News Index > Apr-Sept 06 > Sept 2006
Grimes Jailed for Rescuing Dying Chained Dog

Follow-up articles at the bottom

From: "Tammy Grimes"
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006
Subject: Grimes Jailed for Rescuing Dying Chained Dog

OK, everyone, if you're getting this e-mail it means the police followed through on their threat to put me in jail for taking Doogie today.

Here is the background info:

We got a call from Kim in East Freedom this morning, crying because Doogie hadn't gotten up since Saturday. She had been calling the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society since Saturday to no avail. We told her we aren't law officers, and she needed to call the humane officer.

Then we got another call about the same dog, from another person who passes him every day. At that point we called Kim back to see if she'd heard from the Humane Officer. She had not, so we promised her we'd go out and see what we could do. When we got there, we took photos and video of Doogie. We initially thought he was dead, as he was not moving and his back was to us. We found out that the people were not home to talk to about him, so I made the decision that he could not lay there on the cold wet ground for one moment longer, and I would accept all consequences of my decision.

The neighbor Kim has agreed to testify on my behalf if necessary. She cried the whole time we were there, you can hear her on the video.

I think once you see the video and pictures, you'll understand why I made this decision.

The vet documented his general negligent condition, low weight, sores, missing fur, and took xrays of his back and hips. He determined that he has very bad back spurs that are causing him a lot of pain and are most likely responsible for his inability to walk. He also saw an undetermined mass near his hip on the xray. He gave him a shot for pain plus some B vitamins for energy, so that perhaps he could have even one good day or a few good hours. He wrote a letter stating his condition in case we needed it.

Shortly after we got Doogie to my home, situated, bathed (had to, the stench was too bad), and fed and watered an Officer Flag called from the Freedom Township Police Department (I know, Freedom, isn't that ironic?). He wanted me to return Doogie, which I refused to do.

Here's what I need from you all. View the videos and photos, below. I think you'll agree with me that this is NOT acceptable in ANY kind of humane society, and we cannot allow this kind of animal abuse. We MUST stand up and STOP accepting this to be ok for people to do to their dogs, and STOP jailing those who are trying to help them.

I could never look myself in the eye again, much less sleep tonight, had I left Doogie there dying, shivering in the dirt. I will spend the rest of my life in jail as opposed to handing him over to be abused further by these people.

Please, contact ALL media with these photos and videos. Get justice, for Doogie and for me. Do NOT allow this treatment of those who are here to help, and who actually care. Call the Pennsylvania Humane Society and tell them you expect them to stand with me against this kind of abuse.

Doogie laying on the ground, neighbor crying in background:

Doogie after vet at Grimes house:

Officer Flag: Cell 814.201.0149
Freedom Township Police Headquarters: 814.695.8545
Pennsylvania Humane Society: 814.942.5402
Humane Officer Paul Gotshall: 814.942.3780

Altoona Mirror: 800.287.4480;
WTAJ-TV10: 814.944.1414
WJAC-TV 6: 814.255.7600

All national media! Make sure to send them links to the video, it's very compelling. My best friend, Tracy, has the video and hi-resolution copies of the images for print. She can be reached at

Don't stop until there is Justice for Doogie and ME! I'm just not tolerating this kind of treatment, for either of us. No one should.


Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:38 AM
Re: PA: Dogs Deserve Better Founder Jailed/Please pass on tomedia contacts

I just spoke with Tammy. She is out of jail but was charged with four misdemeanors, including theft and trespassing. But Doogie is in safe hiding, and on meds and getting TLC. She said she thought he just gave up the will to live, but is now finding out it might be nice to stay around a while longer.

We interviewed Tammy one Valentine�s Day a couple of years ago when our group took a dog house to downtown Houston and one of the members of In Solidarity with Animals chained herself to bring attention to the plight of chained dogs, so I will interview Tammy, again, at the top of the hour on next Monday�s show.

Zee, since you are on this list, this might be a good time to do our show on dog fighting and the Liberty Co pit bull case you are following.

Please continue to call the numbers below. I left messages for the arresting officer, police and local humane society.

Tammy said she is updating the information on her website: , and will include the judge and court contact numbers.

Janice Blue

I don't think a petition will do much good in this case. Media attention will be our best bet on this one.

Tammys own words:

I was treated like a common criminal, especially by Chief Reilly, who called me a 'freakin' idiot', 'incompetent', and I overheard him telling Officer Flaig that if I ever came near his dog I would have a slug in my a**. Again, there was no interest in any evidence that the dog had been abused or criminally neglected. As far as they were concerned, the dog's safety or condition was not even an issue.

I was released after seeing Judge Aigner, where Chief Reilly asked that I be not given bail but incarcerated for my failure to cooperate. It was 2:00 a.m., and I had no ride home, over 30 miles away. I had to walk to a local all-night store to call and get a cab, because there was no concern over how I would get home. Their attempt to dehumanize me didn't work. I held my head high and still do. I looked Chief Reilly square in the eye at every opportunity. I will not be broken.


Please make calls, send emails, and contact the media! Go to my Share Bulletin to find emails that were added if you need them.

Sept 19: This footage shows the improvement Doogie has made in eight days...with adequate nourishment, food, love, attention, medication, and veterinary care.

 September 20, 2006

Subject: letter to the DA

Dear Zelda,
   I sent the following letter to DA Richard Consiglio on behalf of SIRIUS to support Dogs Deserve Better in their fight to protect Doogie.

Dear District Attorney Richard Consiglio, Esq.,
   I am writing to you on behalf of SIRIUS, a global animal organization with special consultative status to the United Nations.
   Currently we are focusing our attention on the extreme cruelty to dogs in china, who are tortured and killed for their flesh and fur. Americans in contrast are known for their care and friendship to the dog.
   When the recent news that Tammy Grimes had been arrested for saving the life of a dog that had been chained and neglected in the yard of the Arnold family we felt it was important that this issue be addressed.
   I would like you to try and think of the situation in a slightly different light and see if you don't reach the same conclusion that we did. Ms Grimes should not have been arrested, those responsible for the terrible abuse should have.
   If you had been passing by someones property and noticed a lifeless looking child floating in a pool, had trespassed onto that property, pulled the child from the pool and managed to resuscitate it and then found that the adults in charge of the child were not even at home, would you have left that child with those adults? Would you have expected to be arrested for your kindness? I think not.
A dog is a living, feeling, intelligent and helpful being and the violence done to this dog, Doogie, was quite like that done to a neglected and abused child.
   We Americans, love and respect dogs. They are loving family members, our buddies, helpers and heroes. Please send the message to all those who would harm a dog that it this is not acceptable behavior, by dropping all charges agains Ms Grimes and pressing charges against those who perpetrated the abuse.
   Thank you for considering our request,
   Ruth Eisenbud
   Media Liaison Sirius GAO Charitable Trust NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations"

September 22, 2006

Controversial dog theft case moves toward trial

By Mark Leberfinger,

ROARING SPRING � The founder of Tipton-based Dogs Deserve Better will stand trial in Blair County Court in connection with the Sept. 11 theft of a dog from a Freedom Township home, a magisterial district judge ruled Thursday.

Theft and receiving stolen property charges were moved to court after the hourlong hearing.

Prosecutors dropped charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief at the start of the hearing for Tammy Sneath Grimes, 42, of Box 620, Tyrone RD 5.

Grimes pleaded not guilty to the charges and will ask for a trial by jury.

"She had no business taking the dog. If the dog needed help and needed to go to the vet, so be it. There are procedures in place to handle this, but they weren�t followed. To be judge, jury and executioner is not what the law is about," District Attorney Richard Consiglio said after the hearing. "The owners are being put up for ridicule. They don�t deserve that."

Grimes� attorney, Thomas M. Dickey of Altoona, had three witnesses ready to testify but decided not to call them because of a key ruling by Magisterial District Judge Craig E. Ormsby.

Ormsby refused to allow Dickey�s questioning, which suggested a justification defense for Grimes� actions. Justification may be raised in county court but is not relevant for a preliminary hearing, Consiglio said; Ormsby agreed.

Dickey tried to show that Steve and Lori Arnold, owners of Jake, a 19-year-old German shepherd/lab mix, abandoned the dog, and Grimes intervened to save it.

Freedom Township police claim that Grimes stole the dog and refused to give it back.

The dog is doing much better, Dickey said. A veterinarian who first examined the dog previously said the dog was dehydrated, malnourished, weak and abused.

The Arnolds have denied any abuse.

"We were certainly hopeful that the charges could have been dismissed today, but this isn�t the trial today. We�re looking forward to presenting our witnesses at trial," Dickey said.

The Arnolds haven�t been charged with a crime, but at Dickey�s request, Ormsby informed Lori Arnold of her legal rights in case cruelty charges are filed against her and her husband.

Consiglio said he won�t approve any charges filed by Grimes in Jake�s case.

"I can�t see anything to prosecute," he said.

If Consiglio rejects the charges, the decision could be appealed to county court.

"We have nothing to hide," Steve Arnold told his wife before she continued her testimony without seeking an attorney.

Dickey used the same tactic in other hearings over the last two years.

He denied that it is used as prosecution witness intimidation but that is part of his obligation as an attorney.

"If they make certain admissions [on the stand], I�ll take the tape to the district attorney," Dickey said.

Lori Arnold told Ormsby that she last saw Jake the morning of Sept. 11 before she went to work. The dog was gone when she returned home about 4 p.m.

She eventually contacted Officer David Flaig, who tracked the dog down to Grimes.

Flaig said he went to Grimes� home. Grimes said she took the dog to a veterinarian and refused to give the dog to Flaig.

"That dog is going nowhere," Dickey said after the hearing.

Dickey tried to get the theft and receiving stolen property charges dismissed on a technicality at the end of the hearing.

He claimed that the state made a "technical and fatal error" because Steve Arnold was listed on the arrest papers as the owner of the dog but never testified; Ormsby rejected the argument.

Consiglio amended the criminal complaint to include Lori Arnold as a co-owner.

About 50 Grimes supporters appeared at the hearing and an earlier rally at the Blair County Courthouse. Twenty-four members of the public, including media, were able to sit in Ormsby�s courtroom.

"I�m satisfied," Grimes said in her only public comment after the hearing.

Grimes� bail was reduced Thursday to $10,000 unsecured bail.

Mirror Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger is at 946-7462.

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