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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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

cliffsarmy

Board Member

Rating: 5

We can never say thank you enough to Dogs Deserve Better, Inc. as receiving the Hero Grant helped us not only be able to save Diamond from a life outside in a small pen to a wonderful happy inside home, but financially enabled us to save even more. DDB is an incredible organization who goes above and beyond to help.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WOW.....Dogs Deserve Better helped us so very much. We rescued a boxer who not only needed spay, but had a small tumor to be removed and sent off, and she was hw positive. Their contribution made her vetting possible....we cannot that them enough!

2 Karen321

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How amazing Dogs Deserve Better is ! The day we picked up Droopy he was emaciated and hanging on to life on a chain and in the mud. We had no ideal how we would get him the needed vet care. He had sores on all pressure points and you could not recognize even his breed. His owner will be prosecuted for animal abuse. But you know what, Droopy is gonna have a wonderful life. Dogs Deserve better knew his circumstances, and the next day we had him to a vet to get the care we needed for him to survive. A week later he is better and eating and healing and in a good soft bed. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. His sores are healing, he is gaining strength and he is doing some "big time" eating. He would not have survived without your help. Thank you for this wonderful organization and for your promptness in getting him vetted. He is an amazing dog, and you are amazing for helping him!

Susan242

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thanks to Dogs Deserve Better Winnie who was tied with a rope and left in the woods will have a second chance at life.She was abandoned by the homeless person she lived with and was loyally laying beside the tent waiting for their return that never happened. She is being fostered now and will be up for adoption in the future. THANK YOU!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better has been a wonderful help to Gordy and Friends, a small outreach group in Upstate NY. We provide straw and food and help to 24/7 chained and penned dogs. When possible, we get dogs permanently off the chain, but since we are all volunteers and pay for almost everything out of our own pockets, it is very difficult to come up with vetting costs. DDB just provided us with a Hero Grant of $300 to help get a dog that was chained NINE YEARS vet care. We spent all but $16 at the first appointment, so we certainly could not have done this without DDB. They responded so quickly to us and helped us so enormously. We had no idea about his health condition and wanted to get him help quickly. We applied and got a response and the funds in a matter of days. I can't say enough good things about DDB, and we are very grateful to them for all they do for dogs everywhere and for what they did for us.

Comments ( 1 )

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DogsDeserveBetter 05/29/2014

Thank you for your kind words and for helping the chained dogs of Upstate NY.

Kimberly76

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I contacted Tami Thayne through Dogs Deserve Better and the Hero Fund Grant because I needed help.
I received a phone call about a family whose house burnt down and the family was in need. I am in construction, so I got in touch with them to see what I could do to help. They found a place to live off Firetower Road, but it was in awful shape. When we got there to assess the house we found two chained dogs on the side that had been abandoned. They were chained and there was broken glass and insulation everywhere along with a lot of trash. Both were thin, but neighbors had apparently been throwing scraps to them. There were water buckets with dirty water for drinking. I decided to take them both. I couldn't leave them there. Sammie was chained to some sort or metal that was dug into the ground. He was so scared. We had treats and he was very food motivated so we made friends quickly. After two guys finally got him untangled from the rubble for me, I loaded him in my car and took him home. I have been working with him. He is housetraining very well, has learned
to
play ball, knows how to leash walk now, and is very friendly. When I took him to the vet he tested HW positive. The other dog tested negative. Naturally they both had parasite infections, and rashes from the insulation. I need help with the heartworm treatment. He is approximately 10 months old and is a pitbull. I want him to have a great life. He is so deserving ! I will find him a great forever home when he is well. For now I will keep him until he is ready to be adopted. Rudy, the other dog has already found a great home where he stays inside and has kids to play with. My funds are very limited, and as you know, there are many irresponsible pet owners in this area. I do what I can to help abandoned dogs. At this time my savings account is depleted trying to take care of these poor babies. The vet appointment for his treatment is Jan 9,2014 for heartworm treatment. Then he will be neutered when the vet deems it is safe for him.
THANK GOD FOR DDB !!! Tami contacted me immediately and called in the funds for treatment. Sammie was saved on 12/13/2013 and has now completed his heartworm treatment and is a FABULOUS dog. He is still with me while I search for his perfect forever home. Thanks to Dogs Deserve Better and Tami .... Sammie is going to have a great life !!! I am truly grateful for all they have done to help me save this deserving pit bull !!!!!
Thank You,
Kimberly Henson
1011 East White Street
Rock Hill, SC 29732
803-984-7999

Comments ( 1 )

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DogsDeserveBetter 05/29/2014

Thank you, Kim, we too value you and the support you've provided to the dogs in your area. They are the better for your hard work on their behalf.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I could never express how grateful I am to Dogs Deserve Better, and Robin and Tamirya. When I first started in rescue, I happened upon DDB, and I was trying to help a dog get off a chain in CO. I messaged, and then called Robin. Her support and knowledge was invaluable. I was overwhelmed by their challenges and successes. When they (in my opinion) single handedly exposed Olympic Animal Sanctuary, I knew they would get those dogs their freedom. DDB is the most professional organization. Their mission, a desperate one, to free chained and penned dogs is the most noble cause I know. I hope everyone takes the time to get to know who they are, where they started and what they have accomplished. This organization deserves all of our respect.

2 John245

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well what can I say about Dogs Deserve Better, they go so out of there wat to rescue . When a dog is on a chain they are there. When a dog is is desperate they are there . The setting at there rescue is as comfortable as if gets for a dog or any animal for that matter . 12 acres of freedom, tje program and staff work so hard to make these dogs trust a human again and feel the loyalty without being so protective of once being on a chain. Donations are what make this program work, I'm personally are going to help them by working with some of the more difficult dogs as I'm a true believor as of a no kill philosophy . So pleas support DDB for the work they do will continue to where all dogs are off a chain .
Thank you
Johnnyo Animal Activist and Humanitarian

1 Nikki20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the owner of Wolf Spirit Sled Dog Rescue. We are a very small rescue and hardly receive donations but doesn't keep us from rescuing. If it weren't for DDB we would of never been able to help 2 husky that had been chained all their life and a pit bull eat up with mange that was chained. We could never express how grateful we are for DDB. Also they also help us bring one of the OAS dogs from AZ to VA. This is a great organization. I love them

1 Crystal41

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am forever thankful for what DDB did for me and my rescue. Taking in a dog off the streets that was living chained outside is always a big task. However with DDB, they made it so easy and it was very nice of them that they helped and donated so I could get the dog vetted before it went into his forever home. I am and will alwayss support DDB. To me they are a prime example of what rescuing is all about. Thank you DDB. From Crystal in OHIO.

3

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

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.

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.

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

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

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..