Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dogs Deserve Better, Inc.

10,149 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit


Volunteering Oportunities

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

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

A wonderful group that constantly puts itself on the front line, fighting for dogs who are simply helpless and at the mercy of their owners. I applaud this group for their efforts.



Rating: 1

I don't understand how people keep falling for this scam. Since May 6, 31 positive reviews giving DDB the best ratings, all in 3 days? Most of the reviews before that had been negative.

The leader of DDB had people write these positive reviews. Read them and you see most of them received money from DDB's hero grant program. That program has paid out $40,800 to help 136 dogs.

Last year, DDB took in donations exceeding $1,100,000 and only had $450,000 in expenses. They had over $650,000 left over. They only set aside $40,000 to help 136 dogs when they could be helping over 2000 dogs with all that extra money they have.

Huge red flags when -
A.) A charity has to get people to write positive reviews in exchange for generous grants
B.) Takes in in excess of $1,100,000 and helps so few dogs.

Their hero grant program helps 136 dogs for $40,000, their Good Newz Rehab Center has only helped 123 dogs in 3 years and they foster another 150 dogs.

DDB's leader has been convicted of stealing and receiving stolen property and she had been charged with animal cruelty and neglect. Those charges were dropped only when she ruthlessly went after her accusers on the web.

I totally agree with the previous comment, these new positive reviews are not spontaneous shows of appreciation. It is an organized campaign, along with the new pictures and videos that DDB posted. It is meant to distract people from the fact that DDB took in so much money and helped so few dogs.

Update 6/12

In response to DogsDeserveBetter comment:

How childish and immature must you be? Even if anyone were foolish enough to believe that this was a genuine job offer, I would never work for a convicted thief and I would never work for someone who was charged with animal cruelty. I would never work for an organization that used mace and tasers to rehab dogs. I can assure you, had I over one million dollars, I could and most certainly would help more than the 53 dogs DDB rescued in 2013. How do you sleep at night? You should be ashamed and people will eventually see it for what it is, profiting on the suffering of dogs.

Comments ( 1 )


DogsDeserveBetter 05/29/2014

We invite all who care to look to see our financials for themselves, all are posted. We have paid off our facility and it now belongs to the dogs we serve. We also invite everyone to come to our facility and see for themselves the care we give our dogs. Since we don't know you (hiding your name, perhaps, or not actually ever affilated with Dogs Deserve Better?) but we know many who are talking about how we helped them and not afraid to say who they are, we are hopeful that others will see through this. If you feel you can do a better job, we invite you to send in your resume to Dogs Deserve Better, 1915 Moonlight Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430. Please be sure to list your relevant experience. Thank you.



Rating: 5

I learned of DDB several months ago and followed their work before I decided to donate as I only donate to reputable organizations. DDB truly cares about dogs and helps many dogs that would otherwise not get help. They are a professional and trustworthy rescue who is committed to providing the training and rehab needed for a dog to be successfully placed. When I send a donation to DDB I am always sent a thank you and verification. They are truly a class act. The naysayers are just disgruntled wanna bees who get kicks out of trying to destroy good things.

DDB has my full support!

2 Jan_44


Rating: 5

I first became aware of DDB when an article showed up on the internet describing the deplorable conditions at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, WA. Before I donated any money, I did extensive research on DDB to be sure my money was being well spent. What I found was people who were willing to stand in the cold WA rain to fight for 124 dogs who were being abused beyond all human comprehension. They were cursed at, spit at, screamed at, and treated in a way people should not be treated but they stood their ground and continued to fight for these dogs. When the dogs were just "dropped" in Golden Valley, AZ, they traveled thousands of miles to rescue and bring dogs back to their facility. I have gotten to know Robin and Tamira personally and am even more impressed by their dedication and tenacity in righting the wrongs being done to dogs. When it comes to stepping up for chained and abused dogs, they are fearless. They don't do it for the glory. They quietly (that's actually an a contradiction of terms because they are pretty darned vocal when it comes to saving dogs) get the job done. If they got paid for the amount of heart they have, they would be millionaires. I have seen them go toe-to-toe with abusive owners (male and female) and come out on top. I have seen them take chained dogs that I would be fearful of being within two feet of and teach them that they are loved. They don't just rehabilitate them - they "Loveabilitate" them. I have seen them get down on the floor with an abused dog that I would have been afraid to be in the same room with and sit there until that dog realized that all humans were not cruel. I continue to donate to this organization because I believe DOGS DESERVE BETTER and they got Robin, Tami and their team.

3 NYMare


Rating: 5

Dogs Deserve Better is an absolutely wonderful organization. The founder is known as the"Godmother of the anti-tethering movement" (USA Today). SHE is the one who brought the cruelty of chaining to national awareness. I watched the whole organization and movement grow from the beginning (2000ish). She had a really rough road, but her work has been built on. Don't know if she is great with people, since lots of other animal people have a problem with her, but she IS an ethical, good-hearted person who started a BIG movement in the rescue world. Her group bought the Michael Vick property, which created MORE controversy, but it is HARDLY a mansion (I have been there several times). They do rescue 12 dogs at a time there, per the zoning laws, but what a great rescue those dogs get! There is a live-in person there and full-time caretakers and office workers. It ain't cheap--but it is JUST what dogs who have been chained for years need. The dogs run and play on 10 fenced-in acres
all day until they are adopted. There are strict guidelines and procedures for everything (thanks to all the scrutiny there's been). Those dogs have AWESOME times there. They welcome volunteers to come and stay for a few days and help. They do applications, home visits, and follow-ups. Over my 50 years, I have been involved in many rescue groups--this is BY FAR the best I've ever seen.



Rating: 5

I only give to organizations I know well for many years and trust. DDB has earned my support and trust.



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:
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



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.



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?



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.



Rating: 2

It is sad that they fire volunteers that did a lot of good just to bring in new volunteers The great volunteers you have been in contact with are gone and the list is always changing. It has to be poor volunteer management.