Velogal's Blog

Friday, September 22, 2006

Here is yet another appalling story about a dying dog, on the end of a chain in a Pennsylvania town. And yet again, the local Humane Society refused to take action. A member of Dogs Deserve Better, Tammy Grimes, rescued the animal and was arrested. Here is part of the story, go to the Link below to read the entire story, and see the videos from before and after the dog was treated and cared for by Tammy Grimes of DDB.. Thanks to the blog reader who sent me the alert... What the Hell is with the state of Pennsylvania and lack of action about animal cruelty?

Update September 22, 2006 Following a preliminary hearing, a state court judge ordered Tammy Grimes of Dogs Deserve Better bound over for trial. Judge Craig Ormsby found probable cause to try Grimes on charges of theft and receiving stolen property. Other charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief were dismissed. Grimes' bail was reduced to $10,000 unsecured.

It was agreed the court would consider at the appropriate time the offer of Best Friends Animal Society to provide free vet care for the dog and find it a good home. Best Friends' attorney, Russ Mead, was in court to present the offer.

The offer could help resolve the charge against Grimes. Typically, in a theft case, if convicted or as part of a plea, the defendant cannot keep the property, in this instance, a poor suffering dog. If Best Friends' solution is accepted and the dog is removed from Grimes' care, it could pave the way for a resolution of the criminal charge.

In attempting to present a justification defense, Grimes attorney, Thomas Dickey, argued the dog's owners, Steve and Lori Arnold, abandoned Doogie. The judge ruled that evidence was not relevant at this stage of the proceedings though it may be admissible at trial.

Indeed, the Arnolds were nowhere to be found as Doogie was chained and dying in their backyard. Kim Eichner, a neighbor, reported the dog had not moved for at least 2 days. His water bowl and empty food dish were not close to where the dog lay dying. The humane society failed to respond to calls for help.

Grimes may have taken matters into her own hands, but she did not steal a car or a stereo. She took a living, sentient being to the vet for much needed care. She rescued him from abuse. Instead of a medal, though, Grimes was presented with handcuffs and taken to jail.

At least one other member of Grimes' group, Dogs Deserve Better, has been charged criminally for trying to help a chained dog. Kathleen Slagle, who also authored an anti-chaining bill pending in the Pennsylvania Assembly, sent a couple of anti-chaining brochures to Charles and Dawn Solliday who chain their beagle day in and day out. Slagle has been charged with harassment for these actions. And, the humane officer in that county, Clearfield County, PA, has said she will support the Sollidays. The humane officer encouraged the filing of the charge.

As Animal Law Coalition reported below, in response to these outrageous abuses of the justice system, Best Friends Animal Society has proposed a citizen's good Samaritan law. Under such a law, the text of which is set forth below in the earlier report, citizens would be able to enter the property of another for the limited purpose of taking an animal to a veterinarian, if needed, or otherwise providing emergency care for an animal. Of course, efforts must first be made, as they were in Grimes' case, to notify the owners and animal control.

If you are interested in passing such a law in your community or state, contact Animal Law Coalition for a copy of the proposed law or download it from our Resources section.

Update September 21, 2006 The rally to support Tammy Grimes and Dogs Deserve Better was a resounding success. Tammy's preliminary hearing is scheduled to start shortly in a Roaring Spring, Pa courtroom.

There were about 100 people who gathered to protest charges of theft among others, brought against Grimes all because she saved a dog dying at the end of a chain. The dog's owners, Steve and Lori Arnold, left the dog, Doogie, sick and in a great deal of pain, just lying on the cold wet ground on a chain outside their house.

The dog could not even stand let alone walk. It is unlikely he could even reach his dirty water bowl let alone the flimsy plastic crate they provided for "shelter".

The Arnolds were nowhere to be found. The humane society failed to respond to calls from at least 2 people about the dog's condition. Tammy thus rescued Doogie, took him to the vet, and now, as you can see from Animal Law Coalition's earlier reports below, authorities including the humane society have mounted a campaign against Grimes and her organization, Dogs Deserve Better.

At the rally Best Friends Animal Society again announced its offer to provide vet care for life for Doogie and find him a good home. It is hoped this offer will help resolve the charges against Tammy.


  • I am completely and totally speechless. What kind of world do we live in?!

    Is the Animal Legal Defense Fund involved here (I note that Best Friends is)?. The ALDF deals specifically with animal law and cruelty, and could go after the owners. I hope so.

    Thanks for posting the story -- I love animals and support all the humane groups I can.

    By Anonymous Debby, At 10:17 AM  

  • Oh, I saw this on TV. They had some comments from the owner of the animal.

    The owner state the dog had some sort of ailment; I believe it was arthritis, which made it painful for the dog to move around much. That's the reason, they say, the dog would lie in the same spot for days.

    I'm a bit concerned by both sides. I wouldn't be happy about anyone taking my pet based on their perception of the situation nor could I watch a helpless animal suffer such circumstances without attempting some action.

    My only hope is that the animal is more comfortable. This is a sad situation all around.

    By Blogger Tony Rocha, At 2:10 PM  

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