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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Was very excited at the potential adoption of a beautiful female mix. Got the initial email back then eventually got to set up a phone interview. Unfortunately my Dr. appointment ran a lot later than it was suppose to and I had a hair appointment after that I rushed to. I got the call while my hair was being cut and asked if she could call back in 15 minutes and apologized. She politely asked that I just email her again and reschedule. Two days after I sent my schedule I was emailed that my application was being denied. I am trying to understand why this circumstance stops an organization from continuing the process for a home with a large fenced in yard, an open house, and a loving family with dog experience that would provide walks and all the belly rubs ever wanted. I'm appalled and disappointed. I thought organizations did everything in their power to home these dogs so they could continue to rescue. I'm sorely disappointed.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After rescuing several chained dogs in the middle of winter, I was left feeling in over my head with all of the vet bills. I applied for the Hero Fund with Dogs Deserve Better and I heard back within several days- I received the grant! They were helpful, quick to respond, and easy to communicate with. I am very appreciative of their help!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a simply amazing organization. They have personally helped me rescue a puppy who spent all 6 months of his life at the end of a rusty chain. They were quick to respond with financial support. Thank you to Tamira and all Hero Fund supporters! You are making such a difference.

Christy30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can not say enough about the good that Dogs Deserve Better does to help chained and penned dogs! I am a rural mail carrier and noticed a pen on my route that contained a very small short haired Chihuahua. After seeing this dog for a while and knowing the weather would be turning cold I approached the owner and inquired about him. The Owner said his wife banned the dog to the outside pen after moving into a new home because of marking. He had not been neutered and I tried to educate them about the benefits but he said her mind was made up. I was able to get them to surrender the dog (now named Zachary)and brought him home on Saturday. He went to the vet on Tuesday to be neutered but it was learned the surgery would be more complicated (and expensive). He got his shots and was rescheduled for surgery on Thursday. All went well and he is recovering nicely. DDB paid the bills for Zachary's vet care. THANK YOU DDB!!! You Rock :)

freedom4animals

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

DDB has helped me free and spay/netuer chained and penned dogs on two occasions recently. On the first occasion, they launched an aggressive campaign on behalf on two dogs penned without shelter, suffering in the elements with little to no food and water. I have no idea how they lived through it. After 24 hours of phone calls and emails from DDW volunteers, the owner was cited with animal neglect and the dogs were no longer kept in the cages. Where I had no allies locally, the strong, kind-hearted and tenacious volunteers from across the globe acted as if this was happening in their own backyard.

On the second occasion, through the Hero Grant Fund, I was able to get three rescued chained dogs spayed and neutered. The fund provides $300 per dog to cover the cost of alteration, rabies, distemper, parvo shots, heart worm check or whatever you can get for that price. In my case, I was able to find a local spay/neuter clinic that operates largely on charity donations from the state license plate fund, Petsmart charities and other associations. Because of the reduced cost at this clinic, along with the Hero Fund, I was able to get three (3) spay/neuters, all the shots, heart worm checks, microchips and extra pain medication--all for $300 total. So 1 Hero Fund donation saved 3 lives in this case.

Here is why the spay/neuters literally "saved" three lives. The two male dogs were not neutered. It is my belief they broke off their chains to get to the third dog, a female in heat. Once in my house, it was chaos. I now had 7 large dogs. My dogs did not get along with the three off the street. All the male dogs wanted to do was hump the female. What made the situation more dangerous was that the two males had lots of fighting scars.They were large dogs and part pit bulls. Having observed their behavior, I surmised that the two boys were chained together. They were forced to compete for one food source and one water source. It was obvious there was never enough food or water. The boys had all the fighting scars of dogs forced to fight in pit fights. They may have been forced to fight other dogs, but I believe the two boys just fought each other.

In my house, all they wanted to do was hump the female. There was the constant threat they might fight each other. All they wanted to do was have sex with her and they never let up. She was forced to be crated most of the day and it was difficult to get her out of the crate and in to the yard without the boys forcing their way on top of her. My dogs responded to this aggressive energy. They were agitated and responding to the threat in their house. One of my neutered dogs started humping my newest young rescued female who had not yet had her first heat cycle. Keeping the males separated from the female at all times and away from my four dogs was a 24 hour nightmare. To make matters worse, I was unable to stop the males from having sex with her on the first day I had them.

I could not leave the house, I could not sleep long or well. I was worried about the neighbors possibly complaining about the barking, which was hard to control. I reached a near breaking point. It was so miserable, even as a former rescuer, I did not think I could continue this. I called animal control to inquire about them picking up the dogs. I came to the sober realization that the 2 boys with the fighting scars with most definitely not even be put up for adoption. They would deem them un-adoptable and kill them. The female would also not stand much of a chance. So I would be sending 3 dogs to their deaths. Even though they were not my dogs, I would be the one responsible for ending their lives.

Getting the dogs fixed was an immediate NECESSITY. It would ease the situation in the house significantly, so I could manage the dogs. If I could manage the dogs, then I could suck it up and foster the dogs until I could start searching for homes. That’s exactly what getting the spay/neuters did. It kept the dogs from being killed. I was able to manage them better. They are now friends with the female and don’t try to hump her. The house is calmer and manageable. I can’t think of a time where getting dogs fixed was absolutely necessary in saving their lives.

To complicate matters, I was unemployed and near broke at the time. There was no way I could afford the fixes. Because of the DDB Hero Fund and the excellent low cost spay/neuter clinic, I was able to get all three fixed with all shots, heart worm check, fecal exam and meds and microchips. Now all three have everything they need to be adopted out. They are 100% ready.

I am currently fostering these dogs and looking for forever homes. Each day things get a little easier in the routine. I mean this when I say that getting them fixed kept them from being sent to animal control. The situation was so dire. Now there is breathing room. The dogs are healing, gaining weight and receiving love.

I am the kind of person who puts himself out in the trenches, so to speak, to help animals. If you would like to support other people like me, then please donate money to the Hero Fund. It is such a great partnership. If you have money, but not the ability to rescue off the streets, you can be help people like me do this work. It’s not money you can’t trace. It directly changes lives and is measurable. I am not a man of much financial means. But I have the resilience to rescue dogs in the streets and care for them in my home. Financial donors help people like me help animals. Money and effort partnering is saving lives where and when we can.

Thank you to whoever has donated to the Hero Fund!!! You have saved three lives with $300 in my case. What a great charity!

Finally, Robin Budin at DDB has made all this happen. She picks up the phone, seven day a week whenever you call. She is relentless in her efforts to help the animals. She is so dedicated and always makes herself available to advise and help. She is the face of DDB to me. All the lives I have saved are attributed to her tireless efforts, warm heart and tenacity.

Jennifer333

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

Meg_7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thanks Tammi for all you do! Clicky is enjoying my bed! Poor baby has the most endearing heart and a complete lack of pet manners. I'm glad to share her life.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better helps many animals across the country get freed from life on a chain, and neglected and abused animals. I have seen many different volunteers for the organization in multiple states be effective and successful in saving animals lives from abuse. Great organization

Comments ( 1 )

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DogsDeserveBetter 05/29/2014

Thank you! We appreciate your support.

4 RIP Marvin

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I hope its obvious to all who check out these recent glowing reviews, that the CEO Thayne has rounded up a few dozen "admirers" in the past few days to boost her Guidestar rating. These are not spontaneous shows of appreciation, they have been solicited. Many have been recipients of Hero Award cash, or cross -postings on the DDB site for their cause. Thayne has already inflated her FB page fan count by tens of thousands within a very short time period, bought and paid for (yes, there are companies that will do that for a fee). Please look at some of the one star reviews from years past. This is one CEO who knows how to game the system and will not hesitate to it if it means more donations.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I saw a chip in on DDB for a dog at the center, Jules, who had been previously pronounced vetted and healthy and ready for adoption. The chip in was for $280 for normal vetting. The donations exceeded the chip-in and the chip in was raised. This happened three times at least, it got up to over $650. Meanwhile it was announced that the dog had been adopted by a family and would be picked up the next week - the adoption agreement occurred during the week of the chip in, so obviously the dog was already vetted. It was a real cute picture and Christmas time, so DDB milked it for all it was worth. I used the chip contact feature to challenge the ethics of this behavior and received a nasty threatening email back from The DDB CEO. She asked: "What do you do, except hound someone you don't even know? Where does your hatred flow from? Do you have a very unsatisfying life or something? "
She said, " I know that because I wouldn't be associated with someone who is as cruel and hateful and spiteful as you are."
Totally unprofessional and this is not an isolated incident. She only tolerates those who agree and don't question.

Read more
1 Danielle59

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization does such impressive work! It's a comfort to know that such kind and dedicated people are out there helping the animals.

2 Pam B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better Inc came to my attention when I saw an article about abused animals held in filthy conditions.This group stepped up in order to bring this to public awareness.This group was able to make a difference in the animals lives and living conditions....Then I watched as it happened again...And yet again.I believe this group and especially this lady who oversees the groups activities have given many animals a chance at life that would not have been available had Ms Budin and Dogs Deserve Better Inc. not been there to Be Their Voice....This is a wonderful and deserving group which deserves our praise and respect.

3 Kris18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Tamira Thayne is a menace to the animal rescue community. She tries to shove her philosophy down everyone's throats, then if you don't agree with her, she will incite theft, mob mentality, law breaking, and harassment. She should not be in animal rescue.

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

8

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.

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.

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!

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!!!