We love it when a distressing dog story turns into an uplifting one — as is often the case, it seems: Some lowly human mistreats a dog; some angel-like human comes to that dog’s rescue.
We hate it when a feel-good dog story turns bad.
That appears to be the case with the tale of the photographer in California who helped a man get his dog out of a city shelter.
The woman who took the touching photos of Dave Thomas after he learned he didn’t have enough money to retrieve his dog, who posted them on Facebook, and who raised enough money to help him, now says she’s had a falling out with him.
That’s according to KABC in Los Angeles, which helped the photographer find Thomas after the photo went viral and funds started coming in.
Maria Sanchez says she used about half of the donated funds to pay for the dog’s shots, neutering and kennel fees so Buzz Lightyear, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, could go home with Thomas.
Thomas wanted the rest of the money, as well.
Sanchez says she originally planned to let Thomas have the money — but not in cash. Instead she was going to apply it to his unpaid traffic. Thomas asked for all the cash, though. And Sanchez decided to refund what remained to the donors, or use it to help other animals.
That led to an angry voice mail from Thomas, which Sanchez posted on line (click on the video above).
Thomas was arrested last Friday, and animal control picked Buzz up and placed him in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
When Thomas, upon his release, went to the shelter, he was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees to get Buzz back. Sanchez, who regularly visits the shelter to take pictures of adoptable dogs and post them on the Internet — in hopes they will get adopted before their time is up — came across Thomas, who had only $6, as he visited his dog.
When she posted the photos of a sobbing Thomas and his dog on her Facebook page, donations started coming in to help him get his dog back — more money than was needed.
In the view of Thomas, apparently, he deserved that money, too.
That adds a sour note to an otherwise sweet tale. But even though the previously sympathetic character at its center turned out to be something less than gracious, maybe even greedy, it still has a shining one, Maria Sanchez.
Not to mention Buzz Lightyear, who we’d guess is enjoying his newfound freedom, and doesn’t care a whit where the extra money goes.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, biting the hand that feeds you, Buzz, buzz lightyear, california, dave thomas, dogs, facebook, funds, help, maria sanchez. photographer, more, pets, photography, raised, reclaim, san bernadino, shelter, spay-neuter, video, voice mail, wants
While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter
Here’a a preview of tonight’s “Dog Whisperer,” in which Cesar Millan helps “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels with a dog that goes nuts whenever she climbs aboard her horse.
Michaels, a fitness trainer and life coach, says her 14-month-old greyound mix, Seven, has been exhibiting the behavior for seven months. While her horse, Buzz, tolerates Seven’s yapping and nipping, Michaels was worried that it could lead to the dog getting hurt or even killed.
Millan solves the problem in a matter of seconds, climbing on back of Michaels’ horse, and simply leading the dog along on a leash. That, Millan says, gives the dog a purpose — following along — and brings the barking and nipping to an immediate halt. In time, Millan predicts, Seven will learn to walk alongside the horse without a leash.
Tonight’s show also features Sara, a German shorthaired pointer prone to escaping, and a Yorkshire terrier named Madeliene who reacts adversely to brooms and windshield wipers.
The episode airs at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: barking, behavior, biggest loser, Buzz, cesar, cesar millan, dog, dog whisperer, horse, Jillian Michaels, leash, millan, national geographic channel, nipping, seven, video