The dogs in Everett, PA, living chained/penned in the mud/feces/and underweight
by Tamira Ci Thayne on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 at 18:30
This is the photo that clearly shows her ribs. She is very submissive.
Everett, Pa -- Here's the situation in a nutshell.
Last week I got e-mails and phone calls from a woman about a dog in her area. She sent a pic of a dog near Everett, PA, and the dog looked like sad, but at first glance not illegal. This dog is about 1.5 hours from me, so Kristi was putting a letter and brochure in the mail to the address we were given.
When the woman told me the dogs were on a piece of property with an abandoned house, I told her that I'd drive down on Saturday, March 5, 2011 to check the conditions for myself.
When I saw the dog my heart was immediately saddened, and I knew that her conditions were illegal. She was thinner than she was in the previous picture, and she held her head to the side, which I thought signaled an ear infection. I knew she needed help very soon, and that her conditions were not only the nasty, normally legal conditions which are to my mind cruel and neglectful, but she went beyond that to actual currently illegal conditions.
I went to the house across the road, thinking they might know who the owners were. An old lady opened the door, and as soon as I asked her if those were her dogs, she started flipping out and telling me to leave the property, that they were fed three times a day, etc. I told her they were obviously underweight and they needed help, and that our organization could help her. She told me she was going to have me arrested if I reported her to the humane society. I told her I would be calling the police then, to which she replied she'd call them for me.
I would say she was belligerent.
My daughter asked me how I stay so calm. But inside I am not calm, and it takes all I have to remain civil to these animal abusers who have the law on their side and think it's ok to treat dogs in such an inhumane fashion.
It was obvious to me that others have been trying to help this dog, and that's why she's extremely defensive about these dogs.
I got photos and video from the road, and went home and called the police. They said they would go out that evening or the next day, but they wouldn't call me to let me know what they found out. Now that's frustrating!
The next morning I asked Marie Belanger, CSI Case Lead for Dogs Deserve Better, to call the state police as well and see if she could get anywhere. She got them to look at the photo of the skinny shepherd, at which point they decided to act, asking me to come down to show them where the dogs were.
I gave the police my statement, and we went to the location. I took more photos and video—ascertaining that she was about 20 lbs. underweight, was blind in one eye, and had only a chain wrapped around her neck, no collar—while he spoke to the caretakers.
By some coincidence, the woman couldn't breathe, and so the son was taking her to the hospital. There was no one left there at that point to talk to about the dogs. I've been told an old man lives there too, but didn't see any sign of him.
The officer looked at the dogs, and dithered over what to do. Policeman are not used to doing cruelty complaints, but with shelters in PA no longer able to afford to pay humane officers, the police are often now the only ones who can handle a cruelty complaint.
He decided to give the owners a choice to give the dogs up to DDB or take them to the vet the next day. I was onboard with that plan, and hopeful that they would just give them up to Dogs Deserve Better. Of course, they didn't.
The days have dragged on, the officer has not been on top of this case as I would have liked and the dog deserves, and it's now Wednesday, March 9th. While I understand he has other cases to deal with, this one has a living being attached that is not in very good shape and needs help.
Last night the woman called again and told me that the dogs were not there and the houses, chains, and pen were no longer there either. That tells me one thing: the dogs have been moved, not given up to the humane society, because if that had been the case the houses and pen would still be standing there. I immediately left a message for the officer.
He called back this morning and let me know that he had told them to move the dogs to a better location. I guess any location would be CLEANER than where they were, but it wouldn't take long for the feces to build right back up again. So in the long run that certainly will not solve the problem.
I do not know where they have moved the dogs to, whether it is behind the house, or further back in the woods, or they have removed them from the property altogether. All I know is that at this time they are not visible to passers by.
The officer also told me that he will not be available to work this case until Monday, March 14. He said he will speak to the vet then and call me and let me know what he has found out.
This leaves me feeling extremely frustrated, hopeless, and angry, knowing these dogs are out there somewhere, not knowing their conditions or if they've even seen the vet as ordered.
To my mind, the biggest action that would be helpful at this time is for people who live in the area to look for the dogs to see if they are alive and/or in immediate need of help. The dog's location SEEMS to be 2187 Menchtown Rd., Everett, PA. On Google Earth, the location appears to be 2199 Menchtown Rd., but that address doesn't exist anywhere else, so we believe that is it, or very close to it.
We need phone calls to the Bedford County PA State Police too, to ask them to send someone out to see the dogs again and get photos of their 'improvements.' Waiting for Officer Craig on Monday is not acceptable. 814.623.6133.
I believe now there is slim chance that DDB will be able to get this poor dog and her two yardmates. I don't believe that the woman will willingly relinquish any of these dogs, and it doesn't appear the officer will force the situation. All three deserve seriously better than what they are getting.
Our laws are not on the side of the animals.
There are also four cats on the property that we could see. Not one of the animals is of adequate weight, and when they do feed them, they just throw the cans on the ground. I suspect that the woman and/or her husband have become senile, and are not feeding the animals as they need and deserve to be fed.
I am attaching photos of the animals that we observed. If you live in the Menchtown Rd. area near Everett PA, and have any heart for animals, please keep your eye out for these guys. If they are not in immediate danger right now, they will shortly become that way.
If measures are taken to appease the police by the abusers, they will be short-lived and the animals will again be in dire straights.
I am most sickened that we as a society do not immediately take one look at this and arrest any person, no matter how old, who would leave their dogs in this condition. There is simply no excuse for this abuse.
I appreciate your caring.
Tamira Ci Thayne, founder, Dogs Deserve Better
This photo shows that she is blind in one eye. That's why she
holds her head to the side..
This photo shows that she has only a chain wrapped around her
neck, no collar.
This is the third dog, living behind a shed in a mud hole, with garbage
cans all around. She has a hurt foot and limps on the right front paw.
This is the dog in a tiny pen, with barely any room to move.
The cats on the property are underweight as well.
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