irresponsible manner. Now there are bites that are not due to true aggression- each case is different, but when a volunteer is mauled by a group of dogs- it is truly upsetting to see the rescue involved mad that she did not shut her mouth and lie to say that the dogs that did it where not involved and that the damage was caused by strays. This is not how rescue should run - and, in the long run.. protecting dangerous animals puts ALL rescue animals in danger... people do not want to adopt dangerous animals and if rescue puts even one out there- it allows those who work to destroy the reputation of rescue animals (usually those who want people to believe rescue animals are damaged are those that profit on their sales of pure bred animals) to win... less people wanting to adopt due to fear of bites = more dead animals in the shelters.

The above image was taken from the initial news story - which was taken from a screen shot showing the reaction by one of the people who runs the rescue. Not cool. Now.. when this story broke.. people came to the defense of the rescue.. some attacked the rescue.. but, the issue of their intake of money and salary was a big topic. 2013 was their last posted 990 that had been filed. It showed that they had taken in over $700k. According to the 990, over 20k went to salaries while close to 30k went to advertising, about 5k to office expenses, about 9k to travel expenses, about 20k for conferences/conventions/meetings, close to 340k to vet expenses, about 10k for a vehicle allowance, about 2k on phone expenses and around 180k in 'other' expenses. Now... I know there is a whole issue about whether or not the rescue paid for a BMW or paid for drinks at the bar during events and etc. etc. .. but, I don't personally know about any of that so I won't comment on it. What I can see is that on their Petfinder page it states "We are a volunteer-only, 501(c)3 organization, fully dependent on our support community to fund our rescues and vet bills for these desperate pups." ' so this does leave me with the question- why then is anyone taking a salary? If they claim to be 100% volunteer then should there be a salary at all? You are welcome to see for yourself here where I pulled the above quote and below screenshot from. You can also see the publicly accessible 990  here .. I just think it seems a bit misleading if you tell donors and adopters and the public in general that the group is 100% volunteer when the 990 clearly shows at least one person with a salary- don't you?
 While I was visiting their petfinder page, I noticed that they had about 50 animals for adoption and about 400 or so happy tails.(this is great.. I love see adopted animals! I hope that everyone who has adopted has had a good experience) One thing that I have been asking is how many animals have they taken in to their rescue each year.. I mean.. with over 300k in vet bills and about 180k in 'other' it seems like it should be massive numbers per year or at least in 2013. But, no one has yet answered me. According to their own page they have saved over 2000 animals in the years that they have been rescuing.. I wonder why there are less than 500 total posted on petfinder and I wonder how many of those they took in during 2013 were either from the 2000 plus (their website) or 400 plus (their petfinder page) that year.. and why their vet bills and other expenses were so high? (especially since the year prior - the vet expenses were about 60k which is like 5 times less than than 2013 or 2013 was about 5x more.. depending on how you look at it) I don't know.. maybe they just haven't updated their listings on petfinder and really have hundreds available..maybe they had exceptionally ill dogs in 2013 -- maybe there was some outbreak of some expensive disease in the Everglades that I am unaware of. who knows.. but, I don't like people to lie about bites and those bites led me to a lot more questions than I had ever imagined that I would have.

But.. I have to move on.. I have two more news stories that I want to discuss.. this next one might make you ill.. so grab a barf bag before you continue.

So one thing that I have come to learn in all of this is that there really is no regulation on the business of animal rescue. Shelters must provide numbers of intake, adoption and euthanasia etc. But, rescues really have no one to answer to. They may pull from a shelter that requires some data, but there really is no office of rescue oversight or organization of rescue safety that looks over the well being of the animals. Truly, anyone can open a rescue- there is no test of the ability of a person to care for an animal- no test to make sure that they are mentally stable - no background test to make sure that they have not done horrendous things in their past.. there really is nothing. Depending on the state, most people just can register as a non profit very easily-- and some require some more paperwork in order to be able to collect funds. Very few places do any inspections of any kind unless there is a call from whistleblowers or the public to do so. Since it pretty much is as easy to open a rescue as it is to open a Facebook account.. it draws in some pretty unsavory characters.. like a fella named Jonathan Ford from Arkansas.

Ford opened a facebook page and started a rescue to take in unwanted animals like those poor animals that are waiting for safety in those high kill shelters. Of course, there are always people willing to jump onto any new rescue and start handing animals over to that rescue with little to no research on their part. The 'Anything is better than a kill shelter' mentality runs rampant - especially on social media. Ford knew this.. and used it to his advantage to gain animals for his .. umm... lord I don't even like to write about this.. it makes me so sick.. basically - he made himself a rescue so that he could gain animals .. and he raped animals in his care... they call it bestiality and sadly,, in some places it is just a misdemeanor. From the news reports it seems that he not only raped the animals in his care, but he took photos and shared them with women or a woman in an attempt to impress her. Luckily, someone turned him in -- with the evidence. He was arrested, but was soon out free to walk the streets.
there are fates worse than death for homeless animals.. like being sent to this guy .. who likes to rape animals. 

Due to the lack of laws that truly protect the animals in cases such as this,  he was able to be free in a short time- and in his freedom he raped again and broke into the shelter where his previous victim(s) were and assaulted at least one dog again and was planning to steal her when he was caught. You can read about that right here. (Of course he is innocent until proven guilty.. but, I don't want to have to show the pictures on here of why he was arrested in the first place.. and .. it does appear he confessed according to the linked article).

What concerns me greatly is that there are others like him- others that will use the lax state of things with how rescues can be created and run to pretend to be a hero ...while simply using the willingness of others to hand over animals to save them that they can gain victims. I am so sick about this that I don't even want to type more about what he has done.. so I'm moving on to the next big story ..

The news has been a buzz today with the story of the raid on a property in Alabama owned by a woman named Bobbie Taylor. Miz Taylor had been granted the right-- given a contract by the county to run the shelter... instead of the county running its own where they would be required to make stats available to the public regarding intake, adoption and euthanasia etc. as well a having a building where lost animals could be seen by the public. . they contracted with Bobbie to have her run the shelter and it seems there was no oversight at all to what she was truly doing. The contract was for 80k for her to run a no kill shelter.. I mean really-- who doesn't love a no kill shelter? Well, I bet the up to 300 animals being removed from her property today do not.

There are fates worse than death.. fates like being made to sit in your own feces.. to sleep in your own urine.. to be starved and beaten.. those .. so far.. it seems are the fates of some in her care-- at least according to the photos and video that have surfaced. Back in March a load of photos were released showing animals in very bad conditions.. yet, it took the county until the end of JUNE to do anything - and this only seems to be the case due to a volunteer whistle blower who was smart enough to send the video of the conditions to the local news.. and thank God that local news ran the story. You can read/see that story here. With the pressure from the world now knowing about the situation - the local authorities served a search warrant to the property and found the animals in deplorable conditions.
taken from the webpage of fox 6 WBRC

It seems that Bobbie had told the news crew and the authorities that she only had about 80 something animals. However, once the search warrant was issued and the raid happened .. it seems she must be very bad at math.. since.. from the last article, it seems there were actually 250-300 animals on the property. Some of the animals were in such bad shape that they did not even survive the rescue.

Now... if this wasn't bad enough.. Bobbie.. who was acting in the position of the county shelter, appears to have not only left animals in horrendous conditions- but, also dissallowed owners from finding their lost pets! A county run shelter must hold an animal for a certain number of days once found so that the owner has a chance to find them. It seems Bobbie just hid the animals.. well.. at least one. In amongst the stories of the lies and bad conditions there was one about a person who had lost their dog about a year ago- saw the dog on the news in horrible condition- she went to get the dog- was told the dog was not there- and later was able to find the dog hidden in the back in a hard to see in crate-- it just so happens that the same dog had been photo'd earlier in much better condition months prior. You can read about that here. (the dog has been saved and is currently getting the needed vet care that was seemingly withheld)

screen shot taken from WHNT 19 News
I wish that I could say that these stories were isolated incidents, but.. the fact is.. there are stories all the time about bad behavior and danger to animals by the very people that purport to love them and want what is best for them. It is like the Wild West when it comes to rescue .. anyone can open a rescue.. those that sometimes are doing things that are wrong or at least questionable are often times very well protected by those close to them. Once a person has adopted a dog or been helped in any way by an individual or organization- they do tend to look at those that they worked with in a good light and are sometimes unable to see the truths no matter how vivid they are. No one wants to be told that the rescue that they adopted Fluffy from (who is just the best dog in the world) and who they have spent time raising money for and who they have handed over animals too because they trusted .. is bad. No one wants to hear that- I know I don't.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse to homeless animals. I can say that two of my dogs are with me today because I saw them posted online-- it works. But, people are too trusting of those who have created an online presence and do not ask enough questions and ignore questionable behavior- this causes issues in the long run for the animals. Just because a person says that they are a rescue and doing right by the animals- does not make it so. Just because a rescue is attacked online does not make that rescue bad.. too many times I see things go on online that make rescue look like The Game of Thrones (sans beheadings) .. but, the truth is.. there are some truly excellent rescues out there and they mostly are not in the news at all.. they are not sensational and are too busy savng animals to work social media and the media as a whole.. and because some never question the true motives of some people who are more prevelant they believe and donate to those who may do less and may not truly be saving the animals like they say they are. (like those who keep hundreds in small and/or muddy run down runs and cages)

But,, like I said.. I am an artist.. this all interests me. I hate so much of what goes on.. but, art is not all about flowers, sunshine, unicorns and what we love.. sometimes it is about what frustrates us and disgusts us and upsets us.. and that is where I am with my work right now. But, I just cannot make art about these issues without talking about the issues as they are.. so.. here they are. You decide what you want .. but, I think we can do better.. on much of this. Never be afraid to question things and if anyone tries to make you afraid when you do- you know there is something wrong.

..I will load some work on here when I have more completed and get better photos...but, for now.. just keep an eye out for red flags because the animals do not have the ability to speak up so they need you to do that for them.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dear Miami Dolphins

Dear Miami Dolphins,
         I need to ask a favor of you. Although I am not someone who follows football at all, I am very aware of your team due to my brother being a fan. I do live in Florida so it should make sense that I should be a fan too.. and I can be.. if you do one favor for me. See... I need you to obliterate a team called the Jets. They recently signed a very bad man to be on their team and I need you to destroy them on the field. (if you could also win the Super Bowl that would be awesome as well since I have never really seen my brother all that happy during football season.. so.. if you won that also, it would really make his life- but, really.. just annihilating the Jets would make me happy).

         The bad man I speak of is obviously Michael Vick. As you know, he was involved in dog fighting and did horrendous things to the poor dogs. The NFL has made the grave error of not shunning this criminal who tortured, but they accepted him in with open arms and he now makes more money in a year than most hard working, non torturing, non criminal people will make in a lifetime. I think that is a heaping, steaming load of crap. The only way I see to get him is to beat the ever loving crap out of his team.. and the others he was part of as well- the Eagles could use a trashing as well. This is where you come in - I NEED you to be the ones who teach the lesson Miami Dolphins you must smash the Jets.. and wiping out the Eagles and possibly washing out the Falcons would be really nice as well.

       The fact is that I call upon your help not simply because my brother is a fan and you are one of the few teams whose colors I recognize on a uniform (love the colors by the way, but not a huge fan of the logo redesign), but there is one other super important reason you must nix the Jets.. one very big reason.  You need to do it for the dogs. Miami has what is called BSL. BSL is breed specific legislation. It is crap. What it does is make certain dogs illegal base upon their look. BSL exists because of panic and people like Michael Vick help keep it in place by doing what horrible things he did with those dogs. People who breed and fight the dogs keep up the impression to society that the dogs are bad- the dogs are not bad- the people like Michael Vick are.. but, people like him get away with their brutality while the dogs who 'look' like those involved in fighting are deemed illegal and many die. The victims of fighting (the dogs) and the victims of BSL (the dogs) never get signed to Jets or other teams- they get euthanized. So.. a win against the jets is a win against BSL. Miami Dolphins- you can help these dogs by scrubbing the Jets.. you really can.

       You might wonder why I even care about BSL and what happens in Miami since I don't even live there. In my county, BSL is illegal so all the dogs here are safe from it. Once upon a time, I used to drive over to the Miami shelter and take photos of the dogs and cats for an art project I am working on. In that time, I met many 'illegal' dogs. I met dogs that were just amazingly friendly and they had done nothing wrong. They looked wrong.. that is it. Those dogs were illegal to be adopted in the county and now those dogs are dead. It broke my heart into a million pieces every time I saw a dog or cat euthanized that I had met and fell in love with at the shelter... the ones who broke my heart the most where the illegal ones.. since they never had a chance of being adopted. They never had the chance.. they never did anything wrong.. yet, the one who did wrong is out on a football field being cheered on and paid handsomely. Something is very wrong with this picture. Miami Dolphins.. I really need your help on this- your squashing the Jets wouldn't just mean so much to me and your #1 fan who is my brother, but also it would mean something to all the dogs who were taken by BSL in Miami.. and those killed and tortured by Vick himself.. and all the other victims of dog fighting and BSL. Your liquidating of the Jets would be the most amazing thing to all the victims.. like a tribute to them to end all tributes.. it would be unbelievably amazing.. it would really matter. I promise.

      So Miami Dolphins, now you know why I ask you to take apart the Jets. You are my only hope. I promise to actually watch your games if you do this and I might even get one of those big styrofoam fingers with your team on it. That would be huge as I have NEVER owned a large styrofoam finger in my life- ever .. but, Miami Dolphins.. I would get one for you.. if I can just count on you to shatter the Jets. I don't even know when football season starts, but I think you have time to practice... I think you have time to prepare for this epic journey. Please, Miami Dolphins, please do this for me. I do want to say that I did google your last game with them.. it did look like they ravaged you - so this would also be a really nice chance for you to seek revenge. Revenge with an nice moral ground to it.. ethical revenge. You can do this Miami Dolphins.. I know you can.

       In closing, I just want to say that if you do lay waste to the Jets I promise that I will learn to love your new logo design and I will Google football terms so that I can cheer you on. Not only will I get one of those big styrofoam fingers, but I will also actually watch your games. (Once you, the Miami Dolphins, completely vaporize the Jets.. I will also get my dogs Miami Dolphin dog shirts to wear in your honor.) I need you to do this. Just to help you understand a little about why it is so important to absolutely level the Jets and show them Vick was a bad choice, I have attached some images of some of the dogs that I met in Miami - victims of BSL... please look at them and realize that they are the victims of all of this BSL and they are not the ones who should be illegal - Vick is.

     You can do this Miami Dolphins- you can. I have faith in you.

Mary Lundberg
(potential future owner of a large styrofoam finger with the Miami Dolphin's logo on it)


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Barbados update

Barbados about 3 weeks after being returned to Florida. He had been found in the woods in West Virginia after being sent to a rescue with many questionable claims revolving around them. He was found emaciated (1.5 on the body scale) and covered in wounds. This is him after 3 weeks of healing. This photo taken as a screen shot from the page of Sarah Leddick. 

If you have not read the previous blog post about the dog named Barbados - please do so here as this is a follow up on the story.

When I was told Barbados was returned to Florida in very bad shape, I was concerned for many reasons. My biggest concern was that I had been told he was emaciated and covered in sores after being found in West Virginia ...  and when the information got to me that he was returned - It was said that he was in a boarding kennel - the Dog House. No one was talking about him. No posts about how he was doing. No requests for help for medical care. No posts warning others what had happened when Barbados was sent to the Bowmans Bernards and Big Dogs Rescue in West Virginia. Only silence.

I wrote the previous blog entry, because it is important to talk about. Currently, there is little to no oversight on rescues so the only real voice the animals have are when we see something that needs to be spoken up for. It was obvious from the start that Barbados should not have been sent to the place in West Virginia and I was afraid of where he might be sent next if it was not brought to light. Remember, this was a dog that was not only starved and injured- but, one with a bite history... there are many aspects to this that make 'hiding' him and his story all potentially dangerous to the dog as well as the public. So, I wrote.. and, of course, made those involved incredibly unhappy.

Before the blog went public, I had asked the transporter how he was and what the rescue was like- I was ignored. I had asked the woman who was integral in sending him to WV how he was - I was told fine. I understood the Bowman's had been trying to adopt him- no mention of a bite history.. and after he was found dumped and starved.. they said he had been adopted. (I understand that the Humane Society that helped the dog had not been shown any adoption papers or proof of him legally changing hands from Bowmans Bernards to any individual for adoption.)  It is not as if I didn't ask about the dog, the rescue,or the situation from those involved.. it is just that I was ignored or not told the truth. Neither are good when dealing with the life of a dog in rescue and the public in regards to a dog with a history.

Barbados had been initially pulled out of Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS) under a rescue named SOS4Paws and I was told by the head of the rescue that he was signed over to Sarah Leddick (an independent rescuer) after his pull. After the blog was posted, Sarah contacted me via message on Facebook. It was a strange conversation.. so let me do my best to summarize it....

I was told she had tried every sanctuary that I had suggested, prior to Barbados being shipped off, and they were either full or ignored her. (When I had contacted sanctuaries myself, I had been told the owner of the dog needed to contact them- so I cannot confirm whether or not they were all full... but, I do know that the legit sanctuaries do get a large number of people wanting to place dogs with them). She reminded me that an approved rescue pulling a dog from MDAS and handing it over to another rescue can be suspended- so at least she is aware that what has been happening so much out of Miami is in breach of contract with the rescues pulling dogs that are actually doing so on the behalf of others.  I was told by her to stop my witch hunt, to not criticize and help (at that point she must have forgotten the multiple places I had suggested to contact as well as the research done on the WV rescue showing the many red flags - reasons not to send him to begin with - that WAS help that I provided for the sake of the dog). She also went on to say that my friends or I should adopt him (yet, later admitted that she would not herself for safety reasons).. at one point, she asked me if she should commit suicide - I want to say, for the record, I have never had someone ask me that. As someone who has lost people to suicide, I find it appalling and immensely bizarre that anyone would ask me that over a bad rescue.. and.. NO... I would never suggest anyone to commit suicide- it is disgusting and mental to even ask someone that. She also told me that I was giving her shingles on her head and would be responsible if I made her break out and get meningitis...and then asked me if I was beaten as a child. After that madness, she then offered to meet me in Miami to take his photos- of course I agreed to that (I was, admittedly a little leery considering the bizarre things she was saying- I needed to know the dog was ok though).. but, when I said this ...

Mary Lundberg

I can meet you tomorrow to take his photos and meet him. I will not agree to have any photos used for any money making activities unless donations are given directly to a reputable sanctuary.

She was suddenly sick and could not meet me- she told me she had blisters on her eyes - was hoping she would not go blind-- and offered to send me a photo of her blistery eyes. I did decline that offer.. my interests were more in seeing photos of the dog.. and not so much in eye blisters. The offer to meet me was taken away, I was told that not only must I have been a Nazi officer in a former life .. but, that I am not allowed at the Dog House. I was told I would regret my lies, she would not ever work with me (to be honest that did not upset me in the least), that I should 'shut the fuck up' and suck and egg. I did give her a list provided to me from Best Friends of places to contact and asked her that if I could find a sponsor for an animal behaviorist - if she would be interested. She never responded. The only other contact I have had with her since has been on public Facebook threads- at one time she accused me of not getting her side of the story- but, ignored the questions that I asked her on the public thread.. I can only guess.. the truth must make her eyes blister? 

(I do have this all in writing- like I said.. this is a summary.. but, the bizarre statements were all made and if it is claimed that I have made any of it up- I would have no problem posting the entire conversation to prove these things were actually said.)

At no time did she express regret for the situation or say that something like this would ever happen again with another dog. 

Below are some of the comments that occurred regarding the situation on a Facebook page. You can clearly see that I did post questions to her and gave her an opportunity to explain.. but, she did not respond to the majority of the questions. The screen shots are taken from this link

The Humane Society in WV did NOT ever go to a facility. They only went to their small house in town. They never went to a kennel. The house was fine- but, no kennel facility on any land was ever seen.  I also verified this with the transport and she also confirmed that she had NOT gone to any facility and only went to the home. Above she is also claiming that the Bowman's were just a foster- this story has changed and I believe it may have something to do with the issue of the breach of contract with MDAS since the use of the word 'foster' had only recently been used. She does state that the Bowman's lie- but, it is also a lie to say the Humane Society confirmed a facility on an acreage as they did not. 
Originally, it was stated that Jim had worked with the Bowman's before - yet, now it is being claimed that only 2 dogs have ever been sent there. Who is not being truthful and why? 
As you can see, I gave her an opportunity to answer many questions.. she did not address them and left the thread shortly after. 

Above Sarah does state the Bowman's have not been truthful - yet, it seems to be that there are some issues regarding the truth when it comes to those in FL involving this situation as well. She (as well as the transporter) claim that only 2 dogs were ever sent there. In the beginning of all this, it was stated that Jim (from the Dog House) had worked with the Bowmans before- so, if that is the case- what happened to those dogs? And if it is not true, why would so many people be involved in a lie about it? Why are there photos of the transport in WV in February when Barbados and the husky Marty were taken there in January? 
I have verified with those who did the home check that neither have seen the 'amazing compound' I have yet to see a single photo or talk to someone who has seen it. (Also, the rescue is not in VA- it is in WV.)  Is this safe rescue??
Barabados was taken from MDAS in October and sent to WV in January - why would he have arrived in a starved condition needing $800 in care if he had been under a rescue for months? This screen shot is taken from here
So I was finally able to see photos of him after he was hidden away for weeks and the story of what happened had been hushed among so many. Because I knew there was a real rescue who initially had him pulled, I talked with them - SOS4paws. I explained some of the intensely bizarre conversations that I had with Sarah and others and was assured that he has now been legally signed back over to the rescue and they will he handling him 100%. Also, after hearing of the story, some people donated a bed and medical care. He was given antibiotics to help his wounds and also moved to a new boarding kennel where he has much more space and regular walks. He has progressed immensely in both the healing of his wounds as well as his weight gain.
About 3 weeks after arriving in Miami-he obviously gained weigh since he was found emaciated in WV. He actually looks better - weight wise-  than when he was initially sent from the Dog House to WV. You can see that he still has multiple sores.  (I also see a lack of eye blisters and shingles in this photo even though I was told the day before I was making Sarah break out in them... maybe you can see them if you look really close, but I cannot. )

Below is a photo of Barbados from when he was first sent to the Bowman's Bernard rescue in WV. He arrived there very thin. The Bowman's have said that they had been given sick and aggressive dogs from Florida, but would not say how many dogs they were sent. They said that the Dog House is not a good place in that it is filthy, but I have no idea if that is because they have been there or where told that by the rescue people involved in all this. They also said the people in Florida are nuts and on a power trip - and that is why Barbados was returned to FL and not their rescue. (I know the Humane Society told me they would NOT allow them to have the dog back after finding him in that condition). But, I know the Bowmans have not always been truthful.. and I know there have been lies out of the Florida rescue as well.. this has just made for an incredibly unsafe and unfair situation for the dog as well as any potential adopters. This has been like a three ring circus and an embarrassment to rescues since most would never act in this way - lies, manipulation and acting off the wall are NOT the way to rescue and Barbados is a prime example of what happens when rescue works on lies and people do not act professional and mature. 
This was an image that was shared upon Barbados' arrival in WV. As you can see - he was sent to WV underweight to begin with. His ribs are clearly visible in this image.

Like I said before, the initial rescue has taken over. Last I was told, Barbados still had not met with a trainer or behaviorist. I was told that would happen after this last Memorial day holiday. It is disturbing since, once he was saved from euthanasia after the bite, there was a chip in created for him and it clearly stated that they had a trainer. He never did see one- in fact, he was sent to a home with a child in it and multiple dogs (the Bowmans) without having training after the bite. The Bowman's do have a child and it is my personal opinion that everyone involved in sending and receiving a dog with a bite history was wrong to ever have him kept in the same location where a child lives. Safe and responsible rescue is not just about the dog- it is also about those who will be caring for and interacting with that dog. 
The above chip in was created by someone who claims to have had no part in all this. As you can clearly see they said they had a trainer- but, that trainer was never utilized. Juliana has had many of her chip ins featured on my blog- I cannot help it.. when I see something bad and I do a little research, they seem to be there. She also sent me some bizarre Facebook messages after calling me a bitch on her page. Calling me names will not remove the fact that her name is attached to this. She made herself a part of all of this and could have- at any time- told them to stop and think about what they were doing, but did not. I can be called many names over this- but, the truth is the truth and it is clear as day in the above screen shot. Calling me names will not make it go away. 

Below are pictures of Barbados from after he was moved to the new boarding location. As you can see, he has put on weight and the wounds look less red. The photos below were provided by Wendy's rescue. She helped behind the scenes and visited him on multiple occasions. She said he is a very nice dog with people and did very well with everyone while she was there. He cannot be around cats and does seem to have issues with some other dogs. But, she was down on the floor with him and said he was like a big baby. He is obviously benefiting from the care he is getting, the new bedding is making a difference for his wounds. 
This was a week or two after he was moved from the Dog House to a new boarding kennel. I have heard they are taking excellent care of him. 

Barbados does need to get out of boarding and either into a home where he can properly be cared for and safely kept away from cats and other dogs. Or else he needs to find a legit sanctuary that can keep him safe and provide him a life that is not about being warehoused. He is currently posted for adoption on a couple of sites under a rescue listed as Rescue Inc. of West Palm Beach.. I have no idea who that rescue is- but, the contact information does go to the rescue SOS 4 Paws who he is actually under. If you are able to provide him a home or run a legitimate sanctuary and can provide him a life with you- please contact them.
Rescue should not run like what has gone on.. and most does not. What has gone on with Barbados should never have happened. It is way to easy to put dogs into danger when people are relying on random people online to give dogs to. People online can be anyone.. anyone.. and in the near future I will be doing a post about that. But, until then- if anyone is trying to re home a dog or trying to find a rescue- they need to listen to those who may see things that are not adding up. It is about the safety of the dogs and when huge red flags are ignored- they suffer... and when people ignore those red flags and attack those who speak up and point out obvious signs..  call them bitches and witches and tell them to climb under a rock.. that is a horrible way to run rescue.. Barbados suffered because of it.. how many others have also?

For the record I have never sent MDAS 100s of emails. I am not a drunk or a witch. I also do not watch Fox News and am not a Republican. I am a non drunk, non witch, non mass email sending, non Fox News watching Independent. 
Oh .. and before I forget, no one involved on the Florida end of things added the Bowmans rescue to any DNA or DNR lists- in fact, it looks like someone just gave that rescue another dog recently. (I have no idea who)  I hope that dog has a better life there than Barbados did while in WV... I hope people pay attention to who they are sending dogs to and ask questions.. and verify claims. It is very easy to do with free online searches and a few phone calls. Most of all, I hope someone will see Barbados and offer him a home for forever where he will never be covered with sores or starved again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


In October of 2012, a large white and spotted Mastiff by the name of Barbados was put into the Miami shelter (MDAS) . He was a big dog- 113 pounds and a stray. Like so many dogs and cats found as strays, his owners never came for him and he was available for adoption. Barbados was pulled under a rescue - to the best of my knowledge, that rescue is called SOS4Paws... in the event that is not true, it would be one of the other approved rescues who are allowed to pull dogs out of the shelter. The approved rescue did not appear to be a part of the placing of this dog.  Only approved rescues may pull dogs out of MDAS and many shelters operate the same way. In the case of Barbados, he was taken in by some independent rescuers who have pulled many dogs out of MDAS using an approved rescue's status. The group included a woman named Sarah Leddick who has pulled many dogs- and who has helped find homes for dogs as well as a woman named Juliana Venturini Coimbra. If you read my blog much, you will probably already be familiar with the second name as she has done multiple chip ins on dogs- and some of the dogs who had been in trouble - ones I wrote about- had her do the chip ins on them.

When he was pulled this was the comment made:

Sarah Leddick We are saving Barbados today. He is not well even though he looks handsome in the pic. He is emaciated, suffering from URI, has tumor on one hip and a gash on the other. He needs to go to the vet ASAP!! Please prepare to donate to his chipin. He isn't going to be cheap!! Then he gets transported to Maine to Janet Scott, where he will fit in nicely!!! If you want to donate today before I can set up his chipin and get it approved by UDOM, you can call Ray Carman at Animal Kingdom where he will be convalescing @772 528-9082. Thanks ahead of time!!
October 23, 2012 at 2:44pm · Edited · Like

Their plan was to take him out of the shelter, place him into boarding and send him off to a person in Maine who had come on the Facebook thread saying that she wanted him. She - being in another state- had not met him and was relying on any and all info on the Facebook thread and those involved in pulling him from the shelter. The shelter does no formal testing of dogs to check their temperament. There had been people on the thread asking how he was with other dogs etc. Since the people involved have been banned from the Urgent Dogs of Miami page (UDOM), it is hard to know what their responses were in regards to the temperament of the dog. Had the rescue taken the time to test him with people, other dogs, and cats prior to pulling him to ship him out of state?

On October 23rd 2012, it was stated on the UDOM thread that he was rescued. Many people had been interested in seeing him safely saved and many had pledged money to help in the process. (since not all donations are made on the chip in page- it is not possible for me to say how much money was or was not given as there have been many different places that donors were told they could give money to.) He was pulled out of the shelter on the 23rd and sent to a boarding kennel in Port St. Lucie run by a man named Ray. Ray runs a boarding kennel (the same one that the dog Niky was in that I wrote about in a past blog). Right after he arrived, there was a terrible accident. The kennel owner was severely injured when - based upon the story told- he got between the dog and cat.
It was a horrible injury and I was very upset to see it. No one ever wants someone to be hurt- and no one ever wants a rescue dog to be involved with something like that. After the attack, Barbados was not sent up to Maine. He was placed into the Dog House boarding kennel. Things were quiet for a long time. It was not until the end of December that I saw a thread pop up regarding Barbados and what their plans were for him.

So it appeared that they had found a rescue willing to take on a dog who had a bite history. I wanted to know more. This picture above was taken at the Dog House. He looked to be very thin and had a sore on his muzzle. I wonder how much he weighed at this point?

These threads show what was being said at the time. I was highly concerned about the claims being made - as well as the fact that it stated the Dog House had not only worked with the rescue before...  but planned on sending multiple dogs to them.

I thought some of the claims being made about the rescue he was being sent to - were very over the top and so I- and others who noticed it all- began to ask questions. You can follow it all on the above links- but, here are a few highlights -

** Please note that any comments from Juliana are missing - since she had just suddenly seemed to have removed her Facebook account.

As you can clearly see, the receiving rescue came onto the thread and made a comment. They did not dispute any of the claims being made at the time. Now.. let me break down some of the claims being made about that rescue that the Florida people were sending Barbados  to ...  and who the Dog House had plans to send a few dogs to.

Claims made on Facebook regarding the Bowman's rescue -

1. They train dogs for the presidents.
    - Google it... I will bet you will not find anything on that- I know I did not.

2. They are run by a group of veterinarians.
    - When I checked with the state licensing board- I found nothing.

3. They are a very reputable rescue in VA.
    - They are not in VA- they are in WV. And I - and many others who were researching the claims-     found no one who had heard of them. In fact, I contacted their local Humane Society and they had not heard of them - they did send someone out to check it out. In my opinion, a reputable rescue would be known by those in the area. Also they do not appear to be registered with the state as a non profit and there is no 501c3. There was also at least one photo on their Facebook page of a dog that was not even theirs - it was pulled from the site of the national breed rescue for Saint Bernards- who also, had not heard of them. In fact, I was told by the national group that there is no breed rescue representing in that area and they have had to send dogs in need there to out of state rescues. Breed rescues generally are aware of others who save the same breed.

4.  They have an amazing compound and have either 900 acres, 1,250 acres, or 350 acres depending on who they talked to. Also, that there is a varying number of kennels as well as dogs.
    - When their local Humane Society visited them, they visited a house. They said the house was nice and the two dogs in their care looked good. They made no visit to a large facility with a number of kennels and not an acreage. There were claims made that the land could possibly be in a neighboring county.. and if so.. please know that in that county there is no animal control. I did check with the county records of the neighboring areas and was unable to find any land belonging to that rescue. It is possible there is something- but, the home check was NOT done on that property and there are NO pictures on the rescue's page indicating ANY large facility. Another rescue  I talked to via email had seen them working to get another dog out of CA at the time this was all being posted, they said that they were told that they had 60 dogs and a kennel area for 100. The animal control officer in WV never saw 60 dogs.

5. There had been a visit to the place by a woman from Orlando. She claimed it was amazing and it was stated that she had been there personally and was thinking of actually moving there in the Spring.
   - According to the Humane Society who DID visit them, the Bowmans claimed no one from FL had ever visited them and they had only been contacted a couple of times by people in Florida. Furthermore, the woman claiming to be moving there- appeared to be living in a motel at the time and later in the woods- until people did online fundraising to move her out of the area. (most recently she has been asking for money for cigarets on Facebook) She also has a record including issues regarding abuse of a child and at least one involved in the rescue situation was aware of that. Why would the Bowmans lie to the Humane Society about no one from Florida visiting? Or why would a woman with a record - who was living in a motel asking for donations for herself - lie about visiting them? Most importantly- why would those directly involved with the care and well being of Barbados take the word of someone who has a record over those of questioning the situation.. who have no records?

6. According to the Animal Control officer who visited them, the Bowmans were unaware of the claims being made.
   - As you can see... they actually were on the very thread where the claims were made and made no attempt to correct them.

At this time, I need to point out a couple of other things. Above, you have seen the bite that occurred, yet they seemed to indicate to the animal control officer who did their home check that they knew nothing of a bite history of the dog who was being sent to them. They also said they were only taking in one dog. According to one of the threads, it was stated that they had worked with Jim (the Dog House) before and had another dog pulled who was recovering from being hit by a car. So they expected that dog? And what about the other dog that they took in from the Miami area- a husky? Why would they say they were only expecting one dog when it is clear that there were more than one ... and those are the only two I have linked to them, but it appeared there may have been others.

  • Sarah Leddick Jim says that he is organizing a big group of dogs to go to this rescue in Va. He is shooting for after the first which will be next week. I will breathe a big sigh of relief for Barbados once he has arrived since his life has been such hell over the past six months, if not his entire life. He deserves all the training and exercise that he will get once at the rescue! Jim says that they have an amazing compound.

I know this blog is getting long- but, I just need to be very clear about all of the information regarding this situation. Barbados was sent to the rescue even though I - and others pointed out many red flags. I know of another dog- a husky named Marty that was also sent. When asked about how Barbados was doing- and in response to people bringing up the subject post his being shipped off-  this was the response. Please note the screen shots are of some posts- not all. The entire threads are posted below.

Those of us who had been questioning the situation were attacked- called many things- referred as Nazis, told we were causing drama, called trolls, told to pay up or shut up in regards to Barbados, I believe there was a time we were told blood was on our hands-- and as you can see- at least one concerned individual was told to apologize to the rescuers who shipped off Barbados. Now, if we had just been attacking people with no research on our part- with no concern for the dog- that would have been bad-- but, that was not the case. I also find it very interesting how those involved said they were in constant contact with the Bowmans and had pictures - yet, no pictures were ever posted to show him living the life of luxury- sleeping in their home at night- running through the woods. If they had the photos- wouldn't it have made sense to just post them if they wanted us all to be quiet?

Now one more thing I want to point out-- before I have to tell you something very very sad...

Now the irony of this is that he made this comment about me 'assuming the worst' in regards to him being too thin on February 19th. Only a few days ago, I was told through an anonymous source that Barbados is back in FL. He was found about 2 weeks ago in WV and was covered in wounds and emaciated... dumped in the woods.  I did, once again, contact the Humane Society in WV to confirm this and was told that on a body scale of 1-5 he was about a 1.5 . I - and others- have taken a lot of garbage over this. We have been ignored and called all kinds of horrible things.. and yet, we were right to have the concerns that we had. I have no idea, at this point, if Barbados is even alive. He was returned to the Florida rescue who was in WV to deliver MORE dogs to that very same rescue. The Humane Society was told they returned to FL with those dogs- and I hope to God that is true. I saw in March the transporter had made another trip to WV.

If other dogs were sent at that time, I do not know which ones and if they are safe. I am writing this now- knowing that those involved with Barbados have known what happened.. They have not said a thing about doing a DNR on the rescue and I find that APPALLING at best. I cannot truly put into words how upset I was when my fears about this situation were confirmed. This is disgusting. Red flags everywhere and ALL ignored. ALL. And Barbados suffered because of it . Let me repeat- on body scale of 1-5 he was only at a about a 1.5 when he was found. He was starved... he was emaciated.. he was covered in open wounds.

"Hi Mary,

Our sheriff's department found Barbados not too far outside of town on Rte. 50.  He was brought here and was extremely thin, prob 1.5 out of 5 on the weight scale.  He was also full of open sores.  When we scanned him, the chip came up for a rescue in FL and that's how we figured out who it was..." 

This was part of the confirmation email from the Humane Society in Parkersburg, WV.. from the director. These are also the words from the director....

"It was only about 2 weeks ago and the rescue came and got him.  They also did not drop off the dogs that they had on board for Bowman's.  So lesson learned I believe.  I know how it feels to hope, especially when you're in rescue, and I know how it feels to think with your heart.  However, it has to be balanced with head and ensuring that all is well with where you're sending the dogs.  If something sounds too good, it usually is!"

And the sad thing is - the truly sad thing is that ALL of the people involved in sending him were pointed out to MANY very OBVIOUS red flags- many lies.. and they sent. him. anyway. 

This is just part one of this story- I am working on a part two... and I can tell you things are about to get VERY interesting... if you think I have not done my own research you are in for a big surprise. But, now.. before I go on.. I want to know- where is he? Where is Barbados? Is he alive? Is he being taken care of by decent people? If he is alive .... will his next stop be in a SAFE environment this time? WHERE IS BARBADOS AND IS HE ALIVE??

Friday, March 15, 2013

Remember Your Loyalties is a series inspired by the previous post. This is - well was- Molly.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pepe's Mortgage

At the very end of January 2012,  a small dog named Pepe entered Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS) . His image was posted online with the group Urgent Dogs Of Miami (UDOM) who post on Facebook the thousands of dogs that find themselves in MDAS yearly. Before long, out of state rescues became interested in him and - even though it was noted that he was aggressive - he was pulled out of the shelter. A chip in was created to raise money for his boarding and journey to the rescue - stating that the out of area rescue was in NC.

"He has no voice but I'm sure he would be begging for "HELP" right now... let's get him out of that place!!" Is what it said on Pepe's initial Chip In. People gave ...believing that they were saving his life. That Chip In was dated February 6th.

On February 12th, a new Chip In came across my feed on Facebook. It was one I had not expected to see. Pepe never made it to the out of state rescue. Pepe had been left in a boarding kennel where they said he was too aggressive to handle him. While there, he was eaten alive by maggots and died after days of sitting in the kennel. Right before transport, he was finally picked up by one of the workers to be groomed and upon finding him with maggots coming out of wounds and his eyes he was finally taken to the vet. He died at the vet.

 "..His aggression was clearly documented in his file at MDAS. So much so that they were unable to vaccinate him or do a proper exam of him. If they had, they would have discovered the open wounds and treated them. He came here and was placed in a run for qt boarding while waiting for transport to his rescue in Ohio. The staff was ordered to not handle him and not go in with him as is done with all aggressive dogs for safety reasons. Pepe would not allow anyone in his run. He would charge at anyone that opened the gate. When the transporter came to pick up Pepe I took him out and with the assistance of 2 others we were giving him a bath and we discovered that he in fact had open wounds with maggots. The wounds were not noticeable because of his long matted hair...' Dog House Pompano - from this Facebook page

I asked MDAS about this and was told that the rescue was given full disclosure on Pepe and that he did not leave the shelter in the condition  (the maggoty condition that is).... It is also evident from his intake photo that he was in great need of basic grooming... and he was less than 20 pounds.

So the for profit took in a dog for quarantine for transport, but the dog had no shots. So how does one properly quarantine a dog with no shots? They noted that the dog had long matted hair, and said that they were able to bath him- yet, did not do so until the last day. Was the dog less aggressive on that day? Why was he bathed when the transporter arrived? Is it customary for the transporters to wait for the entire grooming process on dogs they are transporting? Why was such an aggressive dog set to be sent on a transport anyway? Why were they sending him to Ohio when the Chip In clearly stated NC? In looking up the out of state rescues mentioned in the UDOM thread and the Chip In, it looked as if he was, in fact, going to a rescue in either DC or NY. Who truly was looking after the care of Pepe? Why did the Chip Ins not even mention the local rescue and had all the donations sent to an individual in Orlando?

As you can see... this did not all set right with me. But, what upset me more about all of this is the fact that, while people were yelling about the care of animals in MDAS, they failed to say a thing about the care of Pepe. People have created online pages dedicated to outing the problems with MDAS, yet no mention of Pepe. Protests were planned against the shelter- yet, none for Pepe. Why were people so against the shelter - yet, so silent on Pepe? If Pepe had died in the shelter- certain people would call the shelter workers murders - yet, Pepe died outside of the shelter- and no one was called a murderer. For the longest time I wondered why people were so quiet on Pepe... and others.....

Like Molly .... a man in the Midwest wanted to adopt so he went on Facebook and asked for the dog. She was sent to the boarding kennel and while there, he asked on Facebook pages for pictures of her- yet, his requests were seemingly ignored. Right before she was set to be transported to him, she died. She got ahold of a buffo toad is what they said. Tragic, yet again.. no one said a thing. Had this happened in MDAS there would have been an uproar.. if for no reason other than not a single picture of her 'safe' appeared to be shared in a month according to the out of state adopter's publicly posts-  yet, no uproar- and too few people spoke up... Molly was forgotten....

No protests erupted over Molly and the lack of photos. As you can see, he appeared to be asking for a 
month. Why did no one speak out about Molly and Pepe? Why only when things happen at MDAS? But, Pepe and Molly were not the only ones.... 

Muttsie was yet another dog taken out of the shelter and placed into boarding. He sat in a kennel for days - he had a broken pelvis and later died. The rescue who allowed those with the kennel to pull him never seemed to appear. Someone had come on a Facebook thread and offered to foster while he was in MDAS- yet- it was very obvious that there were potential issues with the foster- mainly a weight limit with their HOA. He was still pulled and put into boarding and needed medical care immediately- and did not get it. As with the others, it appears the rescue was MIA. People seemed to be paying directly to the for profit kennel- or to some woman in Orlando for some the dogs like Pepe- but, why? If a rescue was involved in each case- they would have been a non profit- most likely a 501c3- a tax deduction to a donor.. but, the money was not being sent to a non profit in each case.. it was sent to a for profit kennel or an individual. There also appeared to be no adoption papers filled out for each.  

Of course, I would be remiss if I were to fail to mention the many dogs stuck in boarding - like Max. Max, I have been told, has been at the kennel for a year or more. In a kennel that whole time. I do not even have a clue as to what rescue he is under... he just sits everyday waiting to be saved.. being warehoused. 

The above screenshot is from the page Help Diddy and Max get out of boarding 

If you have read my blog, you would see past stories with dogs pulled and placed into the kennel that ended up stuck or in difficult situations due to people just pulling them and boarding them without truly checking who they were going to. I even found dogs sent through this kennel rescue method that were sent to a woman named Shirley Barnes. She was in trouble for her dog attacking a toddler- and ordered to have no dogs in her county. Yet, Miami dogs were pulled- put into the same boarding kennel that Pepe had been in - and sent to her. I verified that she still has one when I asked her recently... other dogs were sent to a place called Critter Cover and ended up needing to be re saved- and, I was told, at least one was dumped in another shelter and killed. Many times I have seen a rescue being played out online using the same kennel "call the Dog House" people would be told.. and too many times- when I looked up the rescue- there was often times no real record of one. Often times nothing listed with the state they said they were in- no listings on reputable adoption promotion sites. Anyway.. I could go on.. the problem is that bad rescue is happening- dogs are repeatedly put into the kennel- and situations like what happened to Pepe and Max are occurring.. yet, no one is screaming about it- like they would be if it were a public shelter.. there may be a reason.  

Not too long ago, I was told something very interesting. I was told to look into the public records on the kennel in Broward County. What I found was that in 2011 a non profit called No Kill Nation loaned the kennel the amount of $254,146.75. It is in the public records as it is set up as a mortgage. 

Now, in case you do not know, No Kill Nation is a an advocacy group that exists to change shelters to 'no kill' shelters. They often post many anti HSUS, PETA, and ASPCA things on their Facebook page and believe that the number of animals dying in shelters rests solely on the shoulders of the shelters alone. They do not believe in overpopulation and seem to have a hard time with the idea of an irresponsible public when it comes to animals. 

In 2012 they worked to pass a bill called the Florida Animal Rescue Act. Basically, the bill stated that it "would make it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal when a qualified non-profit rescue organization is willing to save that animal."That seems like a totally wonderful thing- until you think about Pepe .. and the mortgage. See Pepe was taken out by a qualified rescue- the fundraising was done by an individual in Orlando - the funds going to her personal paypal account- according to the chip in Pepe was to be sent to a rescue in NC- however, the woman linked to NC was someone who ran a boarding kennel for dogs out of shelters that were to be sent to rescues in her area- and remember, the dog house thought the dog was going to Ohio. On top of that, the rescue named on the second chip in was Rural Dog Rescue which looks to be in DC- and in the initial UDOM thread there was also a mention of a rescue involved that is in NY. So if FARA HAD passed any dog would have to legally be handed over to the 'qualified' rescue and then what? Currently there are little to no regulations regarding rescues. Shelters keep track of intake and euthanasia/ adoptions/ etc. Yet, rescues have no real legal obligation to do so. FARA would have required shelters to hand dogs and cats over to them with no provision to increase funding for a department to oversea and regulate rescues. Since there is no real regulation, most anyone can open a Facebook page and declare themselves a rescue - and if FARA had passed- like NKN wanted- the shelters would have to hand the animals over.. and .. as is show above... this is not always in the animal's best interest. If those behind FARA truly wanted to help the animals- they would have written a better proposal... thinking harm only occurs behind the walls of a shelter is highly short sighted. 

What is even more interesting is that the group No Kill Nation spends a large amount of time working to bring down the big advocacy groups like the ASPCA. Often times citing their large intake in donations and how they are not supporting local rescues. Yet, No Kill Nation decided not to help out local rescues to the tune of 250k plus.. they loaned it to a for profit kennel. That amount could have funded Austin's Pets Alive bottle program for a year- it would have covered the pull fees for well over 8,000 animals from MDAS for rescues - it could have helped spay and neuter thousands of dogs and cats in Broward County's Spot Spay and Neuter program - or paid for more than half a years cost to run the Delaware spay and neuter program - over 8,000 bags of food could have been bought to help rescues or people who leave their animals at shelters due to an inability to feed them.. it could have been used for things like that- but, it was not. 

Now.. one could argue that No Kill Nation was not privy to the irresponsible rescue that has been occurring by way of the for profit boarding kennel. However, once I posted the mortgage on Facebook the president of No Kill Nation- Debi Day-  posted on her own page - publicly- that she loaned the money to the kennel due to 90 plus dogs that were in trouble in the place. 90 plus dogs that - many- had been abandoned by their rescue. Now... here brings up another issue.. No Kill Nation firmly believes that there is no overpopulation problem and that there is a home for every animal- that the shelters are failures for not finding those homes. Yet, the non profit had to used over $250k to help keep 90 plus dogs from going back to the shelter- yet, if there truly is a home for every dog- then why were 90 plus dogs even stuck in a kennel? And- since she claims she is against long term boarding then why not speak up to the kennel to get it stopped? Why not speak out publicly about the situation - it was happening very clearly on Facebook- anyone could see it- it did NOT stop with that group of dogs. She helped loan them a large sum of money- one would think that they would listen to her. If her claim is correct that she does not like irresponsible rescue- then why attack shelters - yet silence on Pepe.. and Molly.. and Muttsie? And furthermore, another woman who runs No Kill Nation is also running a rescue - why did that rescue not take over? Is it because they also have dogs who have been warehoused for extended periods of time? Does this all indicate a crack in their theory that there is home for every animal and overpopulation does not exist? 

Another strange thing that popped up when I posted the mortgage connection was that this ....
So that just leaves me wondering- if Debi truly DOES fund the non profit 98% - then why did she loan the money to the for profit kennel through the non profit and not a personal loan by herself? Why allow the non profit to take the risk? Does this also help explain why NKN is so often attacking large groups like the HSUS and telling people not to donate? Because they cannot get many true donations themselves? Of course no one wants animals being killed in shelters- I sure as shit do not- but, if it is true that one person is having to fund the majority of the non profit- does that not indicate that money is a problem when it comes to truly saving lives? It takes a lot of money- people want animals safe- but, to what extent will they go to fund it all - safely? 

But, what was really eye opening to me was what else was posted when I revealed the mortgage connection. It made me realize why people knew about the connection yet were afraid to speak up. It made me understand why I had been told by people about a dogs stuck in boarding from time to time and how they didn't really want their name out as being someone who spoke up. I understand now. People may have not wanted an issue such as Pepe coming to light- the connection to NKN to be seen- especially when something like FARA was trying to work itself into law. What happens when someone speaks up is this... 

This was posted set to public- remember- this is the head of No Kill Nation- her page. So, I now understand why some people may not have wanted to speak up about things- how they didn't want to make a big deal about Pepe.. how they did not want the mortgage connection to be known... because, this is the result. She has made it very clear about what happens to those who speak up. 

For the record, I do have ripped clothing- jeans. I bought them that way.. I never said I was a fashionista. But, the crazy thing about them trying to make me feel bad about ripped clothing is this- I was wearing those jeans on one of my last trips to MDAS. I was there to save a life- a very special life.. I will write about that one soon.. but, I was there saving a life- and they were there taking note of what I wore. In addition, when their tirade was posted, I could not respond 1. because I am blocked by Debi- even though it is set to public, I could not even see this to defend myself. I was given the screen shots by multiple people who saw it. 2. If I had been able to see it- I could not have responded anyway.. see, while they were attacking me in the style of an angry junior high girl, I was helping save lives. I was doing a transport that day.. and one of the dogs.. I walked him out of the Broward County shelter that day.. he clung to my legs as I walked- terrified. He is now safe.. from a shelter in the county that NKN resides in .. that has many animals euthanized. I helped save one life that day in the county of NKN- while the head of NKN went on Facebook and called me a pea brain. 

But, before I forget.. I am artist.. this is all about art to me- that is why the blog exists. Pepe is the first in my new series called Remember Your Loyalties. It is about the complex world of animal welfare and rescue.. and is about those who lose sight- of what we should all be concerned with.. that is of not just getting dogs and cats out of shelters- but, getting them to safety- true safety.... art is not always meant to be pretty.. but, I honestly never thought.. when I began this project.. that those who I thought were the heros would, at times, be the biggest failures... I will keep doing what I do.. call me all the names you want.. I have not forgotten my loyalties.. I am just sorry.. that .. so many have.