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Dogs Deserve Better Success Stories

Got a Success Story with a picture? We prefer before and after pictures. Send it over to us at dogs@dogsdeservebetter.org, we welcome all submissions! Please keep it to one-two paragraphs.

Don't miss the story of Bo and Chance, the first DDB rescues.

Check out stories from our Mailbag



He was picked up by Brazoria Animal Control. They said he was chained in a backyard of an abandoned house. I picked him up from BAC on 8/26/10. He had the worse case of demodex I had ever seen...I thought he was burned. I immediately took him to Houston Humane Society for care. They confirmed it was demodex and started treatment on him on the spot. At that time he was only 8 months and suffering from extreme pain and itching on his face and legs.

We have been going back and forth to HHS every two weeks for treatments and it is now Nov 2, 2010. He now is UTD and neutered. They also fixed his umbilical hernia. All his fur has grown back on his face and most of it on his legs. I have decided to keep him and have him be a part of my family....I adore him and he is the sweetest loving boy ever.

He now has a fur-ever home with my family....THE END.

Planting the Love,
Cindi Lozano
Dogs Deserve Better Rep./Houston, Tx Area



Ledgend 1

Ledgend 2

Ledgend 3

My big foster boy Knuckles, now known as Ledgend, made it from Harrisburg, PA to Pembroke, VA today (10/31/2010).

Ledgend had been chained for over a year when his young owner dumped him on his parents because he ate a very expensive pair of shoes! The parents were not able to afford to take care of him and the father has terminal cancer.

Ron Hollister of the Phoenix Rescue Group in PA has been going to their house everyday to feed and water him while we arranged his transport.

He finally made to it Virginia this evening and is doing great...people friendly, dog friendly!! When I say friendly...I mean REALLY friendly. Having him neutered is at the top of my list Monday morning : )

After 2 failed transport attempts, I coordinated a volunteer transport and the drivers were fantastic.

I have attached some photos of Ledgend before, during his transport, and of him and I at his final stop.


VA Rep



Sabrina 1

Sabrina 2

Sabrina 3

Sabrina 4

Today was a very happy day for Sabrina, the momma dog from the trailer park who was tethered and had had 8 puppies. She went to her forever home today, and by seeing the pictures of her smiling in her new family's arms it is clear she is where she belongs.

Ky Rep


Nala 1

She was chained to a tree, 29lbs (should have been 60), AND suffering from heart worm, all while managing to nurse her litter of pups. That was, of course, until DDB came to her rescue in Sept. 2009 and named her Fiona! 3 months later I adopted her and named her Nala.

Nala 2

Our first 5 months together were spent resting due to her heart worm and eventual treatment. The treatment was a success, and now Nala can run and play, free of chains and of heart worm!

Nala 3

She is truly the most gentle spirit I have ever known. Though she doesn't fully trust all humans, Nala is friend to every animal big and small. She adores/annoys the rabbit, has made best friends with many cats (I like to call her Nala, Cat whisperer) and has even befriended a couple of horses. She is also an angel around children, which has inspired me to train her to become a therapy dog.Thanks so much to DDB for rescuing my soul mate!


Dog Caretakers Who Charge Animal Advocate With Trespassing Later Release Dogs To Her Organization

Hailey chained

June 6, 2010, Altoona, PA — In January 2010, Dogs Deserve Better Founder Tamira Thayne was charged with trespassing for providing food, water, and straw to two underweight chained dogs in Lilly, PA. Thayne lost the case in magisterial court, but the charges were not prosecuted on appeal.

In a twist that is being described as miraculous, dog caretakers Jason and Krystal Cann came to her and Dogs Deserve Better in June with the willingness to release the dogs to her organization. On June 6, 2010, everyone got their miracle.

Says Thayne: "I have renewed faith in miracles today! When Jason called me and expressed a desire to relinquish ownership of the dogs to DDB, I admit I was suspicious there was some kind of trick. But both he and wife Krystal desired a better life for the dogs, and they wanted their dogs to be a Dogs Deserve Better success story.

"I commend them for their courage in doing the right thing. That's a first for me, and I'm happy to say that tonight these two dogs have gotten their miracle. They will spend tonight sleeping in the home and will now learn how to live inside as part of the family."

Video of the rescue can be seen on YouTube.

Dogs Deserve Better is a national 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Pennsylvania, and asks all Pennsylvania residents to stand against this form of abuse by joining the coalition to Unchain Pennsylvania Dogs. The coalition seeks to pass a bill setting time limits on chaining, and creating better conditions for Pennsylvania's dogs. Sign up today at Unchainpadogs.com.

Please visit the website at DogsDeserveBetter.org to learn more about dog chaining, the reasons it is cruel to dogs and dangerous to humans, and to find a local area representative or other areas that have laws in place.

Contact: Tamira Ci Thayne • CEO, Dogs Deserve Better • 814.941.7447

See more photos and watch video of the dogs at the site: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/thaynetrespassing.html

Support our efforts on behalf of chained dogs by donating for our important work today! Visit us online at http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org, by phone at 814.941.7447 or by mail at P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684.


Bandit 1

I had become aware that an acquaintance had a dog who they kept chained in their yard out in the country. He rarely had access to clean water and had no dog house. They didn't even have a collar for the dog, they just looped the chain around his neck and hooked it to itself. He was never allowed off the chain, and was even left chained to the tree to fend for himself during Hurricane Charley, a category 4 hurricane that remains to this day one of the costliest storms to ever hit the state of Florida. He was filthy, matted, and covered in ticks, but despite this he was an extremely sweet dog. I asked them if they would be willing to give up the dog for adoption, since they frequently voiced that they did not like him and would rather get rid of him. They said yes, if I could find someone to take him then they would be more than happy to be rid of him.

I searched high and low for a rescue that would accept him (keeping him with us was not an option at the time). Every rescue in Alachua County told me that they would not take animals directly from people, the dog had to be sent to the pound. Sending him to the pound where he could potentially face death was not an option, so I kept making calls, begging for someone to take in this essentially abandoned dog.

Finally I found Dogs Deserve Better, and after hearing the dog's story they told me they would be more than happy to take him into their rescue. Ecstatic, we drove out and picked up the dog that weekend, and brought him into the hands of Dogs Deserve Better. I have no idea where Bandit ended up from there, but I know that he was put into good hands and without your organization having stepped in, he would probably still be chained to that tree. Thank you so much!

Bandit 2

I have attached two pictures. The first is of the dog chained to the tree, and the second is of the dog after we got him into the car and on his way to Dogs Deserve Better. Keep up the great work,

Katherine- Gainesville, FL



Silva was adopted by us after her mother, with her and her sister, was left on a chain outside of Terrace, BC. After a probably terrifying flight to Vancouver, she quietly rode home with us, and quickly settled into her new bed. Instantly she was part of the family, and has claimed our home as hers. She has had a few firsts the last few weeks, first time on the beach at a weekend getaway, and her ongoing obedience and socializing training.

Silva is a very intelligent dog, learning quickly, sometimes a little distracted and stubborn, but quickly getting the hang of her day to day routine, walks, playtime, sleep, and eat. We just need to work on her liking car rides better. Next week she has her little surgery to complete her role in a pawsitive society. My wife and I are extremely happy that we were able to change her life for the better, as she has changed ours.

Dave and Norine Warfield

Silva 1

Silva 2



Reese 01

She was chained up on a giant tow chain inside of a fenced in area. Surrounded by mud and feces, everything in her pen was filthy and wet.

Reese 13

She had 6 puppies I'm told. She had ushered them into the little doghouse for shelter and then her chained twisted so badly that she couldnt reach them, 3 of them died.

Reese three pups

Especially now that I've met her and seen what an amazing, caring mother she is, it shatters my heart to think of what she went through while her puppies were dying. I try to block it out now. Anissa found her and contacted DDB about her situation. After some miscommunications we finally got everything straitened out and I picked her up May 30th.

Reese playing

Reese is heartworm positive and in rough shape. Her coat is rough and dull, her teeth need some attention and she needs to get some weight on her. But her puppies... She has taken phenominal care of them through this whole ordeal. They have soft, shiney coats and they are fat and happy. My hubby named them Lyric, Sosa & Hooch! Reese gets along great with all of my dogs (even the wild aussies!) and even the cat. She loves people and her tail is always stinging my legs and clearing my coffee table. She always has an eye on her pups and she hasn't had an accident in the house yet. I cant say enough good things about this girl. She's fantastic, and she definately deserved better than the hand she'd been dealt.

Emily Northrop
Dogs Deserve Better ~ MN

Mary Jane

Mary Jane

Mary Jane 2

About 3 weeks ago, I received an email featuring some local dogs from one of the pounds that needed rescuing. Immediately a picture of a dog grabbed my heart. This dog's story was that she had been chained up at a property in local Lovington, NM, abandoned there by her people when they moved away, and had to be caught on a catch pole and removed from the property. Then she was taken to the pound, which is not a very nice place. Looking at this dog's shelter photo showed that she had just given up on life and the fact that she would ever have a home again.

But little did she know that so many people from across the world would be inspired to have a heart for this pit bull/American Bulldog and do whatever they could so that she had another chance at a loved life this time around! Read More

Chewie the Chow

chewie the chow 3

chewie the chow 2

Here is Chewie the Chow on his adoption day with his new family. We rescued Chewie after his owners, who kept him in a cage all the time, dropped him off to be killed at a shelter. I found out about his story, and with the help of a wonderful trainer who helped rehabilitate Chewie and get past his aggression from being kept in a cage, he was adopted by a woman who works at the pet boarding/doggie day care/and spa that Chewie got his training from. So he will get to go to work with her every day and enjoy doggie day care, regular grooming, and a home filled with 3 other dogs and 5 cats. As you can see from the pictures, Chewie is one happy boy now.

Tammi Kinman Ruppert, KY Rep

by Annick P.


Kanoa 2


This is the story of Kanoa, formerly known as Baby. Baby was found as a stray and lived all her life on a chain. She wasn't provided with any shelter, never went on walks, never got any attention, and was completely ignored by her family. I heard of Baby when a friend of mine told me about this dog that "will be killed in a matter of a week" if no home could be found. That's when I stepped in and rescued her.

I changed Baby's name to Kanoa, meaning "the free one" in Hawaiian. The day I picked her up she regained her freedom, and you could see how delighted she was about that: she was excited to go on car rides, happy (but a little weary at first) about being invited into a house, ecstatic about being petted! Everything was new to her, and it was a pleasure seeing her discovering the world. And Kanoa smiled, she smiled constantly!

Within a week Kanoa got her shots, got spayed, and was flown to Florida where she found a wonderful foster home with a very unique person and his four rescue dogs. They all love her (which comes to no surprise since she's perfect!), but she's still waiting for that special forever home.

Kanoa showed me how satisfying it is to help chained and penned dogs. She wasn't my first rescue, but she was the first dog I helped get off the chain. I am determined to help more chained/penned dogs, and each time I will face an angry owner and the situation might seem hopeless I will think of Kanoa and her joy about being free.

Annick P.

by Tammi Kinman Ruppert, Kentucky

Angel 1

The day before Easter, Angel, the sweet senior lab girl that was kept in a pen her whole life, was rescued. According to Tammi Ruppert, Angel's nails were the worst she'd ever seen. The AC Officer who seized her said she was in a rabbit hutch type pen. Angel could barely walk.

She went straight to the groomer and they outfitted her with bunny ears in time for Easter. She won over the hearts of the ladies who cleaned her up. They said she was so grateful and happy for the personal attention she obviously has never recieved before today. Read More

by Amanda Green, DDB Rep, Hobbs, NM

Hero beforeHero was originally only known as the shepherd mix in Cage #6 in Clovis, NM. He had never been given a name and had lived 14 years on a chain in a yard with no shelter.

Amanda Green, DDB Rep Hobbs, NM, sent out an urgent email looking for help for this "old man". Marty and Dan came to the rescue and decided to give Hero a name and a home.Here is what they had to say after having Hero just a few days. Read More

Hero after 1

by Janet Winn and Rebecca Helwig

BarryFrom Janet Winn who rescued him: According to the former owner he is 5 years old.She brought him down to her Mothers almost 3 years ago and staked him in a mudhole on a 4 ft,chain and thats where he stayed 24/7 year after year. They threw him some dog food about every other day.I have fought this whole time to get him.Everyone in this county was constantly calling the sheriff's office and animal control on him. Read More

Buster's Story
by DDB Founder, Tamira Ci Thayne

BusterDogs Deserve Better received an urgent e-mail from Zella Anderson of Central PA Animal Alliancerequesting help for Neal Brooks from the Harrisburg area. Seems that Neal, a man who uses a wheelchair due to loss of one leg, had gone to Tennessee with his dog to a relative's home, spent a couple of months there, but was unable to get a ride home, having to take the bus back.

He was assured Buster would be fine until he was able to find a way to bring him home. Read More

Murray's Story
by DDB Founder, Tamira Ci Thayne

MurrayThe e-mail read as such: "I am in need of someone to take a Beagle......he is about 3 yrs old. We can no longer take care of him. The box we had for him rotted out and we cannot afford to build/purchase a new one. We have a canopy shelter for him for now while he was outside but we had a humane officer here today who issued a warning for no shelter. Read More

Grace's Story
by Patricia Aldering-Region 3 Coordinator-Michigan DDB

GraceAfter a local news station aired a news story on the Kalamazoo , MI chapter of Dogs Deserve Better, Regional Coord Patricia Aldering started receiving phone calls and e-mails about one particular dog named Leigha, now called Grace. Grace is a yellow lab retriever mix with a deformed paw. Patricia went to the house and no one was home, but she left literature offering help. She never heard back from Grace's owners. At this same time, the national headquarters of Dogs Deserve Better was in the process of their Valentine Campaign so she was hoping a valentine would send the message to bring Grace inside. Read More

Banshee's Journey
(excerpt from Scream Like Banshee
by DDB founder Tamira Ci Thayne)

BansheeBanshee is another black Lab, this time a purebred (if those sorts of things mean anything to you) who came off a chain 1/2 hour from my home, in Fallentimber, Pennsylvania.

I'd been watching him for over a year, since my mom moved his way, as he lay lethargically on the blacktop near his wooden doghouse.

He never bothered to raise his head when I passed by. Read More

Happy Tail for Diamond

dia2This is Diamond. Still a puppy when we rescued her on Christmas Eve. I will never forget that empty pleading look on her face. She lived chained as far away from the house as possible. However, the owner still walked by her every single day to get to their vehicle. She was bred at 10 months old, and forced to have a litter of puppies when she already was emaciated. She had only two puppies; one was a water baby, and the other we are unsure if it survived.

Diamond lived in a dog house. Sort of. You know how the police say that if they have shelter, no matter how poor that shelter was, they still have shelter. Well she had shelter. It was 30 degrees below zero windshield temperature the week before she was confiscated. Her dog house faced north. It was not only not insulated, it had no door flap, no straw or blanket of any kind, and gaps so big in it you could put your fingers through the holes.

dia1 I had called the police to check on this dog twice. The second time I just got lucky and got a caring police officer. That was it. That is what mattered. She was in the same condition both times. It just took someone who cared.

Before the police arrived I tried and tried to get Diamond to come to the door of her dog house. But her limbs were almost frozen and she could barely use her legs. I had fed her off and on for the past week and brought some roast beef that I flung right in front of her. But she could not get to it. Her chain was frozen in the ice and she could not come out even a couple of feet. I had checked for water for three days but never found a water dish for her.

dia3There has been a plea agreement on behalf of Diamonds former 'owner'. Although I want her punished as much as possible, I wanted more that she should not go back to that life on a chain.

She has been with a wonderful foster family who has loved her and treated her like one of their own. For the first time in her short life, she sleeps on the children's bed or curled up with her foster brother. She has toys, and chew bones, love, stability, and hope. We all love her so much. She will be going up for adoption after she is spayed. From there we hope she will begin a new chapter in her life, with a forever family that will love her as much as we already do!


donte1While installing a fence for Tiger, the previously chained dog next door, we noticed Donte. He was chained up to a deck, had a very small patch of dirt to live on, and a dirty, mirky, water filled plastic swimming pool beside him. He watched us continuously while we worked for 2 days installing Tiger's fence. When I would get near Donte, he would bark and growl hysterically. I knew right away that, even though he was a big dog, he was only scared.

donte2When I took a closer look at him I noticed evidence of a previously embedded chain or collar, as well as an injury on his back leg that was caused by his chain getting wrapped up around his ankle. After talking with Donte's caregivers several times they agreed to surrender him to DDB. That's when the roller coaster ride began.

scooby2Donte went from living chained 24/7 with a tight chain around his neck, to being boarded where he was bitten by a poisonous spider on his foot, to major abdominal surgery to remove the bandage he ate off his foot, to spending weeks in the hospital, to falling in love with a kennel mate at the hospital, to being adopted with his new girlfriend, Molly, into a great home with a mom, dad, and 4 brothers and sisters. It was quite a ride but seeing him now makes every minute of it worthwhile.

scooby2Donte (now appropriately renamed Scooby) has always been, and will always be, the coolest dog I have ever met.



Liberty's Long Road to Freedom

lib1DDB Headquarters received a call in July, on the answering machine at work from a woman asking for help with a chained dog in Texas. Heather at DDB Headquarters in Pennsylvania listened to the call, but could hardly understand the woman's message.  Heather contacted the woman, Judy. and she were calling about her sister's dog, Liberty. Judy's sister had passed away last April. One of the problems was that when she passed away, she left behind her Border Collie/Chow mix Liberty. Judy lives in Phoenix, AZ and her sister lived in Houston, TX. Read more

J-Lo and Her Two Brothers


Here is J-Lo with her 2 brothers. She's very happy in her new home. They love her very much. She lets them brush her and give her chew toys at the same time. She thinks she went to heaven. What a change from the junk yard she was chained in. And she rides in the car very well. J-Lo is proof that there is a home out there for everyone if you just don't give up. She had been at the pound since April. Then I had her in training and boarding for months. Then a family came along who was looking for a 7 year old American Pit Bull Terrier with cropped ears and worn-down teeth. A match made in heaven. It took 6 months and J-Lo enjoyed the ride.

Six Canines Rescued From Cruelty and Neglect - Six Happy Endings


August first, 2008 was quite a lucky day for six neglected dogs which were kept in filth and extremely deplorable conditions for who knows how long. They had no food or water bowls although water was provided by a good Samaritan. Flies and rats were their only company.

Three of the dogs were boarded up in a barn stall for literally months. Being totally isolated, they could not get away from their own excrement and the foul stench that eminated from their small enclosure. We had to trudge along 5 feet of disgusting muck, which was at least a foot deep. Finally we freed them from the living hell which they had endured for so long. Read more...

Isaiah - Proof that Love Changes Lives - South Carolina (August 2008)

Isaiah was a cruelty case, who lived in a tiny FILTHY pen, suffered severe neglect, was emaciated, severe upper respiratory infection, blind in one eye from being beaten, fur so twisted it had his skin pinched, and was just in such horrible condition. He had to be in the shelter for months due to the court case, but at least he gained a little weight there. So sad that these animals have to endure so much just to have what we consider basic! Isaiah, now Job, has a wonderful new life, and his dad Ray says he is just happy and spoiled rotten! Thank you Rhonda Sims South Carolina for making such a dramatic difference in this boy's life!

Kodi, Chained Dog Turned Couch Potato - South Carolina (July 2008)

meathead beforemeathead after

His name was Meathead, but not any longer. He is now named Kodi and he is enjoying not having a chain around his neck after 7+ years!! South Carolina Representative Alicia Schwartz said her friend Bonnie never gave up on him and would visit him daily while chained. With help from Alicia, Bonnie took Kodi home with her to foster and it looks like he is not going anywhere...

Here is the latest from Bonnie, Kodi's new mom:

Please find pictures of KODI (formerly known as Meathead) attached. He loves being around people, being indoors, dog beds, couches, car rides, etc. He had been chained for over seven years and received virtually no attention at all. His family told me he would bark for hours (well hello he wants to be part of your family). He has never gone to the bathroom in the house or chewed anything besides the stuffed animals that I give to all of my dogs.

Great work Alicia and best of luck to Bonnie and Cody!

Colby Rescued After 5 Years on a Chain, Massachussets (July 2008)

Colby being groomed for the first time Colby today at his foster home

New Rhode Island DDB Rep, Sue Tassoni, received an email regarding a chained dog in Massachussets that desperately needed help. This was Sue's first case for DDB and we are all impressed at how quickly she responded to Colby's plea for help. Sue immediately contacted Colby's "caretaker," conviced him to release the dog to Dogs Deserve Better and picked Colby up to start his new life. Poor Colby had spent his five plus years of life chained in the backyard. Despite his hardships, he has maintained a loving and outgoing personality. He is is doing very well in his foster home and has FOUR prospective adopters interested in providing Colby with the life that he deserves.

Unfortunately, Colby has tested positive for heartworm, which is one of the risks associated with keeping a dogs outside 24/7. He is currently undergoing treatment and is doing well!

Below is Sue Tassoni's accounting of her first DDB rescue experience.

Here is my FIRST SUCCESS STORY IN RHODE ISLAND -and it comes on the 4th of JULY weekend - of which DDB represents, I am so excited! I received an email from a relative of people that have had a BENJI-type dog tied in their FENCED-IN yard (yes, fenced-in) for 6 years. After calling the owners for one week relentlessly and listening to every excuse in the book, including "HE'S ONLY A DOG!" Fortunately, he decided to relinquish the dog to me. SO 7/2/08, MY JOURNEY with COLBY begins. I drive for 1 hr & 15 minutes from RI, meet the owner, have him sign a relinquish form, pick up COLBY, who is absolutely the friendliest dog I have ever met. He rides very happily in the backseat of my ENVOY and smells horrible. I journey to my local vet who gives him a thorough examination, ALL SHOTS are brought up to date, heart-wormed tested, treated for worms, internal (and he never flinched!) It was like he KNEW I WAS THERE for his well-being.Whew, the vet is over. They give us free samples of frontline to be applied in the next 2-3 days because, YES, WE GO FOR A COMPLETE MAKEOVER at THE DOG SALON! We journey to "SHAMPOOSHIES" Where Valerie looks at him to determine his personality, gives him a bath in her tub (I stay with him because now he won't take me out of his sight) and get this, while she is massaging him he stretches his neck upwards like you and I stretch out our arms. He loved it! She dries him with the blow-dryers for over an hour to get all his hair out. He looks so handsome.! He actually looks like a dog!She massages his cracked paws with baby oil. Colby sits there with his paw in-hand (never moves - his eyes are closing from relaxation). She cleans his ears, he never moves, trims his nails, trims his behind, etc. AND HERE's THE CLOSER, she does not even know I am from DDB and SHE PUT A BANDANA on him WITH THE AMERICAN FLAG ALL OVER IT, signifying the 4th of July! I started to cry! I tell her our mission and she tells me this $125 treatment is "ON THE HOUSE."Now we are off to his foster home, generously provided by Almost Home Rescue Inc in RI. On 7/2/08 COLBY Spent his first night indoors, on a bed with other dogs, ate hamburg, rice and high-protein dogfood and called me last night to bark a thank you over the phone. I am told he heard my voice and ran to the window! I GUESS THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH!


If you would like to help Colby by donating towards the cost of his heartworm treatment, please click the link below:

Blue is Safe After a Year of Loneliness, Texas (July 2008)

Adopt Blue! Adopt Blue

Blue has one of those thank-goodness-for-nosey-neighbors stories. Blue was brought home by her family when she was just a puppy, less than two months old. However, because she was unable to "hold it" for eight hours during the day, she was quickly banished to the back yard, where she was tied to a BBQ grill with a leash. Because there was a large gap between the fence and ground, Blue could have easily gotten out. But the neighbor's offer to fix it at their own expense, so that Blue could at least roam free, was flatly refused. However, a nasty note left on their door convinced the family to do more, so she was "upgraded" to a chain tied to a stake in the ground - and there she remained without shelter or companionship, through sun, rain, or snow. The neighbors soon bought her a dog house so she would at least have shelter. Last Labor day her family was gone for the weekend, so Blue was brought inside and presumably crated while they were away. When they returned, Blue was again banished to the back yard, only this time covered in her own feces, which she had laid in for more than a day. Her compassionate neighbors bought her treats and toys, and implored her family to please let them take her and find her a new home - but they refused, again and again. Now that the family has split up, they have finally agreed to allow Blue to be rehomed. At last! Blue is currently living with five other dogs in the neighbor's home; the only people who have ever really cared about her. She is crate trained, and is not inclined to jump on the furniture unless prompted. She doesn't jump on people either. She doesn't express much interest in toys or chew toys, but she loves playing tug-of-war with a rope. She's such a strong little girl that she can pull her 86 lb foster brother around in the grass, and he's twice her size. She can be a little stubborn, but this is typical of dogs her breed (at least in our opinion). She'’s learning to walk on a leash, and she wants to greet everyone she meets along with way. She is also really coming out of her shell, and has shown herself to be an energetic and playful dog. Blue has been vaccinated and spayed, and she is HW negative.

She is an American Pit Bull Terrier, probably pure-bred, but we don't know for sure. She is just over 1 year old, and has a gorgeous champagne-colored coat with a white chest and points, and enormous bat-like ears. Blue is ready for her forever home, but only the best will do. If you think you can provide Blue with the care, attention, and love she deserves, then please contact us soon.    

Deisel & Hogan Find Forever Homes (July 2008)  

Deisel on a chain  Hogan before rescue

Deisel and Hogan are two German Shepherd mix pups that were rescued by DDB Indiana Rep, Marie Belanger. These two boys were living chained outside with no food, water or shelter. Well their lives have recently taken a major turn for the better! Both pups have been adopted into loving forever homes where they live inside as part of the family. Below are the latest updates and pictures from their new families.

Deisel enjoying life the way it should be

There has been much to see and do since Diesels' arrival. On his first day here, it was a blast. Diesel and MacKenzie started to have fun immediately. Running and jumping, playing to beat the bandit, not to mention a lot of sleep. He has found a new love for Milkbones, tennis balls, and beef bones. He especially loves my mothers toes when she is not expecting it. He has met the neighborhood squirrels, and I must say that the squirrels are not happy about him being here. But they will just have to cope with it. Diesel has taken a dip in the family pond, even though he has two of his own wading pools. He is starting to bark at people he has not met (which is a good thing), and his little voice sound so serious, but it kind of squeaky still. He is walking really great on a leash, stops at every corner and sits waiting to see what direction we are going next. He is loving the fact that he has his 'own' couch and bed. And is willing to put up a little tug of war to move over for anyone else to sit or lay there. Car rides are great, lots of water in the back, treats in the front, windows down and life is good. He's not afraid to get into the car anymore and just jumps right in and is ready to go and see the sites.

I have sent you some pictures, I hope that you enjoy them. Thank you Marie so much for letting us give Diesel a home. It has lifted the weight that we were under, and Mackenzie is no longer as depressed as she was. She still misses Raynor, but Diesel keeps her on her toes and on the go.

Hogan with "twin" brother, Calvin
Here are Hogan and his new "brother" Calvin taking a rest after a long evening of playing last night. I was doing yard work for a few hours, and they hung out with me and played all evening. They both slept through the night without having to get up for our 3 am potty break - they were exhausted. Hogan is so sweet and laid back - I love him!

Thank you again,


Murphy - Rescued after 11 Years on a Chain, ID (June 2008)

Murphy BeforeMurphy After

Murphy spent 11 years chained in a boarded fenced backyard. It wasn't until a board fell off the fence and he stuck his head through that a neighborhood boy saw him and ran home to tell his parents. This is a dog that should have weighed 80lbs and was starved down to 49lbs! Andi Elliot and a local deputy went out on the call and "persuaded" the owner to sign Murphy over. Later, Andi filed charges against the owner and he was found guilty June 1st, 2008.

Murphy now regularly goes to he dog groomer's where he loves to have a bath and a blow dry. Murphy will be meeting his public on Saturday, July 5th in Idaho Falls and will even be signing pictures! He loves attention and so should enjoy this event. Visit Murphy and Andi during Chain-Off 2008 Idaho Falls on July 5th from 9am to 1pm!

Indiana Jones Escapes Death & Finds Love, IL (May 2008)

When one of Mitch and Debbie Vaughn's sons called to say, "Mom! You've got to see this dog on petfinder.com!" The Vaughn's didn't know how, but knew the long search for their perfect pet had almost come to an end. Now here are two people more than four hours away wishing for the exact dog that was found dragging his broken chain down a sidewalk, taken to the pound and was about to be euthanized in Illinois and the Vaughn's live in Missouri. What happened? DDB happened.

Dogs Deserve Better intervened pulled this chained dog from the pound minutes before he would expire and DDB Reps worked together to put him into the hands of the people who would love him forever. Dawn Ashby, IL left with the Basset/Beagle mix and drove to St. Peter's, Missouri to meet with Columbia, MO Rep Melody Whitworth and her husband Mike. Mike and Melody drove Indy to his new forever family. Amidst rising gas prices and increasing vet bills, chance encounters like this are becoming more difficult. Won't you please consider helping dogs without a hope find hope in the arms of people who will love them?Your donation can save a life like Indiana Jones.

Popeye Boards the Freedom Train, SC (May 2008)

 Popeye before rescue Popeye on his way to rescue

Hey Tammy and Dawn, thank you so much for finding this boy. Here is proof that your tour was a success! I'm sure Popeye would tell you that if he could speak words, however I think his smile says alot :) You have one awesome rep in Alicia. That girl didn't stop until she got Popeye off his chain. I was honored to get to assist, and will send you all updates as soon as Alison sends some to me. Thanks again for all you do! And please share these with the other reps. YAY, ONE MORE OFF THE CHAIN!!!!!!!!!!!

Rhonda Sims Coordinator, Freedom Train Animal Rescue Transports

Maggie's Story, OH


In May 2007, my neighbors brought home the cutest puppy with the intention of training her as a “guard” dog. Over the summer I watched this beautiful girl pace on her chain and lay watching the family home, yearning for someone to love her. She was so excited when someone came to feed her or when my children and I would stop by to visit on our walks.

As Maggie grew so did her chains, because she could break them. Needless to say, Maggie got food and water, but not much else. She never did get any training or even one trip to the vet.

As Fall approached and the threat of cold weather loomed, I wondered if the family was going to leave Maggie chained out front all the time. That was not their intention. What they did was to build a pen for her around the back of the house and put her there. Read more...

How Riley Joined Our Family, OH

RileyWell it all started with an email my Mom received at work.... The email was asking for help for a dog named Riley from a group called Dogs Deserve Better. Riley had been chained up his whole life behind a trailer. His owners didn't give him a name and just put a bag of dog food out every week or so. He had no attention at all and on top of it all he was in pain. He had severe cataracts which caused him to go blind around 6 months old and he was now 4.5 years old. To top it off, his owners didn't even realize he was blind.

Then he was rescued, but the rescue group needed money for his surgeries and care and maybe to find a Forever Home. I read the email and something about Riley touched me.


Baby Spends Her First Winter on the Couch, OH


Baby had been chained outside her whole life and had to have the chain surgically removed from her neck when Marla Dakes rescued her. After a few get acquainted visits, we adopted Baby in Nov 2007. Even though Marla said Baby was nervous around men and boys, she instantly took to my husband and became "his" dog. We renamed her Sadie. She quickly adapted to our family even during the commotion of the holidays. She is very smart and well behaved and has learned several tricks. Sadie is very loving and likes to be close to us. It makes me sad to think how lonely she must have been chained outside. Here is a picture of Sadie on the couch during her first winter inside!! Thank you Marla for making Sadie part of our family!

Bob and Linda Battigaglia, Bellbrook, Ohio

Maggie - Rescued after 13 Years on a Chain, PA

maggieI thought you might enjoy reading about our newest rescue. She will be staying and living her life out here, free from the chain that she has known for the past 13 years. I received a call last week from a guy, same old story, divorce, apartment that did not allow dogs, bla bla bla! He said he had a 13 year old black lab that he wanted to re-home. She was in great health and very friendly, but had not been to a vet in years. The dog was staying with his 75 year old father, ON A CHAIN IN THE BACK YARD! Turns out I went to school with his sister and knew exactly the house the dog was staying at so I set up a visit to meet her. I ask him what her name was, and when he told me I pretty much knew she would be coming to live here. Her name is Maggie :angel: The next day I stopped down to see Maggie. When I pulled down the drive, there she was, laying in the dirt sleeping, attached to a 10 foot chain. Her house was a wheelbarrow, turned over with some tarps around it. When she turned to look at me my heart melted. I wish I had taken a picture of her just then, kind of a before and after picture, but I didn't have my camera. I talked to the father, a nice enough guy but he was clearly overwhelmed. He was caring for his sick elderly wife and it is a full time job for him. I ask about Maggie's history and he told me she had lived on a chain all her life. I ask about house training and he said he did not believe she had EVER been in the house in her entire life :( I ask if she had ever been around any other dogs, and he said she had spent her entire life with another black lab who had broken his chain just a few weeks earlier and never came back. He was 13 as well and his name was maggieMurphy. By now I was almost in tears, but I kept my mouth shut and drove home. I called Maggie's owner that night and ask when we could set up for her to come to me. I have to have a surrender contract for every dog, so I had to have the owner bring her to me. I ask what she would do with the ice storm that was coming that night, and he said he was on his way there to wrap some more tarps around her "house". Well why not just bring her to me tonight? So, at 7pm on Thursday evening Maggie came to her new forever home. I quickly had him fill out the paperwork and then got to work telling my new girl how much better her life had just become. My first picture of Maggie, with her head on my knee in front of our fireplace. I can't even look at her without a smile coming to my face. She does not stop smiling and her tail even wags in her sleep. I have to say, she is in very good shape for a dog of her age. Her teeth are as while as pearls and she is still pretty spry. She has gotten along great with the dogs she has met so far. She is doing great so far. She did have several accidents in her crate Thursday night, but none last night. I am sure she will catch on to the house training in no time and will become a part of the pack. Her collar was pretty tight and was probably the same one for all 13 years. I could not get the buckle open and ended up cutting it off of her. First order of business is to find her one that suits her royal stature. Maybe something from 3DD or similar. She has already become the queen of my heart, so maybe one with crowns or something royal on it :) Welcome home Maggie!

--Joe Maringo / Director Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue Organization or S.P.A.R.R.O.

Leroy Finally Finds his Forever Home - Pennsylvania

LeRoy Many of you have been following Leroy's story in our E-News. This poor boy spent his life on a chain and two years in a shelter. The shelter discovered during a vet visit that in addition to a lifetime of neglect - Leroy had also been shot at some point. Being an older boy that prefered not to live with other animals, it was beginning to look like Leroy would never find a family to love him for the special boy that he is...but once again, you all pulled through for this wonderful dog. Leroy was adopted right before Christmas! Below is an update from Leroy's new family:Leroy is doing wonderfully! He has fit into our household very well. Of course he is my shadow. The kids find it funny that where ever I go in the house, he is right behind me. He has even taken it upon himself to try and claim one of my sofas in the living LeRoyroom, especially if I am on it! Leroy gets along great with all the kids - even my grandson who can be quite trying at times! He is not much of an outside dog I have found. He has free run of my deck, which runs the length of my house, but he does not seem to like the cold too much. We do walk every day and I have come to learn when he is tiring. He has his own bed in the kitchen by my one back door. He enjoys gazing outside but he enjoys the warmth! Of course he is still enjoying his pig ears! He has become quite the beggar for "human food". My kids are to blame for that! I guess they give in like I did when I saw him on TV! Please rest assure that he is doing great. We do still have the occasional pee accident, but he is getting better. No matter how long he may live, you can all be sure that he is living a well cared for life. Thanks to you all who cared for him so long! Leroy is home! Best wishes to you all! Janie and Leroy

Thank you Janie for giving Leroy a chance at love and happiness. You are an inspiration.

Mollie, from Outside Dog to Pampered Pet - Gillespie, Illinois


After 11 years on a chain, Mollie’s owner takes her for a walk and cries when he realizes with regret that Mollie deserved better. Once an old smelly dog, Dogs Deserve Better breathes new life into Mollie as she is whisked away to Petco for the “Star Treatment” grooming and shops with her new foster mom.

Bobby, the Dog that Refused to Fight - Andersen, SC


Bobby was living on a chain in a very bad neighborhood before Cynthia came to his rescue. Poor Bobby had landed outside with little food or water as punishment for refusing to fight when thrown into a put with another dog. The good news is that Bobby's "caretaker" agreed to release him to rescue. Below is the update sent in by his rescuer. Thank you Cynthia for saving this sweet boy.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to send out a happy note and let everyone know that Bobby is now off of that chain, and that he is in my house for the night! I will be taking him to my vet in the morning for him to be thoroughly checked and fully vetted. I have a wonderful rescue who has stepped up for him. Thank you all so much for caring so much about this boy! My husband and I found out tonight that the REAL REASON the people "got rid" of Bobby is because "they put him in the pit but he wouldn't fight."

My husband almost broke his neck getting Bobby in the car! He is truly this boy's guardian angel, and I'm so thrilled with how everyone came to Bobby's rescue with all of your posts and well wishes! I will keep everyone updated on him, and God bless you all! Here are some pics of him being FREE AND CHAINLESS!

A Christmas Story - Litchfield, Illinois

When 8-year-old Brittni stepped off the school bus to learn her puppy had been accidentally run over by a family member she began sobbing uncontrollably. With her father laid off work her family was already suffering financially. Upon entering their modest home, there was no Christmas tree or presents waiting for Brittni or her 2 brothers and sister and certainly no money for an operation to save the children's puppy.

The pup’s leg was badly broken and there was internal bleeding. With money for surgery out of the question, the ACO was called to take the pup to the pound to be euthanized. Instead of the pound, the ACO called Dogs Deserve Better and the little girl's puppy has been saved. On a chain in the yard the family also has a female German Shepherd with 12-2 week old puppies along with one other dog. After speaking with the family, the dogs have been unchained and will remain inside the home. The German Shepherd will be vetted and spayed and put up for adoption, as will all of her puppies. The family has been provided with food for the pets, treats, and gifts have been donated to this family.

The children were ecstatic when they learned there would be gifts for their dogs under the Christmas tree this year! 5-year-old Bradyn asked, “Do you think there will be a chew toy for our puppy? He doesn't have a chew toy and he'd really love one!” A small fence was also provided in the back to, as Bradyn said, “Keep the dogs safe when they go outside.” All the family's pets have remained inside and the mother, Tynia, has offered to volunteer for Dogs Deserve Better.

Buster - Groves, Texas


Last week my mail lady contacted me again about another chained dog on her route. She called the city pound, local humane society, all to no avail. This dog was on a log type chain, was not being given food or water. She started bringing both while delivering the mail to feed and water the poor thing. He was pretty thin, and the chain was so tight around his neck he couldn't even bark properly. She finally caught the owners at home and asked if she could have the dog. They told her she could. Today she and I went over there and the dog was surrendered to us. I went with bolt cutters, as the wife did not have the key to unlock the padlock. She called her husband who would not allow us to cut his precious padlock or chain, so we had to wait for him to get home for lunch. I immediately took the little guy to my vet, they checked him over real good, gave him his shots and fortunately he did not have Heartworm. Also fortunately, the chain didn't do to much damage to his neck other than a little irritation. My mail lady found him in time!! THANK GOD!! He is currently boarding at my vet clinic, where today he also received a nice warm bath and his nails clipped. He will sleep with a full belly, warm blankets, enough water that he can pee all over the place and NO CHAIN!! He will be going to a foster home in Houston at some point this coming week. So thankfully, this boy will land on his feet and be given the home and love he so deserves.

Kelly Pickard
Groves Texas DDB Rep

Tuff: A Story of a Good Mother


When DDB Representative, Heather Willis discovered through a gas station attendant that a female dog had a gun stuck in her mouth, was shot and then delivered 6 puppies, she rushed to the rescue to find a sweet mamma and her precious babies in desperate need of veterinary care.

From Heather: "I can't even begin to tell you what terrible shape (the mother) is in. She could easily stand to gain 30 lbs. She looks to me to be a Labrador Retriever but she is nothing but skin and bones so hard to tell by only a skeletal form. She is very smart, follows commands like sit, stay, and walks on a leash as well as very social and not in the least bit timid. She has a wonderful spirit and is great with kids.
Read More.

SOPHIA - Chained Dog Turned Super Model!


Sophia (formerly Angel) lived chained to a tree 24/7/365 on the property of a foreclosed home in Marshall’s Creek (Monroe County, PA). The house was unoccupied and slated for sheriff's sale. Sophia had a padlock hanging from her neck; she paced a semi-circle down to bare rock. Sophia had only sporadic access to food and water. A broken, undersized and uninsulated carrier was her shelter from years of freezing winters and feet of snow. Occasionally, her former "owner" would dump some kibble on the ground. Neighbors frequently observed her desperately licking the inside of an empty dog food bag. Years of calling the Monroe County’s Animal Cruelty officer, Barbara Balsama, fell on deaf ears. Not until Kathy Slagle of DDB and Lisa Hauer of Kodi’s Club stepped in were Sophia (and Marshall, the other dog that was living chained on the property) rescued from continued suffering and certain eventual death.

Sophia is estimated to be at least 6 years old. She was 15 pounds underweight, mysteriously missing her front teeth, ears flea bitten, covered in rat bites, her coat and skin in need of quality nutrition. Sophia was infested with numerous parasites which compromised her gastrointestinal tract, requiring 2 surgeries. She also tested strongly positive for Lyme Disease and receives ongoing antibiotic therapy for the infection and pain management for the joint deterioration. I adopted Sophia in the beginning of March of 2007. As she existed on the end of a chain for all those years, she was unfamiliar with so many things. Sophia has received a multi-faceted rehabilitation that included additional health care, socialization with humans and other animals, along with exposure to stress free environments, each conducive to her acquiring trust and stability. Sophia has taught everyone who meets her a lot about forgiveness. She has overcome her history of neglect and suffering and shows us daily what an intelligent, energetic and beautiful soul she is. Sophia loves her tennis ball toys and her new life. She is planning a trip to Florida this winter with her human and canine family.

Sophia is our first 2008 Calendar Contest winner! if you have enjoyed Sophia's story, and would like to read more happy endings - please order our 2008 Calender today!

INDIANA BEAR Finds His Pack!


Indiana Bear, an emaciated chained rescue brought tears to the eyes of Indiana Rep Marie Belanger and Bear's neighbor when they brushed him for the first time and hit his backbone with the brush, which caused him to flinch in pain. Bear's thick coat hid his bony body.

Bear is such a sweet guy, he yearned for love and ignores food and treats, even ice-cold water on a hot day, just to get hugs. He buries his face in your chest and snuggles up under your chin and gives kisses and kisses! After being chained to a tree for three years, two years without even a dog house. Belanger brought him to Marion and vaccinated him, treated him for Heartworm and neutered him. He was taken in by a foster mom that could not help but fall in love with him; she has two dogs who look just like him! Bear's foster home became his FOREVER home! Good boy, Mr. Bear!

BLIND BEAR Finds His Perfect Family!


Bear, the Blind Chow has found the perfect home! He not only has a new family, but a new name and is the 2nd blind Bear to join this awesome pack! Read what Bear's new family has to say about him!

Bear (now Yogi) is living large. He and Smokey (yes, you guessed it – Smokey Bear) also blind are the best of buddies. They are tolerant of each other, even when they plow into and step on or over one another; we are astonished at how well they manage themselves. Mona Lisa, our princess, is still trying to decide if Yogi can join our pack. Given that she seems to understand she has no choice, she has deigned to receive him, however reluctantly.

Yogi is eating well, is very happy and is the sweetest of souls – we could not have made a better choice. He learned to follow Mona Lisa and Smokey upstairs to our bedroom. Coming down was more of a problem at first. I watched in amazement as Smokey literally showed him how. Smokey took a few steps down the stairs, waited for Yogi to get down to his level, went ahead a few steps and waited, and continued until Yogi was on level ground. Now Yogi goes up and down the stairs like a champion – all in a few short days. We were sure it would take him a few months to settle in and get comfortable, but we were off our prediction by – well, a few months. He is fully comfortable now! Yogi is a fabulous addition to our pack. Our first blind dog is no longer with us, but with him we learned that blind dogs are as normal as dogs that can see. Smokey and Yogi confirm our earlier suspicions. When we take them for a walk, people are surprised to learn they are blind. If the truth be told, most times we forget they are blind (that is until they run into something). We want to thank you all for saving Yogi and keeping him safe until he could join us. We hope to have many happy and silly years with this adorable boy.Again - many, many thanks to you all,

Lydia and Vic Victorine

SHEEBA - Home at Last!


The first plea for help we received for Sheeba came from a concerned neighbor almost three years ago. Sheeba was chained outside in sub-zero temperatures in East Providence, RI. Her dog house was too small for Sheeba to enter. Dogs Deserve Better's Maine Area Rep, Susanna Richer, was the closest Rep to Sheeba. Richer visited Sheeba's home four times, made countless calls to Animal Control and State Humane agents and even tried to purchase Sheeba from her owners - all to no avail. Sheeba's owner's believed that she was fine living outside, alone, in the cold and refused to consider re-homing her. Read more.

RALFIE - The Power of a Little Love!


When Sarah first met Ralfie in 12/05, he had been tied to a dog house for 4 years (note the rope). He and 2 canine sisters walked through their own feces and urine on a daily basis. He was also 15 pounds underweight. Thanks to Sarah's intervention, Ralfie was rescued from his lonely existence. He now lives with a wonderful couple. He goes for daily walks and enjoys playtime with his many toys! He has also reached a normal weight of 50 pounds. (Note his trusty ball by his back leg!) .

See what a little love can accomplish? Thank you Sarah for giving Ralfie the chance at life and love that he deserves.

LUCKY'S Only Voice


Toronto, Ontario- Ten months ago, Maria Tzavaras was walking back from the corner store and heard the heart breaking whine of a dog she couldn’t see. After speaking to a neighbor, she found the dog lived next door and Maria was welcome to come into his backyard and take a look through his fence.

What she saw sickened her. A poor hound-mix, not only completely enclosed in a fence, but within the enclosure there was a doghouse to which he was also chained. He suffered this way in minus 35 and plus 35-degree weather, alone and never walked. Read more...

Faith, Illinois

Faith, a Shepard/Aussie Mix lived chained 24/7 in a back yard. I was alerted about Faith when the dog chained in the pen next to her hung himself trying to jump the fence. Faith was immediately brought to my home for foster care. Her name was simply “Dog” so I gave her the name Faith (with the help of Emily Northop, DDB in Owatonna, Minnesota WHO SAID, “Give that Girl A Name!) We chose Faith because we had Faith that now in the hands of Dogs Deserve Better, her life was only going to get better from here! Faith was then transported to Bobbie Wendorf, DDB Rep in Aurora, IL. As always, Bobbie found the PERFECT family for Faith.

—Dawn Ashby

SADEE the Survivor

They say every picture tells a story, well that certainly is the case here, said Dog Rescuer Gayla Frances Evans-Rine of Sunbury. What I see is a dog that suffered for years at the hands of her owner, what I see is a dog dying on her chain and has given up, what I see is total neglect and disregard for this dog in every way. When rescued, Sadee weighed in at 21.3 pounds. This is perfect example of a dog living on chain 24/7, Sadee wasn’t a pet, she was a prisoner to live her life on a chain, with no food, water, care, love and most of all no choice, Evans said. There is no doubt in my mind Sadee wouldn’t have lived another day; she was dying plain and simple. There are many Hero’s regarding Sadee, the utility worker who got involved and reported the situation, Deputy/Dog Warden, Dave Speakman of Richland County Dog Shelter, who went out to find Sadee in high weeds with no path to where she was being kept on her heavy chain and a wood box with a hole in it for shelter. Lori Miller of Richland County Shelter couldn’t believe her eyes and was speechless when Speakman brought Sadee into the shelter. “I saw a dog that couldn’t have been more dehydrated or emaciated” said Miller, she was beyond living, her paws were folded under which is a sure sign she couldn’t get up, so weak and frail she couldn’t stand or even hold her head up, I held her head up and gave her a small amount of food, she wouldn’t drink. Lori took Sadee to her vet, who gave her a blood transfusion and IV’s. Within 48 hours Sadee started eating and drinking on her own, Lori took her home for some TLC and a nice bath which she loved because she was so dirty. Sadee doubled in weight within three weeks, she is now around 50 pounds with a great appetite and disposition. No charges were filed on the previous owner as she was in her late 70’s. She wanted Sadee back but not in my lifetime, it wasn’t going to happen, Evans said. In my opinion I think she just forgot about them or simply just didn’t care. There were two dogs but the other one had to be euthanized. I hope anyone who knows of older people who have dogs outside will make an effort to check on them and their dogs more often or they may end up like Sadee. I don’t understand why people get a dog and put it out on a chain 24/7 and call it their pet, it certainly isn’t what the dog would choose. I hope this is a wake up call for some and if you get a dog make it a part of your family not a prisoner on a chain, Evans said. I am truly grateful for all those that took part in saving Sadee and especially my friend Fate that again was there at the right time and right place to make it happen. A special thank you to Lori Miller and her vet for going that extra mile.

Evans is a rescuer of mainly Rottweilers and Boston Terriers, a DDB Rep. (Dogs Deserve Better) and owner of Suitsus Boarding.


Sandy is a beautiful 2yr old Golden Retriever female... Penned up, forced to have puppies, eat, sleep and raise her pups in a tiny pen, outside in her own feces... Then as suddenly as she had her puppies, they were taken away from her, much too early...Wonderful dog rescuer, Carol Brekke, picked up Sandy and drove her three hours down to me. Sandy was very shy and wary in her first few days with us, completely untrained and very confused as to what was going on... But my Lab, Jake, showed her the ropes and soon she was smiling and wagging her tail at anything!Within 5 days, we had a wonderful couple, Mike & Becky, who saw her picture and fell in love with her... They met her the next weekend and decided that Sandy was the perfect dog for them!When Sandy was brought in to be spayed and vacc'd, she tested positive for Lymes disease. She also had roundworms... No wonder her owners were so quick to allow us to take her... I was so nervous that this perfect couple wouldnt want her anymore. But I told them what was going on, and not only did they still want to proceed with her adoption, they offered to pay for her testing and meds!

They took her home the next day, and she's now a normal, happy INDOOR Golden Retriever. Thank you Mike and Becky!! I pray we all have a million more adopters like you two!!

Emily Northrop


In case this is your first meeting of Phoenix , she is a cruelty/neglect case seized by the CB SPCA. When I went to see her at the shelter, she was almost lifeless and had a terribly broken spirit. To look at her, you would have thought she was about 12-15 years old. I went back to pick her up on Friday. I thought Phoenix was a suitable name for her and the ‘re-birth / new beginning’ that I hoped she would have. Read more.


Sheba is a German Shepherd. She was chained to a shack of a doghouse for the entire year of her life. Sheba's owner wanted to get rid of her. He wanted her gone so bad that he was wiling to have her euthanized. (Later I found out it was because he had a Black Lab he wanted in her place). When I went to visit Sheba the first time all the owner cared about was the black,spiked collar she had padlocked around her neck. He said, "I'm not letting that collar go...I paid good money for it!"I purchased the nicest collar I could find for Sheba. I found a blue plaid one with a little heart pendant dangling from it. When I went to have release forms signed and take her for her "Walk of Freedom" (we always walk home when first unchained... it's a tradition..Sheba' s was a long walk home...but worth it!) I put her new collar on her for the walk. It was much better than the collar the owner cared so much
about, even more than his own dog!I transported Sheba to DDB Rep, Emily Northrop. We each had about a 5 hour
drive to meet up in Iowa and then another 5 hours back, me from Illinois and Emily from Minnesota. Emily took Sheba home to live with Josh and Jake. Emily house-trained Sheba and taught her the necessary social skills. Emily screened fosters for Sheba and when the perfect one came...Emily didn't pick her...Sheba did! It was love at first sight! Her adopter, Lori, was still sad over her German Shepherd she lost to cancer after only 3 years and she cried when she first saw "Sheba's" picture. Sheba was perfect for Lori!

Now Sheba is Maya and she is spayed and utd on shots, she has a chip in her ear so she will never ever get lost. Maya makes regular visits to the off leash dog park with her two friends, a retriever puppy and another friends dog! But at night she gets to snuggle in bed with her new 'fur'ever mom!!!

Breaking the Chain, Stopping the Pain

Q. That was his name. He lived outside on a chain from the time he could walk until he was four years old. Four years of enduring the intense summer heat, the cold winter nights, the sleet, the rain, the snow, and everything in between. Enduring the weather is one thing, but Q managed to do it with minimal food, negligible water, and absent love.It was a cold February day in 2004 when I first met Q.

I was notified of him by a concerned citizen who drove by him every day on her way to work. I was now not only volunteering at my local Humane Society, but was also a representative for Dogs Deserve Better, a national non-profit that rescues chained dogs. As I heard this woman tear up over the phone, my heart was breaking. Here was another person affected by the sorrow of the chained dog, and I had no definite answer. All I could do was make a visit and hope that the person on the other side of the door was open to my offer of help. I promised this woman I would go, and I began gathering my things. Read more.

OREO - November 2005

Yesterday, Oreo, the chained Great Dane mix, was unchained for the first time. I walked her home. She frantically pulled on the leash, but once we got going she was the perfect lady. She only jumped up occasionally to say thank you. I'd been going over, every day, to check on her while waiting for my fence to be repaired.

Her chain was often tangled around the post and I would unwind her. Last night was perfect timing in bringing her home because she was badly tangled and and unable to get into her dog house when it stormed last night. Read more.

Rufus, OH August 2005

Rufus in his last life was known as Booger and he lived with 4 other chained dogs in a sad situation in a backyard in Hamilton Ohio.  Food was on the ground and had maggots in it due to the abundance of flies. Not sure why but animal control did not find this situation to be cruel or neglectful.   An acquaintance and animal rescuer well known in this area called and asked if DDB could help with this situation that she had spotted somehow driving around the neighborhood.  The owner surrendered a total of 3 dogs, one went to a local rescue and I took the two  boys.
Fortunately both were heartworm negative but had to be neutered and treated for fly bits on the ears and external and internal parasites.  Fairly easy to housetrain, they are both very active and have so much enjoyed playing with my dogs, digging up the yard and chewing the shrubs to nubs. 
Rufus is now living with a very sweet and patient young woman in Lansdale Pa who adores him and he kisses her face every morning when she wakes up!

—Lois Rose, OH rep

Ming-Ding, PA March 2005

Ming Ding was rescued, along with her 'brother' and 'sister' Akitas from a home in Bedford, PA in March of this year. She was the first we pulled out of there, due to some bad skin problems. The poor girl was practically hairless and living out in the cold! We got her sister, Tshimi into Akita Rescue of New York, (thank you Kathy), and Mojo came here to live for what time he has left, as he is in poor health and quite old.

Ming quickly turned into one of the family favorites in foster care, and she was rarely seen without her little barbell in her mouth. How could we resist that sweet face? She was adopted in May by a family in Altoona who really wants to work with her skin problems, and are dedicated to helping her recover to her full Akitahood. We love you, Ming!

The Sweet Smell of Dusty (by Tammy Grimes)

I got the call about Dusty on a Friday evening. I don't often go out to see a dog immediately anymore, since we receive so many calls, both for our local PA area and across the country. Our normal pattern is to send a letter and see if anything good comes of it first.But since I would be doing a booth in his area on Saturday, and since his plight sounded so dire, I told the anonymous caller that I would stop by his home in Houtzdale, PA the next day.

With the weather turning so cold, I feel ill thinking of all the dogs chained and penned without a warm bed to sleep in or food and water in their tummies. Even getting ONE off those chains or out of that pen can help me feel like I'm helping, making some small difference. Read more.

Berkley, October 2004, from PA to Maine

Berkley lived in a pen in Hastings, PA, at the home of Cindy's daughter in law. Cindy decided Berkley would NOT spend his third winter outside. Tammy was able to foster and train him, and thanks to Susanna Richer, a wonderful Maine volunteer, we got him placed with Jayme's family. Here's Jayme's heartfelt note of thanks: I have to thank you both, Susanna and Tammy. Berkley is a dream. He is so wonderful, sweet, loving, adorable, everything. My hubby and I got teary eyed when we met. We loved him right from the start. I took some pics of him today and am enclosing them in this mail. He sleeps on our bed all night. He lays on the couch with us, and follows me wherever I go in the house. It is like he is staying with me to protect me. He loves the kids. He lays with them and kisses their little faces. We are feeding him a hearty, healthy diet. He is so happy here. It is like he knew as soon as he met us, that this was his forever home. He is our baby. We are making him a new tag, it will say as his name: Berkley Baby Barden. I call him Berk or B for short. He is learning how to walk better. He loves playing tug with his toys with me, and getting his belly scratched. Bob and I had to send this though to thank you both for all you did to get us our fifth family member home. He is a true perfect fit.

—Jayme Barden

Petey, November 2004, from VA to PA to Maine

(No before pics available.) Petey was a chained dog that ended up in a VA shelter. When Tammy saw his little face she couldn't resist pulling him out before it was too late! He was adopted by a family in Maine. Liz writes: "My husband and I have a one year old female "Aussie" named Lucy. Like most Australian Shepherds, she has an inexhaustible supply of energy and never tires from wanting to play. We soon realized we needed help in keeping her occupied, since one can only do so much frisbee throwing and hide-n-seek. I wanted to find the perfect play mate for her, and began searching the internet in the hopes of finding a dog who needed us as much as much as we needed him. One day I found your website and came across a dog named Petey. Not much was said about him, but I couldn't take my eyes off his fluffy little face and decided to call his foster mom. During our conversation it quickly became apparent that this dog might make a wonderful addition to our family. Two days later Petey arrived at our home in Maine. We were all a bit nervous about Lucy meeting Petey as she can be extremely jealous of other dogs, but to our amazement she warmed right up to him. They hit it off immediately and played non-stop for an hour. We soon had to say "goodbye" to our new friends, whose love for animals brought us the newest member of our family.

We've had some time now to get to know one another, and it's obvious that we were meant to be together. Lucy and Petey absolutely adore each other and play for hours at a time (their favorite game being "tag"). Our high maintenance "Aussie" although protective, is not very affectionate. Petey has met that need in such a beautiful way. He loves to cuddle, lay on the bed with us, and gives our seven year old son all the kisses he can handle. In the beginning I was on a search for the, "perfect match for Lucy", but in the end God gave us the perfect match for the whole family! Thanks for the tremendous service you provide in finding the right home for wonderful pets. (We've attached several photos of our dogs.) —Liz and Michael Pritchett

Brodie, Summer 2004, Texas

4 year old Brody, a shy Golden Retriever was living life in Texas chained in a backyard with no human contact (except when he barked, he was beaten with a piece of wood), filthy water, a piece of tin for shelter and little to no food. Galveston County Animal Control forced his owner to relinquish him to their facility (or face jail time). Brody was rehabilitated, fully vetted and finally discovered the warmth of human hands, blankets and plenty of food. Brody was adopted by a loving family in the Fall of 2004 and enjoys being the center of attention!

Douwe, Summer 2004, PA

The previous owner of Douwe (then named Flower) called DDB for help in July of 2004. As a puppy, she was chained to a doghouse in her backyard for almost 6 months. Fortunately, the guardian came to her senses and realized that she was too sweet, and she deserved better. She is a mix Newfoundland-Flat coat retriever. We owned a Newfoundland and a retriever for many years. We saw her picture on the Dogs Deserve Better website and fell in love instantly. We adopted her in August 2004. We gave her a new name, Douwe. It is a Dutch first name. Pronounced Down –n, uh. She is very smart and willing to learn and please. We go for a 2 hour walk every day. She can run, swim, play with her friends, try to catch up with flying birds and take a mud bath.

Every day I enjoy watching her having such a good time! We are so happy to have her and I am sure she is happy to have us.

—Cora and Leon Vlug, Doylestown PA

My New Name is Tundra (by Peg Hutsell)

Hello, my new name is Tundra, I don’t remember my old name, in fact, and I don’t remember much about my old life at all. I want to share with you what I do remember so that perhaps you can help others.

I am an Alaskan Malamute mixed with wolf; I am a big dog. I used to be chained and hardly given any food, and no clean water. Read more.

Demi, 15 October 2003, Ohio

Humane Officers at the Capital Area Humane Society rescued Demi on October 15, 2003. She had been tied out to a plastic doghouse for 4 years, neglected, barely fed and almost starved to death. She was so weak; she could not get up and therefore, developed pressure sores on her back legs. Neighbors did not call the Humane Officers out there, a construction worker did. He was in the neighborhood working on a deck and was appalled at what he saw. The owner was ultimately sentenced to a $1500 fine, 1 night in jail and is not to own a pet for 5 years. The neighborhood was a nice one in the Grove City area. The wife was pregnant. Their excuse was that they had no time to care for their dog. Demi spent 5 months rehabilitating herself at the Capital Area Humane Society. Once her health issues resolved, she was still deemed unadoptable due to her skittish temperament. Demi is the poster child for the dogs we try to help. Melody and Tony Newlun are foster parents for Dogs Deserve Better. They offered to foster little 4 year old Demi. She is the cutest of terrier mixes. Well, Demi fell in love with Melody, Tony and their son, Jimmy. Any time a potential adopter would meet her, she would act up as if she were saying, “No, I made my choice”. Melody and Tony have adopted Demi and could not be happier to make her a part of their family. They also have a Rottie, named Samson, and another rescue from a chain, a Shep mix named Herk. Demi loves to play with Samson and Herk and could not be happier with her new family and the life ahead of her. Happy endings for Demi!

The Story of Holly

Here's the little story on "Holly" as I named her.
Three days before Christmas I received an e-mail from a woman stating there was a dog chained in a backyard in Orlando that needed help. She gave me the name a man to call and said that the family was unable to care for the dog. After speaking with the man, I learned that a female Rottweiler had
been abandoned at his home by a family member who moved away to New York. Read more.

Joey, March 2004, Dallas, TX

This is the story of Joey, a little 3 month old male chow mix, who was found running the streets and brought into rescue. Joey had been tied to a tree and really messed up his neck. His neck wound was so bad that his jugular vein was in the wrong place and he would have died if he had not received medical attention. Some people brought him to Suzie's front door and she didn't hesitate; she rushed him to her vet, even though she has many fosters already.

A woman named Nikki who is a huge animal lover, called after seeing his pic. Looks just like her dog who her parents have always loved. They wanted Joey! So his story had a happy ending. Update from Nikki: All the boys have been sleeping in my room lately!!  Oy!  Joey and Wolfgang are joined at the hip still. He is a lover.  I have never seen a dog be so gentle! We love him so much.

Harley, 22 January 2004, Texas

Harley is a precious 2 year old neutered male Dalmatian who spent the last several months in all kinds of weather without any shelter. He was attached to an extremely tight collar affix to a short chain. This darling dog was hooked to a filthy mobile home and his "space" was completely littered with trash!

Harley's 4' chain allowed him only to reach a dirty water pan and lay in his own feces. Delores, a WONDERFUL active older adult and avid animal lover, confronted the owners about his inhumane conditions and within minutes, they released the dog to her! Harley was adopted and is shown here with his new family.

Bon-Bon, 12 November 2003, Groves Texas

Ten month old Bon-Bon, a gentle 50 lb Retriever mix was living a life of seclusion, on dirt, with no toys and attached to an unforgiving tether.DDB Groves, TX rep, Kelly Pickard worked with the former guardian for several weeks encouraging the man to "free" Bon-Bon or relinquish him to DDB so he could be placed into a loving home "indoors". Kelly contacted Michele Reynolds, DDB Baytown Area, TX rep who agreed to foster Bon-Bon and the plan was implemented.Bon-Bon was released November 12, 2003, and taken to the vet (for the first time ever) where he was neutered, fully vaccinated and by a small miracle came back heartworm negative! This young and affectionate boy is dog-door trained and BILINGUAL! Yes! Bon-Bon knows "Sit, Shake & Give Other Paw" responding to Spanish and English commands! Bon-Bon is a joy to be around as he's quiet, gets along beautifully with his new canine friends and is absolutely thrilled to have toys to call his own! Bon-Bon was adopted and happily living with his new family.

Ito, July 2002

This is ITO, a pinto akita...she was rescued on July 4th, 2002. It took all of the neighbors over a year to get the owners to release to a rescue (me). She was tied to a tree, NO shelter (neighbors built her a dog house), she was not spayed so each time she came into season she was bred. She tried not to be and the neighbors kept chasing off the loose male dogs.

The neighbors are the ones who fed and watered her, the owners never did. The owners moved out of the house and left the dog tied to the tree, but when they came back to get the rest of their stuff, the neighbor finally got the yes......so with no notice we drove into Boise and brought her into rescue. She still lives with us as of May 2005

Karen McCombs/Idaho

Bear, January 2002, Tucker County, West Virginia

Bear came into my life the day after Christmas two years ago. I drove by a decrepit house on an out-of-the-way road, and noticed a dilapidated dog house with the sides rotted away. The doghouse was at least a hundred feet from the "main house." What struck me more than the condition of the doghouse was the lack of any footprints in the snow anywhere near it. I calculated back to the last snowfall, which had been four days ago. The lack of footprints meant that no one had been out to the doghouse for at least four days!

I hurried home to get some food and Bear sucked it down. I started to sneak out after dark and feed Bear. At first he was wary of me, but soon I could tell that his day consisted of waiting for my visit.

One night in the Spring, I was hunched beside the doghouse feeding Bear, trying to be inconspicuous, when I was startled by a tall figure standing above me. Busted! I thought for sure that I'd be ordered to leave the property, and would never be able to visit Bear again. Instead, I was greeted by a soft, surprised "Oh!" An inebriated man bent over and threw some leftover spaghetti on the ground beside Bear's doghouse. He told me that I was welcome to walk Bear anytime I wanted. We chatted for a few minutes and he left.

So the next day my walks with Bear began. By September, Bear and I had really bonded. One day when I went to walk him, he couldn't stand up. There were crushed beer cans all around his doghouse. I managed to hoist him into my car and take him to the veterinarian, who said that he'd been very badly bruised, probably as the result of a hard kick to the rear. It was then that I contacted the owner and told him that Bear had become very ill on our walk, and that I had taken him to the vets. I said that I would pay him $80 for Bear. He agreed. I'm sure that he or one of his friends had been the kicker, and I'm sure that he felt guilty.

So Bear has been with me for over a year. He was at least seven years old when I adopted him. Yes, there have been problems. Bear is very defensive around certain dogs, because his previous owners used to sic their other dog on him when Bear was chained up (Bear's face is very scarred from this.) And it took a while for him to let me touch his hind end. I could go on and on.

But when I think of the late nights when I tossed and turned, worrying about Bear being cold and lonely, and how now I can just look down and see him sleeping on his dog bed beside me, relaxed and dreaming, nothing else matters. My experience with Bear has convinced me that action is the antidote to anxiety! — Ellen Voss, Tucker County, West Virginia

If you'd like to donate via regular USPS mail, you may print out this form in .pdf format, and send to P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684

Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 nonprofit education/legislation/rescue organization.


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Contact Info: Dogs Deserve Better, Inc. • P.O. Box 23 • Tipton, PA 16684 • Toll Free 1.877.636.1408 • 814.941.7447
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