What Happens when Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound is Bought by an Animal Activist? Find out in “It Went to the Dogs”

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We’re Proud to Announce Our New Release,
from Who Chains You Books!

It Went to the Dogs:
How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups

by Tamira Thayne

What could possibly go wrong when a dog activist buys Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound? As it turns out…everything.

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The house sat empty, an eerie white sentinel against the flat winter landscape, now guarding only whispers of the past. A six-foot white metal fence with coded entry gate lined the country road, abandoning its purpose at the property line and allowing passage to all with the temerity and curiosity to walk around.

The bullet hole in the front window went unnoticed.

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Tamira Thayne was alone, parked across the street, and early for her appointment with the Hampton Roads, Virginia realtor. Today was the day she’d tour Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound, something she’d never imagined nor particularly wanted to do.

It seemed pretty creepy, truth be told.

Tamira felt the whispers surround her, reaching out. The rescuer in her wanted to rescue the ghosts, too; embrace the broken dogs who lay undiscovered and probably buried on the property, assure them they weren’t forgotten. She shuddered, pulling herself together.

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The decision Tamira would make that fateful day in February 2011 would lead not only to a home for her nonprofit’s rescue dogs, but also to the most turbulent four years of her life: she faced down allegations of racism, community harassment, poisoning, and, ultimately, false charges aimed at driving her and Dogs Deserve Better from the county.

There was a reason Michael Vick felt he could get away with dogfighting in Surry County, Virginia—and why he got away with it for as long as he did…

With over 200 bw photos and documents.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-946044-67-9 • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-946044-69-3

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About the Author

Tamira Thayne pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years.

During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center. She’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide.

Tamira is the author of It Went to the Dogs: How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups, the Chained Gods Series, the Animal Protectors Series, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains. She’s the editor of More Rescue Smiles, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles. In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

Tamira is an Air Force veteran who lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

Books Addressing Dog Chaining? We’ve Got ‘Em. Ten, to be Exact!

Blacky (3lo)

Blackie, before his rescue, chained in filth.

Dog chaining is one of those issues that grabs an animal lover by the guts and clenches until all that remains is a lifeless hull, seeping out the last vestiges of hope in the goodness of mankind and muddying the field with its tears.

Too much?

Ever live next to a chained dog?

If so, then you know of which we speak…and you’re nodding your head along with us, screaming YES, YES! at your monitor. We hear you.

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Yet, so often authorities and those with power and control could care less about the plight of our companion animals rotting away in backyards all across America.

One of the ways to address this WRONGNESS? Education of ourselves and our youth, through books that discuss the issue and let us put ourselves in the paws of that dog for even just one moment in time.

To that end, Who Chains You Books has excelled in creating tools for use in classrooms and libraries, for sale at nonprofit booths, and for family bedtime story reading. We’ve currently got ten published books that address dog chaining, with selections for both children and adults.

And, we offer wholesale discounts to nonprofits for resale in their work for the animals, as well as humane educators and independent bookstores.

Below is a synopsis of our current anti-chaining lineup, with suggested ways the books can be used to address dog chaining. Happy Reading!

happydogloHappy Dog Coloring Book is brand-new, and is intended as a workhorse for childhood education on chaining. It is an excellent tool to bring humane education into the classroom, and keep the kids attention on the issue while they color.

This book includes 25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

The coloring book also features 6 pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages from 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

Happy Dog can be purchased singly or in bulk at discount prices. Purchasers can also get a FREE bonus download of 8 extra coloring pages!

In addition, this book is available for licensing to interested nonprofits. What does licensing mean? It means we will add your logo and contact information to the book, and provide you with the print-ready files to take to your local printer for even greater bulk savings, giving you the right to sell and distribute the coloring book in your area as a fundraising and educational tool. Contact us at info@whochainsyou.com if interested.

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Want Higher Quantities for Classroom Use? Order Direct From Us.

capitolbookcover16loFighting chaining, and seeking inspiration and ideas? Read Tamira Thayne’s Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues, a chronicle of the time she and others spent chained to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, advocating for passage of a state law providing more humane treatment for man’s best friends.

The book gives an important overview of the issue, as well as some “outside the dogbox” thinking that just might inspire you with new and creative ideas to address chaining too.

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aboutadogcover-loIt’s About a Dog views the life of a chained dog through an unusual set of eyes: Oliver the Owl, who narrates the story, and brings it to life in a way that is both poignant and far-reaching. This story is perfect for family bedtime, for  classroom humane education, and library storytime. It will reach anyone with a heart from age 8 to 108. The book is also available in audiobook, for those who prefer to listen.

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honeycoverloHoney’s Second Chance, from the Second Chance Series by author Brandy Herr, brings to life the true story of Honey, a beautiful golden retriever who spent all her days on a chain in Texas before her rescue by Second Chance Farm. Perfect for kids young and old, Honey’s Second Chance is a wonderful way to educate that a dog deserves to be a happy and beloved member of the family.

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Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Foster Doggie Insanity is a important read offering emotional support and ideas for doggie foster parents, with the author providing a 29-day chained dog foster diary as example of the hardships and joys that doggie fostering can bring.

When things go wrong as doggie foster parents, it’s all too easy to blame ourselves, and either quit or spiral into depression. Her goal is to allow you to go a little easier on yourself, in order to get back to the place where you can provide the safe cushion animals need to get back on their feet and find a new home.

This book is narrated in audio by Lee Ahonen, who does an excellent job of channeling the author’s emotions and style, too!

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doggieherocover-loA Doggie Hero is Born, by Rocky Shepheard, is a good old-fashioned animal fantasy tale. Join “Worthless”—a chained dog who is rescued by his animal friends—as he, Sly Fox, and Otto romp through the woods in search of a new, and more loving, home. Will he find happiness and a new name in the end? Only time will tell.

The book is full of excitement and rich illustrations to thrill your audience and teach a lesson in compassion and humane treatment of man’s best friend.

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kingstethercoverlodropThe King’s Tether is a prequel novella in the Chained Gods Series, written by Tamira Thayne. In the author’s first jump into the fiction genre, she puts her fixation on chaining to use as the topic for a series of young adult books.

The series features immortals who shapeshift into dogs; as dogs, they end up chained and forced to guard keys to the destruction of two dimensions by “the bad guys”. Mwahaha. This series makes a fun and unusual read for teens through adults—and educates a bit along the way, too.

In The King’s Tether, you’ll meet Randulf, king of Perrin, living as a chained shepherd in a small Virginia town—yet in his sleep he remembers and yearns for a grander life that’s been lost.

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wrathcover-lodropIn The Wrath of Dog, the first book in the Chained Gods Series, you’ll meet Baylee, a young girl who is unaware of the part she’s to play in the upcoming war with those who are holding the king in chains.

When she encounters Randulf, a chained and angry shepherd living only two blocks from her, her life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

Reaching adulthood sure wasn’t what she thought it would be…

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puddlescoverpuppy16webThe Puppy who Left Puddles on the Floor addresses many of the ways our best friends can be treated inhumanely, and as such is a wonderful all-round education tool.

Chance is dumped at the shelter because he leaves “puddles on the floor”. Even though he’s lucky enough to find another home, he soon ends up chained outside, as his guardian doesn’t want to spend the time teaching him. A twist of fate sets him free to seek a better life on his own. Will Chance finally find the loving inside home and family he deserves?

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rescuesmilescoverlodropRescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation offers a look into the lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds.

Four of the fifteen true life tales within feature chained-dog rescues and the happy endings they deserve.

This book won a Best Book Award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

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At Who Chains You we publish books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. Our mission is singular: to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists, and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in society.

Who Chains You Publishing brings you books that educate, entertain, and share gripping plights of the animals we serve and those who rescue and stand in their stead.

At our deepest levels, we explore what chains we humans must break within ourselves in order to free the animals. Visit us at http://www.whochainsyou.com.

As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt Their Lack of Morality, Compassion

By Tamira Thayne

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A dog the author was eventually able to free from her frigid prison

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/28/Dog-found-frozen-solid-on-central-Toledo-porch.html

After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.

 

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A blind dog the author eventually freed, too.

Tamira Thayne is the author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years. During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center.

Tamira’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide, and worked with her daughter to take on a school system’s cat dissection program, garnering over 100,000 signatures against the practice.

In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

New Young Adult Novel by Author Tamira Thayne Finds Creative Ways to Highlight Dog Chaining, Cat Dissection

wrathcover-lodropAnimal activist Tamira Thayne loved to read paranormal novels, and one of her dreams was to write one herself someday.

Trouble was, although she’d spent 13 years writing about dog chaining and dog foster parenting as founder of the nonprofit organization Dogs Deserve Better, she’d never considered any kind of storyline for a novel.

But then it hit her: What if the chained dog in the story was actually a lot MORE than he appeared to be? And what if he could somehow rise up and take vengeance on those who treated him so poorly?

(I mean really, don’t all animal activists daydream about the animals rising up against those who torment them?)

And so, the idea for The Wrath of Dog was born. While Thayne plans for a three-five book series, she’s already at work on a prequel short story entitled “The King’s Tether.”

The Wrath of Dog is available now in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. A signed copy can be ordered directly from the author on our website as well.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

About the Book:

The hairy beast growled and lunged at Baylee, his rusted logging chain straining to break—like it did every morning she cut down his back alley.

She hadn’t dubbed him “The Wrath of Dog” for nothin’.

She’s vowed that someday she’ll free Wrath and they’ll rise up and smite his obviously nasty owner. For today, though, she just needs to get past him without dying and make it the two blocks to class before the bell rings and she has another detention headed her way.

Wrath’s plight is soon forgotten when her refusal to dissect a kitty earns her another trip to Principal Baird’s office. Things go from bad to worse, and before long she’s hearing voices in her head, decamping the school premises with a band of zombie cats, and learning that The Wrath of Dog is a lot more than she bargained for.

Next thing she knows she’s avoiding her best friend, learning she’s not quite human, and taking on an unseen enemy to save the day, her family, and just maybe two worlds in the process.

Becoming an adult sure isn’t what she thought it would be…

About the Author:

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne always wished she could smite a nasty dog chainer, but it seems that’s frowned upon in today’s society—so she’s writing about it instead. She settled for pioneering the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years.

During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center. She’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide, and worked with her daughter to take on a school system’s cat dissection program, garnering over 100,000 signatures against the practice.

She’s the author of Foster Doggie Insanity and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and the upcoming Rescue Smiles. In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

The Wrath of Dog is available now in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. A signed copy can be ordered directly from the author on our website as well.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Been Told You’re ‘Too Sensitive’ for Caring About the Animals? Four Challenges Sensitive People Can Overcome to Make a Difference

 

Are you an animal activist or rescuer who’s been repeatedly told you’re ‘too sensitive’ for caring about animals? You are not alone.

One of the Universe’s little ironies is that the most sensitive among us are the ones tasked with doing one of the most difficult jobs…protecting the animals.

Yet this very same sensitivity—the gift of the ability to empathize, to put ourselves into the shoes, hooves, or paws of another being—puts us at greater risk for pain, depression, and immense suffering, whether we are following through with our chosen mission or not.

There are four hurdles to be overcome in working for the animals which can prove especially challenging to the sensitive soul.

1. Overcoming the Fear of Taking Action

Sensitive folks believe they’ve come to this planet to make a difference. When that difference is scary, such as advocating for animals left out on chains, animals that end up on peoples’ plates, or animals that are used for the amusement of humans, the fear—real and imagined—is amped up accordingly.

There exists the possibility that when one stands in the face of violence against animals, jail, physical and emotional harm, or even death can result. To the sensitive soul these confrontations with amoral people loom large and menacing.

The probability of failure is high, and even when there are successes to tide you over, the greater likelihood is that there remains a continued chance of defeat in each mission you undertake. Those who are sensitive take these failures more personally, believing that it’s all their fault—and just maybe they are not good people—if they can’t succeed.

2. Overcoming Debilitating Pain for and on Behalf of The Animals

For those of us who love animals, the thought of eating them, chaining them, caging them for our amusement, and the host of other uncurbed cruelties that abound out in the ‘real’ world cause us intense emotional discomfort.

We feel this pain on behalf of the tortured souls—as if we are experiencing it AS them—AND we feel this pain on behalf of our own tormented spirits, forced to witness the cruelty and feeling helpless to stop it.

Overwhelming anguish leads to depression, avoidance of the reality we face, and—worst case scenario—suicide.

When we are in such intense agony, it is very hard to act on behalf of the animals. All we can focus on is our own suffering and how to ameliorate it.

3. Overcoming Obstacles and Putdowns by Bullies and Authorities

Sensitive people by and large don’t fend off criticism as well as their neighbors and co-workers. Because they are so easily-affected by the putdowns of others, they struggle to place the far-flung words into perspective, to realize those who are directing abuse at them are really showing themselves for what they are: bullies. To the overwhelmed thought pattern of the empath, the putdowns becomes more proof that they must somehow be defective.

They have a harder time standing up to authorities—even though their moral compass is strong—because the desire to avoid conflict and an inherent kindheartedness is a large part of who they are. As such they are often mistaken for weak by those who bulldoze all those standing in their path.

4. Overcoming Defeat and Getting Back Up to Fight Again

Once a sensitive soul is down, it becomes all too tempting to roll over and play dead. They bury themselves in depression, alcohol, pills, food, TV-watching, internet surfing, or other activities that are self-defeating and don’t forward the mission of advocating for the animals.

Everyone on the front lines needs a break from time to time. Animal advocacy is a very difficult and soul-draining process, especially for those who are empathetic enough to fight on behalf of the animals.

There also comes a time in every activist or rescuer’s career when her front line days are over, she’s served her time, and she can then be of service to the cause as a mentor to others.

Ascertaining at which point on the spectrum the sensitive soul currently sits is an ongoing process, but overcoming a sense of defeat enough to stand and fight another day is a highly-commendable—and possible—goal.

Exactly How Does the Sensitive Soul Overcome These and Other Obstacles to Animal Activism?

Sometimes the most sensitive among us are surprisingly inept at inner reflection and strength-building. Most have suffered intense childhood wounding by their families of origin, and carry this pain into adulthood, mistakenly assuming they are stuck dragging it after them for life.

But our very ability to look deep, to release old, stuck issues, can make the difference in overcoming the obstacles and creating a new reality for ourselves.

Often a childhood fraught with animal abuse brings about the very desire to make a difference for the animals as adults, and letting go of the pain and blame from childhood will go a long way toward giving us the strength to stand tall for those we are now tasked with protecting.

There are a myriad of ways to let go, and there is no wrong way as long as it works for you. Just start exploring the infinite possibilities. I recommend reading “The Four Agreements” if you haven’t already done so, and take its lessons to heart. The agreements are simple yet profound, and the book is short and perfect for multiple readings—as you’ll find it easy to forget what you’ve learned and fall back into childhood patterns.

I’ve become a fan of and use tapping, aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), for myself and my clients, as a solid means by which to free negative emotions and build a strong inner core through drawing the positive into your life.

To teach yourself tapping (one of the reasons I love it is that you can totally teach it to yourself), visit the founder’s website and go through the lessons. You won’t regret it. http://www.emofree.com.

Below is a video to get the sensitive souls among us started in overcoming obstacles today. Tap along and you’ll start releasing a little of that pain and negativity within the first 15 minutes!

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Mr. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

Bullying in the Animal Rescue Movement: Spotting a Bully and Removing Her from Your Life

bullyingrescue

Online bullying is a fact of life, and happens in every social movement and in every dusty corner of the web; however, it is particularly insidious in the animal rescue movement because it destroys the very protective fiber the animals depend on for their salvation.

Most legitimate rescuers enjoy a “honeymoon period” when first jumping into rescue…they’re full of excitement, high on the beauty of saving a life, and starting to build a reputation for themselves.

As long as they’re responsible and on the up and up, things go well for them—for a time. But sooner or later they gain enough visibility to attract a following, and within that following there lurks an element of surprise that most won’t see coming.

Beware the Sycophant

Let’s say a rescuer is deeply involved in a highly-visible dog rescue effort that brings a happy ending for some abused dogs. She (I will be using the pronoun “she” throughout this article, although all points can apply to males as well) does something heroic, even—such as pulling caged and starving dogs from an abandoned home, thereby making the difference between life and death for these neglected canines.

Of course she’s happy. Ecstatic even. And dare I say proud of herself (and she has every right to be).

The police are on her side. The dogs were truly abandoned and emaciated, and the community recognizes her as a hero. She gets airtime on the news, talks about the dogs and her rescue organization and is able as a result to raise some much-needed funds for her work.

But now she has reached a level where she will attract devotees—people who are on the outskirts of rescue but who admire what she did to save these dogs. Many are perfectly nice folks who recognize a hero when they see one. They support the rescue financially, and she develops a rapport with them, sometimes even building lasting friendships.

She also attracts the less sane followers, although the problem for her becomes that in the beginning it is very difficult to tell the two apart. And, she’s naive. She believes everyone who loves dogs is a good person.

She couldn’t be more wrong.

In Dr. Phil’s book Life Code: New Rules for the Real World (a must-read for anyone going through online bullying), he makes it obvious why the sycophant needs to be avoided at all costs: “People who occupy one extreme of the emotional continuum are the very ones who tend to flip-flop to the OTHER emotional extreme.”

In other words? As soon as our one-time hero does ANYTHING that shows her to be a simple human being and not a superhero, her “best friend” suddenly becomes her worst enemy. And she’s been targeted for destruction all along.

Now is when the false claims start.

What’s the Truth?

When we don’t personally know a rescuer, we haven’t been to her home, and we haven’t seen her rescue situation with our own eyes, we as bystanders and/or financial supporters have a problem when accusations of neglect, abuse, or cruelty come to light against her.

Who do we believe?

Accusations of abuse or cruelty are the number one way to destroy an animal rescuer, for obvious reasons. Is the person we’ve trusted to hold the best interests of the animals at heart actually harming them instead? We become morally obligated to take such allegations seriously when they are brought forth, for the protection of the animals.

But by this same token, false accusations of cruelty and neglect have become the number one method nefarious persons use to destroy legitimate rescues.

Because it’s so easy to plant doubts. And they can.

Five Ways to Determine if an Accuser is Lying

We owe it to those brave enough to handle the pain of rescue on a daily basis to give them the benefit of the doubt unless valid evidence is produced. Consider the following points in ascertaining the validity of an accuser.

1. Are the accusations made anonymously?

Contrary to popular belief, ANIMAL RESCUE IS NOT THE CIA. It’s doubtful you would be murdered for standing against an abuser, so claiming you must protect yourself with anonymity is bogus. If someone has a legitimate abuse claim against a rescuer, they need to stand behind that claim, which means using their own name and in full. If they refuse to do that, they should be immediately dismissed as a troublemaker.

The more likely reason someone would make allegations anonymously is that they are lying, and don’t want to be sued for defamation.

2. Is there evidence?

Any legitimate claim will be backed by evidence in the form of photos, videos, vet records, etc. If you witness abuse and are not able to get evidence, you have no business going public with your claim until you can prove it. If there is a total lack of evidence outside of one person’s statement, it needs to be disregarded—unless and until proof can be obtained.

3. Does the accuser have a fake profile?

Often those seeking to destroy others’ well-deserved spotlight create fake profiles in order to do so. Women will pretend to be men, digging up photos of upstanding-looking men they find on the internet in the hopes of lending credence to their claims and throwing the truth seekers off their scent. If you see accusations by someone who isn’t personally known to you, do a little digging. It quickly becomes apparent if they’ve stolen profile photos, and/or other pieces of their persona. If you ascertain their profile is fake, let the victim know and go public with your findings as soon as possible.

4. What type of person is the accuser?

If a little facebook creeping and googling shows that the accuser is one who constantly badmouths others—run, don’t walk, to your nearest exit. Is the accuser on the periphery of rescue, or are they deeply involved on a daily basis? A quick scan of most rescuers’ facebook pages makes it blatantly obvious that those who are legitimate have no desire, time, or intention of attacking other rescuers—unless they have scads of proof and a need to act on behalf of the animals.

5. Does the accuser have a criminal history?

Believe it or not, many of these folks leading the charge with pitchforks and dragons to slay hard-working rescuers are actually convicted criminals themselves. They will even accuse the rescuer of activities they themselves have been convicted of—such as embezzling, one of their favorite pastimes. A little sleuthing and a background check can bring up some fascinating evidence against these frauds. Don’t hesitate to spread the evidence you discover far and wide. When they are exposed for the con artists they are, they will tuck tail and run off to torture their next victim.

Still not sure?

The very best way to ascertain the truth of the matter is to go directly to the source. If you’ve questioned the accuser, but still feel uncomfortable, I recommend you ask the rescuer to come see her facility and meet her rescued animals.

ANY LEGITIMATE RESCUE WILL ALLOW THIS. PERIOD.

If a rescue will not allow you to come in and see all areas of the facility—with the possible exception of quarantine—then there is something to hide.

How can a legitimate rescuer handle these attacks?

1. Invite everyone IN.

If you have nothing to hide, hide nothing. The very act of inviting the public to your facility puts many people’s fears aside. For those who take you up on your offer, be gracious and cordial, and answer every question truthfully and to the best of your ability. Yes, it is annoying that you must defend yourself when you did nothing wrong, but life is frequently unfair. Our job in that moment is to allay our supporters fears, no matter how they were engendered.

2. Being defamed? If you have money for legal, immediately send a cease and desist letter.

Bullies are cowards, and the last thing they want to do is spend what little stolen money they have defending themselves in court. Odds are good they will run off to an easier victim. If you must go to court and you have a strong case—and you can handle the emotional strain—then go for it. That’s something only you can decide.

3. Put out your evidence to the contrary. Publicly.

Bullies lurk in the shadows, streaming hate and lies. They don’t fare so well in the light of day. If you are being falsely accused, they will produce no appropriate evidence to back up their lies.

But guess what, YOU DO have evidence! Of how great a job you’re doing! Build a public page on your website or blog, and put all your photos and videos there of your rescued pets playing, running, interacting with YOU, the accused, and showing no fear. Build your case, and make sure to walk folks through the evidence timeline. Your true supporters can copy and paste this link whenever the accuser is trying to stir up trouble. This will go a long way toward assuaging the fears of your supporters.

4. Walk away and get back to work.

Once you’ve taken the steps above—and any other brilliant ones you’ve added to the equation—you’ve done all you can do. Walk away from their drama and get back to work. Yes, a couple diehard crazy folks will still be lying about you every chance they get, but you’re too busy doing good to give them a moment of your time.

5. Work on your self-esteem and become actively involved in spotting and avoiding these kinds of people.

I read Dr. Phil’s book way too late, but you don’t have to make the same mistake I did. I recommend it for every legitimate rescuer, so you can spot these would-be bullies coming a mile away and avoid them like the plague. When your gut speaks up, listen.

The damage these online bullies do to a legitimate rescuer’s self-esteem is not to be downplayed. We are all human and very few of us come into this world with high self-esteem. It’s something we’ve earned by doing the hard work emotionally and intellectually, and using what we’ve learned to build things we can be proud of.

Most legitimate rescuers are sensitive by nature—if they weren’t brought to intense emotional pain by watching animals suffer, they would not get involved in rescue efforts. It is this very soft-heartedness that makes them the target of bullies; it also makes them more easily taken in by a con artist.

Bullies, narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths have no self-esteem of their own, and so steal yours in order to bring you down to their level. They are often plagued by personality disorders that enable them to feel perfectly entitled to take what is yours, frame you for crimes you didn’t commit, and leave you for dead as they walk over your body in search of their next meal.

You therefore need to become active in the day-to-day revival of your self-esteem, because it can land in the toilet after dealing with bullies. I use and recommend tapping in my own life to release the negative emotions that build up from interactions with these kinds of people. Below is a tapping workshop video I created around the issue of online bullying. Please tap along with me and let me know if it helps you to release some of your pain.

To take your own free tapping courses and go in-depth into tapping, visit the creator’s website at http://www.emofree.com.

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Mr. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

WCY Author is a Ghost Hunter by Night

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Who Chains You Publishing would like to welcome author Brandy Herr to our publishing family with the release of “Honey’s Second Chance.”

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Honey’s Second Chance

By Brandy Herr

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Author Brandy Herr has a bit of an unusual but fascinating career.

As a writer and a reader, Brandy’s interests tend to lean towards the macabre. She is the co-founder and tour guide of the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour, a ghost tour based around the historic downtown square of Granbury, Texas. She is also the co-host of the Granbury Paranormal Expo, an annual event that brings together ghost hunters, psychics, UFO enthusiasts, horror fans, and others who are interested in the unexplained.

From this came her first full-length book, Haunted Granbury, which describes in more detail the ghost stories from around her hometown as well as her own personal ghost hunting experiences. Her work as an author and a macabre entrepreneur has taken her to several horror and paranormal conventions, where she has been able to meet and network with numerous horror movie and television icons. In 2015, she was invited to speak as a special guest at San Antonio’s MonsterCon.

Wanting to focus more on fiction in order to broaden her audience, Brandy submitted her short story, “The Calico,” for consideration in Nine Deadly Lives: An Anthology of Feline Fiction. The book was released in October 2015, with readers describing her story as “twisted,” “unexpected,” and “dark.”

Her latest piece, Honey’s Second Chance, takes a drastic turn from her previous work. An avid animal welfare advocate, Brandy chose to turn her focus from the fantastic and the unexplained and concentrate instead on the all-too-real horror faced every day by countless animals throughout the country. Taking the form of a children’s book, Honey’s Second Chance tells the story of Honey, an actual dog saved and rehabilitated by Granbury animal rescue Second Chance Farm. Told from Honey’s perspective, readers can learn about the important work done by this incredible rescue organization, and they can understand why dogs should be cared for and treated as a member of the family. Brandy’s prose softens the true nature of the situation to ensure the book is appropriate reading material for all ages. The book, with a couple exceptions, is illustrated using actual photos of Honey and the animals rescued by Second Chance Farm, with artistic twists provided by illustrator Tamira Ci Thayne.

Honey’s Second Chance is available through Who Chains You Publishing. Half of the profits Brandy Herr receives from the book will be donated to Second Chance Farm to help them continue the amazing work that they do.

For more information on Brandy Herr’s work, visit her website at www.AuthorBrandyHerr.com and like her official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AuthorBrandyHerr.

To buy her newly released children’s book, Honey’s Second Chance, in paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, or from our Createspace store, visit the below links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue