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Dogs Deserve Better, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Citizen Participation, Civil Rights, Education

Mission: To bring dogs into the home and family from a chained or penned existence. Three aspects of societal needs are addressed to accomplish this mission: Education, Legislation, and Rescue and Rehabilitation.Through education, we elevate individual standards for animal treatment through direct one-on-one and group contact.Through Legislation, we work towards passage of more humane laws to protect dogs from living at the end of a chain for life or enclosed in a small space with little to no human contact.Through rescue and rehabilitation we create better lives for individual dogs by fencing yards, helping with housetraining and fostering, spay / neuter and finding the dog a new inside home and family.

Target demographics: dogs living chained or penned for life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of chained and penned dogs.

Geographic areas served: the U.S. and abroad

Programs: rescue and rehabilitation of chained dogs, educational programs to include a Have a Heart for Chained Dogs campaign, mailing campaigns to households that have dogs outside, grassroots legislative efforts, activist campaigns such as Chain Off and protests of hoarding situations, and Hero Fund Vet Care Grants for rescuers and the chained dogs they help.

Community Stories

120 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Donor

Rating: 5

As is normal practice for those who criticize visionaries, I noticed that the updated facts were NOT posted here regarding the FALSE Charges against DDB which have subsequently been DROPPED by Poindexter and his cohorts. ( His role in the Vick case was exposed in Gorant's Book " The Lost Dogs" )

In short, the entire episode was an attempted FRAME .
To read more about the facts on this one simply has to go to:
http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/inthenews.html
and read the PDF'S. dated 3/5 and 5/15 of 2013.

To Ms. Thayne's critics I would only asked these simple questions:

How many of you have made the personal sacrifices she has , both as a Military Veteran and Advocate for Abused Dogs?

How many of you have nearly DIED in this cause?

She HAS.

Personally I can think of no FINER USE for Vick's former place of dog torture and death than this.

Don't want to contribute to DDB work for chained dogs? Then Don't.
Don't want to contribute to other Orgs who work for the benefit of animals, the vast majority of whom have been criticized as well?
Then Don't.

Baseless negative comments are counter productive to the movement.

I need not add more.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 1

State orders Surry dog rescue to place 8 dogs into foster care
September 27, 2012
SURRY – The state has directed Tamira Thayne, executive director of Dogs Deserve Better Inc., to place the organization's eight remaining dogs at the Good Newz Rehab Center into foster care by Sept. 30.

But that deadline is on hold while her attorney, Fred Taylor, works with Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services officials, said Thayne. Elaine Lidholm, an agency spokeswoman, declined to discuss the deadline or other details of the state's ongoing probe into the anti-chaining dog rescue organization based out of the Surry County house where Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick once ran a dogfighting operation.

The organization is not accepting any new chained dogs, Thayne said.

Thayne was charged with two misdemeanors — one count each of animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals — on Aug, 28, just days after a state veterinary and Surry Animal Control made an unannounced visit on Aug. 23. Thayne's trial is scheduled for Nov. 13 in Surry General District Court.

Dogs Deserve Better has been operating without the state's required approval since opening in June 2011, with records showing that least 30 dogs have been confined during that time, according to a Sept. 10 letter to Thayne from Daniel Kovich, a program manager with the state veterinary's office. Although the state reported giving her staff a verbal directive to stop accepting new chained dogs during a Jan. 25 inspection, Thayne said she never received the message.

According to the state's letter, the facility is violating some of the state's safe shelter laws because dogs are housed in groups inside the house and moved into different rooms of the house in response to aggression.

The state also referenced one dog fight that resulted in a $1,200 veterinarian bill, two dogs having been treated after being bitten by snake on overgrown property, and groups of dogs being kept in the kitchen with "direct access" to hazardous items including knives, glassware, small appliances and alcohol.

In his report, Kovich also noted that three bottles of pepper spray were found inside the house, one of which had been discharged.

While serving a search warrant on Aug. 27, Surry County deputies seized nine cans of pepper spray from the house, along with two Tasers, computers, vet records and a 1-year-old pit bull, according to search warrants. Ten days later, the courts awarded custody of the dog, Jada, back to Dogs Deserve Better.

"Use of pepper spray as a deterrent to aggression is in no way an appropriate husbandry practice in an animal shelter environment," according to Kovich's letter. "Negative interactions should be prevented from occurring in the first place."

The state and local investigation was spurred partially after several former employees, including former office manager Deana Whitfield, emailed pictures and complaints to Surry Animal Control in July. Whitfield and Dogs Deserve Better parted ways in late June, about one month after Whitfield filed an anonymous complaint alleging unsafe working conditions with the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The May 21 complaint says that employees are not trained or equipped to safely deal with dog fights, that a single employee is frequently left alone in open rooms with large numbers of uncaged dogs, and that employees have not been trained to use the pepper spray provided to break up dog fights. The OSHA complaint was closed without an on-site inspection after Thayne had an additional on-site training class for employees.


4

Volunteer

Rating: 1

QUOTES from two former DDB reps -

"The Nat'l Coordinator was Tami's heavy. Tami had NOTHING to do with the Reps. The ONLY time calling her was acceptable was when she had to okay medical services. Tami/the nat'l coordinator put pressure on the Reps about Vet services being "too expensive". And making an appt for a DDB dog to be Vetted was -always- an ordeal. Getting rescue dogs vetted became such a hassle that I paid for a few myself with my own money. I paid for everything involving the daily care of my fosters, with my own money. I couldn't rest knowing there was any dogs that went unchecked. I admit that I was blinded to Tami's absence because I was SO in love with the idea of helping chained dogs.

I was weary from having to explain and justify my actions and decisions as a Rep. So I quit. I couldn't over extend myself one more moment. Nor could I deal with anymore complaints from DDB. Of which 99% of complaints DDB would take to their Reps was money related. So that was it. And since then, there is NO help or attention for any of the chained dogs I was monitoring.

So my experience with DDB was negative throughout. And I saw Tami and DDB through rose colored glasses. But since then I've noticed the inadequacies more clearly. And when Tami bought that Vick house. And she put the Rep program on "hold" so she could focus her time and MONEY on this property..... Well I knew then DDB was not going in the right direction. The Rep program is the vital link between the dogs suffering in backyards, and the help they so desperately need."

***************************************************

"I was sad to leave, because I thought the cause was an honorable one, but didn't realize the reputation the organization has. I left because I don't agree with the organization's ethics and business practices. Since learning how they do business, I have definitely learned HOW NOT to run a Not-for-Profit Organization. I spent way too much of my own money on "their" dogs without receiving much back from the donations I solicited from them... sounding familiar? I could have over looked it a bit IF I didn't receive hundreds of vulgar hate e-mails during my final few days being an Area Rep for them, - I quit. Then I saw the people and the organization for what it was; sensationalist propaganda and sue-happy snarks."

Review from Guidestar

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization is a SCAM. DDB duped people into giving them money to purchase the Vick property. They promised a "rehab center" for chained dogs. People gave them and continue to give them money however, there is no "rehab center" nor is there a solid plan! There will NEVER be a center on this property unless a VERY rich person steps up and offers to pay for it. We all know what the chances of that happening are...less than slim to none! They only raised money for the down payment on the Vick property and the money that they continue to raise goes towards the bills and Tami's salary! They only have only a few dogs at the "center" for adoption and they will not take any dogs that actually need rehabilitation because they cannot handle them! What happens when the fabled rehab center does not get built?? Will the donors get their money back? This place should have never been purchased unless they had ALL of the money to do what was promised up front! I hope all of the people that donate know that their money is paying Tami's salary (yes, she takes a salary from donations), mortgage, utilities, cable, internet, etc. GET A JOB TAMIRA! My rescue saves more dogs than DDB yearly and I work full time because we don't get paid to rescue! DDB is a pathetic excuse for a rescue and gives REAL rescuers a bad name!

Review from Guidestar

5 Cory F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I think an investigation of the volunteers is warranted as there is allegations (which appear to all have documentation to prove) the misappropriation of funds being made by one Tamira Thayne. The occupation of a mansion(specifically Michael Vicks) has been admitted that it was acquired as a publicity stunt(which Tamira has admited to) does not seem like an appropriate place for a dog rescue. Nor should Tamira be able to pick and choose which dogs she will rescue and rehabilitate. For this reason a more appropriate building should have been acquired, one that could house more and be used to properly care for these animals. As an outsider from Canada who has been following this situation thru social media, have seen information and documents to prove the above. So my question is, when will you start the investigation?? DDB Inc, could benefit and probably restore its reputation to have this matter looked after.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

"I KNOW Tami is about and only about saving animals."—Shannon Allen, August 6, 2011
by Tamira Ci Thayne on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:00pm

"I wouldn't affiliate myself with an organization that does the things that BJH is claiming. I have a good relationship with Tami, that doesn't mean we don't disagree at times, but in the end I KNOW Tami is about and only about saving animals. If for one moment I doubted that, I would quietly move on. I picked up a chained dog around 4am one morning after receiving a call. Vespa had been mauled while chained and escaped. I don't know how long she was on the run with her injuries but was she severely septic. I asked Tami if we should let her go or try to save her. Tami said, "Save her!" Two days and $1500 later, Vespa died at the ER clinic. Tami was there for me at 2am, 2 days before Christmas when Vespa died. I will always be grateful for that."—Shannon Allen, writing about Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Thayne, August 6, 2011

(She's just got a funny way of showing her gratitude, that's all.)

I am under attack by former Dogs Deserve Better rep Shannon Allen, and as such I am speaking out about the Dogs Deserve Better Area Rep program, the expectations of reps who are in our program, and why Shannon Allen is misleading the rescue community and is, indeed, the only one abandoning dogs if that is where her intentions lie.

The Dogs Deserve Better Area Rep program is very unique, in that not only are we geographically scattered across the entire country—and sometimes even world—but each rep has in the past been given the utmost freedom of choice and control over his/her area.

This meant that first and foremost a rep was required to be an adult, to behave like an adult, and to make adult decisions as to her/his ability to rescue dogs, place dogs, and take physical responsibility for any dogs rescued in her/his area. In addition, reps made decisions about talking to people with chained dogs, running educational booths, building fences, and starting grassroots efforts to change laws for man's best friend to prohibit chaining.

I never asked or told reps to go rescue a certain dog. I didn't feel that was my decision to make. Rescuing a dog is a big commitment, and I would make that commitment for myself and for myself alone. If I were able to take a certain dog into my home and foster him/her, I might ask a closer rep to facilitate rescuing the dog and getting him/her to me.

I typically fostered as many as six dogs at a time, out of my home, which also doubled as the organizational headquarters. There was not any kind of magic castle in which to put dogs who needed rescue. Either a rep took responsibility for them, I took responsibility for them, or we tried to network with other rescues for placement for the dogs.

If a rep made a decision to rescue Dog A, then it was the rep's responsibility to make sure that Dog A was physically cared for from that point on. If Dog A went to a foster home that was not with the rep, and that foster home fell through, they could certainly network with the other reps and myself looking for another place for the dog to go, but the physical responsibility for that dog remained with the rescuing rep, unless and until the dog was transferred elsewhere.

The reps who behaved as adults understood this from day one, and made sure when they decided to step down as reps that all their fosters were either homed or in foster homes which they would continue to monitor until they got adopted. For example, one rep who retired from DDB, Gayla Hausman from Nebraska, wrote this about her foster dogs: "I'm so proud of the work I've done with all of you, and the many many dogs I have helped to get a better life. I will remain forever passionate about animal welfare. I have my last two dogs leaving in the next week for adoption. Let me know if there is anything else I need to do."

And former rep Penny Gummo elaborates: "When I was with Dogs Deserve Better I was told I wouldn't get vetting paid without prior approval and I never assumed that any dog I rescued would be physically taken in by Dogs Deserve Better. I don't know why anyone else would think they could do anything they please without approval. Rescue WOULD be much easier if we could just give the dogs to someone else once we rescued them…"

In fact, Shannon Allen typed April 2, 2011: "I feel responsible for every dog I adopt for the entire life of that dog. I assume at any given time an owner is going to call me and say they can no longer keep their dog. Maybe I am a control freak, but it is important to me to make sure that all dogs I adopt are safe, happy, and healthy for the entire lives."

Miss Allen, who was never an employee of the organization, but instead a subcontractor who worked from home, used her own equipment, and made her own hours, quit working with the org in September of this year.

We had been having trouble with her for a while with behaviors that were indicative of hoarding or at least an inability to judge how many dogs she could handle at any one time.

Even though I did not like to interfere in reps decision-making processes, I was compelled to start counseling Miss Allen about rescuing too many dogs for one person to handle. On April 5, 2010, I wrote the following: "I'm a little concerned that you're getting in over your head with the number of dogs. How many do you have right now?"

On February 7, 2011, I wrote her the following: "As I told you before, you personally cannot save them all. You have 19 dogs at your house, and you are costing the org a fortune in boarding. IT HAS TO STOP."

Yet Miss Allen continued to ignore me and created vet bills in the organization's name at at least three different vets that we had no knowledge of. No reps are allowed to create accounts in the organization's name, and Ms. Allen knew this, but she continued anyway.

When she quit the organization in September, 2011, she began attacking me and the organization on every website she could get her hands on. She then declared myself/Dogs Deserve Better responsible for her foster dogs, even though I had never seen any of these dogs in person, had never told her to rescue any of them, and had in fact told her she needed to cut back, stop rescuing, on at least three occasions.

Dogs Deserve Better DID cover vetting for every foster Ms. Allen claims has been abandoned by the organization. Ms. Allen made the personal decision to take these dogs into her home, therefore she is the one and the only one physically abandoning them if that is the path she so chooses.

I have made it a practice to help reps as much as I possibly can when they get into a jam. We have moved the organization from my home in Pennsylvania to The Good Newz Rehab Center, in Smithfield, Virginia, where we are currently operating out of a house while we continue to pay off the property. For the safety of our dogs and the humans who visit here, we cap the number of dogs we rehabilitate at any one time to 14.

The Good Newz Rehab Center's mission is to rehabilitate formerly chained and penned dogs. Our goals are to rescue chained dogs from nearby states, as well as support our reps who are out rescuing dogs.

Since moving here in July, we have supported the following reps, volunteers, or former reps by taking in dogs that they requested come to the center: Kristie Hendricks, Shelly Donnelly, Holly Lyttle, Miriam McCormick Hayes, Monica Severy, Rebecca Helwig, and yes, Shannon Allen.

The decision was made to drive over to Ms. Allen's home, 5 hours from the Good Newz Rehab Center, and take in three of her foster dogs, despite Ms. Allen's verbal abuse of the organization and myself.

We took as many dogs as we could responsibly take from Ms. Allen, and we told her we would continue to help her find homes for the others. But the bad-mouthing didn't stop. She claimed we took her three most-adoptable dogs, and instead of being grateful for our help in cleaning up her mess, she insisted we come immediately and take the rest of the dogs she had committed to.

People told me DDB should swoop in and take all the dogs. In theory that's a great solution, except that I have nowhere to safely put them, and the safety of the dogs we already have onsite and the visitors here comes first.

Here's what DDB CAN do for Ms. Allen and her foster dogs. To date we have adopted out two of the dogs we took from her, Storm and Rose. Cowboy is still at the facility. We currently have three spots open; however, one is claimed by Rebecca Helwig from Tennesee who has a rescued shepherd coming over within the week, and one spot may be taken by a local rottie. That leaves one space.

I will commit to giving that space to the foster dog of my choice that Ms. Allen has left in her home.

This, however, puts Ms. Allen in a bind, because she and cohort Ms. Estlow, twice-fired DDB employee from years ago who still has no life but to try to take me down, insist that I'm an animal abuser. Can she really give another dog to an animal abuser?

What would that say about her?

So will Ms. Allen admit that it's not true by giving me yet another dog (she's already given me three since she first accused me of being an animal abuser), or will she decline the help for one of her foster dogs she can't wait to get rid of?

I will even drive three hours to meet Ms. Allen to get the dog, and give her 10 bags of dog food for the remaining dogs in her care.

Ah, dilemmas, dilemmas.

Oh, let us not forget the DDB Sponsor a Dog Program, where Santa Paws will be matching donations so that every foster dog in the DDB program can get a $100 Petsmart or Petco card. I would commit to giving her one card for every foster she has remaining.

I will also say that if Ms. Allen had put the time and attention into trying to get her dogs adopted that she has spent on badmouthing me and trying to destroy Dogs Deserve Better, they would have been adopted out long ago.

What do we know about Ms. Allen? Who is the real Ms. Allen?

Ms. Allen accuses me of financial misdeeds with Dogs Deserve Better. Yet she herself has been convicted of embezzling $36,000 from Virginia Tech University. Convicted! EMBEZZLING! $36,000!!!!! She plea-bargained down from felony charges to misdemeanors by paying back the money. She then calls this 'borrowing.' Could she be projecting her issues onto me?

She has alleged that when DDB worked out of my home that DDB paid my mortgage, which couldn't be further from the truth. Anything of that nature would have been required to be filed in our 990 paperwork, which is readily available for public viewing. DDB never paid a dime of rent or mortgage the entire time we worked out of my home. When I sold my home, although I was left with only $5000 for myself, I still gave DDB $1000 of that money. (Yes, I have the cancelled check as proof.)

"I would actually love for there to be an audit however. It will prove that DDB operates legally. Then what will they have? The same thing they started with....a doctor with a major ego problem."—Shannon Allen, July 23, 2011

I believe in this organization, and in the mission we are trying to accomplish. I am a proud supporter of Dogs Deserve Better, both financially and with most of my time and energy. Now that my house is sold, I am paying the organization $400 a month rent for my bedroom and bath, even though my office takes up part of my bedroom. I am also paying $200.00 per month toward utilities. I strive at all times to be more than fair and very supportive of Dogs Deserve Better and our efforts for chained and penned dogs.

DDB has an audit done every year, and we have nothing to hide.

Heather Estlow was fired not once but twice by me. Why? Because I was dumb enough to hire her back, of course. I would imagine she has a bit of an ax to grind.

It is she who accuses me of animal abuse, and at the time I knew her, she lived in an abusive home with a husband who drank every night and she told me he hit her son and their dogs. I remember her biggest concern was her ex-husband finding out, and not the well-being of her son. Could she be projecting her issues onto me as well? Ain't it funny how that happens…

She once told me about a time that her dogs fought for two hours and she couldn't break them apart, no matter how much she kicked or hit them. She even broke a broom over their heads, and yet still they fought. If she ever saw me get physical with dogs, it would have been during a dog fight, when you can and must do whatever you have to do to break up the fight or you have a dead dog on your hands. Nowadays I favor pinning the aggressor down with a chair if at all possible, and this works much of the time, but I wasn't as savvy when I first started rescuing.

I was, in the beginning when Ms. Estlow was around, very naive about dogs and the fact that they fought, often without warning from the perspective of inobservant humans. It was very terrifying to know that if I didn't step in and handle it decisively, we would be lucky to have an emergency trip to the vet's and not a dead dog to mourn over.

"About two months ago, she had a terrible set back. I had let her out of her room to play like I had done every morning and she immediately attacked one of my resident dogs. She grabbed her neck and would not release. It was one of the most fearful moments as I really thought she was going to kill her. I tried to pry her mouth open and could not, I held her nose, I sat on top of her and put her in a choke hold all the while the other dog is flailing and screaming. I was finally able to wedge my fingers into her throat and choke her, and she released. The other dog ran and I picked Hokie up and put her in the nearest room with a door. I ran to check on the other dog expecting her neck to be ripped open as there was a lot of blood. Luckily she had on her invisible fence collar, and though it was destroyed, she only suffered some bruising."—Shannon Allen, February 27, 2010

I guess these two women are just as guilty of animal abuse, then. Or does the safety of the attacked dog warrant and justify any measures taken to save a life? I've asked quite a few trainers about what to do during dog fights, as it's always a grave concern of mine. I remember clearly one trainer telling me: "Whatever you have to do."

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. Typically two dogs sleep in my room with me each night, and the rest wish they could.

My current favorite rescue dog at the center is actually one of the dogs we took from Shannon Allen, a pit mix named Cowboy. I love nothing more than to curl up on the big dog bed with him for fifteen minutes before their bedtime, and just snuggle and kiss him to pieces. He's like a huge teddy bear. I adore him!

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.

That oughta lighten my load by about 1%.

Below are more quotes from Ms. Allen, which are in direct opposition to what she's is currently spewing on the internet. Doesn't it make you wonder who the real Shannon Allen is? Want to see absolute PROOF that she lies and it has nothing to do with me whatsoever? This link takes you to a discussion she has online when she was still with DDB where she is bragging about how she took down a dogfighter. (DDBNRV) Then someone comes along and points out that she is the same Shannon Allen that embezzled $36,000 from Virginia Tech and maybe people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. She denies it. She then builds another identity and comes back and says she's now 'the Real DDB' and the other one was fake. The people see right through it. That's some funny stuff!

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/pearisburg-va/T73K5KB2L3160ITVL/p2

How many people are living inside that head, Shannon?

This is one of my favorites, so it bears repeating: "I would actually love for there to be an audit however. It will prove that DDB operates legally. Then what will they have? The same thing they started with....a doctor with a major ego problem."—Shannon Allen, July 23, 2011

"If she thinks Vick's house is a mansion, I would love to see what kind of house she lives in. We have several sub-divisions here in middle class rural Virginia that makes Vick's house look like small. In addition quite a bit of land came with it. A lot of houses sell below appraisal, Vick's house sold below assessment.

Honestly, DDB has been fundraising for a rehab center for about 7 years although we didn't have a location picked out, it was decided early on that it would be Virginia. We looked at properties in Charlottesville, VA that cost this much for just the land.

I just makes me laugh that people who have had no dealings with starting a rehab/rescue center suddenly think they know about zoning, real estate, staffing, etc."—Shannon Allen, July 26, 2011

"What infuriates me the most is them spamming other rescue pages. So many dogs in need posts are getting pushed off of the page. So mean and selfish! Many of the dogs only have hours to live and rely on the right person seeing that post. I wonder if they even care? That is why DDB starting deleting and banning them. If they want to trash DDB, they can do it on the BJH page. DDB's page is about dogs that need help, not psychotic doctors that need help."—Shannon Allen, August 3, 2011
"There are other organizations, but I believe in DDB, our mission, and our leadership. I have learned and grown as a rescuer through DDB, I have met thousands of wonderful people, and have been able to so much more to help chained dogs through DDB. Even if I disagreed with DDB in this situation, which I don't, I still would not support Dr. Fiala. She has proven herself to be vindictive, unstable, and unreasonable (to name a few)."—Shannon Allen, August 6, 2011

"BJH mocks DDB for doing the same things that thousands of rescues do. If they would have simply stuck to, 'Bringing Joel Home', they would at least be somewhat credible. But once they started calling names, attacking the center, attacking Tami's wedding, attacking Chain Off, etc. It was obvious that this had nothing to do with Joel. If you notice, Joel is mentioned less frequently every day."—Shannon Allen, August 6, 2011

"This isn't a new rule which is why we are 'cleaning house' so to speak. Yesterday was the deadline for all current reps to re-apply under the new requirements and for us to review new applications. We have new rules and are reiterating old rules. This has in fact resulted in fewer reps but that is the point, to weed out reps that don't want to follow rules (like Marion), and to weed out the dormant reps (like Marion). Quality not quantity."—Shannon Allen, August 10, 2011

"I would totally expect that type of verbal abuse from a ‘pro-chainer’ but not from a fellow rescuer."—Shannon Allen, September 16, 2009

"I just don’t understand why she is so angry at me. I just hope that she doesn’t treat others in DDB, other rescuers, or anybody for that matter the way she treated me."—Shannon Allen, September 16, 2009

"Again, DDB is the best rescue organization that I have ever been involved in and perhaps I jumped on the resignation before thinking it through. It’s just her words were so reminding of things my mother used to say to me when I was growing up. So perhaps [she] was correct in saying I needed help, help dealing with my ‘mommy issues’."—Shannon Allen, September 16, 2009

"I am not as confident now as to whether I am worthy of being a DDB rep. So, I guess I want to get your assessment. I love representing DDB. This has been the most fulfilling opportunity. I want to be an asset to this organization, not a liability."—Shannon Allen, September 16, 2009

This is from a former rep who's personal e-mail Shannon is exhibiting around, against this rep's wishes. She says: "I just want to personally apologize for the part that I now "play" in the note that Shannon is sending around. I did send her that email when she first resigned because I thought "OMG is shannon is resigning, then there must be something really wrong." And I kept waiting and waiting for her proof... The proof was not there which is why I decided she was full of hot air."

Only you can decide who you believe in this mess. I say actions speak a LOT louder than words. While Shannon and Heather and their merry band of haters play Mean Girls on the internet, we have dug in and worked our asses off getting the Good Newz Rehab Center off the ground. We have installed 1500 ft. of fencing for our dogs, have found homes for six of the dogs, and committed to dogs to fill those slots as they leave. We have ripped up carpeting and installed rubber flooring, went through two washers and dryers, and taken the dogs for two walks virtually every day. We've trained them, we've brought them back to health, and we've given them as much of ourselves as we possibly can.

We are putting our money where our mouths are, while they spew hatred, filth, lies, and destruction. I guess only you can decide how you want to live your life. I know I'm going to keep rescuing dogs and fighting against chaining. Because that's what I do, and I don't do it for Shannon Allen or Heather Estlow or Fiala. I do it for the dogs. It's really that simple.

Tamira Ci Thayne, founder and CEO, Dogs Deserve Better

Review from Guidestar

1 purple

Client Served

Rating: 5

DDB is a premier Animal rescue for chained and penned dogs and the owner and employees go above and beyond the call of human compassion to help chained/penned suffering dogs across this country. They lobby laws in many states against chaining and none compare to them! DDB has had to defend itself against scorned ex-employees and fosters. When yo have to remove a dog from a foster and ex-employees take advantage of your kindness, you are open for attacks which take on the MOB MENTALITY which to me, has no credability. Keep up the good work DDB!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DDB is the one of the few organizations that specialize in helping dogs get off chains 24/7 and change laws regarding chaining in many states. I have worked with DDB and many of the reps over the years and I can say that they are professional, kind, honest and the passion they have to make sure people are educated about what happens to dogs on chains compares to none. I can't wait until they open Good Newz Kennels so I can volunteer some time to help them get ready for dogs that have been chained for years and will have a chance at a new life of kindness and love. They are a premier rescue with high standards.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This rescue is rediculously lsing site of whats important!! The dogs....I just rescued a dog from Ohio that was a DDB dog...when the foster due to health issues could no longer keep the animal she pleaded with DDB to help.....Their answer....this dog was vicious and needed to be put to sleep. Some amazing people got together and we found a way to fly that beautiful sweet boy ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY to my home where he lives PEACEFULLY with 2 small chilren, a bunny that roams freely through the house, 2 rats, a cat, a 3 lb Chihuaua and myself! This amazing pit bull has brought so much joy to my home and DDB was just going to turn their back on him and Euth him because they didnt want to deal with him SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL OF YOU in bed with this worthless group that claims to be a RESCUE....you should be ahamed and find a job at a kill shelter where you PTS helpless animals all day......what your doing is the equivalent!!!!!!!!!!

6 Kevin20

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Looks the way that Dogs Deserve Better has handled the purchase of the Vick property and their reps is sort of like removing the engines from a sinking ship to keep it afloat.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I was rep for this organization for about 8 months. Back then it was about rescuing and saving the dogs and I felt like I was helping change those dogs lives. After a while it became all about buying the vick property and NOT helping the dog at all. Once the vick property was DDBs, all the reps were dismissed. I helped raise money for this group and was thrown out like yesterdays trash. Every time I tried to get questions answered via emails to tami, they went unanswered. The person who ever answered emails or phone calls was Shannon Allen. Without her I would have been alone. Shannon made a big difference in my life where Tami was not seen or heard from once the vick property and her wedding started rolling around. After being dumped as a rep, I still had dogs in foster, and a couple of them needed new placement. I sent email after email and I was told they had to stay put unless I found them a new foster. No help ever came and I was stuck. This was just one more example of how the reps and the dogs were thrown aside as soon as the vick property came into the picture. I will never ever again donate my time or money to a group who claims they are here to help the dogs when all they want is their 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight. Since then I have returned to rescue on my own. I am now very untrusting of rescue groups after being used and thrown out by DDB. All my time and effort did was finance Tami's house, when she got what she wanted none of us were needed. So sad, I put my trust and faith in DDB and was let down in the worst way. But the worst offense of all is the dogs are no longer being helped and they are paying the ultimate price for DDB's greed.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I was a DDB Rep for a year. I worked very hard and dedicated all of my free time and my -own- money to responding to calls and/or emails pleading for help. I juggled a full time job, my own household and all of my pets, and a family who I tried to see. My family saw that I was bankrupting myself and they would always be puzzled as to why I wasn't receiving more (financial) support. I never questioned the org, even though I was treated poorly througout my time with the org. For me, my commitment revolved around the dogs. So that's where my focus was. There were experiences with DDB and its leaders that brought up red flags and all of the negative experiences had to do with money. The Reps did the ground work, while the org's leaders focused on money. And money dictated how they treated the Reps, the public, and even the dogs! I NEVER could get anywhere with legistlative ideas because the org's leaders were focused on money. The founder gave absolutely no attention or support to the Reps. We were policed though. There were times I asked for help on various levels, and I got the runaround. Yet, when it came to DDB spending money, I could always count on hearing back from the coordinator or founder. I was being bullied by a fellow Rep and because "she brought in alot of money", I was forced to deal with this Rep's harrassment. I stayed as long as I could for the dogs. But finally, I had to quit after I was once again belittled by a coordinator and betrayed by a lazy foster Mom who this coordinator sided with. I stayed supportive of the org until the founder bought the Surry Co property. The Rep program was halted so they could could "campaign for money". In my mind, I was disillusioned with the idea of raising money to buy a building!? This building was also serving as a residence for the founder. The Vick house has horrific memories, and dead dogs are still there in the ground. Moreover, countless dogs were suffering, so that a building could be financed. And the bottom line was seeing, that legislation, the key to changing everything, was at the bottom of the list for DDB. Buying the Vick house was a publicity stunt that took time and money away from dogs languishing in back yards throughout the U.S. And the effectiveness of the org seemed minimal. That is my experience with DDB and I regret to say that I no longer associate myself with the group.

13 Caroline A.

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I was an area representative with DDB for 6 years... from 2005 to 2011. For two years I was also a regional coordinator, coordinating several states' area representatives. In the 6 years I served DDB, I independently rescued and rehabilitated over 100 dogs. I asked for vet help only twice, and help with dogs that needed rescue on two occasions. When I joined DDB in 2005, all the reps were separate entities. We managed our own "branch" of DDB, and I always took pride in my work and had much respect for the DDB name. I was impressed yet concerned with the amount of trust that DDB freely poured into their representatives. Aside from a monthly report submission, we were essentially able to make our own decisions, manage our own fundraising and finances, and organize our own rescues. As the organization grew, much of that changed. I began as a representative for my county, dealing with the public and the dogs in my area that needed help. As the DDB name spread, more and more people from all over my state needed assistance, and because DDB had a hard time keeping reps for long periods, at times I would be the only representative for 100s of miles. I was expected to respond to calls and requests for help all over my state, which was essentially impossible for any one person to do, aside from the fact that I was working a full time job on top of my 30+ hours per week of volunteering. Also, because I was more active than many other reps, I would end up receiving calls for areas that HAD representatives... but they wouldn't return calls and answer emails. I discussed this problem several times with regional coordinators and the rep coordinator, but nothing ever changed and the expectations were always there from the organization that I should be doing more. Last summer, after 6 years of dedicated volunteering, we reps were all informed out of the blue, that the group was putting us all on hiatus... but only "temporarily". We were sent a mass email that questioned our loyalty to the group and our dedication to the cause; told us to really think about what being a rep meant to us... the rep program was going to be revamped. I spoke with the founder and she asked that I join the restructuring committee. I emailed the rep coordinator to express my interest, but was never included in the process. One day, we all received an email informing us that the rep program was now going to be completely different; that all of us reps had to work HARDER and that we also ALL needed to REAPPLY to the position in order to be allowed to be a DDB representative. Once the deadline for reapplication came and went and mine went unsubmitted, I never heard from DDB again For all of the years I volunteered for them, all of the dogs that I helped, and all of the good that i gave to their organization, I was never thanked for my service, nor was it even acknowledged that I helped them for as long as I did. I was one of only a handful of representatives that stayed with the group as long as I did. I have met and spent hours with Tami, the founder, at a tabling event, had long phone conversations and email interchanges with the regional coordinators, rep coordinators, and even Tami. I poured my heart into the group, and in the end, my existence was never even acknowledged. I think that DDB has made a mistakes putting all of their resources into the rehab center and in letting their rep progam go. They have taken away resources to hundreds if not thousands of dogs all over the country in order to develop the rehab center that can help only a handful of dogs at a time. They have burned bridges with supporters and spent so much of their funds on the center that I believe could have been put to far better uses. And they continue to solicit donations, despite the fact that their money isn't even going towards public education or rescue at this point. It is being poured into the rehab center. DDB's focus has become so near sighted, I really fear that by pouring all of their resources into the center and by dropping so many of their supporters, that they have brought more harm to the dogs than good. It's a shame because I used to have a lot of respect for this group, but I also never thought they were going to throw away their loyal representatives .

Review from Guidestar

1 Monica2345

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an Indiana DDB rep and I personally have, with the help of DDB, rescued many dogs from bad situations, have helped to educate children and pet owners alike, and have helped to change laws in my community. I have always received help and encouragement, and have been inspired by the work that Tamira Thayne, DDB's founder, does. I have been actively involved with animal rescue for nearly 20 years, and this is as fine of an organization as one could want.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

SURRY— For members of the rescue group Dogs Deserve Better, moving into the Bad Newz Kennels property was supposed to signify a new beginning.

We were there in June when they started settling in.

"We thought it would be a great fit because the whole idea of turning something negative into something positive, it's very powerful," Tamira Thayne.



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But three months after their relocation from Pennsylvania, former volunteers and employees are calling into question the non-profit's central mission and possible misappropriation of funds.

The latest defection from Dogs Deserve Better, Shannon Allen, the group's former national rescue coordinator.

"I don't agree, a lot of people don't agree with the rehab center, amount of money being spent there," says Allen.

Allen says there is very little oversight on the organization's founder, Tamira Thayne.

The former employee says money from past fundraising has gone missing, unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the organization put limits how many dogs they can take in at a time, and screens their picks based on behavior.

"The point of a rehab center is to help dogs that don't get along with other dogs and other people," says Allen.

Volunteers say Tamira's reasoning for not taking in critical care dogs is that the vet bills were too expensive. Meanwhile, they allege Tamira was fundraising for a new carport for the mansion.

"These were dogs in dire straits that were in very bad condition, needed lots of medical and emotional care," says Allen.

And she isn't the only one losing confidence in the organization. Allen says before their move to Virginia, Dogs Deserve Better had over 150 rescue representatives all over the country. Now there is less than 25 still affiliated with the organization.

"A lot of people left because when we bought this fenced center, we were told to stop rescuing, that we couldn't afford it anymore," she says.

We went to the infamous mansion in Surry to confront Tamira, but no answer. And answers are exactly what these former volunteers are searching for.

Review from Guidestar

1 Mare H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better is an organization started by one person...who had a problem with what has been an American accepted way of life, chaining your dog. The founder was visionary and put into words everything wrong with this acceptable practice of neglect and abuse. Others formed a group around her and the group grew quickly to be national. It has been a bumpy ride, and I wont say no problems ever happened along the way. The founder was arrested for helping a dog dying on a chain and she almost went to jail. Laws are not on her side. But she has opened many paths and other anti chaining groups have started now. Her organization has been attacked tremendously by small minded people and jealous people but has withstood the blows. I would highly recommend supporting this visionary to continue her work.

Erin2345

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ddb helps so many dogs in this country that must rescues overlook. Most rescues only help dogs who do not have homes. Ddb goes beyond that and gives animals who live a life on a chain/in a pen and outside in all weather a new chance at life. All animals are living and breathing beings and they have already figured out what humans need to....and that's love. I am so thankful ddb exists and is such a great resource when I personally need help in order to help dogs.

1 Monica234

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the pet parent of a DDB dog that was adopted in May of 2009. We had a wonderful experience and would adopt from them again!! Our dogs are our children and to know that he was spared from a life of 6' loneliness warms my heart. The simple fact is that Dr. Fiala lost a court case against DDB. No one knows the real truth except for DDB and Dr. Fiala. Bottom line though is that the court decided. Now it's time to move on. All the backstabbing and name calling is detrimental to rescue and is taking away from everyone's goal to save animals. It's time for everyone to put on their big girl panties and act as such. All of the time and energy being put into slander and discredit should be redirected into actually saving and helping animals. Think how many more animals could have been saved had counsel not been required. And isn't that who this is ultimately about...the animals??There's already so much drama and backstabbing in the world. Let's stop adding to it and move on. Everyone.

1 Peggy I.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I don't know where you come up with this awful spewing of hate for this organization. DDB has saved so many dogs from a life of misery and pain. They have given them compassion for the first time in their lives. I will always support this group no matter what anyone says. I don't know how you can say anything bad about people that care so much for animals. I have followed this group for a while now and they have always put they animals first!! Keep on saving animals from a life of hell DDB. You have made me cry happy tears so many times. I thank you for that!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better is one of the finest organizations I have ever encountered. I adopted a rescued dog from them in the summer of 2011, and everyone I had interactions with were professional and extremely helpful. Sadie was found as a stray, and she was in pretty bad shape. She had recently had puppies, and her uterus was severely infected. Her left ear was completely swollen due to a hematoma. DDB paid for all of her vet bills (over $700) without any questions asked. They were very helpful and informative regarding her care after her operations. The work that DDB does to rescue dogs for a painful and debilitating life at the end of a chains phenomenal. I wish more organizations such as this one existed. The world would be a better place with more Dogs Deserve Better!!!!!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I shared an address with Dogs Deserve Better for their Valentines Day Event. The Dogs I saw were kept chained in an auto yard with no where to go to get out of the heat of North Carolina. I wondered if they had ever gotten any type of Flea meds or heartworm. I walked past these dogs every day and it broke my heart. I asked DDB to send them a Valentines asking the owner to take the dogs inside! Next thing I knew the dogs were gone, no longer chained up!! It made me so happy to realize that someone cared enough to do something! NC had just passed a no tethering law and I believe I brought these dogs to the attention of the right people!! Thanks DDB, you are an AMAZING Organization!!!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better is a phenomenal organization that has done more for chained dogs than can be mentioned here. When DDB entered the anti-chaining scene they created a new model for activism, advocacy, awareness, and rescue which has continued to thrive and flourish. I can not and will not believe lies spread on facebook, instead I will believe the true and real experiences I have had as a DDB supporter and advocate. The tactics of bullying and abuse employed against DDB are modeled, at best, on the tactics employed by middle-school girls wishing to bring down the esteem and self-image of their peers. Look at the negative reviews on this page, all of them represent hearsay, rather than concrete life experience with this organization. Shame on those who choose to bring down a fantastic organization rather than face their own inadequacies as animal advocates and human beings. In the end DDB will prevail: bullies never win as they are constantly trying to bring another down in order to bring themselves up. DDB will continue to work for the animals: what will you do?

1

Donor

Rating: 3

If a CEO does not pay themselves a salary, all the while this being the sole energy of that CEO, how do they make their money? It is irresponsible to suggest that any organization will be successful if the mainstay of the organization, the person who began it, the person who works tirelessly to make it work, to make it successful, the one who yes, lives in a refurbished mansion with a lot of dogs that were rescued and that they continue to bring in rescued dogs. Let's get real here. Look up Ocean Conservancy; look up Humane Society;, PCRM; NAVS. Look up these charities on CHARITY NAVIGATOR, and see what they pay themselves. Granted, the amount of money going to these charities is far and above what DDB is garnering for their efforts, but they get paid a very tidy sum. Why not the CEO of DDB get paid for her work? Where would she work from if not from a central location? A cardboard box? Where would a lot of rescued and rehabilitating dogs go, if not in the mansion they acquired? there is no sin in making a living doing what you love. Rescuing dogs is her life, and her passion. There are not many of us who would be in the situation, or be able to help in the movement to make the lives of these companion animals much better than when and where they came from. DDB could maybe do things better, but for now, they are doing a good job, and saving a lot of dogs from horrific circumstances. I will continue to support them, and look to them for assistance when I see a dog in need. Their example has helped me to make the difference in the lives of two very different dogs, and I will continue to look to them for the chance to continue.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family adopted a dog via DDB and thought they were a wonderful organization. They were incredibly helpful and worked with us to find a dog who would be a good fit with our small children. We ended up with a much-loved beautiful dog who brings joy to all of us every day. I support DDB and the amazing work they are doing to help chained and penned dogs.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It's sad when people can not accept losing a court case and then choose to lie and slander. Especially a group dedicated to helping dogs. Dogs living on a chain is exceptionally cruel whether people realize it or not. The head of DDB risked her liberty to save a very old, sick dog off a chain. That really tells me all I need to know about her. That dog spent the few months they had left happy, healthy and loved because of Ms. Thayne. She has also staged several chain in's as protest. She is doing things, unlike the sore loser. It's disgusting that anyone would slander those doing good work. Only dogs will suffer for this nonsense.

10 Stephanie N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Careful what you post on DOGS DESERVE BETTER's rescue page because if you want to reserve judgement and hear both sides of the story so you leave a post asking them about the allegations that they abandon their foster dogs, use the donations (collected for these dogs) for themselves, kidnap rescue dogs from their adoptive homes and about a email statement made by founder, Tami, that to "euthanize" a dog who is known to bite is the "right thing to do" instead of rehabilitating them - they will NOT address your questions, will delete your post and then will BLOCK you - all while commenting on their page that they "do not block" anybody. Then, you can't dispute that statement, cuz you know, you are BLOCKED. Makes me wonder 1.) how many other people have been blocked? and 2.) WHY did they DELETE MY COMMENT then BLOCK ME instead of answering my questions? That only shows me that the allegations are true and they don't want their supporters/followers to know. This organization is suppose to be a RESCUE. The best interest of the dogs is suppose to be their main concern. I am sharing this because a rescue that operates/behaves like DDB (and who has a founder who is as rude and uncaring as Tami as is apparent in her email to a foster mom) it shines a negative light on other rescues who truly DO have the dogs best interest at heart, who truly DO use donations on the dogs, who truly DO support their fosters - because people could start thinking that other rescues operate this way and could be hesitant in donating or fostering. I can't post this on DDB's wall because, you know, I've been blocked (even though they "don't block") so I am sharing this here so that people can be aware of what is going on. DDB has taken one dog from his doggie daycare and away from his foster/adoptive mom (a veterinarian who nursed him back from starvation), because Joel's mom reported them for mismanaging donations (not giving the donated money to the dogs the money was donated for) and for abandoning their dogs at their foster homes. Now, they are refusing to take back another foster dog (a dog whom needs medical treatment and DDB has refused to release the funds that were donated to THIS DOG for this treatment - ask his foster/adoptive mom about this) and has, instead, told the foster/adopter, in an email, to "euthanize" the dog.

Review from Guidestar

7

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I don`t have lots to say, but my friend attended a conference that Tammie attended, my friend had a $500.00 check in her pocket, she approached Tammie and Tammie didn`t give her the time of day, in fact my friend stated that Tammie was looking for more important people, so she stated that she put the check back in her pocket and walked away, she stated that she felt that Tammie was only looking for the big folks to interact with, and Tammie didn`t feel that she was one of those..how darn sad is that..this lady has a rescue of her own, but wanted to donate $500.00 to DDB, out of her own pocket, as she believed in this rescue because of me..makes me feel bad, but not so bad, that she didn`t give her money to DDB..that in the end made me feel WONDERFUL, but how sad of the dogs that DDB lies and says that they help.

Review from Guidestar

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Why are there so few pit bulls at their new multi-million dollar estate, formerly owned by Michael Vick???

Review from Guidestar

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

DDB as whole has saved allot of desperate dogs. I will give them that on a National level and believe it is a greatly needed. I hope another organization forms to really help all dogs in need chained regardless of breed...and honestly bumps DDB out. Did you know the National facility that was so generously donated to does not take in PITBULLS..Ironically this is where Michael Vick killed them. What a supporter of dog rescue. Breed specific? So LEAVE THE PITBULLS chained? Dogs of all walks of abuse and chained need rescued to be ban a breed from a facility that is supposed to help all chained dogs is misrepresenting the cause. My personal story is why I left. We were told to fund raise for the DDB National org. and we were expected as a group to raise $15,000 for the Vick property purchase. We had dogs that did not have a place to go or boarding $ and when I raised the question in front of the group and my rep. I was told that we need to focus on raising the $15,000 for the facility and those dogs can wait. I left that day and never went back. Personally, I believe the founder mis- uses the funds and is shady. As a past supporter and volunteer for a local chapter in WA State I will say my experience with them has been appalling. I have experienced dogs being ignored that really needed the help. I believe the group leader and "leaders" are self righteous and have used donations for their own selfish needs. DDB just registered in WA this year but has been accepting financial donations prior to being registered in the State of WA. these numbers are not accounted for... This is truth. Check with the state of WA registered non profit charitable organizations. They are not worthy of becoming a GuidStar charity even if their cause is good, the people that run it are bad.

Review from Guidestar

8 Edie T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

DDB is all about money, NOT the dogs. They are not bothering to get their dogs back from fosters that can no longer foster them. They talk to people very badly. If you question them about anything they will block you from their Facebook page so you can no longer ask anything. I would not recommend this so called organization to anyone. Please be careful people!!

2 squarkman

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Dogs Deserve Better since 2004 and wish to state that DDB is an outstanding organization. They have helped educate the public about chaining, obtained veterinary care for dogs just off the chain and have fostered many dogs. I've worked with them on many projects including rescuing Doogie (see website) and dozens of other events. Dogs Deserve Better has been an unrelenting force in the mission to get dogs off chains and back into loving homes.
Recently there has been a group, you know who you are, who have been maligning DDB because an ex fosterer had the dog removed from her care because she indicated she intended to chain the dog outside from time to time. She took DDB to court and lost the case. Now her group is maligning this great group on FB and other sites like this. They are putting a lot of time and effort into taking down DDB because this one foster had to relinquish her foster. It's irrational people such as this who do not understand that they are not helping the cause of anti-chaining but are attempting to move it backwards in time. There are far too many petty jealousies inside animal rights movements and I believe it is only to the detriment of the animals these organizations are representing.
I have 7 years of intimate knowledge of DDB and I can assure you that this is without a doubt the best anti-chaining advocacy groups to be found. Kudos to DDB and all it's very diffiuclt work.

Review from Guidestar

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Here is a statement Shannon Allen posted on a facebook discussion group on August 6, 2011 when she still worked for DDB. As you can see the things she says about DDB and Tami contrast directly with the smears she put on this page.

Which Shannon is telling the truth and which one is lying? Can anyone trust what she says?

Shannon Allen
I had never heard of Pit Bull Legal News until this. This is where I saw the majority of the court documents. All Tami gave me was the first court order denying the TRO and the altered adoption contract. I don't think Tami nor Mr. Karp knew that PBLN was posting all of the documents initially. How fun would it be for Mr. Karp himself to sue her for libel : ) I take all of this very personal.

I wouldn't affiliate myself with an organization that does the things that BJH is claiming. I have a good relationship with Tami, that doesn't mean we don't disagree at times, but in the end I KNOW Tami is about and only about saving animals. If for one moment I doubted that, I would quietly move on. I picked up a chained dog around 4am one morning after receiving a call. Vespa had been mauled while chained and escaped. I don't know how long she was on the run with her injuries but was she severely septic. I asked Tami if we should let her go or try to save her. Tami said , "Save her!" Two days and $1500 later, Vespa died at the ER clinic. Tami was there for me at 2am, 2 days before Christmas when Vespa died. I will always be grateful for that.

There are other organizations, but I believe in DDB, our mission, and our leadership. I have learned and grown as a rescuer through DDB, I have made thousands of wonderful people (like yourselves), and have been able to so much more to help chained dogs through DDB. Even if I disagreed with DDB in this situation, which I don't, I still would not support Dr. Fiala. She has proven herself to be vindictive, unstable, and unreasonable (to name a few).

BJH mocks DDB for doing the same things that thousands of rescues do. If they would have simply stuck to, 'Bringing Joel Home', they would at least be somewhat credible. But once they started calling names, attacking the center, attacking Tami's wedding, attacking Chain Off, etc. It was obvious that this had nothing to do with Joel. If you notice, Joel is mentioned less frequently every day.

8 Sue_2345

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I came to know of DDB through facebook interactions. As I began following DDB on facebook I started noticing that people who were asking legitimate questions about DDB's actions were treated very poorly and ridiculed and even called names. I myself had questions for them about a dog named Joel and how they removed (in my opinion, downright stole)) him for the care of one of their volunteers. Within a couple off days of inquiring, I was promtly banned from being able to ask questions or respond to others comments. Also, my previous posts were deleted from their page. This was actually happening to anybody and everybody that dared ask or say anything that they didn't like. I have seen some of the most disgusting name calling, accusations and downright lies being told by those that are supporting this organization. I have also read the testimony of many former volunteers and supporters, who have legitimate questions that never seem to get answered. If you are legitimate, why cannot peoples questions be answered, what are you afraid of? Personally, since I have been following the DDB organization, I think they have done more to harm the dog rescue cause than they have to help it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All the people giving 1 star reviews to DDB are just following the rants of a rejected adopter and a disgruntled ex volunteer. They are blindly following and believing lies posted by these 2 people, Shannon Allen and Suzanne Fiala. There is ZERO truth to what they write. DDB is rescuing dogs and every single dog posted to their website is addressed and the majority of them are rescued. DDB is a wonderful organization that has saved countless lives and will continue to do so. DDB has done nothing wrong, has not broken any laws, and has done nothing unethical. The scorned and disgruntled ex volunteer and rejected adopter claim they know how many reps DDB has, how many volunteers DDB has, how many dogs are at the center when the truth is, they are clueless. Nothing they say and nothing their "followers" has one ounce of truth to it. They are doing their best to try and stop a reputable rescue organization that saves thousands of lives and is the first and most effective anti-chaining group in the world. All I can say is that they must hate animals. DDB is the best.

Review from Guidestar

16 islandviolet

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I would give ZERO stars, if that were an option.
I was a volunteer for DDB Washington for 6 months, and was loaded up with ELEVEN dogs to foster in that short time. My first experience with a large rescue org certainly opened my eyes to thepotential for fraud and corruption in the world of animal rescue.
DDB never repaid (any of my fostering costs totaling over $1600 - despite receipts turned in per protocol, and promises of reimbursement. When I caught the local state rep lying, misappropriating funds into her personal bank account and otherwise acting unethically; I publicly exposed my concerns after the national chapter ignored my concerns. In an apparent effort to get me to hush up and deflect attention from my provable claims, the organization not only "took back" the almost-dead dog I had fostered adopted via verbal agreement with my state rep, but proceeded to attack my credibility and character with a national smear campaign via perjured court documents, social media attacks and proactively attempting to ruin my professional career.
This organization may have had a pure motive at its inception, and it HAS had many loyal, hardworking volunteers 'walking the walk' of animal advocacy and rescue. But the national CEO and founder, just like the former WA state rep, has knowingly engaged in fraud and illegal activities since the organizations' inception. Soliciting donations in numerous states without registering with the individual states as an active charity, thus violating the Consumer Protection Act for years (the CEO registered as a state charity in Washington state after 9 years of soliciting funds in my state the DAY AFTER I publicly exposed her org), the CEO paying herself a salary, living rent-free in a mansion and paying lawyers to fend off complaints such as mine, all with the dollars of well-meaning donors: all suggest that this so-called rescue organization is more about media attention and personal financial gain than about the dogs it purports to 'save'.
While claiming to rescue 'hundreds of dogs' yearly, the actual number of dogs taken in and placed properly in permanent homes remains unknown. Our local state chapter as well as the national group operate with the 'revolving door' principle of taking dogs in with much publicity and farming them out as quickly as possible to inappropriate and sometimes completely unreliable 'homes'. Also the animal's medical needs are often unmet. Cases in point, a pup I fostered in March, a blind, beautiful young pitbull named kYLE, is again on the 'adoption' list at just barely a year of age. Kyle, this special needs dog, is listed as being "not good with children or cats". He was fine with both when in my foster home, which leaves one to wonder exactly what lack of attention and training has led to these disclaimers as to Kyle's current temperament. Kyle's mother LADY, whom I also fostered in January and into February 2011, has been billed as being in a permanent, loving home in court testimony. Yet she has bounced in and out of at least 8 foster care and multiple failed adoptions in the past 7 months and to date STILL is a dog without a home. A wonderful dog that I fostered with her pups, there is no reason for Lady to be homeless-other than poor placement into inappropriate homes.
I have learned the hard way of the corruption and vice in animal rescue - as in every area of life there are opportunists who will use the 'underdogs' of society for their own gain.
DDB, Inc. needs a forensic audit to investigate misappropriation of funds from the state levels to the national level. Hopefully the IRS will take a much closer look at the questionable accounting practices of national fund solicitations by illegal operation in multiple states, theft by state reps, and an absence of an objective board of directors minding the store.
To the IRS: need evidence? Contact myself and my group of investigators - we have documentation for all claims mentioned herein.
People sincerely motivated to become involved in animal advocacy and rescue, steer clear of this duplicitous and fraudulent organization whose actions speak louder than their pretty photo-ops, feel-good vignettes and anecdotal success stories and endless campaign for donations. /
Suzanne Fiala, MD / Seattle, WA

Review from Guidestar

9

Volunteer

Rating: 1

The mandate of DDB is great..however putting it all into perspective is a different story..I have never heard that a president of a NON PROFIT group, pays herself $40,000.00 per year, has no mortgage, receives travel allowances..and so on..
Wheter or not Shannon is crazy or not, has no bearing..What does matter is the FACTS, anyone can read the spread sheet..As for Dr. Fiala and losing Joel, because of him being at a doggy daycare, is another excuse..Joel was taken because Dr. Fiala ASKED valid questions about finances..Tell me the difference, doggy daycare versus rehab center..So why does Tami not want the financial items to be published? it is a public site..right? I have never heard of anyone that is a VOLUNTEER, getting paid this amount of money per year..it is pathetic..When was the last time you saw her in action..WITH THE DOGS? all we see is her constant begging for funds..for people to buy calendars, cards, jewellery..her complaining how stressed she is, she only has 14 dogs AND she has help..complaining that she has not left her house for a few days..WHO CARES..neither have I. Many of us have loads of rescue dogs, run around, put the animals before our family..she wanted this life..She is welcome to leave this life any time..the sooner the better for all the dog involved..Go play with your BARBIE..( I am saying, get out of the life of dog rescue..