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Tammy Grimes of Dogs Deserve Better arrested

by Therese on September 15, 2006

in Animals in the News, Pets, Random Thoughts, Rants

On Monday, Sept. 11 Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, was arrested for saving the life of a dying dog.

After repeated attempts, by different people, to have East Freedom, Pennsylvania animal control officers rescue a dog that was chained and dying, Grimes rescued the dog named Doogie. She took the dog to the vet for treatment and then took him home. When she refused to return Doogie to his owners, she was arrested. Police and animal control officers were not interested in seeing the video evidence of how she found the dog. She was later released, but she is due in court on Sept. 21 to face charges of theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass.

What she did was save the life of a dog who’s owners were leaving him to die. How on earth can that be wrong? The dog’s owners are the ones who should be behind bars, not Tammy!

The more of us that speak up the better! Tammy, Doogie, and other dogs who’s lives are spent on chains need our help! Please see Tammy’s website – Dogs Deserve Better – to learn how you can help.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

jan September 15, 2006 at 7:23 pm

Incidents like this make me so furious. I do think that Animal Control people are becoming more aware of cruelty and their obligation to do something about it, but we still have a long way to go.


Therese September 15, 2006 at 9:08 pm

You’re so right about that Jan. For the most part, I do think they’re getting the idea that what was ok in the past, isn’t anymore. The part that’s frustrating though is that most of the animal control offices are terribly understaffed.


Jimmy September 15, 2006 at 11:33 pm

Thanks for posting Therese. I watched the clips on YouTube. Heartbreaking! I can’t stand any kind of animal neglect.

As much as I hate too much government, I wish that some kind of license was required to have a pet. I mean like a written test similar to your drivers license on how to care for your pet and a house visit from officials to make the final OK.

Tammy is one thoughtful chic!


Diane Senatore September 23, 2006 at 9:48 am

dear tammy
god bless you a thousand times. when will humans believe that animals
have feelings, that they feek pain, lonelyness, sadness. they are
truely amasing. the arnold’s are the one’s who should be in jail,
or better still put on a chain. when will the laws change. please
send me info. animals are my passion.


Shirley September 23, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Thousands of us would have come to the aid of Doogie as Tammy Grimes Did. The problem are the current laws. We cannot stand by and allow ourselves to be governed by laws belonging to the Middle Ages, not in year 2006, especially in America. Altoona and surroundings towns like East Freedom are in the news limelight due to behaving in brutal ways towards downed animals. Its time for citizens to have back rights…not for the disinterested to have the final say to allow a dog to lie like that, for 2 to 3 dys, without any food or water, on the cold ground…this is NO excuse any of them use in any acceptable way. This includes the Arnolds, the Cent Pa. Humane Society, the New Freedom policy and dog officer, nor the DA or other judicial officials involved. Sorry, Sirs, you are 100% wrong.


Harry Wilson September 26, 2006 at 10:28 pm

Please visit her website and click to Vote for her for the Animal Hero award. Her website is http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org

I think this alone in some way makes here my hero. Even if she doesnt win the Animal Hero of the year Award.


Therese September 26, 2006 at 11:18 pm

Harry, thanks for mentioning the Animal Hero award. I just voted and hope more people will do the same!


Jackie September 30, 2006 at 7:27 pm

Tammy’s heart is definitely in the right place…but there are ways of doing things and ways of doing things.

Tammy should have reported the abuse to her local police and/or animal shelter.

She could have then said if they needed a foster home for the pups recovery, she would volunteer.

Then the authorities could go after the true criminals – the owners.

Sorry Tammy – I loved what you did, but unfortunately it was a legal move. Hope you get a good lawyer – cause you did do good.


Farmer September 30, 2006 at 7:27 pm

Well, you all have good thoughts! As an animal lover, dogs mostly, I hate it when folks mistreat their animals for any reason! I agree w/ jimmy about the ownership card. If you are not able to care & provide for the animal, then you cannot own one, or get one!! Someone should take the video before the judge at her hearing so they can see the conditions the dog was in.


Lisa October 8, 2006 at 5:52 pm

I strongly believe in better animal control and agree the local Animal Control should have responded to Kim Eicher. What Tammy Grimes did may not have been the correct choice. Tammy should have turned the dog over to animal control after the vet visit and filed a complaint then pushed the issue through the system. She should have proved her case of abuse It is done everyday by pople who rescue abused animals. Now it just looks like she stole the dog to bolster her Dogs Deserve Better Organization. Why did Tammy Grimes refuse to recuse the dog at first? Here are her own words “We told her we aren’t law officers, and she needed to call the humane officer”. I don’t feel she is a hero, more like a vigilante thief with her own agenda.


Therese October 9, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Hi Lisa,

I wouldn’t think Tammy stole the dog to bolster her own organization. I think there was real concern for the dog’s health and well being. If I understand the whole thing correctly, animal control didn’t respond to repeated requests to have the dog taken care of. I’m sure she felt she was doing the right thing as she was doing it and I applaud her for that. What she did was not done in malice, but to save another creature’s life. How many people would have turned away in the exact same situation?


Carolyn Spirko October 21, 2006 at 5:04 am

Dear Tammy

I look forward to meeting you on Monday at 7:30 Schuylkil Vets here in Pottsville, Pa.

I would have done the same thing as you did. I have done those very same things in the passed. Luckily I didn’t get arrested. I try and talk to people I know who keep there dogs out tied with dog boxes, as they do take good care of them, I still feel they are so lonely. They aren’t near a fence but I just hate that feeling when I go there. I hope this law gets passed I just can’t see people in this area following the law if it should go through. I will pray and hope everyday that your works are not in vain.,

Signed Caroly


Kelsie February 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

My APBT has a very well-maintained chain spot with a comfy insulated dog house that I use for her. I let her loose every day when I’m able and she gets all kinds of exercise. Nothing has access to her because nothing would be able to trespass this property without me or my other household members noticing or knowing. She is well fed and always has clean water, and is protected from weather of all types. I am unable to keep her as a house pet for reasons I am not obligated to explain to you people, and I do not have a fence – so if anyone has a problem with me containing my pet RESPONSIBLY and PROPERLY, go to Hell.


Kelsie February 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Let me rephrase something…
“I let her loose everyday when I’m able and she gets all kinds of exercise”
I meant to add, “I let her loose everyday when I’m able and she gets all kinds of exercise WITH ME”
(I never let her loose unsupervised)


Tracy Ritchey January 20, 2007 at 12:01 pm

To whom it may concern .Being involved with animal welfare for 14 years we feel that she was in the wrong .We alsohave numerous calls about animal abuse cases that our hands are tied,because we know the LAWS .There were proper channels that should have been gone through. It is tresspassing if you do not have proper authority to go on her property,and we are pretty sure Tammy knew that.She should have taken it to the authority after she removed the dog .Why didn’t she probably because she knew she was wrong! What is this going to lead to ? Can anyone take an animalaway from its home if they see something they do not like?You can’t take a child away just because you see abuse ! THAT IS WHY WE HAVE LAWS .I wonder how JAKE is feeling after living his 18 years with his original owners.We also know how people can stretch the truth when calling in abuse cases .All we are saying is WE LOVE ANIMALS TOO.


Kelsie February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Exactly! When you are trying to do what you feel is right and commit a crime along the way, you are letting the alleged abusers/neglecters ROAM FREE while you’re the one in the court room.


Tracy Ritchey March 30, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Did you recently follow up on this story ? well if you did not the poor old dog had passed away ! After all that talk about how he was doing much better in his new foster home! My question was he? He could have spent his last remaining months with his family because as any animal lover and owner would tell you he must have had good love and care to have lived for 18 years .I feel for the owners who had lost there dog before they could be reunited. I sure hope that Tammy gets whatever the law hands to her . This should have been handled a different way


Linda Borling July 24, 2007 at 6:49 pm

I hope that people like Tracy Ritchey never need help from a stranger. Some laws need to be broken, and I’m glad Tammy Grimes was brave enough to do so.

Ms Ritchey’s comments that this dog “must have had good love and care to have lived 18 years” suggests she knows little about animals or animal welfare. Rescuers have removed animals of all ages from inhumane situations and surroundings. Just because an abused animal displays a will to live, it doesn’t follow that it had any sort of love or care at all – only enough food and water to survive.


Therese July 24, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Well said, Linda!


Vic Victorine October 1, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Tracy Ritchey:
Please tell me you didn’t write, “I feel for the owners who had lost there dog before they could be reunited.” You feel for the owners? Really? If “we” have been involved in animal welfare for 14 years, exactly what have “we” been doing all this time?


TJ December 23, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Tracy Ritchey, you profess to be an animal welfare worker but you haven’t fooled us – we know you’re more concerned with legality than morality and ethical behavior.
If you’re still wondering where this will lead – let us tell you that we want it to lead to freedom from fear of legal reprisal when a person chooses to rescue a dogs from chains which cruel jailers confine them to.
You’re truly a delusional person who erroneously describes herself as an animal welfare worker.


MELODY February 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Tammy has a problem. She sticks her nose in where it does’nt belong!! My 90 year old Grandmother just received a “Valentine” from her organization about dogs being chained. The 2 dogs that live with her are inside and have been since the temperatures dropped below 35 degrees. These dogs are not happy. They are tearing things from the walls and trying to escape any chance they get. They have even figured out how to get the door open to get outside. So it is apparent that not all dogs enjoy the indoors. So I suggest that Ms. Grimes should start minding her our business.


TEE April 19, 2012 at 4:09 am

Melody, I have a dog that also didn’t like being inside. However, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night, I knew that he had to come in. At first he was restless at night but I bought a large dog carrier and I started putting him in it at night. He started feeling secure. Now he sleeps by my bed without any anxiety. Hard to believe that you’re 90 year old grandmother is able to care for dogs that are capable of tearing things from the wall. She must be in great shape for her age. Dogs that active sure need a lot of exercise. Kudos to your grandmother.


Andy Thompson April 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm

All these do gooders think they can change the law for dogs but dogs are just pieces of filfth and if you don’t like the way I treat my dog tuff because the law is on my side. It is my natural right as an American citizen to let my dog live and die on the end of a chain and if you don’t like it then be my guest and I’ll put you in jail just like they did this do gooder.

I ain’t takin my dogs for a walk or feeding unitl Im good and ready. they are dogs and they need to be treated like this becasue man has his place at the top and dogs should be low to the bottom and the law knows it and that is why they are on our side!

If you dont want to see my dogs on a chain then buidl a fence but no body can tell me that I need to treat my dog any better then a cockroach becuase the law is on my side


kim September 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

dogs have been chained for hundreds of years and suddenly its bad because one person suddenly decides it is, do you ever wonder why some of these dogs are chained? its not all cruelty! mind your business and let the real authoritys do their job!


Sophie Field January 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

And I thought things in Ireland were bad ..
To think that poor Tammy could be charged for such an act of kindness completely sickens me.
That judge who sentenced her should be completely ashamed of herself. Saying that Tammy is a disgrace to animals .. she should take a look at herself before saying things like that !


Kelsie February 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Poor Tammy, my ass! She IS a disgrace to animals! Because of her and her legion of sheep, people like ME will no longer be allowed to properly contain my dogs when I need to, if her agenda advances to where I live…
We all know a lot of irresponsible people chain their dogs and neglect and abuse them, but let’s not forget that not EVERYONE who has a dog tied up is an irresponsible pet owner. What DDB is trying to do will solve nothing.


lipreader February 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Tammy is a nut. She sent me a Valentine from my Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog saying he wanted to come inside. I wrote her and told her he was very healthy and happy outside (vet and Humane Society have verified this). She wrote a nasty letter back saying livestock guardian dogs need to be kept inside the house with people. So the coyotes can eat the goats and sheep?

The USDA disagrees with this thief, and I do too. The Guarding Dog Concept

“A livestock guarding dog is one that generally stays with sheep without harming them and aggressively repels predators. The dog chooses to remain with sheep because it has been reared from puppyhood with them. Its protective behaviors are largely ins tinctive, and there is relatively little formal training required other than timely correction of undesirable behaviors (e.g., chewing on ears, overplayfulness, and excessive wandering). The guarding dog is not a herding dog but rather a full-time member of the flock. Success of the dog is a result of a quality genetic background with an emphasis on proper rearing.”



TEE April 19, 2012 at 3:40 am

I am furious. There is a web site called http://www.dogpolitics.com who is berating Tammy for saving this dog. The writer is absolutely drooling with hatred and disdain for Tammy. Almost reminds me of a vengeful jilted girlfriend getting even with the new girlfriend. They allowed responses but apparently that didn’t go as they planned… now comments are disabled. I would have done the same as Tammy. I could not have allowed a dog to lay and suffer. Shame on the judge who didn’t look at all the evidence. Shame on the owners who didn’t seek medical attention for their dog. I am happy that Doogie got to spend his last months in a loving and happy enviroment… without pain!!!


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