Listen to Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, speaks about her conviction for theft and receiving stolen property. The property? A dying dog, chained outside, too weak
to even get up. Here's the story:
" On December 14, 2007, I was convicted of theft and receiving stolen property for coming to the aid of this dog, who lay chained, unable to stand, and suffering in an East Freedom, Pennsylvania backyard.
Despite overwhelming evidence of cruelty on the part of the dog’s caretakers, no charges were ever brought against them by either the humane officer or the police. A private criminal complaint filed by myself and Dogs Deserve Better languishes unaddressed on the desk of DA Richard Consiglio.
Both video evidence of the dog struggling to get up and after-photos and video of the dog walking were suppressed from the jury. These videos are currently available for viewing on YouTube and our site.
I am to be sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Doyle on February 22, 2008. I am expected to receive a fine and/or community service, as well as probation for this supposed crime. I am morally and ethically unable and unwilling to pay any fine that goes to pay the salaries of those who use power wrongly; those who punish citizens for helping animals and allow animal abusers to go free will not receive monetary support from me.
The DA has taken flack in the opinion columns of local newspapers for wasting Blair County taxpayer money on my trial. His solution? To charge ME for the cost of the trial, reported to be over $1000. He expects me to pay costs for a jury who knew nothing of jury nullification, and knew not that they were free to exercise their own judgment based on their consciences rather than follow the advice of those in power just because they said they had to. They were therefore railroaded into a conviction by the actions of the DA and Judge Doyle.
It is not enough for Mr. Consiglio to drag my name and the name of Dogs Deserve Better through the mud in order to distract our citizens from the fact that cruelty laws were already being broken, and that the humane officer and the police failed to do their jobs. He would have me foot the bill for it. As a taxpayer of Blair County, Pennsylvania, I have already contributed my share to this trial. I will contribute no more.
As founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, I do community service virtually ever day of my life. If fact, I was performing community service the day I picked an aged and dying dog out of the mud and got him the veterinary care he was entitled to by law.
I am a law-abiding citizen of both Pennsylvania and the United States of America. I have served my country as a top-secret cleared linguist in the U. S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant at my first available opportunity, and honorably discharged in 1988. I strive very hard to obey all laws that seem fair and do not cause harm to others. I stop short of obeying any law that would force me to watch a dog die in the dirt, just because he is considered mere property of another. I will continue to fight for better laws for man’s best friend, as well as shine a light on the current lack of enforcement of existing cruelty laws.
This dog was not just another piece of trash that a Pennsylvania couple could allow to die unassisted, chained, and flailing about in the mud and his own feces in their yard. Doogie had the right to live or the right to a death free from cruelty, and the right to veterinary help by Pennsylvania law.
It is incumbent upon Blair County voters to remove from office anyone who by their actions or inactions condones animal cruelty and abuse and punishes those who seek to help these animals. This includes Judge Elizabeth Doyle and DA Richard Consiglio.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that “noncooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” And Thoreau stated “Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison…where the state places those who are not with her, but against her-the only house in a slave state in which a free man or woman can abide with honor.”
The only way for me to maintain a clear conscience is to choose prison as punishment for my crime. I hereby request that Judge Doyle jail me for however many days I should be imprisoned for the taking of a piece of property who’s value, while stated in the misdemeanor charges at 0-$50, after vet fees was more like negative $960.65. However, as one of our supporters said, Doogie’s freedom from abuse and restoration to health was truly more valuable than any precious gem; it was indeed priceless. "