Dogs Deserve Better founder to be sentenced after Have A Heart for Chained Dogs Week

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:

 

HOLIDAYSBURG, Pa.–Tammy Grimes, 43, who founded the
anti-chaining organization Dogs Deserve Better in 2002, will
celebrate Valentine’s Day 2008 by coordinating her 6th annual “Have A
Heart for Chained Dogs Week,” which annually delivers valentines and
treats to as many as 8,000 dogs who live their lives on chains.
Grimes will then be sentenced on February 22 for theft and receiving
stolen property.
Grimes on September 11, 2006 removed an elderly and
apparently painfully dying dog from the yard of Steve and Lori Arnold
of East Freedom, Pennsylvania, after the Central Pennsylvania SPCA
failed to respond to repeated calls about the dog from neighbor Kim
Eichner. Grimes took the dog to the office of Altoona veterinarian
Noureldin Hassane, who testified that he found the dog was in
extremis. Later Grimes took the dog from the clinic and placed him
in a foster home for the remainder of his life. He died on March 1,
2007.


Central Pennsylvania SPCA officer Paul Gutshall testified
that he warned Grimes to leave the dog with Hassane, for return to
the Arnolds. Gutshall and the Arnolds contended that that dog,
though kept on a chain outside, was not criminally neglected.
Grimes contended that she should be found innocent because
removing the dog was a “crime of necessity,” committed to prevent a
greater harm. Grimes’ case was handicapped when Blair County Judge
Elizabeth Doyle refused to allow her to show video of the dog’s
condition when taken.
Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio asserted on
the first day of the trial that, “We are here because of
vigilantism. Grimes set herself up as judge, jury, and
executioner.”
Wrote Phil Ray of the Altoona Mirror, “The prosecution
claimed that Grimes may have had an ulterior motive. Altoona
Detective Scott Koehle testified that Grimes was linked to at least
three web sites and was selling an artistic creation depicting a
concerned Grimes peering at two superimposed photos of the dog hooked
to his chain in the Arnolds’ yard. Koehle said Grimes also was
linked to a site selling pictures of the dog on T-shirts, sweat
shirts and men’s underwear.”
While Grimes and Dogs Deserve Better enjoyed a burst of
publicity from the case, Grimes was at the time receiving only a
part-time wage from Dogs Deserve Better, and was making ends meet as
a part-time assistant web site developer for ANIMAL PEOPLE. She left
her ANIMAL PEOPLE position to work fulltime for Dogs Deserve Better
at the end of 2007.
Grimes was convicted on December 14, 2007 after a three-day
jury trial.

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