This was posted last month, but I felt it deserved to be reposted. Tamira is a fantastic writer and very inspiring. Her passion is one of the things that keeps me in rescue. Knowing there are others out there fighting for these animals lives. Believing in the cause. Never backing down....
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010
Can you feel the momentum building, soon to explode, showering everything with sparks of light which spell out “DOG CHAINERS BEWARE—THE ABUSE ENDS NOW!”?
The movement is growing.
In its infancy there were steps so minuscule as to remain unnoticed, and the discouraged folded their play tents and went home to drink wine by the fire and pretend they didn’t remember the suffering.
But for those of us who camped out in the mud, putting one tiny foot in front of the other, even when no one believed in our efforts and advised us—for our own good—to run along home, the miles soon began to rack up.
At first it was small victories—a local law here, a rescued dog there—for me a chance to speak at the national level, a chance to spread our message in person and en masse.
Then state laws began surfacing, and citizens gathering together lobbied for bills to protect dogs without knowing how to do it but committing to learn along the way.
Despite the agony they endured in convincing others to acknowledge these Forgotten Dogs, they knew. They knew the fire in their stomach would not die until it consumed those standing in the way of truth and justice.
Where we used to raise still, small voices with smaller objections to scary citizens who abused their dogs—turning to run when they raised a threatening hand in our direction—we now stand firm and proud and together, speaking in confident tones about the rights of dogs to live with their pack according to their needs and the nature of the breed.
We cultivate the power of strength in numbers, we harness the power of the internet.
If you’re thinking, “But haven’t you been arrested and convicted for the second time of a CRIME for helping chained dogs. How can you possibly say their confinement is coming to an end when it appears yours is just beginning?”
Because I feel it. I feel it in my gut with the magnificence of 1000 suns.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Dog advocates in America who work for chained dogs have gone unrewarded, been made fun of, been themselves abused, and yet I am confident that in the end we WILL be victorious.
You may wonder at the optimism of a woman who has sunk all the way to the bottom for her chosen cause.
My first arrest was for helping a dog who’d been chained for 13 years, and had come to that time in his life where he needed medical help in order to go on. The cowards who chained him left him lying on the ground, unable to stand, for three days while they waited for him to die and save them the $100 vet fee.
So I, a former Air Force Staff Sergeant, mother of two, business owner, and founder of non-profit Dogs Deserve Better, became the bearer of my first criminal conviction because I took him to the vet and refused to turn him back over to his abusers. For that I was awarded theft and receiving stolen property.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2010, I was again convicted of a crime for helping chained dogs. This time I added trespassing to the list, for daring to stuff two doghouses with straw and giving underweight chained dogs bones, food, and water to help them survive on a day with wind chills at -11 degrees.
A friend of mine looked up the rap sheet for the dog chainer, and it was considerably less impressive than my own.
In the courtroom I watched Krystal Cann and her neighbor perjure themselves before a district magistrate, and was almost embarrassed for them. Everyone in the courtroom knew in doing so they’d committed a crime far worse than my own.
When I felt we’d proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Krystal lied about telling me to leave the property, I saw the magistrate flounder for a reason to keep the blame firmly on my shoulders. His claim? I could have fabricated the photos and video, could have doctored them to suit my purposes.
Then he convicted me, mumbling something about ‘reasonable expectations,’ with not a word about the crime of perjury that had just taken place in his courtroom.
My partner asked the policeman how it felt to be lied to.
In the District Magistrate, I saw an elected official who sought to please his own constituents in order to remain in office, to continue to receive his weekly paycheck all the way up and through retirement.
I saw a man who compared me providing dogs with straw, food, and water to someone who goes to a neighbor’s garage and borrows a tool without their permission.
I saw a man who, upon being shown a photo of a skeletal boxer, claimed that boxers are just skinny dogs, and that water freezes outside in zero degree weather. Surely they couldn’t be expected to keep them in potable water at such temperatures?
I saw a man who never considered it cruel to keep an underweight boxer outside in negative temps with a doghouse far too big to maintain his body heat and body fur far too short to offer any help from the cold and wind.
And yet I somehow feel optimistic. I feel optimistic because I don’t think Magistrate Galen Decort knows what kind of shitstorm is about to hit him, all those who abuse animals in America, and all those who protect abusers in America.
I feel optimistic because Pennsylvania lawmakers can see the coalition growing, the demand for a state law to stop the abuse reaching an all-time high.
I feel optimistic because if lawmakers deny us in this, our third try, they know we will be back even more forcefully the next time. Success WILL be ours.
I guarantee it.
I am committed to unchaining Pennsylvania’
s dogs, America’s dogs. I will not quit until I see Americans treat our companions with the respect and care they deserve.
I have come to accept I may end up with a rap sheet longer than my arm for helping chained dogs. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make—in fact, I consider it an honor. They deserve that kind of dedication.
It’s time America grows up. Time America follows the Europeans, who know how to make dogs part of the family and would never allow their neighbors to chain their dogs in today’s society.
I remain optimistic because I know that time is short on the side of the abusers. We are simply not willing to tolerate the abuse any longer.
Chaining your dog for life IS abuse.
Be intolerant with me.
Tamira Ci Thayne, February 18, 2010
Want to educate District Magistrate Galen Decort?
Write him at 125 Main St., Portage, PA 15946
Write him at 125 Main St., Portage, PA 15946
Live in Pennsylvania? Please join our coalition to change the law athttp://www.unchainp