The founder of Dogs Deserve Better will be charged with criminal trespass for allegedly going onto posted property in Snyder Township to videotape chained dogs.
Tamira Ci Thayne, also known as Tammy Grimes, 46, of Tipton trespassed on a property Sunday on Gypsy Camp Hollow Road as she checked on the welfare of seven dogs allegedly chained on the vacant, wooded property, state police at Hollidaysburg said.
Police contend the property was clearly posted, and Thayne knew she didn't have permission to be there. Thayne doesn't deny the allegations.
"I absolutely, 100 percent trespassed to get video and photo evidence of the condition of the dogs that were chained on the property," Thayne said Wednesday.
Thayne took pictures and also posted a video of the visit on YouTube. She said that the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society now has custody of three of the dogs.
The three dogs were voluntarily turned over to the organization Monday by owners Carl and Tonya Hardy because they could not afford to get the animals treated by a veterinarian, Humane Society Police Officer Paul Gottshall said. Gottshall said the conditions are treatable and not life-threatening, and the dogs are now in the care of a veterinarian.
The society, at this time, isn't pursuing any charges against the Hardys because they have been cooperating and have taken steps since the video was made to clean up the dogs' area on the property, Gottshall said. Gottshall also said none of the dogs were underfed and were "in good shape."
"We're taking care of it," Gottshall said, who added that the CPHS will be following up on all of the dogs' conditions.
Because it isn't against the law to chain a dog outside, the owners can't be charged with a crime unless the dogs were being otherwise mistreated, Gottshall said.
The video and pictures taken by Thayne can't be used as evidence because they were obtained illegally, he said, and as of now, no laws are being broken on the property based on Monday's inspection.
The dogs' owners do face two state dog law citations for not having two of the dogs properly vaccinated, state Department of Agriculture spokesman Justin Fleming said. All dogs were licensed, he said.
Thayne, who is appealing a defiant trespass conviction in Cambria County for a similar case in Lilly, said the case illustrates why Pennsylvania needs a law outlawing chaining dogs outdoors. Thayne was also convicted in 2007 in Blair County Court for stealing a dog from outside an East Freedom home.
"Pennsylvania has a new bill coming out to stop the chaining of dogs, and people need to take a stand against this form of abuse," Thayne said.