- Report: #801242
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Dogs Deserve Better, Inc
Dogs Deserve Better, Inc1915 Moonlight Dr. Smithfield, Virginia United States of America
Dogs Deserve Better, Inc Tamira Ci Thayne, Founder and CEO Collecting donations illegall, abandoning dogs that they received donations for. Smithfield, Virginia
*Consumer Comment: Hank Abandoned By Dogs Deserve Better
*Consumer Comment: Another Dog Abandoned By Dogs Deserve Better
*General Comment: Fiala Lied
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: More Epic Myth Making
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: To Shannon Allen
*Consumer Comment: Let the public decide, let the IRS decide.......
*General Comment: Re: Barbara Bassett by former ddb rep
*General Comment: Former DDB Rep; Classic Allen OCD,
*Consumer Comment: Barbara Bassett
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Shannon Allen is not to be trusted
*General Comment: Re: Barbara Bassett
*Consumer Comment: Anonymous Angela:
*General Comment: It's Heather, right?
*Consumer Comment: Re: Barbara Bassett
*General Comment: Re: Barbara Bassett
*Consumer Comment: Shannon Allen is showing her true character
*General Comment: The ONLY one ripping anyone off is SHANNON ALLEN.
*General Comment: Former DDB Rep post is pure defamation
*Consumer Comment: Barbara Bassett has fraudulently filed this rebuttal under a fake profile.
*General Comment: Shannon Allan is a liar
In 2009 I became a volunteer for Dogs Deserve Better and a year later was hired as their freelance National Rescue Coordinator. In mid-September, 2011 I resigned my position after learning of issues that were unethical and illegal.
Also in September, founder Tamira Ci Thayne (founder) and Deana Whitfield (facility manager) visited my home to assess their foster dogs. They took the three most adoptable back to the Good Newz Rehab Center with a promise to come back for the rest. I have not heard from them since.
In addition, in September, representative coordinator, Melody Whitworth, made a promise in an email that all vet bills will be paid and that DDB would relocate all foster dogs belonging to them.
In a certified letter written to DDB in early November, I demanded that all dogs be relocated by December 1st and that all vet bills be paid. I asked for a response of their intentions no later than November 15th. Myself and the dogs were again ignored. They have left me with no choice but to sue.
(see letter here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Today is November 21st and I have not received a response
(Although today I did hear from Rep Coordinator Melody Whitworth stating that they were being bother by emails regarding my foster dogs and remove my old DDB email address from any dog listings)
In mid September I asked that all DDB foster dogs in my home be relocated. Because DDB has refused to assist with expenses for these dogs, I can no longer afford to keep them. In addition, I am now seeking a part time job in order to pay the thousands of dollars of vet bills that they left me with. A part time job will disable me from having the time to properly care for the foster dogs, and my resident dogs. One of my resident dogs in need of shoulder surgery which I now cannot afford since DDB has drained my bank account then "split".
Some of founder, Tamira Ci Thayne's response to my resignation and my response to her: (source http://lifeinthemansion.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/day-18-fighting-back/)
Thayne - "Ms. Allen, I would like to see the proof of your allegations against Dogs Deserve Better? I know you dont have any, but humor me, and show me where funds have been misused?"
Allen Response - It is not an allegation but fact that non-profits have to be registered in every state that they solicit and collect donations, otherwise those donations are not tax deductible. Unless someone can prove to me otherwise, as I have not been able to find it, DDB was not and still is not registered in the states they operate in.
From DDB, At this point, there will be no fundraising in any state unless your state is registered, even then all funding need to go into our chipin account only. DO NOT fundraise (of any kind) within your state without knowing if you are registered. If you wish to fundraise, do so through a chip in or firstgiving that will ONLY go directly through DDB national. This is for legal reasons. This was sent out in August 2011 after another foster bought to DDBs attention that they had to be registered in all states that they work in.
It is also a fact, not an allegation, that DDB admitted to missing funds in an email sent to reps: We will not tolerate theft of DDB funds any longer.
Thayne admitting to not being registered as a 501c3 and admitting that the $600,000 purchase of the Vick property was for publicity. http://www.wtkr.com/news/wtkr-founder-of-dogs-deserve-better-speaks-out-about-misuse-of-money-allegations--20110919,0,2004776.story
I was told by this dogs foster mom that SHE paid for his neuter and was never reimbursed by DDB yet WA DDB rep is seeking reimbursement for a bill that was paid by this dog's foster. (from DDB foster dog database) (see database entry here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Thayne: Ms. Allen is upset that DDB is buying a carport for our dog yard for shade and cover for dogs. Yet the people who chipped in for this shade for our dogs have free will, and donated willingly to a project they were fully behind. How could that be considered a misuse of funds when the money is going for exactly what it was donated for? It cant be.
Is Ms. Allen saying our dogs dont DESERVE to have a shady area, or an area that would shield them from a sudden rain storm? Apparently those who donated $1000 for it feel differently.
Allen Response: Am I jealous of her carports? No, not really. Do I not think that the dogs at the center deserve shade? That is a silly accusation. Of course they deserve shade. So do all of the other DDB dogs in foster care. Do they get carports too Tami? My issue is less with the carports and more with the fact that I had just been chewed out for my absorbent vet bills when the fundraising began for the carports. And of course, everyone can choose to donate to whatever they would like. I had too been chewed out for vet bills even though my Chip Ins had reached their goals. Tami told me that this didnt matter, that people only have so much money and those who donated to my large bills were likely to not be able to afford to donate to other reps bills. That is an excellent point. People who donated to the carports and the center may no longer have the funds to donate to dogs who need medical care. So I guess it is up to the donor to decide: Do I help this dog who has a damaged spleen or do I donate for carport at the $600,000 center? But it is also up to Tami to decide what takes priority, carports or vet bills. As you can see the many Chip Ins that have not met their goals and right there in center of it all is the Chip In for Tamis carports. (see Chip Ins here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Thayne: I do have a concern about theft of funds, though, as Ms. Allen now admits that she has been talking to Ms. Fiala for at least two weeks. Yet she still turned in an invoice to my organization for supposed work done during this period, a period when we saw very little of Ms. Allens efforts online for our dogs. In fact, in checking, during that two week period, I see only TWO Facebook notes created looking for help for dogs.
I would estimate that work for chained dogs to have taken a total of 2 hours, to be generous.
Did Ms. Allen bill us and cash our check knowing full well that she did not work 30 hours on Dogs Deserve Betters behalf in that two week period? If so, I would call that theft of organizational funds. As Ms. Allen was MIA most of that entire two weeks, DDB should not have been billed for work that was not accomplished on our behalf.
Allen Response: "Did I send in an invoice and cash my last paycheck? Yes. Did I only work 2 hours? No. A couple of months ago I sent an email to Deana Whitfield (foster coordinator) and Melody Whitworth (representative coordinator) articulating my frustration with Facebook as every time I posted for a dog in need I was met with the same question over and over, a question that I did not know how to answer, Why cant you take this dog at the center? Melody stated that we rescued before Facebook and we can rescue without Facebook. So my last 30 hour paycheck for 80 hours of work was well earned as I had been networking via phone and email for dogs in need. With only 25 reps and one rescue coordinator to fill in the spaces for the dogs that DDB was asked to help where there are no reps is an impossible task. Being the rescue coordinator I was the one who had to take a beating by telling people that although we just purchased a $600,000 house that we could no longer afford to rescue.
Thayne: Ms. Allen is correct about one thing; that I often told her she was fostering too many dogs. DDB doesnt want our reps to be hoarders. No one can handle that many big dogs on their own IN THE HOUSE and not have a ton of dog fights and a mental breakdown. Sixteen dogs? Just not feasible.
Heres my statement in regard to Ms. Allen:
Ms. Allen was with DDB as a volunteer area rep, and as a subcontractor for the position of Rescue Coordinator. In these efforts, and during her tenure, she did some great things for chained dogs, she got them into rescue, she got them off chains and into new, loving homes and families as she was paid to do.
On the flip side, she also regularly took in WAY too many dogs for one person to handle. Although I totally sympathized and empathized with her desire to save the world, and had been there many times myself, (which is why I wrote Scream Like Banshee: 29 Days of Tips and Tales to Keep your Sanity as a Doggie Foster Parent) our organization has attempted to make sure no foster home was overloaded with dogs for both emotional and safety reasons.
Allen Response: I would like to present an email from Tami approving vetting and thanking me for recently taking in 2 more foster dogs. This was mid August. I still have the same amount of foster dogs now, when I was called a hoarder, as then, when I was thanked. (I removed some of the content as to not reveal the original owner of these dogs). (see email here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
I do apologize that I did not blatantly and directly ask for help in placing these dogs. I apparently made the incorrect assumption that Deana, being DDBs foster coordinator, that this need was a given. The few foster homes that I do have have never asked me to try and get these dogs placed in forever homes as they know I am working to do that. It goes without saying. Tami mentions stressed out emails from me regarding the need to find placement for these dogs. Apparently those emails were not taken as a direct enough plea for assistance either. In addition I too have several emails asking Deana if there were ANY foster homes available that can take some of my dogs. Again, I apologize if that was not a direct enough request.. So I am blatantly and directly asking for help in placing these dogs and covering their bills that DDB promises to cover. (see post here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Thayne: All reps were and are required to get pre-approval and an estimate of costs before vetting a dog. They also were advised and expected to start chip-ins for vet bills, and it was part of Shannons freelance duties to start these chip-ins not only for her dogs, but for other reps dogs as well.
Shannon rarely asked for pre-approval for vetting a dog.
She also regularly boarded dogs at the vet against organizational policy, and often used a very high priced vet to the tune of thousands of dollars in vet bills, sometimes for only ONE dog, even after we expressly insisted she find a vet more in line with our ability to pay.
Most recently we received in the mail a bill from this vet to the tune of $5000, and it again bore the Dogs Deserve Better name, even though we had insisted they remove us from her account as she continued to flout organizational policy. We knew NOTHING about these bills, and they had never been discussed with us by Shannon Allen.
When a rep could get the same services at 1/3 the cost, why would one continue to spend money that could be used for other dogs who are just as needy and deserving of rescue and veterinary care? I would allege that to be misuse of DDB funds by Ms. Allen.
We just paid said vet $1000, even though the two most recent Chip Ins Ms. Allen created to attempt to cover this $5000 vet bill brought in only $622.00.
Allen Response: Vet bills, Pre-approval, and Boarding: Reps were told that if a dog was not entered into the database, then DDB would not pay for vet care for those dogs. All of my dogs were entered into the database. If Tami did not approve the dogs for which she is complaining about the vets bills for then why did she allow me to collect donations for those dog via Chip In with those funds going directly to DDB? And if she did not approve these dogs then why have they not been deleted from the DDB page, represented as DDB dogs? (see screenshot here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
If she did not approve these dogs then why has a payment been made on their bill? This bill is for Ismay and Indy (a parvo puppy that I picked up on 4th of July weekend from a pen where she lay dying, Indy passed away the next morning (see sreenshot here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
You will also see that on July 6th this bill was in DDB's name. (see bill here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
But on September 1st, the bill is in my and my husbands name. The office manager at Town and Country had previously talked to Tami to get permission to put DDB dogs being vetted there in DDB's name. You will also see that DDB made a payment on Ismay's bill but then on September 1st Tami decided that Ismay was no longer a DDB dog and had the vet move the bill to my and my husbands name. Tami's story has changed as to why she had her bill put in my name. Version one, which she told to Town and Country, is that Ismay was my personal dog. Version two, is that I did not have permission to vet Ismay there. If either of these were true then why would Tami have made a partial payment on the bill? Why would she accept donations for Ismay if Ismay was my personal dog? (see bill here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
DDB promising to pay Ismay's bill at Town and Country which is still unpaid and still in my name
(see email here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
You will see below, that as of November 18th Ismay and her DDB Chip In are still listed on DDB's page. (see screenshot here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Other dogs vetted at Town and Country and paid for by DDB were: Able, Katie, Perci, Belle, Indy, Vespa, and Poppy.
Ninety percent of the dogs I have rescued have gone to low cost clinics. There have been several cases of dogs that needed emergency or critical care. Yes these bills are high, not just for the dogs I have rescued but other dogs in the DDB program. Yet Tami only points out my bills. Below are Chip Ins for DDB dogs in the care of other reps. So are these reps too mis-using funds as Tami alleged that I did, or just me? (see donations here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
In 2 years and 50+ dogs saved I have only place 2 dogs in boarding: Able and Katie. These dogs were returned by their foster homes and I had no where for them to go despite begging Foster Coordinator Deana Whitfield to help me find places for these dogs. These two dogs were in boarding less than 3 weeks. I do not like boarding dogs so I picked them up and bought them both back to my house. I was set up to fail by DDB. What would you do in this situation? 2 returned fosters, cannot board, too many dogs at my house, and no one from DDB assisting with alternate placement. How could I have won? You will notice above a $2,000 Chip-In started for the Allegany, MD dogs. These 3 dogs were placed in boarding by Marie Belanger (former rep coordinator) and approved by Tami. Tami is right when she says that dogs do not need to be in boarding. I agree 100%. Tami states that boarding is not a place for dogs to learn to how live their life off of the chain. I agree 100%. Tami does not mention in her blog the other DDB dogs that have been in boarding for over a year. Why doesnt she mention them, because she is not footing the bill? A reasonable person can then conclude that according to Tami that long term boarding is fine as long as she doesnt have to pay for it otherwise it is cruel to the dogs.
One of those reps is Robin Budin who is well known for placing dogs in boarding for months upon months with Tami's blessing as Robin pays the boarding fees out of pocket, yet she has this to say about me, "And by the way, Shannon Allen had 9 fosters when I met her and now she has 16. This is a girl who doesnt know the word NO and if there is one thing I have learned since moving up here to MA 3 years ago, NO is an important word." and "It is stupid for people to keep dog aggressive dogs in their homes, in one room and close the door and open anotherits crazymaking." (source http://lifeinthemansion.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/day-18-fighting-back/) This coming from someone who at most fosters 2 dogs (only if perfectly behaved) at a time and sticks 'difficult' dogs in boarding. This comes from a woman that transferred one of her dogs to a rescue who kept their dogs in filthy outside pens. This is also a woman who called me frequently angrily saying, "Tami and Marie should go f&*% themselves." This comes from a woman who I witnessed do a one day adoption. How do you rescue a dog, do reference checks, do a home visit, and transport the dog all in one day? And this comes from another former DDB rep"the last thing I did was foster Hank for Robin Budin. Who I have to say is very irresponsible with adoptions- having him returned 3 times in 6 months while in my care. Did you know that she knew that previous adopters took Hank to to Kent County SPCA to be euthanized and never told me? I found out thru FB, pulled him from the SPCA and got him into an awesome rescue and Hank was successfully adopted in two months." So, Robin really doesn't have a leg to stand on when judging me.
(see database here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Thayne: How much of these vet bills was from dog fights in her home?
I called the vets office to discuss with their office manager how much is still on Ms. Allens tab there and what each was for, but she is out of town until Monday. I will get to the bottom of that mystery.
Allen Response: Seven foster dogs and dog fights: Yes I do have 7 foster dogs. Is this an ideal situation? No. I do not want 7 foster dogs. I want these dogs to have forever homes. I would be more effective as a foster if I had no more than 3 foster dogs. Why do I have seven foster dogs? Primarily because people who promised to foster bailed on me and the dogs (including DDB reps who 'changed their minds') , and I dont bail on dogs. I have begged DDB to please help me find placement for these dogs. Not only have I received no help but other reps, most recently, Rep Coordinator Melody Whitworth, asked me to take her foster dog.
But if this is such a grave concern for Tami, I ask, when can I transport these dogs to the center Tami? If you are so worried about them being at my home why have you never offered to help them by accepting them at the center? While the situation with having 7 foster dogs is not perfect, these dogs have a two acre fenced yard to play in, they have an in-ground pool to swim in, they have all received and continue to receive professional training, they eat healthy meals, they each have their own beds, they are never locked in kennels, and they are loved for as many hours as the day allows.
Tami asks how many of my vet bills were a result of foster dog fights. One. In the many years of rescuing, with and without DDB, one dog fight that required veterinary care. Ismay and Hope got into a scuffle. Ismay sustained one puncture to her arm-pit. Hope was fine. I took Ismay to my low cost vet who prescribed her 14 days of antibiotics. I paid for this visit myself. Despite the antibiotics the wound became abscessed and ruptured. This happened on a Sunday, Ismay was taken to the only one of two ER clinics (this one being the cheapest).
Tami had previously set up an account with this clinic for DDB dogs. At Tamis demand this account has now been taken out of DDBs name and put into my name leaving me with a $2000 bill to pay. I did recently have two other of my own dogs get into an altercation.
This fight started because my pit bull Bisha has bursitis for which she just began laser treatments for. The other dog accidentally stepped on her shoulder. Both dogs are fine and laying right here beside me.
Again, Tami singles only me out. Here are other cases regarding similar situations of other DDB reps :
CA rep breaks up a foster dog fight sustaining major damages to her hands that required surgery. Tamis communication to the reps regarding this incident showed little compassion for this rep but rather reminded the reps that DDB is not responsible for our medical bills related to our rescue work.
Foster Coordinator Deana Whitfield foster dogs get into a fight, with one tearing a large chuck from the others neck. Vet bills exceeded $1,000. Deana was asked to not start a Chip In as it would make DDB look bad. Deana agreed to absorb the costs on her own.
Oklahoma foster dog, Lilly, escapes her fence, was found in a goat field with damage to her spleen, liver, esophagus, and trachea along with fluid in the abdomen, visible swelling on the left side of her head/face, her eye is sunken into her head, left pupil stayed dilated and not reactive, and neurological damage. Vet bills exceeded $1200.
In a stressed email from Elaine Peachy, DDB Office Manager at the center, she tells of a vicious fight between the Cane Corso and Beagle living there which Elaine described as horrible and scary. Of course we will never know who pre-approves Tami's vet bills since the board of directors is a few of her best friends.
Tamis foster dog Banshee nearly died after ingesting an entire bottle of Tylenol.
A dog placed in foster by Marie Belanger swallows a ping pong ball and becomes very ill.
Accidents happen. They are scary and make you feel as if you have failed your dogs, but they do happen. They have happened on my watch, they have happened on Tamis watch, and they have happened on the watch of many, many rescuers, foster homes, and adoptive homes. I do not begrudge Tami for the accidents that have happened with dogs in her care, but it is hypocritical for her to point out my situations without pointing out her own and others
Thayne: "Ms. Allen also fails to mention that the entire idea of buying the Vick property came from HER. And no, it wasnt a JOKE the way she is making it out to be. Luckily for me, I still have the e-mail filed away. And yet once we bought the place, she became so filled with jealousy that she jumped on the bandwagon to try to take us down? I dont understand. She never once came to see what we are doing, even though we are only four hours away, but she somehow feels she knows and can speak to what goes on there.
Allen Response: "No, the Vick property was NOT my idea. I did however bring the property to the reps attention in a joking manner. I did too get behind the purchase, donated $100, and support it as I thought Tami had a reasonable plan that did not hinge on the hope and a prayer of a very generous donor, nor did I think that the purchase of this property would inhibit our ability to rescue, which it did.
While Tami insists that the Vick house was my idea, I did not sign the contract, I was unaware that when the center fundraising began that we had expended our vetting budget, I did not have access to our fiscal records to know whether this was or was not a financially feasible venture. It is just my opinion, but Tami having known that our vetting funds were depleted, would it not have been more responsible to hold off on the Vick property and raise funds for vetting? Then once that budget was regenerated, continue fundraising for the center. Yes, the Vick house may no longer have been on the market but there are many affordable and wonderful commercial properties in Virginia zoned as agricultural/residential. I offered 2 such properties to Tami (one being my own land) and my offers were rejected.
Another one of Tamis typical responses to people who ask questions is that we are jealous of her. I dont really even know how to respond to that. The Vick house is beautiful, it really is. If I could afford a house that big, I would surely have one. I live in a lovely home, in the country, away from busy roads, 12 acres, I have wonderful neighbors, my dogs have a huge 2 acre yard, we have a large in-ground pool that I would like fill in due to the work involved in keeping it clean if the dogs didnt love it so much, I am very close to my parents who have been married for 30+ years, I have one sister and 4 nephews that I adore, I have an amazing husband who I met when I was 3 years old and have been married to for 16 years, and am grateful for everything I have and I wish I had more to give. So I am not sure what Tami has that I am so jealous of.
DDB thinks that ignoring my requests for help for their dogs is 'getting back at me', but in reality, they are hurting the dogs.
All of my foster dogs were entered into DDB's database per protocol. (see database here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
I also have surrender agreements for all dogs except those transferred to me by other reps, they have those surrender agreements. I will not post the surrender agreements to protect the privacy of the previous owners but the agreement does state: "..do hereby voluntarily and irrevocable give, donate, surrender, and release to Dogs Deserve Better, Inc the following dog. I hereby release and forever discharge DDB from all rights, claims, obligations, liabilities, and any causes of action whatsoever arising out of or relating to the ownership, possession, or disposition of the Dog. This is a legally binding contract for the irrevocable surrender of your animal to DDB. This contract and all transactions contemplated hereby, shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws in the State of -------." THIS SURRENDER IS AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE OWNER AND DDB, NOT THE OWNER AND ME. THESE DOGS LEGALLY BELONG TO DDB.
DDB has accepted donations for ALL of their seven foster dogs that they REFUSE to help. (see donations here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Do you really want your money going to a rescue that bails on their fosters? Despite DDB's promise to cover ALL expenses for DDB foster dogs my requests for help have been ignored both while I was a rep and now that I am no longer a rep. (see donations here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
But these dogs still have to eat. In an effort to afford food for their foster dogs, I started a Chip In and started making jewelry, which has been sabotaged by DDB and their supporters. They will not help with the expenses for these dogs and are making it impossible for me to raise funds for these dogs: (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
These people are only reposting the lies being told to them by DDB. First, as long as I do not solicit donations as being tax-deductible or represent myself as non-profit then I do not need a 501c3. Second, I NEVER received a Cease and Desist letter from DDB. Just a small dose of the harassment you will receive if you try to speak out about wrong-doings within DDB: (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Instead of DDB doing the right thing by their dogs they have embarked on a public 'smack down' if you will; calling me a hoarder, saying that I chain dogs, that I embezzled money from them, that stole services from them, that I am fat, crazy, unstable, that I hacked Tami's email account, that it was my fault that her bank wouldn't cash her check, etc; all of which are untrue. I was, according to DDB, a valued employee and volunteer, that is until I quit, then I became a monster.
An example of DDB recently networking for a foster who, like me, is no longer able to foster yet they have not networked ANY of the dogs that I am fostering for them since I resigned.
(see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Punishing the dogs out of vengeance is their game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately these seven are not the first dogs that DDB has abandoned.
Here is the case of former rep, Rose and Levi: Levi was a DDB foster dog, fostered by former DDB rep Rose Gladish. Due to personal, health, and financial problems, Rose was no longer able to foster Levi for DDB. Rose called DDB founder, Tamira Ci Thayne, only to be hung up on. DDB states that Rose adopted Levi, but still, according to DDB's adoption contract if an adopted family can no longer keep their DDB dog, then that dog MUST be returned to DDB. Luckily another group stepped in and cleaned up yet another one of DDB's messes.
(see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821) _____________
Another DDB dog in foster that DDB refused to assist. Rep and foster was no longer able to keep Kiddo due to personal and financial issues.
Conversation between DDB Foster Tiffany and DDB Founder Tamira Ci Thayne:
Tiffany: "Tami, I am going to get evicted from my house due to extreme financial hardship. As much as it breaks my heart, I have no rehome 3 of my dogs, one of which is DDB dog that I rescued in Nov 09. There is no affordable housing that will accept 4 dogs. Can DDB help me place Kiddo (formally Tiffany the Siberian Husky)? We really want to keep Kiddo but we have no idea where we will be living yet and I need to make sure all of my dogs are safe."
Tami: "Tiffany, if she's a biter as she seems to be, and that's why you want rid of her for the millionth time, then do the right thing and euthanize her. I heard you two are still misrepresenting yourself as DDB reps...I'm telling you now to cease and desist."
Tiffany: "Wish you all the best with your organization. I see that the easy answer is just to euthanize formally chained dogs that are hard adoptions. What would be the purpose of having a rehab center then???"
Tami: "When we have an actual facility, that won't be the case. However, right now we are working out of a HOUSE and we do not have ways to safely contain dogs from other dogs or people. So we won't take any biters here as it's not safe for other dogs or our guests.
And, I know for a fact that you and Sean where misrepresenting as DDB reps at a store near you, so please cut the act.
Tiffany: "So in the meantime, formally chained dogs that need rehab will be euthanized. I have expressed concerns in the past about Kiddo b/c of Trey's dog aggression toward her, and also because I have been experiencing financial hardship since my husband lost his job at Macy's in Feb 2010. The fact that I am now getting evicted from my home is a different situation and beyond my control. As a national non profit organization and Kiddo being DDB dog, my assumption would be at the very least help find a placement for her. Your response was very unprofessional and rude. Instead of making assumptions about kiddo, it would have been more appropriate to ask about her behavior and the progress she has made. Would I really be okay having Kiddo in my home if she was really a biter and be around my baby boy?? This is not the same dog I first met back in Nov 09. Kiddo has made lots of progress and has become very affectionate, even jumping in bed to cuddle up. I can say that Kiddo knows what it's like to be loved and I would do anything to save her. If I didn't lover her, kiddo would not have been with me this long. I just don't know where I am going to live and I need my dogs to be safe. I would take her back in heart beat and I hope that I am able to. But right now, I have a very uncertain future and doing the best that I can.
As far as misrepresenting DDB - the last thing I did was foster Hank for Robin Budin. Who I have to say is very irresponsible with adoptions- having him returned 3 times in 6 months while in my care. Did you know that she knew that previous adopters took Hank to to Kent County SPCA to be euthanized and never told me? I found out thru FB, pulled him from the SPCA and got him into an awesome rescue and Hank was successfully adopted in two months.
I have old DDB material that was left at store from over a year ago. There was no purpose of removing it because it is a resource for people to use to report chained / penned dogs even if there was no rep in Delaware. If you thought that I was misrepresenting DDB, the right thing to do would be to inquire with me, not make assumptions or chastise me. I'm not affiliated with any rescue organization, but I do support the organizations in Delaware. Right now, I have a baby boy and another on the way, The last thing on my mind is pretending to be a DDB rep, because I am loving just being a mom.
Again, I wish you the best of luck with your organization. I now see that DDB believes that the easiest option would be euthanizing formally chained dogs rather than trying to help find placement for DDB dogs.
I will seek help from reputable rescues that are really in it to help the dogs. Kiddo has needed dental work that was $500 since I rescued her and DDB didn't help. No donations were ever given for the chip ins created. I did one fundraiser and raised $46. DDB can't afford to help with a dog that is in dire need of care, but all the funds go toward a mansion rehab center.
Thanks anyway....." (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In addition, I am the second foster in one year to sue DDB:
Visit this site http://www.facebook.com/BringJoelHomeWA to learn of a DDB foster who was publicly promised an approved adoption until she spoke up about DDB's financial wrong-doings (just as I did). Her dog was repossessed from daycare out of revenge. The foster also never received reimbursement for her expenses (just like me).
"The Bring Joel Home community was started in April 2011 after Joel, an abused and starved pitbull that was brought back to life by his foster family and subsequently adopted, was 'repossessed' in an act of retribution by the rescue organization for which Dr. Suzanne Fiala volunteered.
Dr. Suzanne Fiala is a beloved community physician in Seattle Washington devoted to animal rights. She, along with her children, fostered 11 pitbull puppies and adult dogs with love and generosity for Dogs Deserve Better (known as DDB), a national 501C-3 rescue org for six months from October 2010 to April 2011. She was publicly praised for her work by the organization until, after discovering mismanagement of donations and illegal activities within the organization, she filed a public complaint against the organization on April 10. Four days later DDB took Joel back by seizing him from his doggie daycare without notice, and notified the doctor after his seizure that he had been 'rehomed' and that she and her family would never see him again. Dr. Fiala was contacted by DDB's lawyer that same day, and they have refused to speak to her since that time. She and her children have not seen Joel since the day he was seized. DDB has publicly attacked Dr. Fiala since that time questioning her mental health, professionalism, credibility, honesty and ethics and attempted to revoke her medical license.
Dr. Fiala attempted to have Joel returned to her through legal avenues. She lost the initial hearings in court, and gave up the legal case in August of 2011. Because animals are considered simply a case of ownership of 'property' and because every single DDB witness perjured herself under oath, it became apparent that the likelihood of winning a legal battle was unlikely and financially prohibitive. Suzanne and her children recognized that it was time to find meaning in Joel's suffering, and brief loving relationship with their family, by moving forward to prevent the abuse of other animals by rescue organizations, and to expose corruption that exists in the world of animal rescue.
As of mid-August, the new goals of the Bring Joel Page and its 4200+ supporters were established. Our goals from this point forward are:
1) to advertise and support small, truly worthwhile animal rescue organizations doing good work.
2) to expose and eradicate corrupt animal rescue organizations.
3) to never stop believing in karma, in miracles, and that Joel will come home to the family that loves him.
We Believe: In the universal law of karma, in the ultimate victory of truth and goodness, in the power of individual voices, and in the strength of collective voices standing together to be empowered agents of change."
Just a word on the representative restructuring that occurred in July in which we were told to stop rescuing. This was not just a restructure but according to Tami, she didn't have time to deal with rep drama during her wedding and her move to Virginia, a time to weed out the bad apples. A couple of Tami's bad apples come to mind: Liesa Collier (still a rep) and Belen Brisco (thankfully Belen quit - she is top notch, too good for DDB).
Tamis nature is to not answer questions but to malign the person asking as seen in her blog. When the Bring Joel Home page was created I asked Tami what was going on as I had no idea and did not know how to answer the questions being posted on DDBs Facebook page. Tami never explained the truth of the matter to me, she only responded to my direct question by saying that Dr. Fiala is crazy and included the link to Dr. Fialas article on Bi-polar Disorder. When concerns grew based on allegations from a former employee who witnessed Tami harming dogs, I again asked Tami what was going on. She neither denied nor confirmed the allegations but again called this person crazy and obsessed with her. So it is no surprise to me that Tami would deflect the questions asked by myself and others by trying to refocus the public on what a horrible person I am and we are. This can certainly explain why other reps are not speaking out.
The donors need to be aware of the amount of donations being used to fight the legal situations that DDB has gotten themselves into. How much donor money is DDB willing to use to shut the mouths of people telling the truth, money that could be used helping the foster dogs that they have bailed on?
Again, I was not fired. I only became this horrible person after leaving and raising these questions. And seriously Tami, telling people not to be my Facebook friend? How high-school does that sound? Of the current and former reps that contacted me after my resignation I never once encouraged them to leave DDB. I never asked anyone to join 'Team Shannon. I told them to know what they are supporting and ask questions. I would urge this of anyone working with a 501c3. If current reps want to remain friends, that is great! I will not bash Tami or DDB to them nor will I tolerate any bashing of Dr. Fiala and the Bring Joel Home folks. Most DDB reps are top notch, I am always available to help them or any rescuer with dogs in need.
My advice....STAY AWAY FROM DOGS DESERVE BETTER!
Tamira Thayne has no compassion for people or animals. She has no humility or gratitude towards her volunteers, supporters, and donors. In her twisted mind, DDB belongs to her, the mansion belongs to her, the donations belong to her. And if you cross her, BEWARE, she will spare no expense to take you down.
A taste of how you are treated if you volunteer for DDB (email from Tamira Ci Thayne, founder): (see email here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
A lot of reps quit after this. DDB is down from ~125 reps to ~25. Does that tell you something?
Some other disgruntled former reps and rescuers:
Phone message from CURRENT Foster Coordinator Shari Strader http://www.mediafire.com/?c77k0uv4am5yrhw (actual message) Dictated: Shannon this is Shari Strader in North Carolina calling you back..um..I promise I won't call you again, this will be my last message. I just saw your email I guess on Bring Joel Home about resigning and um, I just wanted to um I just really wanted to talk to you about it because um, I quit Dogs Deserve Better after Tami promised me that I would be the dog trainer there and I spent a lot of money. I wanted to be a dog trainer and address specific issues that chained dogs have. Then when I went there she basically um she basically just told me to go screw myself. Um anyway it has been really hard for me to defend Dogs Deserve Better lately you know with that in the back of my mind but you know I continue to think about how it is for the dogs and you know that is the most important thing. I don't care that much about myself just as long as the dogs are safe. Um, anyway, I just wanted to say um, that it has been really good working with you and keep me in your loop because I am going to be doing rescue and I am sure you will be too hopefully and um take care, bye.
Email message from former DDB Rep Holly Lyttle
Hey Shannon, Please call me. I respect you very much and the fact that you resigned today really makes me question why I am still supporting this group. I would love to be filled in on the truth as it stands. Please call me.
From former Regional Coordinator Katheryn Louise:
I just saw your resignation note. I am shocked to say the least. Kudos to you for seeing the light.
From former rep but current supporter Amanda Green: Hey! So Angela told me you resigned with DDB. The rescue world is quite a crazy place sometimes! You certainly don't owe me or anyone else an explanation regarding that. I was just wondering why you deleted me as a friend on FB. Angela read me your post on BJH while I was on my way home from work tonight. I share your concerns over how fundraising for the dogs went capute after the idea was put out there to buy the Vick house and how Tami showed very little support for the reps in the program. I just never knew both sides of the story with Joel and BJH and always felt attacked anytime I went to them seeking answers. You and DDB were the only ones providing solid proof as to what was going on. Also with the recent Two Loons issues of Irene and BJH, I thought there were issues there. But I have always, always respected you for how bad you worked your ass off for DDB. This does not change that and it never will. Tami let me down when the April tornadoes came through Alabama and I was trying to get support from DDB, financially and a foster lined up for the dog that was chained up and everything around the dog was blown away by the tornadoes. I was told that I had to come up with the finances and everything for that dog. Do you remember that dog's picture? So I just want you to know that many aspects went into why I resigned from DDB, not just school and family, while they were the main reasons. I've got mad love for you girl!! So please add me back as a friend on FB or I'm gonna be sad!! :((
Former Rep Wishing To Remain Anonymous Hi Shannon, I'm sure you've heard this a lot, but I give you a lot of credit for standing up to DDB. I was a rep a few years ago, for a short time, when someone tried to destroy me and my reputation and sent staged photos of dogs in my rescue chained to a fence. I was humiliated, removed as a rep without even an email or phone call to check the validity and for a time black-balled by the rescue community. So when I see someone standing up for what's right for the dogs against DDB, I just have to say - Thank you!
Former Rep Wishing To Remain Anonymous good for you shannon!! I despise tami thayne and DDB!
From Former Rep Tiffany Citino Shannon, wish I could do more to help you!!! I was told to euthanize "Kiddo" (the husky I rescued in Nov 09) because she was a "biter." I'm so close to losing my house and hanging on by thread right now, but DDB doesn't care about that either. Kiddo has needed dental work since Nov 09 which is $500 and they contributed nothing.
From Former Rep Amanda Torbett It seems to me that this is a bit abrupt, and that as soon as the organization gets more "attention" and gets into that expensive property, we all get dumped! Please remove me from all future dogs deserve better emails. I thought I was doing a good thing, with a good group. I am up to my eyeballs with trying to help the dogs in my community and now you say oh well! This is all very fishy.
From Former Rep Holly Lyttle What exactly do we tell people who want our help, but our fundraising wont cover it? Im just curious to know if theres a chance the program is really going to be reinstated or if the focus will only be on the dogs in/near the property. Im also curious to know what the big donors will think to hear we can no longer rescue, but we just spent a lot of $$ on the property. Im wondering if the large sum of money would have been better spent on rescuing dogs across the nation versus purchasing a property that will benefit only the dogs that will get a chance to get into the house. These are just questions I have been pondering the last few days.
From Former OH Rep Wishing To Remain Anonymous Hey there. So you resigned?? Wow. That's not something I would have expected. Geesh. I'm so discouraged about DDB now. Where is the Rep program now? I'm not going back, but you were such an asset. Of course, there in lies the point. It is like everyone is coming to the same conclusion. I don't have any problems withe reps. I feel that dogs are falling through the the cracks and that is what kills me. I witnessed Tami trying to use DDB funds to take a group of us out to dinner when dinner was already made by another rep a block away. And now a mansion has taken over the rep program. And I hear if you question Tami about anything she blackballs you. I've tried to stay neutral but now the dogs are really the losers in this drama.
From a VA Rescuer Wishing To Remain Anonymous: Shannon: If you have a moment I would very much like to know what has happened with that group DDB. I have always had my suspicion about that woman. Right after I had my one and only phone conversation with her several years back. I would love to see Tami fry. She is a charlatan, and exploits people and animals.
From a Rescue Watchdog Group Wishing To Remain Anonymous: We have had our suspicions about Tami ever since she capitalized on the Doogie situation. I have never seen anybody that likes to talk about themselves, write about themselves, photograph themselves, and video themselves more than she does.
From a former DDB paid employee wishing to remain anonymous: I tried to message Shannon but wasn't able to. I wanted to let speak to her about her allegations of money misspent and incorrect donation solicitations. These are issues that I made Tami aware of in 2008 and that is why all the emails came from me regarding people not soliciting donations as they had done in the past. Tami told me that she didn't care what the law was and that they should be allowed to solicit as they always had. This was one of the reasons that Tami and I parted ways. She didn't want to hear what the laws were and that she was breaking them. She would not even let me approach the Treasurer about investigating the law. Could you let Shannon know that if she needs someone to back this up for legal purposes I might be willing to do so?
From Peaceful Planet Pets I have removed myself from all things DDB. I am so disheartened by them.
From Former Rep Rose Gladish Thank you Shannon for sharing Levi's story. Its funny how reading all these comments, I was told the same exact things!! That I personally, not DDB, was giving up on on Levi. How I personally, not DDB, was abandoning him because I could not afford to care for him. I was also told to euthanize Levi because he bit someone and the "center" is only her home and they can't risk taking a biter in. I worked and tried to get the Chain off in Mentor Ohio 2 years ago at my then husbands work but was stalled and stalled repeatedly. Needless to say the chain off never happened. Valuable funds could have been raised for the dogs. I also was shocked when I tried to contact all my former reps and found that all had left DDB. These women and men worked hours and hours and to realize they were used and abandoned, shocked. Thank you from Levi, myself, and all other abandoned and euthanized dogs!!
And if you leave DDB, then you can expect this from Tami's friends and supporters. Another small dose of the constant harassment, intimidation, and defamation you will receive if you question the great Tamira Ci Thayne. Also the reason that many former and current reps have asked me to keep their conversations regarding their disgust with DDB anonymous (hopefully they will find the courage to come forward): (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
This was posted after Barbara received a Cease and Desist order from me. Mind you, I have never met, spoken to, or seen these people. They have never been to my home: Barbara Bassett - one of Tami's friends who was charged with Unemployment Fraud, Miriam Hayes - you can find her all over Facebook stirring trouble, Angela Brown - Clueless, just started volunteering for DDB claims she wants to be just like Tami when she grows up and works for Portsmouth, VA Humane. (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
Zo-Jo is Zoey Jones, roommate of DDB Foster Coordinator Shari Strader. Click here to hear a phone message I received from Shari right after my resignation - http://www.mediafire.com/?c77k0uv4am5yrhw (dictation above) Apparently money changed Shari's mind as now she works for DDB.(see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
After another foster questioned DDB's financial practices as she was never reimbursed for her expenses either then went on to sue DDB.
Tami asked her friends, volunteers, and employees to report this foster (who is a physician) to the medical review board out of pure vengeance. (see screenshots here here here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
It is likely that once Thayne reads this note, instead of offering to assist their dogs in my care, she will again begin ranting about my misfortunes, my past, my mistakes. One in particular that has been DDB's 'golden ticket' is a 10 year old embezzlement charge (while working as a accountant at Virginia Tech) that I pled guilty to, made amends to the people I hurt, paid all money, served my probation and was released early. I am still friends with many of my former coworkers as well as the detective and probation officer. I even recruited my probation officer's son to play bag-pipes at our Relay for Life event. I also checked into a behavioral health facility for three months. To read more about my struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder you can visit my blog - http://ocdunhinged.blogspot.com/
How does what I did ten years ago have any bearing on DDB not taking responsibility for the dogs the abandoned in my care? What about Tami's crimes?: theft, contempt of court, trespassing? At least I got help for my issue, Tami instead printed up thongs of her crime:
(see thongs http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
(source: BE SURE TO READ HOW TAMI USED A SUFFERING DOG FOR PUBLICITY AND MONEY http://www.dogpolitics.com/my_weblog/2007/12/guilty-tammy-gr.html)
If thongs aren't your thing, how about some boxers with Tami's face right on the front! (see boxers http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=312784935415821)
I predict that if Tami does respond to this that she will be sure to bring this low point of my up life up to divert people's attention from the real issue, the issue of DDB being an unethical, uncaring organization. Tami's energy is spent saving face instead of saving dogs. Much of the accomplishments she takes credit for are the accomplishments of the reps. The organization would be nothing without the ever dwindling reps. DDB's message is one that I stand by, but Tamira Thayne is NO ONE that I would stand by. I think her hatred of me derives from me never proclaiming that I worked for HER....I work for the dogs, and only the dogs. I don't want DDB to crash and burn. If wishes came true, I would wish that Thayne step down and let someone worthy, compassionate, and ethical take over. But Tami will never give up her cash cow or the spotlight. Someone once told me that they have never come across anybody in rescue that likes to photograph them self, video them self, and talk about them self more than Tamira Ci Thayne. Check out their website (http://dogsdeservebetter.org) and see how many photos, articles, and videos there are of Tami as compared to the hard-working reps.
If you still are not convinced that Tami's DDB is a cash cow in a rescues clothing, let me share a conversation that I had with Tami. I had sent a message to the rep group asking that they please share my jewelry store as I was spending close to $400/mo on food, treats, toys, blankets for 10 DDB foster dogs, and gas for rescue travel, etc. as my jewelry sales would be very helpful to me in covering these expenses. I honestly didn't expect to hear anything back from Tami about this email, as she doesn't give a crap about her reps. But low and behold I did. Now wouldn't you expect a moral and humble person to say something like, "Hey thanks for using your jewelry money to cover these expenses, we are low on funds right now and it really helps the organization by not having to cover these expenses." ? But NO.... her response was, "Why are you spending $400/mo on those dogs? I haven't said anything about your jewelry because I suspected it was going to feed those dogs because I am sure as heck not seeing any of that money." I may be way off on this but it seems to me that Tami not only did not want to help with these expenses but she wanted a cut of my jewelry money, the money used to pay for HER organizations foster dogs. She forgets that I donated $100 of that jewelry money to the center. And my jewelry sales don't even come close to covering my monthly expenses for these foster dogs.
What makes me the maddest is that Thayne sits in a $600,000 house, mortgage paid by donors, utilities paid donors, volunteers to clean her house, do the laundry, bathe the dogs, mow the yard, build donated fences, blankets from donors, treats and toys from donors, dog food from donors, a $40,000 salary paid by donors, 3 live in volunteers, and only 15 dogs. And with all of this she whines and complains in her blogs about how tough her life in a mansion is with 15 dogs.
In contrast, I sit here with 16 dogs, 7 belonging to DDB, a $200,000 house, I buy my own blankets, dog food, treats, fencing. I mow my own yard, clean my own house, do my own laundry, bathe all dogs myself, build my own fencing. I do all of this with no income and no help. With all of the resources DDB has, why do they continue to bail on their dogs?
Tami will sarcastically say, "Oh I am just filthy rich." But let me ask you this, does someone that lives in a mortgage free, utility free, $600,000 house with a $40,000 salary sound like an animal rescuer to you? Sounds more like B-list Hollywood to me.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/23/2011 12:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Dogs-Deserve-Better-Inc/Smithfield-Virginia-23430/Dogs-Deserve-Better-Inc-Tamira-Ci-Thayne-Founder-and-CEO-Collecting-donations-illegall-801242. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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