70 Dog Lovers Pay Trespassing Fine for Animal Advocate to send Message to Officials: Stop Tolerating the Abuse!
Raise 704% of Total Fine, Demand to Know Why No Animal Abuse Charges Filed
March 22, 2010, Tipton, PA — 70 dog lovers sent a strong message to Pennsylvania officials this week by contributing anywhere from $5-$250 to pay dog advocate Tamira Ci Thayne's trespassing fine. They want to know why no animal abuse charges were filed against the owners of seven dogs chained with physical ailments on abandoned property near Tyrone, Pennsylvania.
Together the group raised $1713.00 to pay a fine of $243.00. The remaining money was donated to Dogs Deserve Better, a non-profit working solely on behalf of chained and penned dogs.
Tamira Ci Thayne, founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, received her second trespassing offense March 11, 2010 for going onto the abandoned property to document the health conditions of seven dogs chained amidst garbage and other wreckage. Not only did no humans inhabit the property, but no home or mailbox was visible for 1/2 mile on all sides of the property.
Local humane officer Paul Gotshall claimed to know about these dogs, but stated without an official complaint he would do nothing to help them.
Thayne documented the condition of the dogs, noting that all had bloody diarrhea, indicative of heavy hook and whipworm infestations. Food was thrown inside the doghouses, and lay rotting amidst the runny stools coating the ground. There was no visible water present. One female hound's uterus hung outside her vagina. Another dog had a cracked and bleeding grapefruit-sized tumor on the right side of his face.
Thayne photographed and videotaped the abuse and made an official complaint to Officer Gotshall, who went out there with Pennsylvania State Trooper Wagner and conspired to charge Thayne with trespassing rather than the abusers with any crime.
They alerted the owners who pulled the smallest dogs from the site, and had them relinquish three of the dogs to the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society. Two dogs remained chained at the abandoned property, sitting ducks for wild or rabid animals or human aggression. These dogs, one blind, both chained, would be unable to defend themselves or run away to protect themselves from anyone intending them harm.
Officer Gotshall stated that without an anti-chaining law to protect the dogs, he had to leave them on the property, despite the fact that no humans were nearby to protect or care for these dogs. No charges of abuse were filed against the owners, even though voluminous evidence of violations of current Pennsylvania cruelty law mandating veterinary care existed.
The three dogs relinquished to the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society were not released to rescue groups including Dogs Deserve Better who asked to take them under their wing. Non-profits and citizens nationwide have demanded to know what has happened to the two dogs with physical maladies, especially Big Boy, but have been stonewalled by the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society. Only one of the three dogs is listed as up for adoption on their website.
Says Tamira Thayne: "I am grateful to all dog lovers who sent a message to officials by paying this fine. I am disgusted by the state of animal welfare in Pennsylvania. Not only are abusers receiving the message that it's OK to continue the abuse, but citizens are being punished for pointing out the crimes. Organizations slated to protect these animals are failing them and killing them in shelters rather than allow them to go where they can receive the loving care they need and deserve.
"I am committed to unchaining Pennsylvania’s dogs, America’s dogs. I will not quit until I see Americans treat our companions with the respect and care they deserve. I have come to accept I may end up with a rap sheet longer than my arm for helping chained dogs. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make—in fact, I consider it an honor. They deserve that kind of dedication.
It’s time America grows up. Time America follows European countries such as England, Austria, and Germany, who know how to make dogs part of the family and would never allow their neighbors to chain their dogs. I remain optimistic because I know that time is short on the side of the abusers. We are simply not willing to tolerate the cruelty any longer. Chaining your dog for life IS abuse. Be intolerant with me."
Thayne is asking all Pennsylvania residents to stand against this form of cruelty by joining the coalition to Unchain Pennsylvania Dogs. The coalition seeks to pass a bill setting time limits on chaining, and creating better conditions for Pennsylvania's dogs. Sign up today at Unchainpadogs.com.
Please visit the website at DogsDeserveBetter.org to learn more about dog chaining, the reasons it is cruel to dogs and dangerous to humans, and to find a local area representative.