Dogs Deserve Better Enroute to AZ to Pick Up Sonny!

Tamira Thayne loads up a van at the Good Newz Rehab Center in Smithfield, VA for the drive west to pick up Sonny

Tamira Thayne loads up a van at the Good Newz Rehab Center in Smithfield, VA for the drive west to pick up Sonny

Dogs Deserve Better is very excited to announce we are on our way to pick up Sonny from the Guardians of Rescue staging site in Arizona. We have been in contact with them throughout this ordeal, and appreciate all they are currently doing on behalf of the 124 dogs released from OAS and Sonny.

Sonny looks to be half the size he was when he went to OAS

Sonny looks to be half the size he was when he went to OAS

This was a photo of Sonny on the chain

This was a photo of Sonny on the chain

We’ve received this photo of Sonny that is so different as to appear to be a completely different dog, but we are assured by Shari Forst, who got Cream back from the same situation last year, that this is pretty normal:

Many people until this day tell me the dog I saw in the crate on the OAS page was not Cream, you have to understand EVERYTHING atrophies from no exercise and confinement 24/7. The tendons in their heads shrink. I wasn’t certain myself the photo I saw was Cream because he had a massive glorious pit bull head before he was sent there, but I knew his eye was misshapen from an operation he had and when I zoomed in I saw his eyes. And along with the despair, lifelessness and hopeless look I saw the spot that left his eye droopy and then I was sure it was him.”

Plus, the girl who played a part in rescuing Sonny from the chain and asked us to get involved to get Sonny out of there, had this to say: “I have meet Sonny and this is his face just really thin body!”

Here’s a comparison photo as well that someone created showing the spots the dog appears to be the same:

Comparison of before and after photos of Sonny, not sure who created it, but thank you.

Comparison of before and after photos of Sonny, not sure who created it, but thank you.

Tamira Thayne left the Good Newz Rehab Center in Smithfield, Virginia, on New Years Day, which is a fitting start to a brand new year and brand new life for Sonny. Sonny will join our dogs at the Good Newz Rehab Center for housetraining and socialization with both dogs and people. Our center is currently Virginia State Vet approved for up to 13 dogs at a time—until we build an addition which will double the amount of dogs we can help—where dogs are housetrained, socialized, vetted, and adopted out into new, inside homes and families.

Anyone is welcome to visit the dogs at our center at 1915 Moonlight Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430. Our open hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, and any other time by appointment. We even have a guest room with its own bath for overnight volunteers. Give us a call at 757-357-9292 to set up your visit or with any other questions.

Letter from VA State Vet with approval for DDB Center at the site of Vick's former dogfighting compound.

Letter from VA State Vet with approval for DDB Center at the site of Vick’s former dogfighting compound.

In 2013 we rehabbed and adopted out 40 dogs from our center, as well as dogs from foster homes in other states. Sonny stands an excellent chance of getting his very own home in 2014, and we have a behavioral therapist who comes in to work with our dogs twice a week, as well as staff who cares for and trains our dogs daily.

Tamira will meet Robin Budin in Arizona for the trip back across country to the Good Newz Rehab Center. See some great shots of our center, below:

The sign and front of the Good Newz Rehab Center

The sign and front of the Good Newz Rehab Center

The front of the Good Newz Rehab Center

The front of the Good Newz Rehab Center

Our new fencing at the GNRC

Our new fencing at the GNRC

Photo of our fenced dog yards at the GNRC

Photo of our fenced dog yards at the GNRC

Michelle plays ball with Ginger

Michelle plays ball with Ginger

Center dog Jada, still waiting for her forever home

Center dog Jada, still waiting for her forever home

Staff member Jay plays ball with Marley in the field

Staff member Jay plays ball with Marley in the field

Marley loves to play ball! She is now in a home of her own

Marley loves to play ball! She is now in a home of her own

Beautiful and touching photo of man and dog walking in the field in companionable silence

Beautiful and touching photo of man and dog walking in the field in companionable silence

Dogs running in the 8 acre fenced field at the Good Newz Rehab Center

Dogs running in the 8 acre fenced field at the Good Newz Rehab Center

Former center dog Kylie inside the home

Former center dog Kylie inside the home

Marley get serious about catching that ball

Marley get serious about catching that ball

Staff member Michelle gets Copper and Mabel into a perfect 'down.'

Staff member Michelle gets Copper and Mabel into a perfect ‘down.’

Dogs at the center just celebrated Christmas, take a look at this link to see center and other DDB foster dogs with their gifts. When you imagine going from a life with NOTHING, left in a crate in a dark, dank, putrid smelling warehouse to a life inside a home where you will get two walks a day in an 8-acre fenced field, and time outside in large yards plus two squares a day and all the water you can drink, we are hopeful that Sonny will have to pinch himself he’s so much happier!

http://dogsdeservebetter.org/holidaydogs13.html

Every dog in our Holiday gift giving program received not only packages of gifts from donors and supporters wishing them a Merry Christmas, but a $100 Petco or Petsmart gift card for foster parents and center staff to purchase whatever they needed.

Tre poses at the Good Newz Rehab Center. It's like a picture postcard!

Tre poses at the Good Newz Rehab Center. It’s like a picture postcard!

George checks out the tree at the center. George got a great gift for the holidays, his own home!

George checks out the tree at the center. George got a great gift for the holidays, his own home!

Jules went from life chained to a picnic table with no doghouse, to wearing her holiday finest. She also got a home for the holidays.

Jules went from life chained to a picnic table with no doghouse, to wearing her holiday finest. She also got a home for the holidays.

Jules says "Wow, that is a mighty fine bone! Where do I start."

Jules says “Wow, that is a mighty fine bone! Where do I start.”

Jules go so done tuckered out after all the gift opening she feel asleep on her new bed

Jules got so done tuckered out after all the gift opening she feel asleep on her new bed

It will come as no surprise to most of you that Markwell didn’t want Dogs Deserve Better to get Sonny back. We should probably take that as a compliment, because if he blames us in part for his downfall then we obviously did something right by standing in front of that warehouse for two weeks in the snow and rain with our signs—Tamira even getting arrested in the practice of free speech—for the dogs trapped inside.

Tamira and Robin stand in front of the pink metal warehouse containing as many as 120 dogs with their signs requesting a tour and to see Sonny

Tamira and Robin stand in front of the pink metal warehouse containing as many as 120 dogs with their signs requesting a tour and to see Sonny

Tami is handcuffed and taken to jail for the 'crime' of continuing to exercise her rights to free speech after being slapped with a bogus restraining order by Markwell.

Tami is handcuffed and taken to jail for the ‘crime’ of continuing to exercise her rights to free speech after being slapped with a bogus restraining order by Markwell. While the dogs in the warehouse still cried for help.

Some Markwell supporters are going on the Guardians of Rescue page and asking them not to release Sonny to us. Let’s not allow these small voices who seek only to harm Dogs Deserve Better to keep Sonny from being released to the group who fought hard for his freedom. To our knowledge all other dogs who have rescues wanting them safely returned to them have gotten or will get their dogs back. We cannot allow this smear campaign to harm Sonny and the rescue who fought for him with its vindictiveness.

Please visit the Guardians of Rescue facebook page, and give them a big THANK YOU, not only for all they’ve done for all 124 of these dogs, but for releasing Sonny to Dogs Deserve Better so he can move on to the life he deserves to have.

https://www.facebook.com/guardiansofrescue

Seattle Dog Spot created this fundraiser to help the Guardians of Rescue with much-needed funds, and it is being matched up to $1000 by seattledogspot.com. It has hit its total, but we’re pretty sure you can still donate, because a lot more is needed out there; it takes a lot of funds for an undertaking of this magnitude.

http://www.gofundme.com/5v70r4

Thank you all for taking this journey with us and helping to FREE the dogs of OAS. Due to the efforts of so many, today they are FREE and getting the lives they so richly deserve.

After a long day of driving in the rain and snow across Tennessee, Tamira witnesses a beautiful sunset as she makes her way into Arkansas.

After a long day of driving in the rain and snow across Tennessee, Tamira witnesses a beautiful sunset as she makes her way into Arkansas.

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