DDB: Open Letter from Tammy Grimes December 17, 2007

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Please also see this action alert from the Animal Law Coalition: Tammy Grimes Found Guilty: Call on Governor Rendell to Pardon Her and Help Pass PA H.B. 1065.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tammy Grimes, Dogs Deserve Better – tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org
Date: Dec 17, 2007 11:34 AM
Subject: Open Letter from Tammy Grimes December 17, 2007

On September 11, 2006, I rescued a dog that was dying at the end of a chain in a muddy yard in a small Pennsylvania town. I was subsequently arrested. A little over a year later, on December 15, 2007, I was convicted of theft and receiving stolen property.

The last year has been the most traumatic and the most inspirational of my life. I have been labeled a “terrorist” a “vigilante”, a “publicity hound” and an “anarchist.” I have been called a hero. I have been humbled by encouragement and well wishes from people all over the world. I have been attacked in person and in print in my small town, where the prevailing view is that it is fine and dandy to tie a dog to a tree or a dog house and leave it to pace back and forth for year after agonizing year, in skull-cracking cold or 100-degree weather, with nothing but parasites for company.

I don’t regret what I did. Not for one second. And when it comes to rescuing dogs and changing minds and laws, I’m just getting started. Here’s why.

The dog at the center of all this, a dog we would eventually name Doogie, had been lying in the mud and rain for three days, chained to the dog house he had been attached to for years. He was unable to stand and was pawing the air in desperation. His owners chose to go four-wheeling and to work on Monday instead of getting him the vet help he needed and deserved, but most importantly was entitled to by law. A distraught neighbor had called animal control repeatedly over the course of the three days. But as so often happens, no “humane” officer called back. No one ever showed up. (Surprised? Trust me, it happens all the time, and not just in my town.) The frantic neighbor eventually reached out to me and to Dogs Deserve Better.

What I did next set in motion a chain of events that would eventually garner national attention, the wrath of some, the support of others, and an agonizing trial during which I had to listen to lies and mischaracterizations for three days: I removed that dog’s chain and I took him to the veterinarian. It was all very clear to me as I lifted the emaciated, wet dog into my van. I had been in animal rescue long enough to know that I would probably be labeled the villain while the dog’s caretakers wouldn’t even be questioned for leaving a suffering dog on the ground for three days, not to mention all the years they tied him to a shabby box in the yard; letting his toenails to grow so long they were curling back toward his pads, denying him vet care when he most needed it.

But I also knew that what I was doing was morally correct. It was the compassionate thing to do. It was the only thing I could do. Time was of the essence. A dog was suffering. I felt he was dying.

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Kinship Circle / DDB: Grimes Verdict: GUILTY For Saving A Life

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 15, 2007 5:47 PM
Subject: Grimes Verdict: GUILTY For Saving A Life

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

12/15/07 UPDATE
Verdict: GUILTY For Saving A Life – Tammy Grimes, Dogs Deserve Better

ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org * http://animallawcoalition.com/

CONTACT INFORMATION TO PROTEST:
Ask Pennsylvania’s Governor Edward G. Rendell to PARDON Tammy Grimes for the “crimes” or theft and receiving stolen “property” in her action to save a dying, chained dog called Doogie.

Governor Edward G. Rendell
225 Main Capitol Building * Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
ph: 717-787-2500
web email: http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

BACKGROUND:

Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, was arrested September 11, 2006 for helping a dying chained dog named Doogie who could not stand in East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Read about the case with photo and video documentation: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/doogie.html

12/14/07: A Blair County, Pennsylvania jury has found Tammy Grimes guilty of theft and receiving stolen property. Sentencing is set for February 23, 2008.

FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE: After speaking to Tammy today (12/15), I understand her misdemeanor “crimes” could merit 1-2 years jail time. Although, she is more apt to incur a fine and probation at her sentencing in February. During the trial, Tammy and her lawyer were NOT permitted to show video footage of Doogie (called “Jake” by his negligent caretakers)…on the ground unable to move or stand for at least three days.

Tammy wrote: “When we arrived, we took photos and video of Doogie. We initially thought he was dead, as he was not moving and his back was to us. We found out the people were not home to talk to about him, so I made the decision that I would not leave him lying there on the cold wet ground for one moment longer, and I would accept all consequences of my decision.”

Kinship Circle - 2007-12-15 - Grimes Verdict - GUILTY For Saving A Life 01

Kinship Circle - 2007-12-15 - Grimes Verdict - GUILTY For Saving A Life 02

TAMMY’S HEROIC EFFORTS IN PHOTOS & WORDS:
http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/doogie.html

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DDB: Grimes in Court Monday, October 29th for Motion Hearing on DA Quest to Bar Evidence

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tammy Grimes, Dogs Deserve Better – tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org
Date: Oct 24, 2007 9:32 PM
Subject: Grimes in Court Monday, October 29th for Motion Hearing on DA Quest to Bar Evidence

PA Dog Rescue Case Goes to Motion Hearing October 29th
Blair County D.A. seeks to bar defense evidence from the courtroom

Please come to the hearing on Monday if at all possible, we need your support!

October 24, 2007, Altoona, PA-Dogs Deserve Better founder Tammy Grimes will be back in court October 29th at 9:00 a.m. for a motion hearing to defend against the Blair County DA’s attempt to bar her most-compelling evidence–video, photos, and vet testimony of the dog’s condition–from the courtroom. Grimes was arrested September 11, 2006 after taking a dog–unable to stand for three days–for veterinary care; then protecting him from returning to the abusive situation.

Grimes maintains that there were clearly Pennsylvania cruelty laws being broken for at least three days by the time she arrived on the scene, and charges should instead be filed against the Arnolds for abuse and neglect.

She states, “We need to take a serious look at a justice system that favors animal abusers, and I would ask what kind of example this is setting for our children. We have ample proof of abuse in this case: neighbor testimony, vet testimony, video and photo evidence. If we as humans see an animal or human dying and in need of immediate help, it is our moral duty to help that being and protect him/her from further harm. A system that instead requires an abused child or animal to be returned to the situation in which the abuse is occurring is corrupt, and must be questioned and examined if we are to evolve as a society.”

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DDB: Please Attend the Rally for Grimes in PA! (April 17, 2007)

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tammy Grimes – tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org
Date: Apr 6, 2007 2:38 PM
Subject: Special Announcement: Please Attend the Rally for Grimes in PA!

Please Attend a Rally for Grimes April 17, Hollidaysburg, PA

Show America We’re Tired of Dogs Dying on the End of Chains, Tired of Abusers Walking

Courthouse · 423 Allegheny St. 9:00 A.M. Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On 4/17/07 there is a pre-trial motion hearing to dismiss all charges against DDB founder Tammy Grimes at the Blair County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. Come to a pre-trial rally at the Hollidaysburg Courthouse to support Grimes and what she did for Doogie at 9:00 a.m. April 17th. We really need your help!

The first 100 supporters to arrive will receive a NEW I’m Standing Up for Doogie button, as well as a FREE Yard Sign, Calendar and Car Magnet. Coming in from out of town? To see Altoona hotels and motels, visit the Altoona.com site.

We can get a room discount at the Motel 6 if we have more than 10 rooms booked. If you’re coming and want to be part of the room block at Motel 6, please let Tammy know by calling her at 877.636.1408 by April 11th. If we don’t get 10 rooms reserved by then, we cannot block it.

The courthouse address is 423 Allegheny Street, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648. Keep in mind that although we have this hearing, it does not mean the charges will be dismissed. There is still the very real possibility that we are going to a jury trial. We NEED to raise our voices and BE HEARD! It is absolutely ridiculous that in Pennsylvania one can abuse a dog despite existing cruelty laws, allowing it to lay chained, unable to stand, and on the ground for three days and NOT pay a price for that abuse.

It is unconscionable what this case is teaching our children. We must continue to fight, not only for Doogie, but for all chained dogs in Pennsylvania and around the U.S. And for our future’s children who may have to make the same choices Tammy has made; choices which no one should have to make.

Visit the updated Doogie page and read the Press Release.

Can’t come, but you’d like to support financially?

(More below the fold…)

DDB: Anti-Tethering Bills, Rally for Grimes on 4/17

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

The latest issue of Dogs Deserve Better’s eNewsletter (which does not appear to be available online) includes the the following items of interest:

Eight States are Hard at Work on Anti-Tethering Bills

Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Rhode Island

Maryland’s legislation is highest priority right now, if you live in Maryland, it’s critical for you to visit the site and start contacting your representatives to get the bill out for a vote. Most of the others are just getting started, and need all citizens help to progress. If your state is listed amongst these, please visit the link, below, and see how you get involved. If your state isn’t listed, visit the link anyway to see what kind of laws are being proposed this year, and get ideas for your state. It’s not too late for this legislative session!

More excellent legislative news: Troy City, Michigan, Middletown, Ohio, Texas City, Texas have all passed anti-tethering legislation in the past month! Lee’s Summit, Missouri, DeSoto, Tennessee, Denver, Colorado, Deerfield Beach, FL, New York City, Arkansas City, Kansas, and Austin, Texas are all considering anti-tethering legislation as we write as well.

Please visit DDB’s State Legislative Effort Page for current info and local calls to action.

Also, those in the PA area (specifically, Hollidaysburg) may want to attend the April 17 9AM pre-trial rally for DDB founder Tammy Grimes:

Come to a Rally for Grimes before the Motion to Dismiss Hearing April 17, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.

Can you come to a pre-trial rally at the Hollidaysburg Courthouse for Tammy Grimes at 9:00 a.m. April 17th?

The pre-trial hearing is at 10:30, so let’s be there at 9:00 a.m., sporting signs, listening to a few speakers, and in general showing support for Tammy and what she did for Doogie.

We’ll make sure we have new signs made from the Doogie material and buttons for everyone that comes. If you can come in from out of town, please try! The more people we have standing together, the better for our cause and for justice. To see Altoona hotels and motels, visit the Altoona.com site. If we have a lot of people who need rooms, we will see if we can get a cheap room block somewhere.

Background and additional info on the case is available here.

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Tagged:

Dogs Deserve Better: Update on Tammy Grimes’ Trial, 11-27-06

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Dogs Deserve Better sent out a press release (.pdf) regarding founder Tammy Grimes’ latest court date, which was yesterday, 11/27/06. A note for new readers: Grimes, a PA resident, was arrested and charged with theft back in September for rescuing Doogie, a dying, chained dog. Background and past alerts here.

In addition to press releases, the DDB website is updated as needed with notes on the court dates, as well as calls to action for DDB supporters.

Here’s yesterday’s update:

11/27/06. Today was the pretrial conference in the jury room of the Blair County Courthouse. There were no further deals offered or made, and so we informed the judges that we would be continuing on to a jury trial. Mr. Dickey’s office will file a motion to dismiss all charges this week.

Tammy will be meeting with Mr. Dickey within the next week to figure out future moves.

We are currently set up for a further pretrial conference on February 5th at 8:30 a.m. This is the final pretrial activity before we move onto jury selection and go to trial.

There have been an unheard of number of letters to the editor published in the Altoona Mirror. 12 at last count, only three of which were negative. We have a TON of support here!

We would like everyone to continue to write letters to the editor of the Altoona Mirror at opinion [at] altoonamirror.com. Keep them short and snappy if possible.

We also NEED to have a TON of people attend the hearing! We would like to hold a rally at the next pretrial conference, however it is very early in the morning…if you have a great idea how to really raise local support, please e-mail us at Tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org and let us know.

How about a large group marching in a holiday parade in Altoona or Holllidaysburg? Worked for the suffragists!

You can read past updates, and keep abreast of the case, here.

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Tagged:

DawnWatch: Inside Edition, flooded with emails, will air another dog rescue follow-up Monday, September 25

Monday, September 25th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Sep 24, 2006 7:40 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Inside Edition, flooded with emails, will air another dog rescue follow-up Monday, September 25

I am delighted to share the following “Inside Edition” newsletter with you, from Sunday, September 24. (I thank Carol Weber McKee for sharing it with us.) It includes a selection of the emails the show received about the dog rescue story. We are told that “Inside Edition” was “flooded” with responses. I thank all those who wrote, as you no doubt encouraged Inside Edition to keep up the coverage. The show aired a follow-up on Wednesday, which included footage of the dog (who we in the animal advocacy community have come to know as Doogie, but whose name is Jake) nine days after his rescue, on all fours looking full of life. You’ll find that cheering that footage on line, here.

The “Inside Edition: newsletter announces that there will be another follow-up on Monday, September 25.

At http://www.insideedition.com/wheretowatch/ you can find your local station and air time for “Inside Edition.”

Inside Edition suggests, “Do you have a comment about a story on Inside Edition? E-mail us at: iemail [at] kingworld.com ”

Please thank the show for continuing to cover the issue, and send them your comments about it. Your emails make a difference.

I will paste the Inside Edition newsletter below.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Dog rescuer charged with theft on Inside Edition today, 9/19/06

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Sep 19, 2006 10:28 AM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dog rescuer charged with theft on Inside Edition today, 9/19/06

The story of Tammy Grimes (DogsDeserveBetter.com) and the dog she rescued and was charged with stealing, will be on Inside Edition today, Tuesday, September 19.

This is on the front page of the Inside Edition website, http://www.insideedition.com :

“TODAY’S STORIES:

Dog Napper?

A dog’s owner says the dog wasn’t neglected, but apparently one woman didn’t agree and was so worried she took the dog and is now charged with theft! Dog lover or dog napper – you decide!”

On that web page you can see video of Doogie lying on the ground, unable to stand, and hear a woman sobbing over him. The voiceover says, “Imagine spotting a dog that looked this.” Then we hear Tammy’s voice saying to the dog, “It’s ok baby, we’ll take you to the vet.” And we hear her telling the reporter: “That dog needed immediate help.”

At http://www.insideedition.com/wheretowatch/ you can find your local station and air time for “Inside Edition.”

Inside Edition suggests, “Do you have a comment about a story on Inside Edition? E-mail us at: iemail [at] kingworld.com ”

Please thank the show for covering the issue, and send your comments about it. It is important that the producers see much audience interest in animal stories.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To unsubscribe, go to http://www.dawnwatch.com/cgi-bin/dada/dawnwatch_unsubscribe.cgi
You are encouraged to forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts but please do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)

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DawnWatch: Tammy Grimes arrested for saving dog — petition, DA info, and news stories — 9/16/06

Monday, September 18th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Sep 16, 2006 5:41 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Tammy Grimes arrested for saving dog — petition, DA info, and news stories 9/16/06

There has been much local media in Pennsylvania about the arrest of Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, for saving the life of a chained dog so weak he could not stand.

Lancaster’s Intelligencer Journal carried the story on the Friday, September 15, front page, headed, “She’s not afraid of a dog fight; Woman charged in hound flap to speak here.”

It opens:

“The dog appeared to be dead Monday morning, passersby said.

“Chained outside a residence, the shepherd mix lying on his side in dirt and puddles had been unable to stand for several days, they said.

“A neighbor repeatedly called a Central Pennsylvania Humane Society officer charged with investigating animal abuse and neglect in the Altoona area. No one responded, the neighbor said.

“So the neighbor called Tammy Grimes. Then another person called Grimes about the same dog. That’s when Grimes took action, video camera in tow.

“By early Monday evening, the dog Grimes dubbed Doogie was resting inside a safe home after a $170 visit to a vet. After taking painkillers, vitamins, a hearty meal and water, he was even walking a little.

“That night, not unexpectedly, police came for Grimes.”

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