Tammy Grimes is a hero for all of us who feel it is time to treat all species humanely. She has requested that the court jail her as a way to protest the local goverment’s lack of concern for animals.
Thanks to Donna B. and Gizmo the Great for barking in this news.
On December 14, 2007, I was convicted of theft and receiving stolen property for coming to the aid of this dog, who lay chained, unable to stand, and suffering in an East Freedom, Pennsylvania backyard.
Despite overwhelming evidence of cruelty on the part of the dog’s caretakers no charges were ever brought against them by either the humane officer or the police. A private criminal complaint filed by myself and Dogs Deserve Better languishes unaddressed on the desk of DA Richard Consiglio.
Both video evidence of the dog struggling to get up and after-photos and video of the dog walking were suppressed from the jury. These videos are currently available for viewing on YouTube and our site.
I am to be sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Doyle on February 22, 2008. I am expected to receive a fine and/or community service, as well as probation for this supposed crime. I am morally and ethically unable and unwilling to pay any fine that goes to pay the salaries of those who use power wrongly; those who punish citizens for helping animals and allow animal abusers to go free will not receive monetary support from me.
The DA has taken flack in the opinion columns of local newspapers for wasting Blair County taxpayer money on my trial. His solution? To charge ME for the cost of the trial, reported to be over $1000. He expects me to pay costs for a jury who knew nothing of jury nullification, and knew not that they were free to exercise their own judgment based on their consciences rather than follow the advice of those in power just because they said they had to. They were therefore railroaded into a conviction by the actions of the DA and Judge Doyle.
It is not enough for Mr. Consiglio to drag my name and the name of Dogs Deserve Better through the mud in order to distract our citizens from the fact that cruelty laws were already being broken, and that the humane officer and the police failed to do their jobs. He would have me foot the bill for it. As a taxpayer of Blair County, Pennsylvania, I have already contributed my share to this trial. I will contribute no more.
As founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, I do community service virtually ever day of my life. If fact, I was performing community service the day I picked an aged and dying dog out of the mud and got him the veterinary care he was entitled to by law.
I am a law-abiding citizen of both Pennsylvania and the United States of America. I have served my country as a top-secret cleared linguist in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant at my first available opportunity, and honorably discharged in 1988. I strive very hard to obey all laws that seem fair and do not cause harm to others. I stop short of obeying any law that would force me to watch a dog die in the dirt, just because he is considered mere property of another. I will continue to fight for better laws for man’s best friend, as well as shine a light on the current lack of enforcement of existing cruelty laws.
This dog was not just another piece of trash that a Pennsylvania couple could allow to die unassisted, chained, and flailing about in the mud and his own feces in their yard. Doogie had the right to live or the right to a death free from cruelty, and the right to veterinary help by Pennsylvania law.
It is incumbent upon Blair County voters to remove from office anyone who by their actions or inactions condones animal cruelty and abuse and punishes those who seek to help these animals. This includes Judge Elizabeth Doyle and DA Richard Consiglio.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that “noncooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” And Thoreau stated Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison…where the state places those who are not with her, but against her-the only house in a slave state in which a free man or woman can abide with honor.”
The only way for me to maintain a clear conscience is to choose prison as punishment for my crime. I hereby request that Judge Doyle jail me for however many days I should be imprisoned for the taking of a piece of property who’s value, while stated in the misdemeanor charges at 0-$50, after vet fees was more like negative $960.65. However, as one of our supporters said, Doogie’s freedom from abuse and restoration to health was truly more valuable than any precious gem; it was indeed priceless.
PLEASE Join Dogs Deserve Better today! We have a chance to change the future. With your help, we can let the world know animal abuse MUST be taken seriously. Don’t sit back and let it happen. If we DON’T stand up, this practice WILL NOT END. Please get involved today.
Founder, Dogs Deserve Better
Thanks to Sierra S. for barking in this article on Tammy from Dogtime.com.
Save a dog, go to jail
A Pennsylvania woman rescued a sick dog from the end of a chain and, she believes, from death. Soon she may be locked up for her good deed.
Three months ago Tammy Grimes, the founder of Dogs Deserve Better, was found guilty of theft and receiving stolen property. Her crime? Rescuing a weak, sick dog from a stranger’s backyard.
On February 22, Grimes, age 43, who lives near the East Freedom, Pennsylvania home where the dog was chained, will be sentenced. What’s more, the District Attorney is lobbying the judge to order Grimes to pay for the trial out of her own pocket, after local criticism that the case was a waste of taxpayer money.
DogTime is in the process of trying to reach the District Attorney for comment.
The dog’s owners, meanwhile, haven’t been charged with animal cruelty, although Grimes argues they broke Pennsylvania law by not taking their ailing dog to the vet.
The situation doesn’t exactly surprise Grimes, who founded her nonprofit to publicize the cruelty of chaining dogs. “It’s the general attitude around here,” she says, noting that tying dogs outside for long hours at a time is common, but animal cruelty charges are rare.
Grimes was called to the backyard in East Freedom in September of 2006, by a tearful neighbor. The neighbor explained that the dog, who’d spent his life chained to a doghouse in the backyard, had been unable to stand for three days. For each of those three days, she’d called the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society for help, and gotten no response.
When Grimes arrived she found a skinny Shepherd mix lying on the muddy and feces-caked ground, making feeble attempts to get up. The house was empty. So she took a few photos and a video, undid the dog’s collar, and took him straight to the vet.
He was diagnosed with painful back spurs that made it hard for him to move, and showed signs of malnourishment and dehydration, as well as bald spots and sores. Grimes quickly found a safe foster home for the dog, whom she renamed Doogie.
Paying the price
That night, police officers showed up at Grimes’ house and ordered her to return the dog to his owners. When she refused to tell them where the dog was–offering instead to hand over her photos and video for a cruelty case against the dog’s owners–they arrested her.
Grimes was released on bail, returned home that night, and began working on her defense the next day. She drew strength from knowing that Doogie was beginning the only happy part of his life.