Safety – BFAS Responds

Within hours of our posting Safety is Too Expensive, Best Friends responded with Sad News from Dogtown. In there we find:

We had a very sad incident at Dogtown this weekend. One of the dogs escaped from his run, and while we can only speculate on the sequence of events, it seems that he broke into one of the runs of Tug, a dog rescued from the Michael Vick dog fighting case, who in turn broke into the run of Denzel, another of the Vicktory dogs. A fight ensued.

Not until the later comments do we find that this initial dog was named Beans. Putting their story together with reported facts, it seems they are saying that the docile Beans broke out of his run, then broke into Tug’s run. The two of them trotted back  inside Bean’s run, where Tug killed him and Bean’s body was found in the morning. Tug then left and broke into Denzel’s run and attacked him.

Hmm…why have an unnamed dog as the one who started all of this? Only one thing comes to mind here. That Tug is one of the former Michael Vick dogs and Beans is not. That BFAS was supposed to take special precautions with the Vick dogs and this may not have happened. That a Bay Area animal group has recently challenged BFAS on their care of the former Vick dogs, citing their methods and progress as inappropriate and poor, and registering their complaints with the court that issued the original order for the disposition of the Vick dogs.

Now, if this were the case we would expect, in true BFAS fashion, that they would start some rumors and accusations pointing in another direction. Paging down through the comments we find a response from Judah Battista to a reader comment, which almost appears as though that sequence was staged. Note how Judah draws him out.


It seems incredibly coincidental that this happened with these exact dogs so close to the annual conference. BF houses many dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs and animals. Yet this involved these “high profile” dogs and a third dogs housed a distance away. I hope that this was a tragic accident but if it was not an accident, I hope that those responsible enjoy many sleepless nights.


My name is Judah and I am am responsible for organizing the conference. I am confused by your posting and wonder what you mean.


As BF prepares for their conference to bring the national spot light on the plight of homeless animals, this tragedy occurs. Those that wish BFAS harm have been placing their spin on the issue hours before BF passed along the tragic news.

I *really hope* that this was an accident as it seems on the surface. The venom that a few hold towards BFAS does make me worry that someone would put their agenda above the lives of these precious dogs in order to overshadow the good that the conference does each year.

This sounds like laying the groundwork to reveal some nefarious plot against them, where people who are against that BFAS conference may have broken into the BFAS Sanctuary with wire cutters or something and let some dogs out of their runs. We’re waiting to see if BFAS builds on this one and when the book will be published. Do we sound paranoid? Well, is it really paranoid if they’ve done this many times before?

As for people with venom, our message here is clear and simple. That BFAS should listen to their caregivers, ensure the safety and well-being of the animals and generally start doing what they have been claiming to do. This also includes science and not fantasy. Go and do some searches on the “expert” BFAS used for the Vick Pits. Compare his theories against real texts and professional groups, and note that they refused to publish his works.

That BFAS blog also mentions:

We have already begun to take steps to additionally reinforce all fencing in the area occupied by our dogs that can only have supervised interaction with other animals, and we will institute an all night patrol watch.

That blog was yesterday, October 11. As of this morning, we were told that no fencing work has yet been done. On the patrol watch, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. In general this blog has few updates because we are simply too far away from BFAS, and more news begins to flow only when their own people have had too much to tolerate.


About exfriender

An animal lover and one of many "exfrienders" who previously supported Best Friends Animal Society.
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9 Responses to Safety – BFAS Responds

  1. Cheryl says:

    “Now, if this were the case we would expect, in true BFAS fashion, that they would start some rumors and accusations pointing in another direction. Paging down through the comments we find a response from Judah Battista to a reader comment, which almost appears as though that sequence was staged. Note how Judah draws him out.”

    Thanks for the re-post, and in checking my IP address (which I know that you will) you will find that I am not affiliated in any way with BFAS. My comments were simply an observation of the many coincidences surrounding the events of that evening….

  2. exfriender says:

    No Cheryl, it’s not your IP address, but rather a simple and reasonable reply that attests to your authenticity. On that and lacking any other information, I will retract my implication that your comment was staged.

    Given that, I am not aware of anybody I know who would deliberately put any animal in harms way in order to strike out at BFAS, or anybody else.

  3. What does BF plan on doing with Vicks dogs. Taking up space that could be used for other dogs until they die of old age or kill each other? Oh, I forgot..$$$$$. Just keep right on dumping the dogs BF rescues on lesser rescues without helping them financially. Keep funding BF’s “church” with donated money that is supposed to be for the rescued and abused animals!

  4. sparksred says:

    I was shocked when a friend emailed me about this situation tonight. (Thanks Judi!) Right away I had to read this for myself. I seriously thought that this was a mix up with some other group. I even did a search to make sure there was not another group that went by a similar name. I had always thought that BFAS was one of the good guys. A place where the homeless animals could go to live out there lives, sheltered, cared for, protected and loved in the event the were not able to find a home. That to me is what the word “sanctuary” means, a place of protection, not one of mayhem, maiming or death.

    Poor Beans to lose his life so needlessly and painfully just brings so much sadness in my heart. I just hope and pray that his passed quickly. If he doesn’t have someone to wait for at the Rainbow Bridge then I would be honored to meet him when my time comes.

    Now for my anger. For these villanous people to even suggest that Beans was to blame in this manner is to cover up their inadequacies is vile. There explanation is not plausible. I don’t know how any reasonable person could ever accept the explanation. I am not an expert in animal behavior but I do know that a docile dog will avoid an aggressive dog if at all possible. They will not chew their way into an aggressive dogs enclosure an attack the aggressive dog.

    For someone to even suggest that this may have be a setup sounds as if they are attempting to come up with a possible secondary story “just in case” the first is questioned to much.

    You are more than welcome to check my IP.

    • exfriender says:

      I would also find any “setup” theory very difficult to believe. I see this as simply an accident due to negligence.

      Note that on Beans, I stated that his dead body was found in his own run and provided other details that BFAS has not mentioned.

  5. mike says:

    I’m curious.., I never read anything different as to the possible events.
    First, since all commenting here seem to be mis informed. Beans was dog aggressive. If there were Mule deer present, which is common in the fall, then that WOULD have stimulated a reaction.
    Secondly, the other scenario of TUG being the aggressor is unfounded. Anyone stating they know otherwise, without first hand “Proven” knowledge is the one guilty of spreading rumors.
    I’m not affiliated with BF, but have visited there. All the flack this organization gets is puzzling to me, being that the founders have homes on the property, and they hardly looked like mansions, nor do the staff make much money to work hundreds of animals. We worked are butts off, and the staff did too!
    Lastly, Beans, Tug, and Denzel were all human friendly for the most part, but because of their past, were dog aggressive. Dogs watch each other pass by.., build on grudges…, it’s not entirely impossible for Beans to have gotten loose, and seek out a dog that he had issues with.
    Who knows what happened since no one was there, but to think it was a conspiracy or mis management is ridiculous, especially coming from people who haven’t worked there, or been there at all for some time?!
    Accidents happen, and hopefully they learn from them.
    But I would suggest you read from text that actually have fact to back it up, rather than rumors.

    • exfriender says:

      mike, while Beans was described here as docile, that was his general behavior and demeanor. Yes, he was dog aggressive, but bear in mind that label is not a black-and-white distinction, but has a wide range.

      You say that deer WOULD have stimulated a reaction. Yes, of course they would, as would many other animals coming by. However, consider where this is all at, that deer are often seen even by visitors while walking dogs there. That large number of deer are around during hunting seasons as the area is protected. That this has happened for many years. Given that, if deer could provoke such a reaction, one might think there would have been many more similar incidences. Yes, it is possible that the initial breakout was prompted by a deer, but that changes nothing of the rest. And, it’s perhaps more likely than your scenario about grudges and issues. Of course, one could also consider boredom from being caged and the wish to get free…

      Perhaps what you call “flack” is primarily a request for honesty and responsibility? On the staff there, I’ve spoken elsewhere of their dedication and effort, and that has never been questioned here.

      If you have “facts” to present, please do so. But as reports from people there are conflicting with BFAS releases, and as those BFAS releases are contradicting themselves, they can’t be considered as facts.

  6. mike says:

    @sparksred.., you are right, you are NOT a expert in canine behavior.

  7. Jasmine says:

    Mike, I, like you, was living in denial for a long time about Best Friends. I had heard some things but I just shrugged them off I think because I wanted to believe in a fairy story.

    There are animals getting hurt at Best Friends, and money is not being spent on their care. Rather than attack people who are telling the truth, why don’t you try to find more information?

    I am embarassed that I was a docile Best Friends follower for a long time, and I didn’t ask more questions or find out what really was going on.

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