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June 12, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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June 12, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

ANOTHER ABANDONED DDB DOG -

Here is the synopsis on Hank as I have lived it. I stand behind what I put in writing and will defend if need be.  This is the truth as I know it.
In July 2011, A Buddy For Life, Inc was contacted by a former DDB rep, for help with placing a 4 year old Hound
Mix named Hank.  She told us that she was going through some financial difficulties as well as being in the middle of a high risk pregnancy.

When asked why she had not contacted DDB to take Hank back into their rescue, she said that she had asked them for help with a dog that she adopted from them years ago, (Kiddo) and that Ms. Founder emailed her and told her to euthanize said dog.  She said she already knew what Ms. Founder’s answer would be, so she did not ask.  She also said that a DDB rep in MA approved a home for him who subsequently dumped him at Kent County SPCA in Delaware, our local high kill animal control facility.

Because of what she perceived to be this rep’s poor judgment in screening homes, she did not feel as though Hank would be safe if this DDB rep was involved with Hank anymore.  She told us that the DDB rep had given her permission to re-home Hank on her own.

A Buddy For Life, Inc, found a foster home for Hank at the end of July 2011.  He was in his foster home for approximately 2 months without incident.  He lived with two other dogs at that time, as well as a husband and wife and had a large back yard to run around in.

In September 2011, A Buddy For Life, Inc, found an adoptive home for Hank.  His adoptive home was a previous adopter, as well as long time personal friends with one of the volunteers.   These people used to volunteer at a local no kill shelter, and have handled all types of dogs.  They are truly caring people who do right by any dog that comes their way.

After having Hank in their family for 5 months, Hank lunged, teeth showing, twice in a 10 minute time span at the woman.  There was nothing he was protecting (no bones, food, etc).  This came out of the blue, and startled me when I heard about this. Unfortunately, the couple decided that while they love Hank, they cannot have a dog that shows this kind of behavior unprovoked in their home. They had grandkids who visited often, and while they were always careful with the little ones and their dogs, they did not want to risk anyone getting hurt.

Little did I know what I was about to find out.

I picked Hank up from his adoptive home on February 15, 2012.  Hank was happy to see me, and went willingly with me to my car.  I emailed the CEO/Founder of Dogs Deserve Better, on February 17, 2012 in regards to Hank.  I emailed her with the situation as I knew it, and requested that she take Hank back to her rescue/rehab sanctuary to work on his behaviors, as we are a small rescue who does not have the resources or money to work with a dog like Hank.

I felt as though since we were never made aware of Hank’s issues, it was only fair that DDB take him back into their care and work with him.  Hank is a liability, plain and simple.  Without intense training and the properly motivated home that is willing to follow the advice of a knowledgeable and competent trainer, he could possibly hurt someone in the future.

Ms. Founder emailed me back, first telling me thank you for my civil tone and professionalism, and then in the next five paragraphs proceeds to slander the former DDB rep.  I did not email Ms. Founder regarding the rep, I emailed her regarding Hank.  This was uncalled for and completely unprofessional in my opinion.  I did not respond to that part of her email.

She also told me that her emails to me were to be kept confidential, again, I did not respond to that part.  I refused to respond to anything that didn’t have to do with Hank.  While Ms. Founder may be pre-occupied with her reputation, I am more pre-occupied with the dog, Hank, which I believe they failed.

Ms. Founder said in her email to me and the MA rep for DDB, whom she cc’d on my original email to her:

“DDB Ma rep, I’d like you to take responsibility for Hank, and if that means putting him down, then that’s what it means. I know that he has had chance after chance and issue after issue. Let me know what you think. DDB will pay for the procedure if it needs to be done in DE, or whatever you think is best.”

Ms. Founder suggestion was that I euthanize Hank, as the DDB Good News Kennel was in its infancy, and could not rehabilitate a dog like Hank at this time.  She said that DDB would pay for the euthanasia.  She also copied the MA rep on this, who agreed with the decision to euthanize Hank, and also made sure she had some bad things to say about the former DDB rep.

The MA rep’s email was troubling, and is what was the biggest catalyst for me to open my eyes and see that DDB as an organization FAILED Hank, not once, but 6 times.

From the DDB MA rep’s email:

“I am the original rescuer for Hank Williams Jr, the dog we are discussing. Hank was with DDB-MA for over a year and had 4 adopters that returned him always within the first week due to a strange lunge he would do for no real reason. I do feel that you should have emailed me directly when this issue occured. This is not an issue for Ms. Founder. This is my issue. DDB in VA is full and unpredictable dogs cannot be adopted out and so I personally recommend euthanasia for Hank.”

In the MA rep’s email to me, she disparaged the former DDB rep, admitted that she knew that Hank had lunged before, and that Hank had been in 6 different homes while with DDB.  None of this was ever relayed to me by the MA rep.  The MA rep knew that I had Hank as I had emailed her regarding his new home and our need for his microchip information in Sept 2011.

Had A Buddy For Life, Inc, known of Hank’s aggression issues, we would have managed him differently and started looking at other options—we never would have placed him into a home due to his unpredictability. The MA rep even disparages the former DDB rep for going to rescue Hank at the local kill shelter when the home she approved for him dumped him there when she told the new home that she was in MA and there was nothing she could do immediately for Hank. She told them to take Hank to the local humane society. Hank was instead dumped at a high kill animal control facility.

She also lets me know that I never should have contacted Ms. Founder regarding this issue, and that it is her issue to deal with.  Ms Founder IS the founder/CEO of the organization, and so I felt she had every right to not only know what was going on, but also that she had a chance to address it.  DDB reps are all over the US representing her organization.

My responses to all emails were polite and firm. Once they requested euthanasia, I asked for Hank to be signed over legally to A Buddy For Life, Inc, as I wasn’t going to fail him again.  Ms. Founder emailed me and the rep from MA and told her to sign him over to me, but I refused.  The MA rep is a volunteer within the organization who holds no official title that I am aware of.  Therefore, I requested that the surrender forms bear Ms. Founder’s signature, which I did obtain on February 19, 2012.

After posting a plea to raise money to send Hank to a life long care sanctuary, the MA rep felt the need to respond to the posting on A Buddy For Lifes Facebook page.  Among some of her comments were:

“a RESCUER HAS LIABILITY AND A RESPONSIBILITY TO HUMANS.”  When asked why she agreed to euthanize Hank, she responded:  “because I had no where to put him and he is a liability for a rescue since he is unpredictable. good rescuers dont adopt out unpredictable dogs” however, she found him stable enough, by her own admission, to put him in at least 6 different homes while Hank was with DDB, and each time he was returned due to his unpredictable behavior.

I used to have immense respect for DDB.  I participated in the Chain Off, and donated money over the years.  I still feel as though their mission is a noble one—to get dogs off of chains and into a home.  However, after my experience with Hank and DDB, I can no longer be sure of what is going on within the organization.  Do all organizations make mistakes?  Sure, none of us are perfect.  As long as we learn from our mistakes, they build character and give us good life lessons. Rescue is hard work.  It is a thankless job. However, Hank was not failed once, he was failed multiple times by the organization.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 11, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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June 11, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

“I am posting under an anonymous name. Unfortunately I feel the need to protect my identity for obvious reasons. I was a devoted supporter and a proud donor of Dogs Deserve Better for many years and I do know the CEO personally.

I want to thank all of the former DDB area reps and former
employees for all of your dedication to unchaining dogs during your time representing DDB. I am proud to have supported you over the years. You made a difference in the lives of so many chained dogs. I am especially pleased to read that most of you have continued in rescue. A heartfelt THANK YOU!

I have to agree that the mission of DDB has taken a turn in the wrong direction in the past year. The purchase of the Vick property has turned into a questionable decision, a money trap and an embarrassment for many DDB supporters. The fact that so many hard working reps and employees have quit or were forced to quit is a true indicator of the internal trouble within DDB.

I have visited the Good Newz Rehab Center. I witnessed the staff working hard for the dogs, but the kennel staff was not experienced. The handling of the dogs was very concerning. There was no trainer on staff. The excessive kenneling of the “bad dogs” and the lack of socialization of the “bad dogs” were especially disturbing. I also witnessed the CEO's lack of experience and fear of dogs and her hesitancy to interact with people (visitors and staff) at the Center. I heard her negative words, I witnessed her condescending attitude and I witnessed her disregard of accepting help or advice from anyone.

It is in the best interest of DDB supporters to take a good hard look at who they are supporting these days. The animal cruelty charges against the CEO may not be severe in the grand scale of animal abuse we read about every day. But for a founder of any 501c3 rescue organization to face ANY animal cruelty charges is a reason to be outraged. Using mace and tasers on previously chained dogs? Especially when there is not an experienced staff or trainer on site? We all await the evidence, but why would Surry County file charges if there were no evidence to support said charges, regardless of the intent of the complainants?

I really am sorry that DDB has fallen on difficult times. Many of us wanted to believe this was only a temporary setback. But now I have to wonder where all of my donations have gone. I have also come to the realization that the rehab facility will not be built. It was a great idea, which I supported, but apparently there really is no direction or plan in place to see it through.

Chained dogs across the country are still chained because you lost your way. This saddens me greatly. You had a “national” rep group who was proud to be a part of DDB and they worked relentlessly unchaining dogs across the country. You took them for granted… You took your supporters for granted. I have jumped off the DDB wagon as it is careening out of control.”

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe the CEO MUST go.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

Over the years, there have been claims that the CEO has been abusive to dogs under her care. Here are quotes from a statement made by the CEO herself in December of 2011 acknowledging those claims made against her:

"While I cannot prove to anyone that I'm not an animal abuser, everyone who
comes to the center comments about how all the dogs follow me around like I'm the Pied Piper. From what I've seen, dogs don't follow animal abusers around."

"I do have a suggestion, though. If you think or believe that I'm an animal abuser, it's very simple: DON'T GIVE ME ANY DOGS. "

The following year, she would be charged with animal cruelty and neglect based on claims made by now ex-employees.

At least 6 ex-employees have accused the CEO of abuse towards the dogs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Please have the CEO step down.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

An interesting tidbit from DDB's tax returns. For 2012, DDB took in about $326,000 and spent about $52,000 in vet care.

For 2013, DDB took in about $1,100,000 and spent about $78,000.

DDB's donations increased almost 400% but they only increased vet care by 50%.

We do not
know if their vet grants are included in this expense figure.

If you are a DDB supporter, you should be very concerned about this year over year trend of more money coming in but less dogs being helped and less money going directly in aid of the dogs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

THE CEO MUST GO!

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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June 4, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

Not exactly transparent.

DDB has a cash surplus of $282,000. With GNRC paid off, they now have over $915,000 in assets. Yet the begging for donations has been relentless. It is extraordinarily dishonest not to be up front about their current state.

Over $10,000 for legal fees,
just about all of that due to the CEO's cruelty case. Like in prior years, we believe this is an understated figure.

NO LOBBYING EXPENSES! Not one dime went towards lobbying efforts for better animal welfare laws, which is supposed to be part of their mission.

Salaries jumped by almost $50,000, though the CEO's salary remained fairly constant. This probably won't be sustainable unless donations keep pace.

The CEO continues to defraud her donors.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove the CEO

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 2, 2014

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June 2, 2014

Robin Budin coordinated with me on a chained/abandoned dog rescue. She was unwavering in her commitment to seeing through the mission until the end. They raised funds to cover vet bills. And their resources and networking were phenomenal. I plan to follow Dogs Deserve Better for a long time to come and to support their very worthwhile efforts. Unchaining all the dogs in America is a huge task, but DDB is taking it on! I love that! I hope to bring that mission to my home state of Indiana.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

May 31, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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May 31, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

So disappointed in Guidestar.... My negative review was removed. What about transparency? Wow...

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove the CEO

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

May 31, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

more

May 31, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

I was a donor until about 3 years ago, when I wrote a negative review questioning how DDB was spending their money and how they treated one of their fosters. I just got an email today that my review was removed. I also just heard from a friend that their negative review was also removed. DDB is trying to silence their critics by having bad reviews taken down.

I still believe that this organization is very unethical and this just confirms it.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The board should fire the head of DDB

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

May 30, 2014

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May 30, 2014

My two awesome dogs were DDB rescues. The representatives I worked with for each adoption displayed levels of compassion and professionalism that we should all strive for. This world is a kinder and better place for our canine companions because of the efforts of exceptional folks like Tami, Sheila, and Robin. My pooches and I woof them very much for bringing us together! DDB ROCKS!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide them more support to help more dogs and assistance in securing legislation that priotitizes animal welfare.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 30, 2014

more

May 30, 2014

Dogs Deserve Better rescued 2 abandoned and neglected dogs when other rescues wouldn't even return an email, text, or phone call. Not only did they rescue the animals, but gave them both the highest quality of vet care which included a very expensive Cardiologist and prescription food. I've never witnessed a more generous and organized rescue than Dogs Deserve Better. Robin Budin was in contact constantly assuring that the details were all going as scheduled until the dogs were delivered to their foster dogs. A truly amazing and heartwarming experience .
Kitty Downs
Hoover, Alabama

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Pet, play with, or bathe a dog at the Good Newz Rehab Center in Virginia or a foster home nearby Volunteer