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Best Buddies' decision unleashes howls of protest

Posted Monday, January 15, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - The actions of the Best Buddies Companion Rescue & Adoption group unleashed a torrent of critisism on the Chatham Chatlist community listserv. Below is a compilation of the posts submitted by various Chatlist members.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 02:30:10 -0800 (PST)
From: Deborah Bair
Subject: My two cents about so called local animal rescue groups

I'd like to throw my two cents in here regarding Animal Control, and the so called local animal rescue groups.

Frankly, after almost 8 months of dealing with wild dogs, and several years of working with animal rescue, APS, etc., I can definitely see this woman's side. Give her dog back. The dog is NOT yours.

After dealing with Animal Control for close to 8 months, I still have wild dogs sleeping on my front porch, bringing me dead deer, rabbits, and other game they can catch, holes in my lattice, etc. At one point, I had to deal with the local rescue group to deal with the amount of pups that were showing up.

After finally placing all pups that I could, not only did I find that the local rescue was asking $150 to JUST PLACE THESE PUPS, but I also had to put up with a very condescending and patronizing email (NOT A LETTER OR A CALL) fromthe local head of Animal Control regarding my handling of the issues. We are talking 15 pups here, folks.

Don’t' yell foul. Yea, the dogs should have been fixed, but they were WILD. And not only did I have to put up with the nasty email, but I also had to put up with all the Dudley do-rights who thought they had the right to tell me to fix my male.

I BREED, folks, and am responsible in what I do. I do NOT see where these bozos get off checking to see if she placed ads, etc. If that many people are backing her in this fight for her dog, then she obviously gives a "blank".

Give her the dog back. You are not the pet police!

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 07:44:59 -0500
From: Jimmy Miller
Subject: Best Buddies??? Companion Rescue

Sorry folks, I can't resist. I know my post won't help solve the matter, but I am appalled at the response from BBCRA.

First, "We do not feel that the Chatlist is an appropriate forum for further discussion of this matter"

Really?!?! The previous owners have already spoken to you directly (are dissatisfied with the result) and are now reaching out to the community. Makes perfect sense to me! Especially with all the recent requests from Chatlist members for info on "501(c)(3)" (non-profit) organizations.

Next, "BBCRA requires that adopted dogs not be housed outside........ and they not be housed in garages, doghouses, or any type of outbuildings......."

Hmmm, dogs are animals, and I believe some animals still enjoy the outdoors (no offense to" indoor pet owners, but Shelby was not an "indoor" dog) And if it's not okay to house dogs in doghouses, then why isn't there a law against it?

AND, "When you were told that BBCRA's expenses would exceed $200.00, you complained and indicated that this would present a hardship to your family. "

Liza has every right to complain about the fee. It is an advantage of being an American, you have the right to disagree with something and speak your mind. And by the way, why should she be criticized for saying the amount would be a hardship to her family?!?! $200+ is a hardship to many Chatham residents, and it doesn't mean they won't provide good care to their pets.

I have no way of knowing how Shelby was treated; I don't know Liza or her family. What I do know is that I have 2 outdoor cats, they live in a doghouse, I give them their shots myself (except rabies), they run off constantly (to hunt, play, visit their cat neighbors) and no, I don't put up posters!, $200+ can be a hardship for us. Given all these factors, my cats are VERY cared for and loved. They seem to be more than happy with their lives. Imagine that. Oh, I almost forgot, the Chatlist IS an appropriate forum. Period. (that should be in bold, but Gene said no "yelling"

BBCRA, climb down off your high horse, it's nice down here. Please return the dog.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 8:14:40 -0500
From: Meg Miller
Subject: Return the dog

With the sort of restrictions BBCR has, I'd loose all my animals as well. We live in the country for a reason. My animals are indoor/outdoor, all of them except the blind cat rescued a few years back.

I find the "tone" of your letter is condescending and pompous.

It's not the BBCR's dog, it belongs to the Terlls and should be returned. They are not abusing the dog, even if their standards of care don't meet yours. I can not afford every test and medication my vet suggests for my animals..feline this and that...would you prefer I put them in the shelter where they will probably be euthanized? My animals are well feed, have regular vaccinations, on heart worm preventative and most of all, are loved. BUT they don't wear collars and are not chipped. They can stand it outside for a few hours a day. ( I put my kids out a few hours a day too, seems to do them good)

I think this is a case of a group who thinks they know better than anyone else. Too much meddling, imo. RETURN THE DOG.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 08:39:26 -0500
From: cholt837
Subject: Lost dog

I know nothing about the lost dog that was adopted by someone else then not given to her real owners when found, except what I read this morning. Are owners of animals always perfect? Are parents always perfect? Wouldn't you give a child back to the parents if one was lost, then found? As far as the new owners are concerned, how can you keep a dog that you know belongs to someone else? There are so many animals to be adopted in this county, can't you just give the dog to the rightful owners and get another one? This can cause hurt and bad feelings to both you and the dog's real family for the rest of their lives. Have a heart.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 08:56:02 -0500
From: ima_tarheel
Subject: Letter from BBCRA

"We do not feel that the Chatlist is an appropriate forum for further discussion of this matter."

a.) You're going to get a lot of comments about your letter on here, and

b.) What better place to discuss it, on a general level, although i think we have already discussed this topic to death in the past!!

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 09:42:38 -0500
From: Dwain Ritchie
Subject: Best Buddies Companion Rescue & Adoption

I feel that the decision made by the Best Buddies Companion Rescue & Adoption regarding the Terll pet doesn't make sense to me. I have known the Terll's for almost 30 years and they DO NOT mistreat their pets. I think that whatever criteria the Best Buddies Companion Rescue & Adoption used to make the determination that they should not give the Terll's their dog back needs to be re-examined. I wonder how many other pets have not been returned to their rightful owners by this group.

Little Tess Terll wants her pet back. It should be returned to the Terll home.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 09:55:29 -0500
From: Michelle Jones
Subject: BBCRA the new DSS of lost animals?

What's the deal, Has someone appointed The Board of BBCRA the new DSS of lost animals. Who gave this group permission to take this dog and decide it's fate. If I were Ms. Terll I would take my happy a** to the court house and list my dog as stolen and then take out a personal suit against this so called board. And if she would like donation's to do so, I would be more than glad to help with that also. I love the way this day and time other people feel the need to interfere in other people's business. My dog is not spayed, and doesn't get vaccinated either. But I guess that make's me a bad owner as well. I wish Ms. Terll and her children the best in recovering there dog. And I hope someone set's this Rescue group right in there actions.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 07:58:55 -0800 (PST)
From: Ingrid Tung
Subject: Re: Best Buddies

Best Buddies wrote: " We do not feel that the Chatlist is an appropriate forum for further discussion of this matter. If you have any questions about this situation, we will be happy to address them. You may email us at .

The process, or lack thereof (i.e. "our board decided"), reflected in this post by which a decision was made to take away someone's pet, seems unconscionable. I'm curious to know what laws apply here. Does anyone know what rights owners, animals and rescue organizations have? For the parties involved, I think many law schools have Animal Law Clinics (try a Google search) - perhaps they can help you resolve the issue without incurrring large expenses.

Regardless of who is right or wrong, for the organization to post this letter and then declare the subject inappropriate for discussion on the chatlist is absurd.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 11:14:23 -0500
From: dh
Subject: Best Buddies - NOT

So the bottom line is, you steal dogs from poor people and sell them to rich people.

Have you no compassion - give the dog back.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 17:00:15 +0000
Subject: best buddies

It seems to me from reading your post chatlist # 2717 that you have set yourself up as judge and jury for amimal control in Chatham County. In your reply you are arrogant in your response. Why don't you list your entire name of your board of directors. Are you ashamed to let people know who you are and who they can contact. I for one will never donate any thing to such an arrigont organization and it seems that you are only looking at the money that can be made from your tactics. I ask every one that contributes to this organization to stop all support until the dog in question be returned to their rightful owners. If you don't you are no better than this organization. I call upon the authorities in Chatham County to investigate this organization and if need be to shut it down until they can come into compliance with the regulations of animal control in Chatham County. I believe that Best Buddies doesn't want you to air your concerns through chatlist but directly to them b because they don't want everyone to hear what the majority of people think about their organization.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 14:17:29 -0500
From: aaron Honeycutt
Subject: Rescue Buddies--what I think about that

Reading about this organization makes me think we need to have protection from those who protect us. Sure they love the animals but when an animal is kept from it's owners and it's return refused we are getting into a whole other place. These people were not abusing the dog. The dog was not neglected, well fed and up to date on shots. This dog belongs back with it's owners. Rescue Buddies needs to back off. To my mind they are the ones in the wrong here. Just because people don't explore the possibilities in some specified order does not mean they are negligent or that they don't care about the pet. Rescue Buddies acts like some kind of self-appointed judge in this matter. Give me a break! When we get so involved with policy and procedure that we can't use some common sense we need to look in the mirror real closely. My thoughts.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 16:04:13 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Linda Allred Cooper
Subject: Shelby the Dog & BBCR

Wait A Minute! WHOA! I apparently missed the meeting and/or world wide vote that decided Best Buddies Companion Rescue is the Be All To End All We-know-what's-best-for-your-pet-and-you-don't organization that we all must bow down to.

Exactly what law or Edict from God placed BBCR in charge of deciding which home is the best for a family pet to live in?

I have 3 dogs, very much loved and spoiled. All 3 are indoor dogs although, during our current home renovation, all 3 have had to stay outside while carpentry work was done. These sweet doggies have had to endure strangers in their home (the construction crew) noise from saws and hammers and other traumatizing things. During the next couple of weeks they will have to endure the smell of new paint - and then, horror or horrors, new furniture that we are going to try to keep them from jumping on. Per BBCR I guess that mean we are horrible dog parents and our 3 girls should be taken away from us.

Good Grief!

Let me tell you something - if Shelby were my dog and BBCR sent that letter to me stating we didn't meet their adoption criteria and we wouldn't get her back - we would all be meeting down at the Court House with lots of lawyers and judges involved.

Looks like BBCR needs to rejoin the rest us on Planet Earth where dogs are dogs and dog houses are called that because they are houses for dogs. A family pet that sleeps in her 6 year old human child's bed doesn't sound very abused to me.

And charging the family for veterinary work that they didn't authorized and probably didn't want - that should be against the law if it isn't already. I wouldn't pay until BBCR showed documented proof that the family had authorized the vet work.

Get a grip BBCR. You don't want this discussed in the Chat List because you don't want the rest of Chatham County to know what you are doing.

Yep, lawyers would be involved if it were my pet. You can bet big money on that. Trust me - next fund raiser the BBCR does I will make a point of remembering this - and they will not get a donation from me.

BTW: one of my doggie girls, Daisy Mae, has been lying on the picnic table next to my laptop as I typed this. She has read every word and agreed by licking the screen. Then, I was a horrible "mommy" and "abused" her by telling her to get off the picnic table and quit licking my computer.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 17:58:28 -0500
From: Lisa Mayhew
Subject: RE: BBCRA criteria

I must take issue with several of these 'criteria' established by your organization. I sincerely hope that you take careful consideration of the facts on a case by case basis instead of acting upon the biases in your criteria. Regarding:

<2. BBCRA requires that adopted dogs not be housed outside. Among other things, this means that dogs will not be loose or unattended outdoors when owners are not at home, and they not be housed in garages, doghouses, or any type of outbuildings. Shelby was apparently left outside and unattended as a routine matter. BBCRA has no assurance from you that such would not be the case in the future.>

Do you have established definitions for 'outside' or 'out buildings'.

Many dogs are kenneled outside while owners work. Is it your policy that this in unacceptable? Your policy seems to eliminate any possible situation where this is allowed. So while an owner works for 10 hours a day is it your belief the dog must remain indoors? Where it cannot relieve itself, where it could be exposed to limitless hazards/toxins, where it would perish should a fire start in the house?

I agree a dog left loose to run is not always appropriate, but many do and never leave their property and cause no problems. Many others are kept in pens or kennels with more than adequate shelter, food and water.

Outside and unattended are two separate issues. Dogs not spending some portion of their day outside being dogs are not being well taken care of either in my opinion.

<3. BBCRA requires that adopted dogs, at all times, wear secure collars or harnesses with identification tags. A leash is required when a dog is in a public area or any other place or time that requires control to keep the dog safe from vehicles and other dogs or dangers.

You admitted to BBCRA that Shelby was not collared before she became lost. There was no collar or identification on Shelby when she was brought to the county shelter. BBCRA has no assurance that you would provide a collar and identification in the future and no assurance that Shelby would be kept safe when outdoors.>

Again, there are instances where collars may not always be on. Mine do not wear collars unless leaving the property. This is for safety reasons so they do not get caught in each other's collars while playing, chew them off each other, or get caught and hang themselves. Again, my personal preferences that center around the safety of my dogs.

<4. All dogs fostered by BBCRA are vaccinated, sterilized, de-wormed, placed on heartworm prevention and microchipped. Shelby received all of these services as soon as possible after BBCRA received her. The fact that Shelby was not spayed is an especially serious matter to BBCRA. It has been estimated that over six million dogs and cats are euthanized annually because they are homeless and unwanted due to animal overpopulation.>

While I support the efforts of rescue groups, those of us involved in purebred canine sports and activities do keep intact animals for breeding, responsible breeding. And within this community is a well-organized system of breed rescue groups.

Again, I do hope your organization operates with more flexibility than your letter suggests.

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