Sonny now to go to New York Dog Trainer

DDB was asked to compromise on Sonny

DDB was asked to compromise on Sonny. Robin feeds Sonny through the kennel in AZ.

Dogs Deserve Better’s Robin Budin was promised by Guardian of Rescue’s Rob Misseri as soon as he knew the dogs would be coming to them that DDB would be getting Sonny returned to us—just like every other group who sent dogs to Steve Markwell and OAS and requested return of the dogs.

We asked for no special favors.

GOR’s Robert Misseri then spoke to Tamira Thayne’s husband Joe on the phone New Year’s Eve, reassuring him before Tamira even left for the trip to AZ that DDB would be getting Sonny back, and understood from that conversation that she was headed to AZ the next day.

Tamira Thayne spoke to Rob Misseri on the trip west and it was once again confirmed that Sonny would be coming to DDB. This conversation occurred on January 1, 2014, during which Tamira was told that this had been the major sticking point in negotiations with Markwell, but that ‘he had fought for us.’

When Tamira arrived in AZ on Saturday January 4th, Rob called her and asked for a compromise, saying Markwell was calling him nonstop and ‘threatening to go to the media’ (Please…DO!) or ‘take back the rest of the dogs for breach of contract.’

That’s when Thayne was told that Misseri signed a deal with Markwell that DDB would not get Sonny in exchange for turning over all the dogs to GOR.

Wouldn’t you think this small—yet highly relevant—detail would have been best discussed with DDB BEFORE Tamira Thayne rented a van and drove 2400 miles across country to pick up the dog her organization fought so hard for?

In the spirit of cooperation, Tamira Thayne agreed that ownership of Sonny could instead be turned over to a dog trainer DDB knows in New York, who wishes to have his name kept out of it until Sonny is safely on site and he has a chance to evaluate him. This is a trainer we trust and who feels he can make progress with Sonny. We also knew we would be kept ‘in the loop’ with him, which we certainly feel we need and deserve.

This was a compromise we could all live with.

For us it has always been about Sonny’s safety and well-being, and as long as we know he is in a safe place and he will be worked with and trained and we can get updates on him, we will accept him going to another organization.

DDB agreed to pay for another transport for Sonny with Pat Webb, who was driving other dogs back east, and we also intended to pay for his health certificate, shots, and vet care before leaving today on a transport.

Ostensibly all the paperwork is done with this New York trainer and he is approved, making Sonny legally the trainer’s dog at this point.

When it came time to put a collar and leash on Sonny this morning, Robin Budin volunteered to be the one to go in his kennel to do it. Unfortunately when she did so, Sonny became very dominant, and although he didn’t bite her, he jumped up on her repeatedly and growled. It was determined that he couldn’t safely be transported to the vet without calming medication, and he would have to be transported east another time when a vet could come to the site and medicate and then give his shots and do an exam and health certificate right there.

DDB instead took over ownership from Guardians of Rescue of what we believe are two of the Devore Shepherds—they appear to be the former Waldo and Sheba. These were feral shepherd mix pups who Markwell picked up from California in June 2012 and sat in crates in a trailer at OAS for months. If anyone knows for sure that these are these two Devore pups, please let us know.

Princess and Marty, formerly Sheba and Waldo, tentatively take their first steps out of the crate and into a real room

Princess and Marty, we believe them to be the formerly Sheba and Waldo, tentatively take their first steps out of the crate and into a real room

We had a tough time with Princess and Marty at the vet, due to their fear of humans. Since they’ve sat in crates for the past year and a half in a warehouse in Forks, Washington, they have obviously not improved in any of the ways feral dogs often do, learning to live with and even thrive in the company of humans.

Marty did better than expected, but Princess was quite a nightmare, and we are super grateful to both Dr. Sites and vet tech Jeri at the Mohave Animal Hospital for seeing us on short notice and taking on the tough challenge of vetting Princess. Both dogs were given sedatives in order to give them their shots, clip their nails, clean their ears, and express their glands before the trip. Oh, and get health certificates of course!

Since we got a late start and were anxious to get the dogs out of the crate and into a hotel room, we made it only a couple hundred miles east today. We hope to make it to VA by Saturday, and we are beyond excited for Marty and Princess to start their wonderful new lives at the Good Newz Rehab Center.

There’s nothing like the joy of watching a feral dog start to play, interact with humans, and become part of the pack. Each milestone thrills and delights those who fall in love with these little guys, and they become a big part of your heart.

If you missed photos of the lives our dogs lead at the center, visit the previous blog where Thayne posted many photos of our dogs and their way of life. Each dog gets two walks a day in the fenced 8-acre field, where they may run and play with the other dogs for ten minutes per group. They have four fenced yards and two doggie doors, and they rotate to spend time in the front office for more socialization with our staff and guests.

We challenge each and every person who has participated in the smear campaign against DDB and Tamira Thayne to visit our Good Newz Rehab Center and see for yourself how our dogs live. We feel ashamed for you that you undertake such actions against a group who works so hard on behalf of chained dogs and treats our dogs better than 90-95% of the facilities in America. Most of you we don’t even know and you have never been to our facility, so how would you have the first clue about the destructive lies you spread?

Don’t want to take our word for it?

How about a mobile vet who’s been to our facility at least a dozen or more times, and has seen every facet of our facility and our dogs: “I have been caring for the dogs at Dogs Deserve Better for a year and a half now.  As a veterinarian, I can tell you that you could not ask for a better rescue organization to care for dogs.  Their facility is immaculate, their dogs are all extremely well cared for and pampered.  They are completely cared for medically.  I highly recommend you visit the facility and see for yourself.  I will be happy to provide you with any further information you need on behalf of this wonderful organization.”—Dr. Leslie Dragon, Veterinarian for Dogs Deserve Better

Since Guardians of Rescue put up a blog post today calling Sonny “Our Boy Sonny” (even though he has been signed over to the dog trainer in NY) we assume this means they will now take all financial and logistical responsibility for vetting and transport of Sonny to NY instead of Dogs Deserve Better? We believe they are making it pretty clear we are not welcome or needed anymore in his treatment and care.

While we express disappointment in the fact that Markwell was again allowed to call the shots and the way the controversy was handled by Rob Misseri, we still support Guardians of Rescue in rehoming all the dogs, and appreciate that they stepped forward to take ownership when needed. We know it’s a difficult job, and we believe it’s the right thing for DDB to do to continue to stand behind their efforts on behalf of these dogs.

GOR still has many dogs in need of homes or rescues, please visit the OAS-Life Inside the Sanctuary page for more info on how to get involved.

Enjoy some more photos of Marty and Princess today, as they learn what it’s like to be REAL DOGS for the first time in their lives.

Despite all the pain that has come to DDB from this experience, we would not take any of it back. We believe we played a very strong role in freeing the dogs of OAS, and if some people are so cruel as to spend all their time trying to destroy us, that has to be on them, not us. We know what we did, and we know who we are and what we stand for.

Thank you to our supporters for standing behind us and appreciating our efforts on behalf of these dogs. We love and appreciate you right back.

Marty takes a good sniff to see what this whole new world is about

Marty takes a good sniff to see what this whole new world is about

The pair, we believe they are siblings, stand together to see what we're up to.

The pair, we believe they are siblings, stand together to see what we’re up to.

He's peeing on the crate, and she's sticking her head in the trash. Yay, we're DOGS!

He’s peeing on the crate (which of course he thinks is where he’s SUPPOSED to go), and she’s sticking her head in the trash. Yay, they’re DOGS!

Marty finally wears himself out and lays down on the floor to sleep. Goodnight, all!

Marty finally wears himself out and lays down on the floor to sleep. Can you imagine getting to sleep inside a clean environment where you can feel safe, stretch out, and RELAX after all this time? Marty says Thank You and Goodnight, all.