Bullying in the Animal Rescue Movement: Spotting a Bully and Removing Her from Your Life

Pressing this great article from Rescuer Tamira Ci Thayne, about bullying in the rescue community.

Who Chains You


Online bullying is a fact of life, and happens in every social movement and in every dusty corner of the web; however, it is particularly insidious in the animal rescue movement because it destroys the very protective fiber the animals depend on for their salvation.

Most legitimate rescuers enjoy a “honeymoon period” when first jumping into rescue…they’re full of excitement, high on the beauty of saving a life, and starting to build a reputation for themselves.

As long as they’re responsible and on the up and up, things go well for them—for a time. But sooner or later they gain enough visibility to attract a following, and within that following there lurks an element of surprise that most won’t see coming.

Beware the Sycophant

Let’s say a rescuer is deeply involved in a highly-visible dog rescue effort that brings a happy ending for some abused dogs. She (I will be…

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CALL TO ACTION: Change the World

If you have a phone and a couple of free minutes, I’m going to give you the opportunity to be a hero and change the world.

I know you’ve heard the saying “Saving one dog won’t change the world but surely, the world will change for that one dog”

I wish people would quit saying that, because it’s not true. Saving one dog changes EVERYTHING.

Take a look at the saying from the simplest, most common standpoint. Imagine for a moment that you advocate for a dog on death row in a shelter and then that dog gets rescued because of your actions.  Three things are immediately changed: you, the dog, and the people who have him now.

someone not somethingYou are changed because saving the dog made you feel good. You feel empowered, and most importantly – you believe you can make a difference. You advocate for another dog, and another. Each dog that is saved because of your actions gives you more confidence. You realize that it’s possible to affect change wherever you apply yourself. Who knows what the long-term effects of that will be? Maybe that empowerment will motivate you to take your advocacy to the streets; to foster a shelter dog, to volunteer as a rescue transporter, or to volunteer at a shelter. Maybe you will expand your efforts beyond animal advocacy and feed the hungry, or clothe the homeless, or fight for human rights. Whatever you do affects others, who undergo their own internal and external changes, who are able to make different choices and attain different goals because you helped them.

And what about that dog you saved? There is nothing more joyous and grateful than a dog who has been saved. Dogs don’t keep those sorts of feelings to themselves, they want to share them. That dog becomes the most loving, faithful companion you can imagine. He will protect his new family in times of danger and comfort them in times of sadness. He will teach the children in the family to love and respect animals. Maybe knowing him will inspire a child to grow up to be a vet, or a zoologist. The dog will bring hours of laughter and joy to his people. He will keep them healthier in body, mind and spirit.

But there are even more possibilities. The dog you advocated for may become a service dog, helping a handicapped person live a less stressful life.  Or maybe he’ll become a therapy dog, and bring comfort and joy to the sick and lonely in nursing homes and hospitals, or help children learn to read in library programs.  Maybe he’ll become a search and rescue dog and save lives. There’s just no way of knowing until he is saved. And you saved him, remember?

So, that brings me to today. A friend brought a cruelty case to my attention and asked me to spread the word. The case involves Alyssa Duvall, a young woman in Calhoun Georgia, who got mad at her dog and beat the cowering animal with a frying pan. I saw the video, which I won’t embed here, but here’s a link if you think you can stomach it.

duvall dog1She was arrested for animal abuse and has posted bond, but she hasn’t been formerly charged yet.

Everybody gets mad at their pet at one point or another, but beating the pet should never be an option. And beating the pet with an object, should unequivocally be condemned.

A frying pan?  Really? Need anger management counseling much?

According to the incident report, Duvall was punishing the dog after “it urinated on the floor” and then bit Duvall’s mom. Duvall’s own mother called the police to turn her in.

calhoun arrestedThe thing is, the frying pan incident is not the whole story. Duvall’s best friend, Marissa, is the one who videotaped it and released the recording. I think that speaks volumes. How awful would your best friend’s actions have to be for you to do that?  There is a history of Duvall committing animal abuse. Marissa stated that she’d seen Duvall abuse the dog before, but this was the first time with a frying pan. Duvall is the same woman who once reportedly gave her dogs so much liquor that they couldn’t walk, and one of the dogs died.  Clearly, she should not have a pet, and the poor dog who is repeatedly the target for her anger needs to be permanently removed from her home. The sheriff removed the dog from the premises, and he/she is currently in the custody of the Calhoun Sheriff Department, but that dog’s fate still hangs in the balance, and two more dogs remain in Duvall’s custody.

So here’s where you get to be a hero.

Please make a phone call. Call Rosemary Greene, the District Attorney of Gordon County and tell her that you think Duvall should be charged with animal abuse, and that her dogs should be permanently removed. We need to let lawmakers know that this sort of behavior is not OK, and should not be tolerated. Your voice really does make a difference!


Rosemary Greene,
District Attorney
Gordon County Courthouse Annex, Second Floor
101 South Piedmont Street
Calhoun, GA 30701

******Phone: 706-629-5651********
Fax: 706-625-4537

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am Friday, 5:00 pm


Want to give us a helping hand Up on the Woof? We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons thanks(we are still trusting Ainsworth foods),  Cesar coupons, or milkbone coupons that  you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.

And if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides for sale on amazon or ebay, for God’s sake, send them to us!

I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view. Topping the list is a Thundershirt for Maria.

Things we need Up on the Woof

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Free & Discounted Dog Books

Just a quick post to let you all know about a special that is running on two of my books this week, as well as a free giveaway for a third book!

misfits_smlowFrom Today, March 2 through Sunday, March 5, you can download a free copy of Parade of Misfits.

What happens when a group of the most irascible, insane, and ridiculously un-adoptable pets known to man end up being permanent residents in an animal rescuer’s home? Challenges abound and chaos reigns! This mini-book of selections from the memoir “Circling the Waggins: How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness” is an introduction to the misfit dogs that make the author’s life worth living. Includes the chapters “Lobster Tales” and “Joyful Noise” sharing what it’s like to spend holidays with a pack of misfit dogs.

Also included in this mini ebook are never before published essays about the author’s dogs. Approx. 50 pages.

I am really in need of reviews for this title on amazon, so if you download a copy and post a review for me (be honest!!), please let me know in the comments here that you have done so, and I will enter you in a drawing to win a free paperback copy of Circling the Waggins. ($14.99 value).   Even if you don’t have a kindle, you can read the ebook on your phone, tablet, or computer using the Kindle app.

30sec_finalist_smFrom today through the 7th, amazon is running a countdown deal on How to Change the World in 30 Seconds; a Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online. The deal starts today at only 99 cents for two days, then $1.99 for two days.

Do you love animals? Are you dismayed when you see stories of animal abuse and cruelty in the news? Did you ever wish you could do something about it, but you just didn’t know where to start? Just 30 seconds a day on the Internet can not only make a difference, but can also change the world. This inspiring, informative and highly useful resource is for novices as well as experienced animal rescuers. Combining case histories with practical tips, this guide demonstrates how to use the Internet to advocate for dogs; from simple clicks to more advanced methods. This guide will show you how just one person can put change in motion.

Award-Winning Finalist in the Animals/Pets category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

Readers have been loving this title, but not many have posted reviews. Reviews are important to authors! As a book gains reviews, it makes it more visible on amazon! So please take a moment after you read it to leave  a few words.

CTW cover flat june_low

Don’t forget to tell me in comments that you’ve posted a review so I can enter you in the drawing!  Drawing will be held on April 26, 2017.

I would appreciate it if you would share this blog post with your friends and contacts.


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Angry Valentines on Behalf of Chained Dogs

(when Dogs Deserve Better was doing their annual valentine campaign for chained and penned dogs, I used to send them valentines I’d designed for them to use. It’s only right that I should share this blog post by DDB founder and former CEO Tamira Ci Thayne published today.)

I’ve been told that I’d be a good activist, if only I weren’t SO FUCKING ANGRY. Duly noted. So, in the spirit of embracing my faults, I’ve made up some #angryvalentines on b…

Source: Angry Valentines on Behalf of Chained Dogs

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How Can We Continue to Trust Commercial Dog Food?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that pet owners should have to be concerned that the dog food they buy is going to kill their dogs. I thought the industry had learned their lesson in 2007 when every dog food manufactured in China was recalled because it was tainted with Melamine.

But still, there’s the ongoing situation with chicken jerky treats produced in China, and now there’s something new that is absolutely mind blowing, and deeply disturbing.

On February 3, Evangers announced a voluntary recall for their Hunks of Beef canned dog food, because it tested positive for pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is the drug used to euthanize pets.


(photo: Evangers)

I know what you’re thinking. What? How did Pentobarbital get into cans of dog food? Good question. I’m hoping that Evangers will be able to provide an answer, and I’m hoping they get to the bottom of it pretty fast. I can only think of two ways this chemical could logically have ended up in cans of dog food: either someone tainted the food purposely, or the food was rendered from euthanized animals. Whatever the case may be, there’s no excuse for it.

Here are the lot numbers affected and the states where they were distributed:

Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The food was manufactured the week of June 6 – June 13, 2016 with lot numbers that start with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020. The second half of the barcode reads 20109, which can be found on the back of the product label.

Evangers dog food has consistently been rated among the best dog foods on the market.

When D. and I went on the defensive in 2007 after the melamine recall and searched for a food we could trust, Evangers was one of the foods we looked at. It had a reputation for being high quality and trustworthy. In 2003, Evanger’s was the first pet food company to create a food that was packed by hand instead of machine by putting whole pieces of fresh meat and vegetables into the cans. This process started a new trend in pet food, Evangers called it “People Food for Pets™.” They claim that it is made of human grade ingredients.

But things were already going wrong for the company and the public just didn’t know about it. Between 2006 and 2008, things had started getting weird at Evangers. Health inspectors found rotting carcasses and maggot-infested grease traps on the property of their Wheeling plant. The village fined them in excess of 300,000 dollars, and Evangers took the decision to court, in a case that lasted until 2012. (the court upheld the decision).

In December 2012, the FDA discovered that Evangers Lamb and Rice food and their Grain Free Duck food for dogs and cats didn’t have lamb or duck in it. Not even a little — it was just plain old beef. Then the company posted test results defending themselves that turned out to be the test results from a entirely different brand of duck food for dogs.

Then, in September of 2012, Evangers was cited and fined again for “foul and offensive odors” causing a public nuisance to neighboring properties to their Wheeling plant. tThe stench was apparently, unbearable.

In January of this year, the president of Evangers was arrested and charged with bribing a witness in a court case against his company regarding the theft of gas and electric to his food plant. Obviously, there are some financial problems going on over at Evangers, and I’m not buying their “our supplier disappointed us” excuse for this month’s recall. In simple language, all their statement means is that they don’t know with 100% certainty what their meat supplier is giving them…and that’s no way to run a business where the lives of our most vulnerable family members are at stake.

Evangers has also been accused of patent infringement, and had a recall last year because there were metal tags in their chicken food for dogs.
(Picture Credit: WILX 10 NBC News)


The Mael family. Their pug, Talula died from eating Evangers, and their other three dogs are sick.   

Should we, as pet owners, really have to follow the lives of pet food manufacturers and executives so closely?   Shouldn’t we, as consumers, expect that the product we are buying is what it is advertised to be? Whom can we trust?

I’ll tell you exactly whom you can trust. YOU. That’s it. As the Trump administration begins to roll back regulations for businesses and manufacturers, things are only likely to get worse. If we can’t count on safe food from commercial suppliers now, how will we be able to count on it after plant regulations are relaxed?
If you can cook for your pets, do it! If you already cook for your pets, please share a recipe in the comments here so we can all join you.

Additional reading about the recall:
Poisoned Pets
Dog Food Advisor

We are also always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons thanks(we are still trusting Ainsworth foods),  Cesar coupons, or milkbone coupons that  you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.

And if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides for sale on amazon or ebay, for God’s sake, send them to us!

I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view. Topping the list is a Thundershirt for Maria.

Things we need Up on the Woof






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Books: Dogface & The Genius of Dogs

Dogface by Barbara O’Brien

Rating: 4 paws

Photographer Barbara O’Brien’s book ‘Dogface’ will keep any dog lover smiling. This collection of more than 100 color photographs celebrate dogs of many breeds, including dogfacetoys such as Yorkies and Chihuahuas, to giants like Danes and Berners. Even mutts smile out from the pages. Each portrait includes the dog’s name and breed and reveals the dog’s personality. From goofy to regal, these portraits are a treat.

This smorgasbord of canine faces is sure to bring a smile to every reader’s face, and will provide a satisfying dog fix for every dogaholic. ‘Dogface’ is available in hardback or kindle from amazon. The hardcover is in a 6” format perfect for tucking in a purse or briefcase or for a child’s hands.

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Studio; 1 edition (October 23, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0525426655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525426653

You can find out more about O’Brien and her upcoming books on her website. www.barbaraobrienphotobook.com


The Genius of Dogs; How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

Rating: 4 paws & a tail wag!

The utterly captivating ‘The Genius of Dogs; How Dogs are Smarter than you Think’ by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, is one of those fascinating books that readers will want to take their time to pore over. I really cannot recommend it enough.

genius-of-dogsHare, director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center at Duke University, tells the story of how he became involved in the study of canine cognition, and pioneered research that has advanced the science of discovering how dogs think.

According to Hare, dogs have a particular genius when it comes to relating to humans that is unparalleled among domestic animals. In some cases, canine cognition even betters the brain power of apes.

Hare and Woods explore how dogs domesticated themselves to partner with humans, what dogs can and cannot figure out, how we communicate with dogs and they with us, which dog breeds are smartest, and more.

The authors have thoroughly researched this subject and presented it in a way that anyone can understand. They explain experiments in detail, and how the results sent them on further investigations. There are so many stunning revelations, readers will want to savor the information and ruminate on how it relates to the dogs they know.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (October 29, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0142180467
ISBN-13: 978-0142180464

Brian Hare is an associate professor at Duke University and the founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Vanessa Woods is a research scientist at the Center and an award-winning journalist. She is the author of ‘Bonobo Handshake.’

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Book Reviews: GG’s Journey; Dogs & Their People

GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved

by Cheryl Phillips

ggs-journeyRating: 4 paws

This emotional true story is told through the eyes of a young stray dog who has been struggling to survive the streets of Detroit, and ends up in the shelter system. GG is a pit bull mix, starving, sick and ignored. When she is finally rescued, she enters the shelter system only to come up against prejudices and preconceptions about her breed that threaten to derail her chance for a forever home. Fortunately, GG has an advocate who knows that she deserves every chance at happiness.

GG’s lonely journey from desperation to safety is an inspirational tale that shines the light on how every dog just wants to be loved.

15% of the net proceeds of GG’s products will be used to support animal welfare organizations in an effort to end animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment and other forms of animal cruelty.

Funding Focus

  • Animal rescue
  • Behavior assistance
  • Family assistance program
  • Humane education program for adults and youth
  • Micro-chip identification
  • No-Kill movement
  • Pet therapy
  • Spay and neuter
  • TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) to manage feral cat colonies
  • Vaccinations

Visit www.ggsjourney.com or info@ggsjourney.com for more information.

  • Print Length:95 pages
  • Publication Date:February 10, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B01BN2T42S

Author, Cheryl Lyn Phillips, is a volunteer for the Humane Society of Huron Valley and participates in animal rescue, spay/neuter to prevent animal homelessness and over population and protection activities and speaks on behalf of our furry friends for humane treatment of animals and Humane Education for people, animals and the planet.

Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love

from BarkPost

Rating: 5 paws

dogs-and-their-peopleI dare you to read this book without smiling through the entire thing. This is a collection of some of the most feel-good dog stories ever told. Each short excerpt (they range from 1-3 paragraphs) highlights a dog or dog family, as told by dog pawrents. It is impossible to read this book without smiling, laughing, and loving it. Dog people will identify with many of the stories and thank their lucky stars that their own dogs are not so weird after all. The photos that accompany the stories are captivating, and funny hand-drawn cartoons poke fun throughout the text.

The book spotlights more than 200 dogs, some of them Internet celebs, others just your average Fido, all of them special and unique and loved.

A great book for anybody who has ever loved a dog, but a must-have for dog people (ie: rescuers, groomers, trainers, doggie boutique owners, dog advocates, etc.)

  • Hardcover:288 pages
  • Publisher:G.P. Putnam’s Sons (October 18, 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0399574263
  • ISBN-13:978-0399574269

Bark & Co. is a company dedicated to the happiness of dogs everywhere. BarkPost, the company’s publishing division, helps dogs share their stories with the world through their enormously popular blog.

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