Disturbing letter about Smilin Pit Bull Rescue - Buffalo, NY

Postby LMM » June 13th, 2008, 8:52 am

Oh and they banned Greg, who definitely believes in PTS in the case of HA. He also caught a lot of flack for being supportive of responsible breeders. I'm sure Eric was just looking for some minute excuse to ban Greg.

He was banned yesterday for merely telling Eric that the burden of proof is on Eric to clear things up. I invited him here.
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Postby mnp13 » June 13th, 2008, 10:47 am

Spiritfingers has a rather chilling story that she posted here, but that thread turned in to many many many pages of crap that are very difficult to wade though. We're going to keep this thread VERY VERY clean (the pudding posts may be deleted, sorry ladies) so that shelters and/or rescues can easliy find first hand information.

In the two and a half years that this forum has been around we have deleted no more than a fwe dozen posts, and I think that's a record for any forum. I'll be light handed with the deletions but I feel they are necessary. I appreciate your understanding.
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Postby SBRN » June 13th, 2008, 11:10 am

Eric was going to take a litter of pups from Ohio that another member had contacted me about.

They figured out a way to have a clinic spay and neut. the pups at a VERY low cost. Eric advised me to make sure it was just the s/n and NO vacc's or wormers, knowing these dogs were crossing state lines, and coming from not good conditions. Yes, I have the proof.

As for the manbiter dogs, Nicole is right. He states that he would PTS on one bite. Lox and ChiChi both had bite histories per him. Yet, he treated me like mud when I PTS a dog that showed blatant signs of HA. I do not know why he lies about them having bite histories.

Danny Boy was a dog that he adopted out. The owner had been calling him for some time to take him back b/c he was showing signs of and had bit his gf. He said he had evals stating that Danny Boy was not safe, etc. Per contract, he called Eric. There was no response for over 6 months. Eric ignored him that long. By then we were involved. Eric posted that the owner was going to euth Danny unless we got a foster asap. This was a lie. The owner had said that he wanted Eric to take him back OR release him from contract so that he could do the right thing. Eric toyed with him and told him to drive him up here then. I spoke to his owner and arranged where I would meet him so he didn't have to meet with Eric. Eric then reniged on the whole deal. The owner finally drummed up a contract 'release' and Eric refused to sign it without changed HE made to it. Eric then made up an exuse that he could not respond to anyone b/c our email system was down. Lie. Myself and another mod tried to work with Danny's owner and it wasn't enough. Eric blatantly posted lies about him on the forum, and never gave his owner any closure. We do not know what was the outcome as his owner refused to speak to anyone again.

I know how hard it is to have to PTS over HA when you love a dog so much. What Eric put this guy through for no reason.....inexcuseable.
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Postby iluvk9 » June 13th, 2008, 11:49 am

SBRN wrote: We do not know what was the outcome as his owner refused to speak to anyone again.


I have had contact with Danny Boy's owner. I will not disclose information other than to say he is responsible, intelligent Pit Bull owner, who I hold in very high esteem.
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Postby Becauseican79 » June 13th, 2008, 11:55 am

Hey all!

Do a Google search of my screen name and you will see my story as it unfolded.

I left while fostering a mom dog (my profile picture) and 8 puppies during the foster dump in December. I had them for 2 months and they were not receiving vet care and were sick. When I questioned anything I was told I was being a trouble maker and difficult. Next I was told that the dogs I had were not really SPBR dogs (even though three of his staff members helped pull them from the shelter). When I finally went to another forum to look for help from another rescue for the 9 dogs I had, Eric stated that I had stolen the dogs and I wasn't returning them. That never happened. He ignored my emails, I was banned from the board, and he refused to help me. He said I wasn't returning them because he had to save face because so many people were watching.

Eric was supposed to stop by my house to give the dogs shots and take their pictures. That plan had to be changed in order to complete "Operation foster dump" after the autorities came to his house. I had to find him on his tour of the east coast in order to get medication for my sick dogs. When I did meet up with him he had a white van filled with crates and dogs. The crates were stacked at least two high and the dogs on the top rack were urinating on the ones below them. When I asked to see Titan who was a dog he had in the van, Eric said it was too hard to get him out and put him back in. So out in the snow and freezing temperatures there were at least 14 dogs in that van. They were not allowed out to go to the bathroom or eat. I was parked behind a van full of barking dogs while Eric just yelled at them to shut up. From New York to Boston (Wherever Jaime lives) they were stuck in that van. I don't even want to know what went on in the basement when there aren't people seeing what happens.

After meeting Eric that day (december 5th? 9th?) I logged on to the board to see pictures of Eric partying with the Boston group of people that night. I was pissed because while I sat there with 9 sick dogs and many other people from the board were running around trying to figure out what was going on with the new fosters they received, he is out partying. The other mods had to pick up the pieces and try to answer all of our questions. Many were told they would receive a crate, but then found out they were just receiving a dog at their doorsteps.

After the puppies I had were fully vetted and starting to find homes a friend from the SPBR board found out that there was something wrong with the puppy (that she adopted during the foster dump). She asked Eric about it since it was something that happened prior to the dog being in her home and his response was, "I would have paid for it, but I can't afford it since we don't have Patti's puppies to pay the bill." He only said that to her because he knew we were friends, but that is the closest I have heard of him admitting that he is only in it for the money.

I do want to advice anyone who has gotten a puppy from SPBR to check their paperwork for a rabies vaccination. If you do not have a rabies tag for your dog- demand one. There is a good chance that your dog is not properly vaccinated. If your dog appears to be small for it's age, it is because he lies about their age in order to have them spayed earlier than they should be to collect his pay check sooner. It also gets them out early enough that he is not responsible for the rabies vaccination. He has been screwing people over for years and he is very good at it.

I have heard many other stories, but I will not repeat them since I was a party to them. I am sure others will tell them.
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Postby LMM » June 13th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Here is my question, what can we do?

I literally sit here furious as I read each story :mad2: I want to drive to Buffalo TOday.


What can we do to shut him down? That's all it boils down to for me. I would love an exchange of ideas and if that part of it needs to be private, let me know.
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Postby Becauseican79 » June 13th, 2008, 12:08 pm

We need anyone who has first hand knowledge or proof of what goes on to call the investigator. He knows all the laws and he knows how to go around them. Let the pros do what they do and any information that can be provided to the ASPCA, please do not hesitate.
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Postby Remington » June 13th, 2008, 12:31 pm

Part of the problem is...there are a lot of GREAT people involved with that rescue, however...it's easy access, and people want to help. There are a lot of animals truly in need that DON'T receive help because it is a lot more work, contacting/transporting etc. I questioned things...before I even got involved even. I was told there was one bitter girl who had a crush on Eric that went badly, so all negative comments stemmed from that. The point is, there is enough that, although (teehee) all girls want him so badly, as well as Matt, ( :wink: ) there is too much to ignore, the more it is out there the better in a way.
I was also told, by the source, that Eric was receiving checks each month for Chi Chi, and eventually he was told the checks would stop unless he at least posted for her. He posted her pictures quickly after that from Knox Farm.
I was specifically told, by the vet office, the pups I picked up after their spay and neuter, were NOT Rabies vaccinated because Eric did not want it done. He wanted the new owners to register the dogs in their names, and get them to take the dogs into their own veterinary clinic.
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Postby mnp13 » June 13th, 2008, 12:32 pm

We can't "do" anything. Unless law enforcement makes it into his house and finds dogs living in squalor they can't take them. If crates are clean and dogs are clean then they can't legally do anything. Even if the dogs or crates are a mess there may not be legal standing to confiscate them and a "clean them up or else" warning would be given. Animal control takes dogs all the time, but a lot of the time it's an officer convincing the owner that they should hand over the animals, it's not a seizure. YES, seizures happen but there has to be a lot of evidence - like the recent shut down of Brightstar German Shepherd Rescue in Rochester, NY, where there were over 30 dogs living in a house, and pooping and peeing in there as well. If he is keeping them in crates and managing to keep the crates relatively clean then he's in the clear.

It is not against the law to crate your dogs for 23 hours 55 minutes a day. I wish it was, but it isn't and how would you prove it anyway?

There is nothing to "shut down." SPBR is not a business, it's not a non-profit, it's not a not-for-profit. At most he should have a dealer license because of the number of dogs that he is selling, but even that has some gray area.

I tried to turn someone in for tax evasion a few years ago, I had plenty of first hand info, his address, birthday, social security number and everything else I needed. The IRS didn't care, and neither did New York.

The only thing that can be done is to get first hand stories out there for other rescues and shelters to read. Make sure that the rescues or shelters can find you via phone or email so they can can speak to you about it directly.

Fact is, besides tax evasion, most of what we know is true can't be proven. And even if it is ethically and morally wrong, that doesn't mean it is legally wrong. The rabies stuff may be easy to prove, may be hard to prove, but since he's not an official rescue what will be done? He'll get a ticket or citation about it, pay a fine and get on with whatever he's doing.

There have been many many stories about people "ready to turn him in" and "collecting information" and "ongoing investigations" but nothing has ever come of it so I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure there is something being done somewhere, but it's been over two years since I knew about it and there hasn't been much progress that I've heard about, and he isn't that far from me.

Many people have left his group, but more keep coming in. Like any charismatic cult-ish leader, his followers are rabid. The people who have left the group share their stories but are branded as nut cases with agendas, and the cult members keep on blindly following the leader.

I hope you are right about the turnovers of members, but until people start wanting to read and understand, they never will.
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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » June 13th, 2008, 12:45 pm

Unfortunately, he represents himself as a rescue, it clearly states in his adoption agreement that the money received for the "sale" of puppies is a donation for the rescue and is non refundable. Most people who are adopting a pit bull only think about their cute new puppy and make the assumption that since this "rescue" has a beautifully designed website and forum, it is reputable. There will always be a demand for rescue puppies, and there will always be people who want them. There will always be people who work in shelters that just want to get the pups out of the shelter any way that they can, there will always be a supply for this rescue.
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Postby BigDogBuford » June 13th, 2008, 12:50 pm

Does he have a kennel license to house that many dogs?
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Postby SBRN » June 13th, 2008, 1:02 pm

Michelle... I do have to issue a correction.

As of October, he did incorporate as a not for profit in New York State. He is now, that much.
However, he has not been granted 501c3 status by the big boys.

He does decline any other vetting except a straight spay or neuter. Like I said, there is proof of that.

At his last vet, he was paying only $80-90 a s/n for pups and declined pain meds AND all vaccs.
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Postby SBRN » June 13th, 2008, 1:03 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:Does he have a kennel license to house that many dogs?


yep.
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Postby Lovemydogz » June 13th, 2008, 1:11 pm

Many of the people who have been on Pitbull talk forum probably remember my experience with Trudy.
I have already called the ASPCA and given my number to the investigating officer. I knew something was wrong with SPBR shortly after she ran away. After I started to question things a little too much, for example, "where did the money that was raised for her signs go?" I was banned. After reading the experience that someone had with her cat being killed because honest info was not disclosed, I felt horrible for her. Then to hear that insult was added to injury...literally...by turning blame around.....I wasnt surprised. This was what was done to me, and NOT just by Eric. I guess I will just chalk it up to Mod's being brainwashed into defending this rescue. It is all about the money...not the dogs. I am not surprised by these experiences I read and am happy that others have "seen the light finally" :wave2: Although I dont like the fact that he seems to about the money and not the dogs... I hope that the ones he still has in his rescue get adopted just so they have better homes. Hopefully people will see what he is doing to these dogs, or in some cases..not doing, and will no longer give them to him in the first place.

The bottom line, is people need to call the SPCA and share theyre experiences for the sake of the dogs. Many of us have known something was wrong long before this letter the "newly banned Mods" shared. After years of banned people sharing theyre stories, its foolish of Eric to just ban people and think everything will be all good :crazy2: . Furthermore it's foolish for people helping him to ignore all this....but honestly, thats what many of you did....so maybe they too will see clearly someday. Maybe I missed it, but I hope someone called the rescues he deals with and told them what goes on so that no more future dogs go to him. Also, whoever has dogs that they were fostering for him(and have seen whats going on)....I hope they have found qualified homes and adopt the dogs out themselves free or charge or without giving the money to him. He doesnt deserve it. I feel so sorry for those dogs :sad2: Thats all from me-Jess
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Postby SBRN » June 13th, 2008, 1:20 pm

iluvk9 wrote:
SBRN wrote: We do not know what was the outcome as his owner refused to speak to anyone again.


I have had contact with Danny Boy's owner. I will not disclose information other than to say he is responsible, intelligent Pit Bull owner, who I hold in very high esteem.


I don't want you to think that I am faulting him at all. I know what Eric did to him and said about him. It was lies and Eric trying to shift the responsibility. I know that his owner said that if he should be euth'd, it should be by him as a responsible and loving owner. HE put up with a lot from Eric.

As for the Trudy situation, in fairness, she was pretty much not with Eric. And then she went into a great foster home that worked with her, before the adoption. Revisiting that one will be pointless because there are too many what ifs and maybes... to many fingers, no proof.

The money issue, don't think that some of us mods didn't question him or push. He would just ignore or push blame.... it was futile. We were banging our heads against the wall. I know several people who donated and he kept pushing blame on the person who was making the signs. I never saw one in person so I don't know if he made them or not. I know the money that came in... couldn't have been for the signs alone. He also put ZERO rescue money into that.
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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » June 13th, 2008, 1:26 pm

This is my story...

I had fostered two dogs for SPBR, Dolly the amazing sweet butt wiggler, and Envy, a 7-8 month old pup.

I had contacted the rescue in early/mid? 2006 after a dog in need (cocoa I think) was crossposted because I had room to foster. I had never worked with this rescue nor was I aware of any issues with the rescue. I spoke with Nicole and ended up with Dolly. Dolly was delivered to me from a shelter in NJ, she was never seen by anyone in the rescue nor evaluated by anyone in the rescue. I requested a foster agreement up front and never received one before she came to my home. I had a few issues with Dolly while she was with us, she had diarrhea constantly, I brought her to my vet, fecals were negative, they put her on metronidazole, she had sarcoptic mange, I had to have her and my resident dog treated as a preventative. I contacted Eric Grey and he would not help out with the vet bills because I violated the terms of the foster agreement, helloooo I had asked repeatedly for one and did not receive one. This was not a huge big deal to me at the time, but I had just replaced my septic tank so I pitched a fit...he asked Lori Rowans from the shelter to send him the money for the vet care and I was one of the lucky ones and got reimbursed. Dolly was adopted to a very nice family in CT, but she was sick, she still had tummy issues at the time of adoption after being with me for months, I kept telling Eric about the diarrhea and I got no help...unless she was taking the prescription dog food she had the hershey squirts, still no big deal, I didn't see any red flags. I made sure the adoptors were aware of the problems at the time of adoption. I kept in contact with them, and Dolly got sicker and sicker, she was admitted with very low platelet counts and low red blood cells...turns out she has an autoimmune disease...I am not sure that if having her properly evaluated at my vet would have made a difference.

I ignored the red flags with Dolly, the lack of a foster agreement, the refusal of the rescue to allow vet care for the diarrhea, and the rescue not wanting to reimburse for vet care.

I had placed a dog on my own between Dolly and Envy.

I am not quite sure exactly where Envy came from, she was an owner surrender, a forum member picked her up in Dec of 2006, had her spayed and vaccinated, temp fostered then another member, Jaime, took the dog. She had quite a few dogs, and since Envy was a younger pup, I agreed to take her. She arrived at my home in Feb 2007 very underweight, and her spay sutures from 5 weeks before were still in. Eric gave me instruction on how to remove sutures with a manicure scissor and tweezers and commented on her being "scary thin". She was a complete sweetheart, but very snarky, this was not a big deal for us either because younger dogs are always testing. Things went bad very quickly in March of 2007. I had company over, and their daughter was there, Envy had been tested with people and children and was doing great. My friend's daughter sat at the kitchen table and I gave her some cookies, there were four adults in the kitchen with her. Envy was circling the table, which is not allowed, so I put her behind the gate, and the gate was nothing new. In a split second Envy hopped the gate and grabbed the cookie from Caterina, biting her in the process, breaking skin, and scratching her abdomen. I notified the rescue immediately, asked about training ideas, and I asked if the rescue carries liability insurance. Apparently I asked the wrong question by mentioning liability insurance because Eric immediately denied that she was a SPBR dog and then said he had no foster agreement on file. Jaime was kind enough to step to my defence and remind Eric that I did in fact have a foster agreement on file and that she was a SPBR dog. I was going to have her evaluated by Catherine Crawmer, I was even willing to pay for it, but my husband, the voice of reason, said that we were not going to pay for an eval on a dog that is not ours. Things went bad quickly and I was no longer going to take responsibility for a dog that might not be mine. I had a few choice words with representatives of the rescue and returned the dog. I had to wait two weeks for the dog to be removed from my home. Throughout the entire mess, Eric Grey and members of the rescue not once asked how the child was. There were allegations that I fabricated the bite, I forwarded the childs contact information to Eric because the last thing on my mind was to stop and take a picture of a kid crying and bleeding. Her parents took her to the doctor and took pictures. Eric never contacted them for the pictures or copies of the doctor visit. I take full responsibility for any role that I played in the bite incident, mainly relying on the gate, but the dog never showed any desire to challenge the gate prior to this, I also was not so sure that this dog was a "man biter" I really think it was part of her little juvenile delinquent phase.
The red flag here were that as soon as I had a behavior problem with a dog, the rescue refused to work with me, I was "silenced" after I commented about the rescue practice with a dog who has bitten after someone made a comment about hoping that this dog finds a home quickly.
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Postby Lovemydogz » June 13th, 2008, 1:58 pm

As for the Trudy situation, in fairness, she was pretty much not with Eric. And then she went into a great foster home that worked with her, before the adoption. Revisiting that one will be pointless because there are too many what ifs and maybes... to many fingers, no proof.


Correct...I too can only judge by how she acted and the fact that she was handed to me without any papers....and she crossed state lines.
The money issue, don't think that some of us mods didn't question him or push. He would just ignore or push blame.... it was futile. We were banging our heads against the wall. I know several people who donated and he kept pushing blame on the person who was making the signs. I never saw one in person so I don't know if he made them or not. I know the money that came in... couldn't have been for the signs alone. He also put ZERO rescue money into that.[/quote]

Here is EXACTLY what happened with that because I KNOW. He did ignore our(Lauri and I) e-mails and when he responded, it took weeks. If Trudy was alive still...that was just more time she couldve gotten further away. Ultimately, he said he would laminate them at work and sent only the laminated sheets to Lauri....leaving her to pay out of her pocket for the stakes to stick them in the ground. And even after her money and work...people questioned whether she put them up....shame on them! Im sure the money was pocketed which is very sad. I bet if he didnt have so many people e-mailing him for weeks as to where the donation money went,....he wouldnt have even made the signs at all.
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Postby SBRN » June 13th, 2008, 2:08 pm

SBRN wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:Does he have a kennel license to house that many dogs?


yep.


SORRY!!!! I dont' know how to correct my post but NO he doesn't have kennel license, I read that wrong!! Sorry, he doesn't have one but would need one.
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Postby bunnyfoofoo » June 13th, 2008, 4:14 pm

The donation money for the Trudy signs went into Eric's pocket. He made the signs himself and laminated them at work, for free. I guess he had to pay for postage, but that was all.

The unfortunate thing about all this is that the ASPCA DOES have eyewitness accounts, verified and notarized and they still will do nothing.

The only way to do anything is on the lack of a kennel license because in NY state, if you place or sell more than 10 dogs in a year, you are required to have one. But even then, they are doing nothing about that either in this case.

As for the 14 dogs in the van in the December dump, I am sure those dogs were in that freezing van all night long. Eric would not have brought them into Jaime's house, she lives with her parents ! And the dogs would have interrupted the drinking and partying. I am sure they were being water and food restricted, as is his way.

The best thing to do is get the word out, everywhere possible.
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Postby BonJeanS » June 13th, 2008, 4:43 pm

bunnyfoofoo wrote:The donation money for the Trudy signs went into Eric's pocket. He made the signs himself and laminated them at work, for free. I guess he had to pay for postage, but that was all.



:cuss: I knew I should have asked for the "donations" back after 2 months went by and nothing... :cuss:
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