Safety is Too Expensive

Tug - The Victory Pit

While a few years ago, many people remember the fighting pits from Michael Vick. Some may remember all the publicity when the courts gave a number of them to Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS). As part of that agreement (and the money that came with it), BFAS had to guarantee a level of care and that they would keep both people and other dogs safe from these fighting-trained pit bulls.

If you check back on the BFAS site, you’ll see plenty of publicity and fund raising that was related to the “Victory Pits”. All sorts of claims from BFAS and TV’s Dogtown about how well the dogs were doing and how they were the “experts” at helping these dogs.

Several items appeared here and elsewhere that indicated a rather different situation, but BFAS just continued to pull in donation money with their stories. After all, people want to believe in good.

In background, there are a few dogs at the BFAS Sanctuary in Kanab who are able to actually chew through the metal fencing in the dog runs. One breed that tends to do this is the Pit Bull. There are a few dog runs with double fencing that are chew resistant, but only a few…

For several years now, BFAS caregivers have been warning their management about several dogs, that double fencing was badly needed. The BFAS management simply repeated that they didn’t have the money for this. Even though their donations have increased to nearly $43 million dollars, a safety concern from their own employees was ignored.

Even though the courts required BFAS to guarantee safety, it simply cost too much for them. Other instances such as the torn off leg of Blue Bear have just faded into the background.

Beans - Sweet and Docile

On Saturday, October 9, 2010, it apparently happened again. A Victory Pit named Tug chewed through the fence at dog run #9 at the Lodges. With nobody around, he walked over to Lodges #5, finding a very docile and sweet dog named Beans. He broke into that run, and Beans was no match for a fight-trained Victory Pit.


Tug then went to Lodges #2 and broke into Denzel’s run. A somewhat fairer fight, as Denzel was another Victory Pit. Sunday morning, there was blood all over the place. Beans was found in his run. Tug was hurt, and Denzel had to be rushed to the clinic with life-threatening injuries.

We are now hearing that BFAS patched the torn fencing at Tug’s run and intend to return him back there. Still no money available for double-fencing, Bob tells us.

Update 10/15: An inappropriate and inflammatory detail was removed, with my apologies.

Update 10/18: An interesting discussion on the BFAS responses to the fencing issue is ongoing on Best Friends Responds to Fencing Issue at YesBiscuit. It also seems to have evolved into some of the more general issues at stake, and the hard lines taken by some.


About exfriender

An animal lover and one of many "exfrienders" who previously supported Best Friends Animal Society.
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48 Responses to Safety is Too Expensive

  1. realfriender says:

    You honestly are the biggest loser excuse for a human being. Why do you insist on placing blame when accidents happen? You are clearly somone who was fired. Try helping animals not hurting those who do help them.

    • DJ says:

      It was an accident, sure…. but it wasn’t justifiable.

      They were told repeatedly that their fencing was inadequate and they did nothing about it. Thus this is something that could have entirely been prevented.

  2. exfriender says:

    Dear “realfriender”,

    Ahhh, a response from, an IP in Kanab. Apparently BFAS is awake and has issued one of their typical, well-thought out replies to the situation. So, if experienced dog caregivers warn you of a safety issue, your ignoring it would be called an “accident”?

    As for a proclivity for placing blame, you should go talk to some of your neighbors in Kanab, who have been ejected or banned from BFAS because they cared too much or asked too many questions. Or, are those more accidents?

    I’ve said elsewhere there are many good people at BFAS who do much good, but that does not include their management, and apparently not you, either. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many of those good people fired over the years, for trying to do too much of that “good”.

    Of course, they could have avoided this entire issue by simply using some of the proceeds from just one of their RentaDogs…

  3. HooBoy says:

    Hey! I’d say it’s an accident seeing how no one planned it. Oh, don’t forget that this hasn’t happened in 25 years of operation. Don’t you think that this upsets folks at BF? Really? They are all in it for the money. You know since it’s such a lucrative endeavor. Animals sanctuaries are the easiest and quickest way to make a buck I hear. I think I’ll start my own so I can roll in the dough in 30 years. Idiot.

  4. Pingback: Safety – BFAS Responds | Best of Friends, Worst of Friends

  5. exfriender says:

    Okay HooBoy,

    Lets see if I get this. If you were warned to teach your kid to look both ways before crossing the street and you failed to do so, then his being killed by a car is an accident? Do I have that right?

    As for not happing in 25 years, I think you’ve lost a whole quiver of kids by now. I already mentioned Blue Bear’s leg being torn off when warnings were ignored. That alone should have told you that I could list many more such.

    As for money, not the caregivers with what we were paid. And of course $43 million dollars doesn’t go quite as far these days, though they do enjoy their power trip.

  6. HooBoy says:

    Actually, unless I pushed my kid in front of the car, it would by definition be an accident. Really bad analogy but Iguess it’s what we should expect from you. But it’s nice to see you have all the answers. Oh! You are still a waste of time. Have fun with your little ranty blog.

  7. exfriender says:

    Bad analogy? I believe you just stated that you have no responsibility for bad things happening to those under your care, unless you directly cause the item. Anything else would be an accident. Negligence is simply not your fault. I’ll just let those who read all this decide that on their own.

  8. Judi says:

    Well, it sounds as if BF’s is turning out to be just like PETA and HSUS. Raking in millions of dollars, of which less than 1% goes to the animals. It’s sad, because I was hoping BF’s was better than the others. Sounds like they aren’t. It’s sad that people use animals to bring in donations from people who think they are helping to save them.

  9. DJ says:

    Good to see a man there that questions what’s on the surface!

    I would like to post this on my blog but would like to do so only if there’s hardcore evidence that supports this fact.

    If you ever find any, feel free to respond on my blog listed in the link above.

    Have a good day!

    • exfriender says:

      Ahh…hardcore proof! From that, one could easily say that no BFAS press release is really proof of anything. I’ll say more on this a bit later. I’d like to get your views on that. One difference here is that you are generally reporting what you read elsewhere, while I am drawing from people who have seen what happened there. Not a criticism, just a comment.

      Scanned your blog. If you like, I can send you pictures of actual dog runs at BFAS. Some have added protection against digging out. In this case the fence bottom was bent up at Tug’s run and a small hole about the size of his head was found there.

  10. Jennie says:

    Accidents happen, but I would hold an “owner” responsible for a situation like this (had a dog they knew could escape and didn’t take every reasonable precaution), and I don’t see a reason a sanctuary should be treated differently.

    The caveat there being that when people read this blog, they tend to go ahead and see BFAS as a single entity, without really taking into consideration the many, many facets of the organization who are the employees. I’ve been to BF on a semi-regular basis through the years (former SLC resident), and know several current employees well. They do care about non-humans, every bit as much as most people I know if not more. I have a feeling you already know that, but I thought I’d just point out that while the problems you’re exposing are management related, a lot of people are not taking them that way. I appreciate you being a watchdog, but after a certain point you begin to appear so biased that no sane person could take you seriously.

    One thing I’m especially concerned about is your willingness to address people who dissent, although not those who agree with what you say, but who are factually incorrect. Judi, for example, has stated that 1% of the operating budget of BFAS, or maybe PETA and HSUS (or all three?) goes to “actually helping animals”, which is inaccurate even if you define “actually helping animals” as giving money directly to their care. Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but what would you have said? Nothing? Right on?

    • exfriender says:

      Jennie, thank you and I do agree on both points. I just checked around and I really have not said enough about the many good people who still remain at BFAS. While most I knew are likely gone, most caregivers and many others are entirely as you wrote. If the BFAS management really allowed them to do their job, that sanctuary would be an entirely different place. I’ll say more on this in another post shortly.

      On Judi’s 1% comment, I almost responded but decided I needed to let a few others speak first. Another person once described BFAS as a 20%-Con Game. The idea being if a group does spend at least 20% of their income on doing what they claim, few people will notice what happens to the rest and they will have many people supporting them if that happens. That some who do notice won’t say anything for fear of hurting the good that they do. Good in both directly and indirectly helping animals.

      Compared to PETA and even HSUS, that puts BFAS in a somewhat different category. The actual percentage of good here is hard to say, but it is far greater than HSUS. I spoke a bit more on this in the About section of this blog and that I am focusing on the issues and will let others speak of the good. There are many other blogs and forums that speak good of BFAS and for us to try and cover the entire spectrum of their activities would be far more than we have time to do.

  11. Deb Vaughn says:

    perhaps the real issue here should be that dangerous fighting dogs should not be at BFAS or anywhere else where nice dogs & people reside.

    • exfriender says:

      Deb, that opens up a whole other issue, which DJ mentions in his blog

      I don’t believe there’s any simple answer here, nor any general characterizations that can be made. Different breeds have different capabilities and tendencies, early imprinting and training effect this, as does the particular dog’s personality. I have found a few dogs who I feel are dangerous to be around, but nothing specific to pit bulls.

      As to those who are supposedly trained as fighting dogs, few if any of those groups take the time and effort to scientifically train those dogs for fighting. Because of this, many of their behaviors may be later modified. No, not all of the, but many. Again, this opens a much larger topic for later discussion.

  12. Situtaions like these don’t surprise me at all. Heck, look at Michael Vick. He gets nailed for participating in Dog Fighting and there he is “QUARTERBACK” for the Philly Eagles. WOW! Is that a lasting punishment or what? I guess it’s the ol’
    “who ya know and who ya blow” Law. These people care jack squat about these dogs. All they see are $$$$’s signs! I wish to Heaven someone would put them in one of those faulty pens with the worst of the viscious dogs and left alone to fight on their own. But nothing will come of it. That is until people start going after them, legally, of course. And don’t stop. Get those dogs out of there and to safety somehow. Find someone with a kennel or area where they can be kept safely. I’d be their worst nightmare, the BFAS that is! Get in their faces 24/7! Call the HSUS. I have and although they cannot directly get involved with cases, go figure, I have gotten their help as they know who to contact. They have for me and really helped with some life saving situations! Give it a try. These dogs need everyone. With enough emails to them they will get on it pronto!
    OK, now I can calm down, NOT!

  13. mary s says:

    Exfriender, I have been reading your posts about the recent incident at Dogtown. I am disturbed by your comments. I have been a financial contributor to BF for years, and have visited them twice. I actually met Beans, and fell in love with him. I read your comments and well, I believe you. And that is disturbing to me. An inconvenient truth, you might say. As of today, I will no longer contribute to BF. Like you, I know there are many good people there, especially at the caregiver level. But management….well, I am very upset at management. I have come to understand that Dogtown Management knew (from the caregivers) that double fencing was needed for the dogs’ safety, but the caregivers’ advice was ignored (perhaps even belittled). Beans was killed because of the lack of double fencing. My head, and especially my heart, is still spinning from all of this (the truth really does hurt sometimes) but I would rather know the truth than follow a lie. Whistle blowers are sorely needed in this world. But, oh God, sometimes those whistles hurt.

    • exfriender says:

      Mary, as one who once believed in them, I very much understand your feelings. While the caregivers do good, the best and most knowledgeable ones were driven out and many of the current practices dictated to them you would find rather disturbing. Yes, there remains good done there that can be seen in a visit or two, but we have found that after about six visits many start realizing what is hidden and what is wrong. Needless to say, this current incident is only one of many issues.

      My advice is to find, visit and support your local shelters. Many large BFAS donors have left them to do that.

  14. mn says:

    Hello, I’m in the exactly same place with Mary S. I’ve been supporting BFAS financially (although only a small amount I can afford) and also adopted a dog from them. I never imagined feeling so disappointed and confused about them until I started reading their blog posts yesterday. However, I was always questioning about the fact BFAS only talks in such an “all is well and happy” manner. From my own experience of adopting “difficult” dogs, I know it comes with all sorts of serious problems however truthfully and deeply you love the animals, which I never hear from them. I’m very curious to learn about what you know about this incident and other problems there.
    I’d like to ask you one thing: I think you commented that a Bay Area rescue group challenged BFAS for not caring for the Vick dogs properly. I could not find any documents on the web regarding this matter. I’d appreciate it if you could let me know any web link about it.
    I do want BFAS to continue helping animals as they have, but my money and effort may be redirected to the local shelters…
    Thank you.

    • mary s says:

      Hello mm,
      I am hesistant to give out too much information here…but let me just say I am very familiar with some of the rescue groups that took in some of the Vick pits. I actually have a very good email relationship with one of these groups!
      Again, I have to be careful here, as I have been given confidential information. I will say this: two rescue groups involved with Vick pits are very upset with the way BF is handling the Vick pits. There is a dog named Lucas that people were especially concerned with (can’t go into details here). The incident involving Beans and Tug and Denzel has only inflamed the situation (rightly so). In my opinion, the best thing to do here is let the rescue groups (that I have mentioned above) do what they are doing, without interfering in any way. There is a lot of legal stuff going on here, and we “little people” need to let the experts do their jobs. Thank you!

      • debbie says:

        I happened to know about the Lucas situation. Lucas is a dog prone to seizures. He was supposed to have been put in a “stress free” run at BF, so that he would not have seizures. Well…BF put Lucas in the “Lodges” (an area at BF which houses dog aggressive and/or people aggressive dogs); he was neighbors to some very, VERY intense dogs. Of course, Lucas had a seizure; he had to be rushed to the clinic. When he healed, guess where they put him? Back in his old run! More siezures…more returning him to his old run. I have no idea if Lucas still lives at the Lodges. Anyone?

      • mn says:

        Hi Mary & Debbie,
        Thank you for your notes. I only wanted to know about these other rescue groups who took in Vick dogs so that I can support (volunteer and donate) them instead. I don’t need to know the confidential information and I have no intention to interfere what they are doing with BF. I just read the “Lost Dogs” by Jim Gorant and I was very impressed by the rescue groups featured in the book. I was also curious to know the details of how the dogs are treated because it is my goal to create my own rescue group in the future and I’m eager to learn from the people who are already out there and doing great job (and also from the bad examples such as this unfortunate incident). I originally picked BF to participate in because I thought they were the pioneers… If the information has to be confidential now, I’d like to know all about it someday when time is right. And I really hope the end result would benefit the animals.
        I never met Lucas in person while I was at BF, but I truly hope that he will have better treatment for his condition very soon. I will voice it when there is an appropriate opportunity.
        Thank you again.

  15. Pingback: Weigh In: Dog Killed in Dog Fight at Best Friends « YesBiscuit!

  16. mary s says:

    I am very confused as to Patty H’s new blog about Beans. She said Beans was found dead in front of his run. Nothing about how Tug and Denzel also escaped their runs. I mean, is she implying that Beans chewed his way thru his wire fencing, then chewed into Tug’s run, then Denzel’s, then ran back to his run to die?
    And she talks about “revisiting” the double fence issue. Revisiting? I thought it was a done deal that double fencing would be done.
    Lastly, she implies that all the former caregivers (like Vicki) are lying about requests for double fencing. I’m sorry, but when BF starts picking on caregivers, either former or current, then they have hit a new low.

    • exfriender says:

      Mary s:
      You are missing the point here. Between their two blogs and ghost comments, facts they give are intended to be contradictory and confusing. More so now, since Ledy has taken charge. Several Pit Bull groups have now focused on this issue (today’s staff meeting) and BFAS will do everything they can to make Beans the culprit. As they toss out more confusion, some posters will become confused and start arguing among themselves or at least throw out so many pieces of questions as to confuse everybody.

      They pulled more visitors to the Lodges today, to spin them a tale. I’ve already heard several versions of what the BFAS story may evolve into and we won’t know until more comes out. They themselves may not know at this point.

      One weird story that just floated around was that Bean decapitated himself, trying to return to his run. But I would find it hard to believe that even they would attempt to sell that one! Many more bits and pieces heard, but it takes time to confirm them.

      However, this much is very clear:

      1- Beans was found dead inside his run (they need him “outside” for their story).

      2- Vicki was one of the best caregivers they ever had.

      3- The dogs may bark at the deer, but they are very used to them coming around.

      4- Tug broke out of his run and started all of this.

      5- While Maloney said they had started to enforce the fencing, Hegwood said only that it is under review. Report today say nothing has been done.

      6- Maloney reported Denzel back to his normal self while he was still connected to drains and in poor condition.

  17. mike says:

    exfriender.., where do you get your info???
    You should be a comic book writer, or better yet, a fiction writer altogether!
    Please explain your sources, and provide your back up to your allegations.
    Otherwise, rumor rumor rumor….”He said, She said, my friends friend said….”
    I’d be first to jump on board with you if you can prove your comments to be accurate, since I’m not about cover ups, but since I have volunteered there, your statements are foreign to me.
    Tug basically stands next to a pole with his tongue stuck to it half the time.
    He never payed much attention to much else when we walked by with other dogs.

  18. mike says:

    Lucas had no seizures while I was there for over two weeks.
    Everydog is on different meds, etc… Possibly it’s being treated, but I saw nothing of that, and Lucas was by far, the friendliest of the Vick dogs.
    You heard froma friend of a friend again…, I’m noticing with all the BF haters, that the proofm will come later, yet you never provide it.
    To exfriender…, You sound like a disgruntled employee, but if you did work there, (which sounds like a long time ago if you did), then I’d be interested to hear REAL facts by you since you would have some first hand knowledge.
    But when will this information be provided?
    Things that make you go, hmmmmmmm ????

    • Holly Smith says:

      If exfriender is an ex-employee, he had to sigh paperwork stating that he would NEVER talk about BF in a negative way on penalty of being banished forever working again in animal care and/or being sued. How do I know that? I signed the paperwork. Maybe exfriender cannot give you your proof because he/she might put those there working there or ex-employees in jeopardy. Kind of makes you go Hmmmmm, Mike.

      • exfriender says:

        Very true, Holly. And for the same reasons, all reports on current happenings there have to be “sanitized” and sometimes delayed so that the source is not apparent.

        In “Is the Truth in Here Somewhere?” I speak about the nature of reports and facts and the detail that I try to provide. I end by asking others what they are asking for in proof or facts. So, dear mike, come and give us some suggestions here.

      • exfriender says:

        Well, nothing at all has been heard from Mike, either about what proof he’s looking for or why he accepts BFAS’s word as proof. I even opened a special blog to allow him plenty of room to work with and spoke about types of proof and difficulties in getting them.

      • dwf says:


        As a BF “alum” I do not recall ever signing anything stating that I would never say anything about BF. Maybe in the stratosphere in which you were employed, ie “executive status” this is a common practice at BF? Sounds like a freedom of speech issue to me? But “Mike” sounds as though he is a BF employee trying to “draw” out exfriender’s information source? I say to exfriender you are providing a valuable service with this blog. This is really creating a thorn in BF’s side and I’m sure they would like nothing better than to shut this site down.

      • Holly Smith says:

        Sorry dwf, but I was only a lowly caregiver and I had to sign paperwork stating that I would never say a negative thing about Best Friends. All the people that I knew there also had to sign the same form when they left whether they were fired or quit. I guess you were a lucky one. Yes, I guess it could be considered an infringement of 1st amendment rights but I was scared into it. They told me that I would never be allowed to work in animal care if I did not sign. At the time I was not sure of what I wanted to do, so I signed. I do regret it now.

      • exfriender says:

        On non-defamation contracts, BFAS was not consistent over the years, and I’ve heard all combinations. Some people didn’t realize what they were signing. In one case they were firing a caregiver, were afraid she might speak out and realized she had never signed that agreement. Besides the threats that Holly mentioned, they offered her severance pay but ONLY if she then signed the agreement.

        As to the legality, other companies have done this and the courts have not been clear on it. In any case, how many caregivers could afford to defend themselves against a lawsuit from a corporation with deep pockets? No matter what they feel, they have to live, and who would take the chance?

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  22. dwf says:


    This is a perfect example of the type of bullying behavior that people who support BFAS should be aware of! This is why BF has been able to “fly under the radar” and maintain such a holier than thou image for so long. It is this type of information that needs to get out. I for one, would love to hear more about these cases.

    On a side note, I heard that the court was sending officials out to BFAS to check on the care/conditions of the Vick pitts? Has anyone else heard this as well? Also, if the officials are not being sent out, IMO they should be involved!

    • exfriender says:

      dwf, while I agree, I must say “so what?”. This is not the first time that information was reported. Some time ago, a sample was posted:

      This, however, was a special agreement for an employee in a more executive position, associated with a lawsuit in

      Neither this nor other reports produced any noticeable response from the people who support BFAS. Some other reports included BFAS threatening to reclaim adopted animals without showing cause, which is allowed in their adoption contract. That this was only done a few times, but those were enough to make many others afraid of losing their pets. But the donors didn’t care.

      I could go on and on here, but in every case, the donors didn’t care.

      I heard about the court challenge on the Vick dogs, but nothing more. Same as the reporters that recently came to BFAS but said nothing. As has happened many times over the years, things will now be very quiet, until BFAS suffers another attack of foot-in-mouth disease, then the cycle will repeat. A few will walk away from BFAS, but for most, those donors simply don’t care.

      Still, each time, a few more good local shelters get just a little more support.

      • dwf says:


        I honestly don’t understand how BF can continue to get away with this irresponsible behavior. Are people that blind or do they just not want to believe BF is capable of taking their money and NOT spending it on the animals?

        I guess BF is used to having these “crisis'”? They now have the “golden goose” and are not about to let it get away! Unfortunately, the animals are the ones that have to suffer while the founders continue to build their houses high atop angel canyon.

        Hopefully, people will start “waking up” and see thru the BF charade. Keep up the great work you are doing with this blog!

  23. dwf says:


    You are probably well aware of this, but, Best Friends received a $240,000 grant from PetSmart charities for of all things, encouraging responsible ownership of pit bull-type dogs to reduce euthanasia and improve the perception of the breed. They received this grant on the same weekend that Beans was shredded. This would make perfect sense on why BF wanted sooooo badly to keep the whole Beans/Vicktory pit debacle quiet.

    The grant they received raises many questions in my mind, the least of which is are they even qualified/knowledgeable enough to work with pits? I for one would love to see a rehabilitated Vick pit that BF is taking credit for! Also, does PetSmart even research recipients for their grants? It appears that they are attempting to cash in on some name recognition here? In any event, PetSmart has lost another customer.

    As for BF, they have taken a grant that could’ve been a great program from a more deserving recipient. It continues to amaze that they know no shame! Can only hope that people start seeing BF for what they really are, only in it for the BENJAMINS!

    I have included the link to the article regarding the grant if you are interested.

  24. Thomas Cole says:

    Hey, Exfriender! It’s been a while. Saw your name on Yesbiscuit’s blog and thought I’d drop by to say Merry Christmas and to invite you to take a peek at Patty Hegwood’s blog, “Update From Dogtown.” What began as a simple request to reach out to those of us who specialize in the very detailed world of rehabbing dangerous dogs, today became a mild challenge to her and her BFAS buddies. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Here’s the link =

    This discussion over double fencing and such is a bit silly. Would this be an issue if we talking to prison workers? As an example of a real rehab center, my friend, Brandi Tracy, in Minnesota has wolf hybrids behind 8′ solid wooden fencing with 4 strands of electrical wire and the entire fenced compound is mounted over concrete slab footings that keeps these diggers from digging out. Now, mind you, this is a tiny little woman who runs this large shelter/sanctuary herself. Many of her dogs are larger than she is! Believe me, they ain’t getting out and they don’t ever kill each other. The ironic part is people like us are not so worried about the dogs getting out as much as the creeps getting in. Dogfighters would kill to get their hands on these dogs.

    If you’ll allow me I’d like to invite your readers to see what real rehabbers do. We’re not the rookies that BF’s handlers appear to be. Well intentioned, but obviously they should stick with rehabilitating regular dogs like Fido and Rover. Leave the tough guys to us. They are clearly in over their heads with fighting dogs and such.

    But that’s the beauty of having lots of money and notoriety, isn’t it? I wrote personally to Mike Gill, one of Vick’s federal prosecution team members, to get a few of us “real experts” involved. They chose to go with groups like BFAS and ASPCA. I just shake my head in disbelief at the power of popularity over expertise.

    Check out these Youtube videos to see real rehabbers in action:
    1) Alan Papszycki (Spirit Dog Rescue) =
    2) Steve Markwell (Olympic Animal Sanctuary) =
    3) Brandi Tracy (Braveheart Rescue) =
    4) Robert Cabral (Bound Angels Rescue) =
    50 Li’l Ol’ me Thomas Cole =

    • LOL Olympic Animal Sanctuary is also under allegations. Do your research , they even got rid of their facebook page presumably because of all the allegations

      AND Spirit dog rescue is named Spirit Animal Sanctuary

      • exfriender says:

        On Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the allegations surfaced last Fall, nearly two years after the post that you responded to. For many shelters our initial judgement has to be based on only their reputation and publicity. For some, such as Best Friends, we only later find out a different story.

    • Debbie Hoffmann says:

      Markwell has admitted that several dogs have killed each other at his so called Animal Sanctuary. It has recently been featured on KOMO news, House of Neglect and cruelty. he has his dogs living in tiny crates, laying in their own waste and fed only every other day. the small dogs are severely matted and almost all have overgrown toenails, there is a flea infestation (by Markwell’s own words) It is horrible… Again a sanctuary which was promoted and publicized without anyone checking the conditions of the dogs. They are kept in a warehouse, with travel crates stacked up with dogs in them. Police Report and photos clearly show cruelty and neglect.

      • exfriender says:

        I do not see enough facts on this to make a fair judgement. The available police reports and their subsequent processing seem to indicate a single officer making accusations that were not acted upon. I don’t understand your flea infestation in a crowded shelter as horrible unless nothing is done, and we don’t know that.

        I see that when Markwell said his conditions were “less than ideal”, one blog interpreted that as “… a clear indication that Steve Markwell and other supporters of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary know that there is a big problem…” ( 9/24/13).

        Unless you wish to close all your local shelters, that implication is absurd! I have never seen an “ideal” shelter.

        The only actual details and traceable facts on this appear (thus far) to be coming from Steve Markwell. In comparison, I recently received a report of a rescue accused of animal cruelty. The county government went in together with vets, volunteers and rescues from all over the state. The facts were laid out and action was taken.

        But it also goes the other way. You’re citing KOMO news. In another case a local news organization came down very hard on one group, with all sorts of nasty sounding accusations & pictures in several articles. Some descriptions were similar to those from that KOMO news article you cited. A few weeks later I received a detailed report, including pictures and a clear paper trail going through several other groups which showed the inaccuracy and deception in the news article. The reporter would not admit he was wrong but declined to comment in response, and stopped writing about them. That report clearly showed hundreds of dogs being helped.

        Your KOMO citation was also wrong, it was “sanctuary of sorrow”. I sent it to that investigator. He pointed out several obvious deceptions & incorrect opinions from the news organization, and concluded there was simply not enough of the proper documentation to make any judgement here.

        Now, just who should check these shelters & rescues? Some of the better rescues will check out and visit other rescues & shelters before transferring dogs. We and others have visited many places and circulated our opinions. But I often hear many accusations brought by people who have little knowledge of this area and simply wish to throw stones. I listen more to the local (not national) rescues for their opinions.

  25. Leeanna says:

    Best friends gets animals killed. They are nothing but killer dogs.

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