Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sick of Bondi BS...

Sick of Bondi BS and the local Florida press. Anyone else?
I will take my chances with the real owners of the dogs even though they have limited resources to take on someone as connected as these people. Anyone that has ever had to fight for what is right in the face of total beuracracy should be rooting for this dog to go home.

Read a detailed article about this.

Pam Bondi fell in love with a dog. That is a fact. The problem is she fell in love with someone elses dog and now her only defense is to claim that the owners were neglectful owners, as we have heard in almost 100% of these Katrina situations. The dogs Nila and Master Tank were loved and cared for by a family and two young children in New Orleans. The dog was NEVER abondoned by the owners, The Coutures. Bad owners do not spend money and months of their lives trying to get their dogs back when they have lost everything and have a life to rebuild. They did everything they were susposed to do in a state of emergency and took the pets to a shelter for safe keeping, no different than if you or I took our dogs to the local kennel while we went away for the weekend.

Notice: It says "OWNED" and not "please take me to Florida, use me for PR, don't call my owners, don't put me on petfinder.com, lie to my owners when they call the shelter, seperate me from my lifelong companion Nila, and adopt me out as soon as possible." THIS DOG WAS OWNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Yet, anyone who went to New Orleans knows all to well the attitude of many shelters and rescuers who were blaming the victims for the tragic loss of their pets and then virtually taking them them never with any intention of finding any owners. Get me in court and I will tell what I saw with my own eyes. Not to mention that within weeks of me being back I was getting calls about dogs whose tags were removed at shelters, owners who were blatantly lied to by the shelters about the dog even being at the shelter. (I have never met a bad owner that chased a dog all the way to Florida for 10 months, stood up to deception, and other things that are being said all the descredit good people so they can't get a family member back.) This is exactly what happened here. Having been through it on dozens of other cases. Had this been a dog from anywhere other than New Orleans with PAPERWORK that clearly said OWNED all over it these dogs owners would have been found and the dog never rushed into an adoption. The shelter may have not even made a single phone call to try to find the owners or inquire of St. Bernard reps. Shelters are not for stealing dogs from helpless victims, they are for sheltering unwanted dogs and finding them homes.
Let me promise you anyone who called Pinellas about any dogs can tell you how they treated anyone trying to get a dog back for an owner -- horrible, dispicable, rude, and mean spirited. As if it was not their job to take calls from helpless and desperate people looking for their animal family members after the worst natural disaster in the history of the USA>

That goes for Tri-County, Peggy Adams, and other Florida shelters...they were some of the worst in the country with their attitudes.

Now the Coutures face an onslaught of well thought out propoganda and deception by Bondi who has the upper hand in this game (because of her status as a Lawyer Celebrity for CNN and others) in the campaign to paint them as abusive pet owners. Shame, shame, Shame. If these were my dogs I'd die trying to get them back and that is what owners do when they love their pets. But barely a hand of compassion has been handed to the Coutures from anyone in the entire state. You should be ashamed of your lack of understanding pf what Katrina victims went through to survive. I was their with them were any of you? Certainly Mrs. Bondi wasn't with these people in either body or spirit and that is typical of what Katrina survivors are going through whether it be over dog, or insurance or anything else. Pam Bondi recently quoted as saying she deserves the dogs both legally and ethically. Bullshit! These dogs were not simply Florida strays where an owner had to simply drive two miles to the local shelter to find them. They were virtaully picked off by overzealous shelters and by people who knew they had an owner and felt that "a better life exists" with the likes that live in Florida. Well Bondi and Pinellas are showing that Florida lacks compassion at all levels. The Florida press seems prepared not to ask hard questions of either Bondi or Pinellas, recently writing a story glorifying Mrs. Bondi. Where is the story detailing the day to day struggles of the Coutures from the day they ended up in their attic for many nights, 6 miles from dry land to their search for their beloved pets. Her behavior is nothing short of dispicable. At least the holders of the other dog Nila keep quite unlike Bondi who runs her trap constantly insinuating that the dogs were not cared for. The Coutures for all they have been through have yet to raise their voices or cast a stone at anyone, the worst they have done is travel to Florida to hold a press conference to beg for their dogs back. Much like The Gulf is having to beg for help at all levels to rebuild.

These dogs look abused or neglected to you? Nila in foreground and Master Tank in rear, lifelong companions until now. Has Bondi even thought or had time to have a playdate with Nila? I bet not with her busy lifestyle...Yet the dogs live just miles apart.



Look at this dog. Bondi has her best CNN face on but does this dog really look happy? Mrs. Bondi must work long hours as an attorney. In New Orleans this dog had Nila his daily companion, 2 kids that played with him daily, a swimming pool, constant love and attention. You telling me being locked in Kim Bondi's house 12 hours a day and getting walked by some "pet walker" in the middle of the day is a life this dog wants? Like the people of New Orleans this dog wants his former life back. He doesn't even know what hit him just that his world was turned upside down, he lost his best friend, Nila (the second dog, his family and now he is posing for pictures and told to "put on a happy face" He ain't happy.
Look at his eyes.



Why is it that arrogance always comes with success? Why is it that people take the side of a well known Attorney like Bondi vs. people who have lost everything and love their dogs and did the right thing for them during Katrina in a overwhelming situation? We have seen good people all over the country return adopted pets when owners came forward. Did Bondi not watch the news the week of Katrina and see what these people have been through? This is no different than if I took my dogs to the kennel while I went away for the weekend and came back to a dog that had been shipped out to FLORIDA. Would anyone argue that I couldn't get my dogs back?

What if the storm had been in Florida and it was Florida residents who had their dogs moved to shelters all over the country without an inkling of care about finding owners. Bondi and clan would be fighting just as hard to prosecute these people and get Florida dogs back. Falling in love with a dog doesn't mean you have to twist and spin the truth to keep it Mrs. Bondi. This could have had a good outcome. You could have helped this family get back on it feet. You could have shared in the dogs life. Now you are going to go to court and wake up one day without the dog. PERIOD. Your pain could have been managed.


I want you to shut your eyes and think about the feeling the Coutures family had in the pit of their stomach the day they went back to the St. Bernard shelter where the dogs were taken by them for safe keeping to be told..."nope no longer here." ..then the frantic months of searching wondering if you would ever see your babies again....(bad pets owners don't search) Anyone who loves their pets should have a hole in their stomachs like the Coutures do.
Here are the facts:

a) The two 2 dogs were bonded – Couldn’t the case be made that two dogs that grow up together become closely bonded? That keeping these two dogs apart could cause long term depression and is itself a form of abuse to these dogs? Look at that dogs eyes. Look hard. They belong together. Make it happen Kim. Florida animal lovers should understand this and stop taking up for Mrs. Lawyer Barbie.

b) The pics of the dogs before Katrina show happy and healthy dogs with great weight, sparkle in their eyes, shiny/healthy coats and loving family. Bondi can make these folks out to be whatever she wants but it is a pack of lies. She has dogs that belong to someone and are loved by rightful owners. Sure she loves the dog but how much do you think the Coutures love them? They were part of the family for 4 years.
Bondi an Pinellas knew that the owners were looking within weeks of the adoption.

c) Legal adoption? Give me a break, these dogs should have not have ever been taken from the St. Bernard shelter, they were turned in for "safe keeping" and the paperwork clearly said 'OWNED" all over it with the Coutures names plainly written. Even St. Bernard animal control stands by that and by the Coutures. This is not normal animal control function for the Pinellas shelter. These dogs were actively taken from LA. It isn’t like they wondered in off the streets of Pinellas County and the owners were near the shelter so knew were to look during the “normal holding” time. No legal holding time could be binding. The owners didn't even know where to look. This is no different than if I took my dogs to the kennel while I went away for the weekend and came back on Monday to find them gone.

d) Pics at Camp lucky show healthy dogs not the dogs on deaths door (with a big sign on the dogs that says "OWNED"). But who the hell cares. You basically have to almost kill your dog in this country for a judge to take it, so this defense of keeping the dogs is just plain stupid. BTW- all the pics of the dogs before Katrina show healthy happy dog.

e) The dogs had heartworm. So what. This is the one they seem to be hinging the right to keep the dogs on. Having heartworm is something that happens to even good dog owners in LA and the dogs were being treated and that is exactly what you do to a sick dog, get it treated. You ever hear of a vet turning a person into the police for a dog having heartworm? Lets remember hear this family lost the parents of these grandchildren and I am sure during that troubling time these dogs might have missed a heartworm pill or two. Funny, I forgot to give my dogs the pill last month and nobody is here trying to take my dogs.

Bad owners do not spend money and months of their lives trying to get their dogs back when they have lost everything and have a life to rebuild.

The Coutures are virtual heros as many other would just say "we can't worry about the dogs in the face of losing everything" But no they fight on when I am sure they have better things to do than to BEG Pam Bondi to return part of their family.

Shame, shame, shame on Florida and Pam Bondi. Can they ever get a fair hearing? Everyone else in Florida seems willing to screw them so why not the judge who must know Pam Bondi as she is a well know prosecutor.

Pam..it is not too late. Instead of bashing these people, get to know them like we have...let them have the dog and be part of its life as I am sure you will not find nicer people than the Coutures. Not once has the man raised his voice. Not once has he threatened you. Not once has he embarrassed you in the press as you have him.

You will not continue to take advantage of those with less resources than yourself because people will not have it. When people know the truth they quickly change their attitude about the Coutures.

Anyone that owns a pet should be scared silly at this situation...anyone can take your pet (remember these dogs were not rescued, left behind or anything else) and then claim it is theirs.

Pam you are about to know how the Coutures felt that day they walked back into that shelter to be told "Your dogs that you got through Katrina alive by staying with them for days in the attic ARE GONE." Not a good feeling. I don't wish it on anyone not even you but you put yourself into this all or nothing position. Who knows had you sat down with the owners anything could have happened. As it stands you are going to lose unless Florida has no true justice.

Please see how it should go:
http://cbs3.com/video/?id=28242@kyw.dayport.com

Think Shelters didn't understand that Katrina dogs didn't mean big donations? Simply
google "Katrina Animal Rescue" and up pops Browards advertisment.

44 Comments:

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At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people who will not return owned animals to their rightful owners are bullies, in my opinion. Bondi's choice of lawyers to defend her (Barry Cohen, who has defended all sorts of "colorful" characters), does nothing to disabuse me of this impression. Bullies All! And Shame on You!
Return these dogs to their true owners! Reunite them with their REAL families!

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger FLDogLuvR said...

Thanks for helping get the truth out. We are dealing with people's lives here - people that are still trying to pick up the pieces of the wrath Katrina wrecked on their lives 10 mths later. Precious children who have lost everything, and now their beloved pets. I remember vividly losing my dog at this age...and it is a sad memory today (centuries later). As I look into my grandbabes eyes, the innocence, the love, it breaks my heart to think someone would do this to them. GIVE THEM BACK THEIR DOGS! (Max included!) And Yes, I am sick of the one-sided media, articles written by reporter friends, half-truths. Found this on an HGTV site - does it sound familiar, kind of a recurring theme? "Pam Bondi's house was slated for demolition when she and her husband Scott rescued it from 30 years of neglect." (rescue from neglect, does it really say that? YES!)

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Eric for once again being the ~Voice of Reason Out of All the Darkness~ You always have the ability to speak so eloquently and sincerely for everyone whose voices may not be heard above the din & fray, but who feel just as strongly as you do about ~doing the right thing~ for ALL the innocent victims of Katrina; and the still suffering & grieving families of NOLA (even more than 10 months later) because of heartless individuals like the "famous?" Ice Queen, Ms. Bondi & her cohorts.

It should be duly noted that apparently Ms. Bondi's defense lawyer is one & the same legal eagle who was also interviewed along with Ms. Bondi in the St. Petersburg Times article {quote} "Defense lawyer Barry Cohen, a neighbor in South Tampa Bay, likes her even though he has spotted Bondi's dog pooping in his yard." Gee, isn't it always amazing what money can buy?!

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/04/
Tampabay/Dispute_nips_at_prose.shtml

Oh and isn't it interesting how 63% of the people in FL(?!) seem to support Ms. Bondi vs only 37% who feel that the Katrina pets should be returned to their rightful owners (If we are to believe that the Poll Vote is honestly true?!) And THIS from people who also live in a very volatile & unpredictable major hurricane state! Guess we should all hope that the greater Tampa Bay area does not get wiped completely off the face of the map the next time a Category 4 slams into their Gulf Coastal region because then we will be forced to chose between saving indivuals like Ms. Bondi~~> or her pets instead...


suzysmom

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You gotta see this Mrs. Bondi.

http://cbs3.com/video/?id=28242@kyw.dayport.com

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down, we'll rescue her pets! "Queen Pam" can sink or swim along with the rest of the no-brainers in Tampa Bay.

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down we'll save her pets! Queen Pam can sink or swim with the rest of the no-brainers in Tampa Bay.


(If this posted twice, the comments seem to be not working quite right?)

 
At 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bondi wins, I guess money really can buy justice... or injustice in Florida.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Lisa B. said...

Hi Eric--I was wondering if you know of any way for people to donate to the Couture's so they can afford some help getting their beloved dogs back?

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with lisa b. is there any way to donate to the coutures case in hopes of getting thier rightfully owned 4 yrs long, dogs back?
this makes me sick that cnn showed a one sided story and pretty much trashed the coutures reputation.

pam needs a lesson in humanity and doing the right thing, not being a selfish bitch !!

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger EricsDogBlog.com said...

As I understand it the Coutures have some support...However help could be used for an 86 year old man whose dogs was truly stolen by someone who may have lied about being his own Charity. This man followed the directions from the radio as he needed to take himself to the Superdome. Bandit's Paypal address is banditlegal@yahoo.com

For background the link to the Post-Gazette story is here
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06176/701024-84.stm

and to the Best Friends Legal Animal story is here
http://network.bestfriends.org/legalanimal/news/5713.html

I have followed this case also, this poor man has been treated beyond contempt. Same story... "we have the dog" he is ours....even though a 86 year old man cried himself to sleep for weeks and got himself all the way to LA from Houston for the Best Friends "Find Your Dogathon"

This one is as bad or worse than Florida. At least Pam Bondi really may think she is doing the right thing, these people are just being ruthless over Bandit.

Eric

Bottom line is, there is an old man still waiting for a conference call that hasn't happened yet.

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was glad to see your mention of the parents death and the heartworm pills -- I thought of that too. If I had two sudden deaths in my family (and I assume that they were sudden given that both parents died) I'm sure that I might forget medication too, especially something given monthly that isn't so much of a routine. Heck, I've been known to forget my own medication in times of great stress.

I'm also curious -- did the dogs belong to the grandparents all along, or did they belong to the parents originally? It's possible that the heartworm was caused by the *parents* not the grandparents that everyone is currently blaming.

Also, as I understand, while heartworm medication greatly reduces the chance of a dog getting heartworm, it's not 100% effective. The dogs may have been on heartworm medication all along, and still become infected. As some vets recommend a slower method of getting rid of heartworm and the dogs were under a vet's care, who are we to judge?
If they were bad owners, the dogs would not have been under a vet's care.

 
At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it appears Bondi's "local" celebrity status and MONEY and high-powered lawyers managed to get the trial date postponed until mid-November. That's FOUR months from now; is that even due process of law? A change of venue should have been demanded. Hillsborough County, Florida is a sad sad example of the American justice system! In fact it sucks...


Bondi probably figures that the NOLA family will give up the longer she manages to manipulate the courts. I hope someday she receives her just rewards; and meanwhile may she have anguished nightmares about being trapped in a Category 4 hurricane and the subsequent levee failures; and then having to make the agonizing decision of having to choose between saving herself and her family... or her pets.

I hope she at least has the deceny to allow Master Tank to have play dates with his sister Nila. But we shouldn't bank on it, because it is obvious that the unfeeling uncompassionate Miss Bondi wants to keep him only for herself.

May she forever choke on her cheap glass of wine, celebrating her shallow victory.

http://www.tampabay.com/

 
At 1:53 AM, Blogger EricsDogBlog.com said...

o get past disaster, they want their dogs

A lot of things have hurt the Coutures recently. Add to the list: not getting their dogs back after Katrina.

By DEMORRIS A. LEE
Published July 11, 2006

ST. BERNARD, La. — From the second floor of the house he built himself, Steven Couture pointed to the back yard where his dogs Nila and Master Tank used to play.


It once was a nice house, with hardwood floors, a wall-mounted big screen TV and a hand-crafted wrought-iron staircase.

That was before Hurricane Katrina flooded the downstairs to eye-level, leaving dried mud and grass stains on the walls.

Now Steven and Dorreen Couture (pronounced ka-TOUR) salvage what they can from the life they used to have. So on Saturday, when their grandson found Master Tank’s old leash, their faces lit up.

They felt the same joy in January when they thought they had tracked their lost dogs to a Pinellas County shelter.
“Yes,” Steven Couture said he thought. “The angels are looking after us.”

But their euphoria was short-lived. The Pinellas Humane Society had adopted their dogs to two families who refuse to return them.

And they aren’t alone.

In Louisiana, about 20 people have contacted the office of assistant attorney general Mimi Hunley for help retrieving rescued animals.

Historically, Louisiana law has given property owners in such circumstances three years to recover their property. But now things are murky because the animals were taken to other states, Hunley said.

“These animals are the last vestiges of what they had of their pre-Katrina lives,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how little choice these Louisiana residents had in leaving their pets under these unprecedented circumstances.”

Master Tank and Nila were among nearly 290 animals brought to the Humane Society’s Clearwater shelter in September.

In October, the Coutures’ dogs were adopted by Hillsborough assistant state attorney Pam Bondi and Dunedin’s Rhonda Rineker. The Coutures have now gone to court to get them back. A trial is scheduled for mid-November.


Bondi, who appeared Monday night on the Fox News show On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, has said Master Tank, which she renamed Noah, had a life-threatening case of heart worms before the storm.

“We are just hard-working people who are trying to recover from a disaster,’’ Steven Couture said. “But they are making us out to be people who are cruel to animals. I can’t lie to you. It hurts.”

Steven and Dorreen Couture have been married 32 years, and they have been sweethearts since they were 15.

Steven, 50, spent a little more than three years in the Navy and works as a carpenter. Dorreen, 49, is a former teacher’s aide.

Steven Couture contends he saved Master Tank, who is now 4½. His original owner, a neighbor, was about to take him to the Humane Society after the 10-month-old puppy chewed her swimming pool.

“I took him,” Steven Couture said. “When she gave me Tank, she gave me his papers and his heart worm medication and we have always made sure that he and Nila take their medicine. Those are my dogs. I took care of them.”

The Coutures have been forced to cope with other losses. Their eldest son, Jason, died in 1989 at 13 from diabetes. Then in September 2004, a second son, Steven, 25, a carpenter like his father, shot and killed his girlfriend, then went to his brother Jason’s tomb and shot himself.

Now the Coutures have custody of their 7-year-old granddaughter Cassidy and 4-year-old grandson Steven.

“I’m trying to protect the kids and they are not old enough yet to know about their parents’ death,” Steven Couture said. “We tell them that their parents are angels and they went heaven. People have to understand that loss and it’s fresh and we can’t talk about it.”

Raising the children in a safe place is their priority, they say, given the drastic changes in all of their lives in the past two years.

“I really enjoy being a grandmother, though,” Dorreen Couture said with a chuckle. “Now I have to discipline them and all that. At one time, I could just spoil them and send them home.”

The Couture’s insurance company paid them $28,000 for the loss of their home. They now live in a ranch-style home that they bought on an acre of land in Talisheek, La., about an hour north of St. Bernard Parish.

Steven Couture said he’s going to try and rebuild his home, but for now he’s focused on pulling his family back together. The family insists they are not interested in any money, just Master Tank and Nila.

“People e-mail and say that we should go buy new dogs,” he said. “But the dogs are a part of our family. Are they humans? No. But they are a part of our family. We love them. They are our dogs and we want them back.”

This report includes information from Times researcher Cathy Wos and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Demorris A. Lee can be reached at dalee@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4174.

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How like a lawyer, she only wants to win, not caring for those she hurts in the process. I hope this doesn't prevent people from adopting in the future for fear of having to give the animals up in the end. And she will have to give them up...the law sees no difference between this and if someone had broken into the Couteres home and stolen jewelry, money, or other property and then fenced it...it would eventually be returned to the rightful owner. This is why Ms. Bondi has engaged in such slander, this is her ownly defense as the law is not on her side and she is desperate. I like the comment above that was made about the residents of Florida themselves living in such a hurricante ridden state; they should take care that they don't find themselves on the same side of the fence as the Couteres some day......no one can say what they would do if put in another's situation. My husband and I traveled to NO (New Horrorleans) to rescue for the HSUS, and I asked myself over and over, could I have left my pets behind in such a situation? I don't know...maybe..they are my babies...but what if I were sick, suffering, dehidrated...afraid for my life. I'd have to wonder, if I don't survive, who WILL take care of my pets? Maybe I should leave them only to regain my strength and return for them..it could be their only hope. No one in NO could have predicted that people would flock to their state to rescue their pets. I would assume that I was my pets only saving grace, which is what Mr. Coutere and so many others probably thought, they didn't expect pet rescuers to come by while they were gone and remove their animals.

 
At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then in September 2004, a second son, Steven, 25, a carpenter like his father, shot and killed his girlfriend, then went to his brother Jason’s tomb and shot himself."

Could anyone really blame them if they forgot to give the dogs heartworm medication after that? I'd be more surprised if they did remember. Anyone who has had to deal with a suicide can tell you what a terrible time it is. I can't imagine having to deal with a murder/suicide, let alone looking after the children afterwards.

To anyone who believes that the Coutours do not deserve to have their dogs returned, I would suggest that they be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. See if they have ever forgotten anything in regards to their pet's care, regardless of the circumstances. Have you ever been late with the pet's food? Has your dog or cat perhaps escaped from the house at some point? Ever left them alone in the house all day? Then lets take your pet away as well -- you're obviously a bad owner.

 
At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an officer of the court Ms Bondi would be seriously remiss in her duty were she to allow 2 small children to remain with a couple who, in her opinion, are "unfit to own a dog". The fact that she has said zip about the children shows that even she doesn't believe the words that are coming from her mouth. Perhaps if she were a defense attorney she would have a better concept of "innocent until proven guilty". Luckily for her she lives in an apartment and the Couture's dog is out of public reach or someone with a kind heart and pure motives would have spirited Master Tank back to his family.
The fact that Pam Bondi has NO YARD for any animal to play in would cause her adoption application to be rejected by most reputable shelters. Most shelters require potential owners to have a fenced yard (isn't it a no-brainer???). Especially when the dog she wants to adopt is huge.

the 2 choices are this;

1) The Coutures offer a big house with a fenced yard, 2 children to play with and a doggie friend.

2) Ms Bondi offers her air-conditioned apartment and a dogwalker that will let Tank out to poop on the neighbors yard sometime during his daily solitary confinement.

Again, its a no-brainer, unless the apartment dweller is Pam Bondi with her ties and $$$


Dogs are by nature social animals, soliatary confinement is one step below being chained.

 
At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest breaking news from Florida:

The Pinellas Humane Society finds proof its former director agreed to keep dogs rescued after the hurricanes.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/13/
Tampabay/Document_shows_adopti.shtml

A document signed by former (resigned) Pinellas Humane Director, R. Chaboudy shows adoptions of the rescued Katrina pets were on hold until November 1, 2005.


Probably the Pinellas Humane Society has finally decided to bail out and will try to blame this whole thing on Chaboudy, leaving Bondi and Rineker twisting in the wind!! I would venture a guess that had Bondi immediately done the right thing as soon as the NOLA family stated they wanted their fur babies back, instead of trotting out the stall tactics, THAT Ms. Rineker would have also given Nila back. But instead she decided to be a groupie & ride Bondi's "famous" coattails and chime in false allegations of neglect, too as her own selfishly motivated excuse to keep Nila!


And ultimately the truth shall set them free... AND all of this additional heartache for the Couture family could and SHOULD have been totally unnecessary :(

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many dogs dying, starving, being abused & killed in the U.S. right now.
I had hoped to come here to find out info about situations that need attention, where animals are in danger.

It just seems like this blog has died. Sort of trying to keep the New Orleans thing alive in any way possible

so much could be done with it! For example, there have been some terrible hoarder situations lately, including a sanctuary that supposedly took in people's pets, but was a nightmare.

Couldn't attention be paid to current, actually important things instead of old news?

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous ERIC RICE said...

Old news? I bet to differ. We have been dealing with the Coutures and their dogs since November. It certainly isn't old news to them and they are hard working people who refuse to quite in the face of all of this heartache. I won't quite on them either.

However, did you not scroll down to the second post? We had an entire item on getting these dogs out of a hoarding case in WV and readers gave over $1000 to help. And we already transported the first 25 dogs.

The Coutures deserve the space they get.

Regards,

Eric

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with both Eric's comment directly above & the poster's before that. While these Katrina cases certainly do deserve attention, I would ALSO like to know MUCH MORE about other situations, where dogs will lose their lives if attention is not called to their urgent plight.
This blog has hit the same note, over and over and over, month after month after month --sometimes with the same story left on for weeks at a time. And, as a result, has lost many commentators & readers.
Perhaps, the topic could be changed more often, so that both concerns are addressed.
For example, July 4th just saw a large dumping of pets to ACs by owners departing for holiday; esp. in the south. I would have liked to seen efforts to help counter these massive owner turn-ins; thousands were then killed in Georgia alone.
These are the problems that I would really like to read much more about here....please.

 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been very quiet in Tampa since the paperwork started falling out of desk drawers at the HSNP!
Latest news out of Pinellas Cty 7/16 quotes a Duke Prof
“They have absolutely no right to keep the dog,” Reppy, the Duke professor, said of post-Katrina owners. “You can’t lose your ownership in an emergency when the state of mind is so clear. It’s just preposterous.”
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/16/State/Law_a_little_fuzzy.shtml
Legally, that lovable sack of fur is just a piece of property.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Paws4life said...

When I started coming to Florida 8 years ago, I mad a promise to myself that I'd live here someday. Well 3 years ago, I did just that. And I gotta tell you, until you actually become a full time resident, you don't realize the arrogance and superciliousness of the people with money here.

I'm ashamed to consider myself a Florida resident these days! My experience with Katrina pets brought to Florida taught me the real meaning of deceit.

And these wealthy people have no moral values whatsoever. Their only values are those placed on their mansions, yachts and designer wardrobes. How pathetic!

Oh, and here's a little secret for you...most of these 'trust fund' babies end up as "high society" alcholics.

What else do these people have to do but attend charity functions to show their community just how much they care about the less fortunate?

But I guess Katrina victims weren't considered less fortunate....they're just plain losers. Talk about repugnant...

It's my definition of Florida wealth.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger CajunQueen said...

I can't tell you how glad I was to read your post, after cruising through several others supporting Bondi's bs. Do people not realize that the whole area is devastated; there is no way a neglectful owner is going to go through all this trouble after their lives have been turned upside down. It just makes me sick to see that the economic status of Louisiana is more important than the bond b/t the dogs and their owners.

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heads Are Rolling at HSNP-
Approximately one-third of the shelter’s 36 paid employees have quit, been fired or given their two-week notice since Chaboudy left, as have several volunteers, according to Somers. Kim Trimmer, the shelter director, was demoted, and later canned, after eight years on the payroll. Kennel supervisor Nancy Turcotte was axed after allegedly arguing with 12-year volunteer Karen Mazurek, wife of the shelter’s interim director, Bill Mazurek, over a dog adoption....

Why Chaboudy suddenly left after more than 20 years at the society is a mystery. His friends said he is “dying to tell” his side of the story, but can’t because his severance package contains a four-month moratorium on talking to the press.

http://www.tbnweekly.com/content_articles/071206_pco-01.txt

Speculation is that Chaboudy left in connection with two dogs from New Orleans, a St. Bernard named Master Tank and a shepherd-mix named Nila, which were owned by Steven and Dorreen Couture and were among the 288 animals Chaboudy brought to the Humane Society of Pinellas after Hurricane Katrina. Master Tank was fostered, and later adopted, by Pam Bondi of Tampa, and Rhonda Rineker of Dunedin did the same with Nila............MORE....

 
At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heads Are Rolling At Pinellas - wonder why?
http://www.tbnweekly.com/content_articles/071206_pco-01.txt
Approximately one-third of the shelter’s 36 paid employees have quit, been fired or given their two-week notice since Chaboudy left, as have several volunteers, according to Somers. Kim Trimmer, the shelter director, was demoted, and later canned, after eight years on the payroll. Kennel supervisor Nancy Turcotte was axed after allegedly arguing with 12-year volunteer Karen Mazurek, wife of the shelter’s interim director, Bill Mazurek, over a dog adoption.
(maybe that dog had an owner??)
Why Chaboudy suddenly left after more than 20 years at the society is a mystery. His friends said he is “dying to tell” his side of the story, but can’t because his severance package contains a four-month moratorium on talking to the press (severance pkg if you quit??, what a deal!)
Speculation is that Chaboudy left in connection with two dogs from New Orleans, a St. Bernard named Master Tank and a shepherd-mix named Nila, which were owned by Steven and Dorreen Couture (you think that might have something to do with it??, huh, ya think?)
More, much more in article

 
At 7:33 AM, Blogger alliegirl said...

I saw the comment above about asking how people can contribute to legal fees. Bandit needs help, please contribute! There are other families that need help too! Ms. Linda Charles evacuated with her mother in wheelchair and two children. Precious, her GSD, was left safely in the attic with food/water. A rescue request via LSU Vet school was immediately placed and a petfinder AERN Lost report was posted with their address. The Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) took her from SBP animal control but NEVER posted a Found Report on Petfinder AERN, nor did they look for her Lost Report or they would have found her owner in a few minutes bc her rescue address was on ALL her paperwork. HSNT says the owners "never came forward" and that the adoptive family doesn't want to return her - how could they come forward when they had no way to find her ??? She was adopted out via the Good Shepherd Rescue of North Texas. To make it even more heartbreaking, Good Shepherd Rescue told us they NEVER even informed the adoptive family that the owners were found - yet Ms. Charles and a Stealth volunteer were told a story about how the owners "thought it over for a week and it was a difficult decision” and they didn't want to return her!!! How heartbreaking and unfair to now find out we weren’t even told the truth - for both the owners and adoptive family! The adoptive family was informed a MONTH later, when the LA attorney general contacted HSNT. Did they think Precious' owners would just "go away" when told they couldn't have their beloved pet back? Plus, we were told by HSNT that Precious 'almost died from heartworm treatment' but Good Shepherd told us she had a "low positive" HW result and was put on preventive to treat it! We DESPERATELY need help for both Precious and Missy (the Shi Tzu of Lt. Jay Johnson who was taken by the SCPCA of Texas – Missy had a microchip!). None of the shelter/rescue groups involved are cooperating. The legal fees are getting VERY expensive and we are paying out of our own pockets! Donations are tax deductible. Please specify "PRECIOUS AND MISSY SPECIAL FUND," c/o Friends of Animal Shelter of St. Bernard, PO Box 1095, Chalmette, LA 70044, (Friends is a 501(c)3 org Tax ID#72-1193778). Online charity donation also – please specify “Precious and Missy” http://www.sbpanimal.homestead.com/FriendsoftheAnimalShelter.html.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Eric, Don't pay any attention to the "old news" poster.
Some people don't recognize an angel when they see one!!
You keep doing just what you feel is right with this blog. You have saved so many. I appreciate every word you write and the causes you champion. Thanks

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Becky said...

Thanks, Eric, for highlighting just one of the dozens of cases of the cruel and inhumane treatment of New Orleans citizens by these "rescuers" who have made themselves all kinds of excuses to support their despicable lack of morals.

Pam Bondi makes me sick and between her and Barry Cohen, it must seem hopeless to the Coutures, but all can't be lost. Someone with this lack of compassion and moral judgment can't succeed, I just have to have some kind of faith that there will be justice for the Coutures in the end.

There are so many other cases, I wish you could also highlight each of them. What about Linda Charles, who has been separated from her German Shepherd dog, Precious, even though we know the Humane Society of North Texas had her, gave her to Good Shepherd Rescue of North Texas, who in turn adopted her out despite HER HOME ADDRESS clearly written on all the paperwork that came with the dog. And now the "adopters" refuse to give her back, same old argument of she's better off. It's just sick that we have to beg for donations all over the place to try and keep this case going, while "they" have three attorney's already, probably working pro-bono.

There are so many of these, including Bandit, the elderly poodle who belongs to the elderly man mentioned above.

Donations are so welcome for this legal fight, contributions are tax deductible and can be sent through the Friends of St. Bernard Parish Animal Control specified for "Legal Special Fund" through their 501(c)3 Special Funds Account for reuniting hurricane pets with owners: Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Bernard, PO Box 1095, Chalmette, LA 70044, http://www.sbpanimal.homestead.com/FriendsoftheAnimalShelter.html).

Please consider donating to these causes, those of us directly involved in helping these owners get the pets back truly need all the financial support that can be found. This is a general donation fund, but if you want to specify for a particular case, such as Precious, the German Shepherd, or Bandit, the elderly poodle, just specify that on your donation.

Thank you!

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger jean said...

Can we (I) do anything to further the cause of reuniting this family. I am so sad for them. All of them. Furry and skinned.
Jean Sagredo

 
At 4:06 AM, Blogger 64SPLIT said...

I live in the UK, I own two dogs myself and have had all sizes of dogs from huge Alaskan Malamutes to my westie and lhasa that I have now. If someone were to take my dogs in this kind of situation I'd be hard pushed to restrain my anger. It makes me sick that someone such as this Bondi woman can be so cruel and heartless. If she can be like this with 2 people who have lost everything, just how compassionate would she be with a large breed of dog couped up in an apartment all day when she returns to find he's chewed her latest Prada handbag?!

A LARGE dog of Tank's size should have a LARGE yard or garden to run and play in. It should be walked at least 3 times a day. Simple things like this stop a dog from becoming bored, frustrated and destructive. To make things worse, the heartless bitch has separated him from his life-long pal Nila. Poor Tank must be feeling as hollow and lost as the Coutures and I only hope that the crazy judicial system in the US can find the REAL justice in this case and return him to his correct LEGAL owners and not be swayed by money. Money can buy you a dog, but it certainly doesn't buy its love OR anyone elses.

If Bondi can afford to pay for high-flying lawyers then she can afford to buy her OWN St. Bernard, then she can spend her money on spoiling her OWN dog and enjoy the feeling of its unconditional love instead of spending her time and money on pointless TV appearances, bitching to the media. Why isn't she out spending that time with her dog if he's so important?!!

 
At 4:08 AM, Blogger 64SPLIT said...

I live in the UK, I own two dogs myself and have had all sizes of dogs from huge Alaskan Malamutes to my westie and lhasa that I have now. If someone were to take my dogs in this kind of situation I'd be hard pushed to restrain my anger. It makes me sick that someone such as this Bondi woman can be so cruel and heartless. If she can be like this with 2 people who have lost everything, just how compassionate would she be with a large breed of dog couped up in an apartment all day when she returns to find he's chewed her latest Prada handbag?!

A LARGE dog of Tank's size should have a LARGE yard or garden to run and play in. It should be walked at least 3 times a day. Simple things like this stop a dog from becoming bored, frustrated and destructive. To make things worse, the heartless bitch has separated him from his life-long pal Nila. Poor Tank must be feeling as hollow and lost as the Coutures and I only hope that the crazy judicial system in the US can find the REAL justice in this case and return him to his correct LEGAL owners and not be swayed by money. Money can buy you a dog, but it certainly doesn't buy its love OR anyone elses.

If Bondi can afford to pay for high-flying lawyers then she can afford to buy her OWN St. Bernard, then she can spend her money on spoiling her OWN dog and enjoy the feeling of its unconditional love instead of spending her time and money on pointless TV appearances, bitching to the media. Why isn't she out spending that time with her dog if he's so important?!!

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to MS Bondi - there is an old saying. "Money can buy you a dog but it will not wag his tail." I guarantee you that even a glimpse of the Couture family will wag Master Tank's tail.

You are lucky that this is not MY dog. I would be outside your apartment building 24/7 screaming my dogs name and I promise you he would be inside your apartment screaming back. Your neighbors would take up a collection to shut us both up and the only way to do that is to GIVE THE DOG BACK TO HIS RIGHTFUL OWNER. Innocent until proven guilty, mean anything to you Ms B?

 
At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^... GIVE THE DOG BACK TO HIS RIGHTFUL OWNER. Innocent until proven guilty, mean anything to you Ms B?

Nah, she's a Prosecuting Attorney who believes that EVERYONE is guilty until they can pony up the big bucks and their defense lawyers can prove their innocence! (Ever notice the ratio of guilty to innocent judgments when the poorer defendants have to rely on ~a court appointed attorney~ ?!)

Methinks the ~grasping & aspiring~ PA ice queen doesn't want to give Master Tank back and go adopt a St. Bernard (or something lots smaller with way less maintenance for her lifestyle and far more suitable to apartment dwelling without a yard... like say a guppy) from a local KILL-shelter because that is so like ~less fashionable than being able to SMILE for the camera and pat yourself on the back for "saving" a KATRINA pet~

(Oh look the guppy is even floating upside down in its bowl!) Iceberg queen Bondi strikes again...

 
At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually this rescue did not do anything to "find " these dogs owners.
When you find a lost dog, what is the very first thought you have to locate the dog's owners, hhhmmmm, let me see..it would be to contact the local shelter to ask about lost reports, in this case it would be looking on AERN database, second option would be to place an ad in the local paper where the pet was found, THIS IS WHERE the info is important. Since 95% of the NewOrleans residents had no electricity, which means NO internet. How were they suppose to find their pets. Maybe if someone would have posted found reports in the local papers over there. Some of these lost pets may have been claimed by their owners.
Someone should Ask Pam Bondi, if she posted a found notice in the NOLA paper, and if not, why not.
I have said that they need to put Master tank in a room with both parties, and a news crew, and see where he will end up. We all know the answer to that one, and what a news story that will be.

 
At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^I have said that they need to put Master tank in a room with both parties, and a news crew, and see where he will end up. We all know the answer to that one, and what a news story that will be.


ROFL Master Tank will probably pee & poop on her Prada shoe as a going away present to remember him bye bye BitchBondi...

 
At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

I am a volunteer who is trying to help people find their missing Katrina pets. I recently saw an article about the Coutures in a national publication and I am corresponding with the writer of the article, who at the time the article went to press, did not know who had the dogs. There is a strong interest in doing a follow-up article. Would it be okay if I sent the link to your blog? It is the easiest way I can think of to get a large amount of information about the case for them to follow-up on.

 
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At 11:06 AM, Blogger Sam said...

Can anyone tell me why an owner that loves their dog would abandon it? And if they abandon it, why they should expect to get it back?

This is a sincere question, because my wife and I would save our goldens at all costs, or die trying. How could anyone, in good conscience, leave these "cherished members of the family" to die alone and abandoned? The fact that the dogs are alive is a tribute not to the owners, but to the people who didn't leave, who stayed for the very purpose of saving the animals at the risk of their own lives, while the owners fled.

As sad as it is to lose ownership of their animals, the most important thing is the animal, not the hurt feelings of the humans. The way you make it sound, an animal could never be happy without its original owner. So much for rescuing societies.

I really want to sympathise with the original owners. Can someone out there give me a reason to?

 
At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sams Says:
I really want to sympathise with the original owners. Can someone out there give me a reason to?

YES, you need to do your research and read the truth BEFORE drawing a conclusion that these dogs were abandoned. THEY WERE NOT! And if you take the time to read the background on this....you would know that. Did you read all of Eric's post?? - apparently not! Did you know if Mr. Couture had been allowed to take the dogs with him..he would have been ordered to leave them at the school (for safekeeping the owners were told) ...one of the schools where the authorities mass slaughtered these precious pets. Read your facts and get the full story.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Sam said...

"Did you read all of Eric's post?? -"

I did read the entire post, every word. And I read all the comments, looking for additional insight.

I wouldn't leave my animals with anybody in the middle of a crisis. Ever. Where we go, they go. Always.

 
At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can anyone tell me why an owner that loves their dog would abandon it? And if they abandon it, why they should expect to get it back?"


Sam--your wording is wrong, that is your error. These owners did not "abandon" their animals they were FORCED TO LEAVE THEM, or PROHIBITED FROM RETURNING TO GET THEM.

If you would feel more comfortable living in your fantasy world in which you will "always" get to pick the course of action and the final outcome (always a satisfactory one), then you are entitled to that fantasy.

But don't inflict it on the hapless souls who did not have the luxury of that choice, their having endured the real disaster that was Katrina, and not just the imaginary one in your mind--the one where everything works out just the way you think it should.

Take comfort in your fantasy, and please accept my empathy and sympathy in advance for the day that you come face to face with the rude awakening that will happen when Reality finally dares to inflict itself upon your life. Only hope that, at that time, whatever your situation is, that others will be more compassionate with You than you are now with the Coutures et al.

 
At 12:58 AM, Blogger lovingpaws said...

I live in Tampa Bay. There are days of notice to evacuate for hurricanes. What is up with the people in ALL the hurricane states that don't take them serious and LEAVE which includes taking your pets. Couture sent the rest of the family out of town & he stayed behind with the dogs. Why didn't he & the dogs leave with them too? Many ASK WHY would somebody spend 10 months trying to get their pets back if they didn't care. I ASK how can anyone WHO CARES ABOUT ANIMALS SUE A SHELTER. I could never sue an animal shelter.(unless they were harming the animals) I'd be taking food, shelter, medical aid, LIFE from thousands of future animals. Don't bring in the politics of Chaboudy resigning, or people quitting the bottom line is the ANIMALS. I question how much a person cares about his animals that could do this to other animals.

 
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