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"Dealing Dogs" airs Tuesday, Feb 21 on HBO

hounds003
February 21st, 2006, 01:14 PM
The HBO documentary, "Dealing Dogs", premieres Tuesday, February 21st
Shot over six months, this harrowing undercover investigation exposes one
of America's most notorious "Class B" dog dealers, who sells dogs from
his Arkansas kennel to research labs around the country, and is known for regularly violating animal-welfare laws

Premieres Tuesday, February 21 at 10 p.m.(ET/PT). Go to http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/index.html for a preview.

Please read the following, for educational purposes, and for me . . . because . . . for me . . . the dogs and cats that were deliberately tortured, starved, beaten and abused for 20 years, just hours away [from Memphis], DESERVE to have their story heard. The pet owners whose pets were stolen and died at Martin Creek Kennels, or were sold by Martin Creek Kennels to research facilities DESERVE to have this story heard. The animals that they acquired from "Free To Good Home Ads" under false pretenses DESERVE to have their story heard.

Many of you who live here in the MidSouth, have heard about Martin Creek Kennels, Class B Dealers, and C.C. Baird before, and know what this documentary is all about. For those of you who don't, maybe you have heard about First Monday in Ripley, Mississippi. For those of you who don't know about First Monday, I bet you have at least heard about pet theft in the MidSouth, and I bet you have heard about animals being used for research.
Let me put it all together for you to understand,

C.C. Baird, owner of Martin Creek Kennels, a family owned and operated animal kennel, took animals from people, shelters, and as strays, under false pretenses from "free to good home ads", with the sole purpose of selling to research facilities.

He actually took hearts out of heartworm positive dogs, to sell to research. For those of you who live in the Memphis area -- don't think that this was just going on in Arkansas, he "acquired" animals from the Memphis area. Martin Creek is only a few hours away. If you look on the list of research facilities he sold to, University of Tennessee is listed. This happened here, in Memphis and the surrounding area, not just Arkansas. The Baird Case is being called one of the worst cases of animal abuse in history.

Whether you believe in animal research or not -- is not the issue here -- please don't let the research issue get in the way of what this is really about The issue is that the animals in his care suffered deliberate abuse and death. The issue is that even though he had repeated violations, he continued to be licensed. The issue is that a lot of these animals were stolen pets, loved by their owners, like you and me. The issue is that most of these pets were strays that were taken fom an animal shelter, or off the streets and never had a chance to find their owner or be adopted into a loving home. Even humane euthanasia would be better for those shelter animals, than the life of torture, neglect, and horror they were taken to. Please understand, that the following story could be your story -- this could have happened to your pet.

C.C. Baird was the country's largest and most notorious Class B Dealer. He was actually licensed by the USDA. Class B Dealers sell animals to research facilities.

Oh, and for those of you out there that think this kind of thing would never happen with anyone you know . . . C.C.Baird is a Reverend in a church, and even after he was busted, his neighbors and Church stood behind, not believing the proof of what he was doing - -they said he was very nice and loved him and what he did as an important person in their community. This went on and on, and everyone knew what was going on, no one could or would do anything.

It took a California based animal welfare agency, Last Chance for Animals, to end the suffering. In September 2003, Last Chance for Animals' Special ivestigations Unit concluded a 15 year investigation into Class B Dealers, cumulating in the bust of C.C. Baird. They acquired 70 hours of undercover footage, from Baird's facility, showing the abuse, illegal acts, and even recorded the dogs being shot and beaten and starved to death. This was the largest Federal, State, and Local investigation on any animal issue in U.S. History.
Sounds great right . . . well almost. Over 700 animals were dying, starving, and living in deplorable conditions at Martin Creek Kennels in September of 2003 when this happened. Only 125 dogs and one cat were initially allowed to be seized -- only about 1/4th of the animals there. These 125 animals were determined by being in the worse shape and needing immediate, life saving medical attention. C.C. Baird still had approximately 600 animals there, living in deplorable conditions, still being deliberately abused and neglected, and dying, and still operating as a Class B Dealer.

One of my foster dogs, Winston, is one of 3 treeing walker coonhounds we took from this first group of seized animals. I can tell you that for me, and the others who took any of the 125 dogs, all you could think about was that there were still 600 animals just like Winston that were still there suffering, and dying at Martin Creek Kennels -- impossible to comprehend. Every night I looked at him with his stuffed animal and dog bed,which he adored, and couldn't believe that he was here and safe. It was hard to stay involved in what was going on because the abuse was so overwhelming, and the proof right there, but yet the animals were still there. I have a hard time watching the documentary, or looking at the website, there are two scenes in the documentary, that I'm almost certain, are Winston being abused, it looks just like him. It is possible that it was one of the many hounds there, and honestly, whether it is him or not, I know, that he suffered the same abuse. I watch and read the story and know that Winston, and so many other animals suffered great torture and pain over the past 20 years at the hands of C.C. Baird, a reverend in a little Arkansas church. I don't even want to really think about the numbers that passed through there in the 20 years. You can see Winston at http://www.midsouthanimalrescue.petfinder.org/
under Pets In Foster Care.

On January 28, 2005, a settlement was finally reached, and the remaining animals were relinquished. Out of the approximately 600 animals that were left there, for 15 months, only 89 dogs and 146 cats were left at this point. annda Turner with Northeast Arkansas For Animals(NAFA) in Jonesboro was placed in charge of inventorying, and placing the remaining animals. She asked me and Cyd Dunlap from the Oxford Animal Shelter to come help inventory the animals and take pictures. I knew this would be one of the hardest things I would ever expose myself to, and I almost declined. To actually go there, after seeing the pictures and undercover video, after meeting some of the first surviving dogs, knowing that while there for 2 days, I would have to be polite and professional, and work with the people who were on the video, beating, starving, and shooting, and killing, these animals -- was hard to imagine.

These men deliberately abused Winston, my foster dog -- how could I possibly go, and keep my emotions to myself. I also worried about how hard it would be to go, just for inventory, knowing that we would not be taking all of the animals out of there yet. Well, we went, and it was a very rewarding experience. And yes, of course, we both brought some of the remaining animals back with us. Oh, and for those of you who know Cyd and I -- yes, we behaved professionally and kept our mouths shut -- because it was about the animals and their needs and we did what we had to do to help them.

George Jones, a beagle and Princhepesa, a black and tan coonhound, both on
http://www.midsouthanimalrescue.petfinder.org/ under Pets In Foster Care, are from the the remaining 89 dogs left in 2005. I will never forget those two dogs and how out of the 89 dogs I photographed that day, I just couldn't leave them behind. Each dog was brought out to us, to see a vet, and be assessed and recorded, and photographed. The men who worked there, who were on the video and in the pictures, beating and killing these animals were our "helpers".

I cannot tell you how hard it was to work with them as if nothing was wrong. To make conversation with them, as if nothing had happened. We could not say anything, or be emotional about what had happened and what was going on. The dogs were so scared and so unsocialized. George was being brought out to me, and as I squatted down to get ready to take his picture, he broke free from the man, and came running to me, and dove into my arms, baying a beagle bay the whole time. He acted like he knew me, and was so happy to see me. As I hugged him and petted him, he was just frantic and kept grunting and kissing me. He was very vocal about being taken from my arms and did not want to go back to his cage.

I knew I could not leave them behind, and brought them home and named him George Jones, due to his very vocal, singing ability. I named the black and tan coonhound Princhepesa, italian for princess, from the movie Life Is Beautiful. For those of you who have not seen the movie, a man who calls his wife his princhepesa, is taken along with his son and wife to a concentration camp. At the end of the movie, the feeling you are left with and the message really is about Life Being Beautiful, no matter what it deals us, so thus the name. For Prinche, as we call her, life finally is beautiful.

We, like many other rescues who took in the Baird Dogs, have had a lot of issues to overcome. With Winston, George, and Prinche, we continue to work on behavior problems that are the direct result of the abuse and neglect they lived. My heart breaks when I look at these 3 sweet dogs and know the abuse they suffered. Winston is not in good health, and he gets scared and confused. You cannot make big movements with your arms or yell, or point at them, or make them feel trapped in anyway. If you walk into a room quickly or wake them up abruptly, it scares them. Winston suffered so much abuse, but he does love and trust me after all he has been through. His whole life's happiness revolves around a blanket or stuffed animal. They are all full of love now though, and can't get enough petting and attention. They have all learned how nice blankets, beds, couches, and toys are and love treats. They are certainly a lot of work and a challenge, but they are worth it.

While we were at Martin Creek Kennels that day, we were so excited that HBO was there documenting and recording this -- for the world to see. I know the average MidSouth pet owner out there is going to be completely shocked that this went on for 20 years right here in our backyard -- and continues to go on. People need to see this documentary, be outraged, and work to make a difference in the world to relieve animal suffering. These animals suffered the most deliberate, cruel treatment I have ever seen and DESERVE to have their story seen and heard.

***
I have already seen the documentary, and it was hard, and certainly brought it all back. Watching it all again, and having been at Martin Creek Kennels, knowing that hundreds of dogs that Winston, Prinche, and George lived with, died a cruel death there for 20 years is hard. The first part of the documentary was about the undercover investigator and how he was able to record and acquire the evidence. For me it was not what I was as interested in seeing, and was a little technical, and I felt that very first part was a little on the boring side -- but please stick with it, it does then go into footage from First Monday in Ripley, TN and into Dealers and their world, and shows the footage of people admitting to stealing pets and what they really do and how much money they make. The best stuff is in the rest of the documentary, not the first part, and I
fear someone will not watch the whole thing. Please watch the whole thing -- it really gets good and I cannot tell you -- you will not believe it when you see it. You will not believe that after the very little bit you see in this brief documentary -- that the judgement he got was enough. You will not believe that this place was ever allowed to operate after inspections. You are going to be in total shock and disbelief. I beg you though, to go to the Last Chance website now and read about this case

http://www.lcanimal.org/invest/baird.htm

it is much more informative and has detailed this investigation, with reports, pictures, and video. We have all seen shows on research facilities and meat companies, etc -- this is different -- this shows what your neighbor, your reverend, and people who work for him could be doing. This isn't some big meat company abusing animals. This shows people on camera talking about stealing children's pets and selling them. This shows the reality of what is happening to animals in our communities and the pets that disappear. A note about the documentary:

There is a scene at First Monday where a man that works for Baird is talking to a guy that walks up and asks them about buying his black lab, that man that tells him that they are selling them for research, is the man that "helped" me all day at Martin Creek Kennels.

This case of neglect and deliberate abuse got national attention in 2003,
please don't let it be forgotten. You can read more details about the
abusive life Winston, Princhepesa, and George Jones were living in by going to: http://www.lcanimal.org/invest/baird.htm
I have to warn you though, this is one of the most heart wrenching, disturbing, and painful stories you will ever see. You will feel as helpless as the animals who were there, but I hope you will go there and read their story. There are pictures and video available at this site, and it is very graphic, but you don't have to look at the pictures if you can't handle seeing them, just don't click on that page. Remember, you don't have to look at the pictures to make a difference, but please go there and read the information.

C.C. Baird was charged with hundreds of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. On January 28, 2005, a consent decision was signed and finalized, and included the following terms C.C. Baird received:
1) He and his wife and their two daughters had their animal dealer
licenses permanently revoked.
2) Fines amounted to $262,700, the largest fines every imposed by the
USDA/APHIS, which included a personal civil penalty of $12,700.
3) A five year probation including a penalty of $250,000 without further
procedure if any Baird is caught engaging in any activities under which
their licenses were revoked.

According to Last Chance for Animals, Baird sold animals to nearly 50 facilities around the country. He got animals for free, or paid $10-$20 for them, and turned around and sold them to research labs for $250-$800 per animal, and was selling at least 3,000 dogs a year. **Note from the Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly: "Since government workers raided Baird̢۪s properperty and seized over 100 animals in August 2003, he has earned at least a quarter of a million dollars from animal sales easily an equal sum to the ffine he just paid."
http://www.awionline.org/pubs/quarterly/05_54_1/541p2.htm

We can't thank Chris DeRose of Last Chance for Animals enough for the work he and his investigators do to relieve animal suffering. The investigator who worked undercover at Martin Creek Kennels is our hero! Thanks Last Chance for making a difference in our community for the animals. I watched that documentary, and wonder why no one questions the responsibility the research facilities have. At what point are they going to be held responsible for where they get their animals? I was disappointed that HBO didn't go into the fact that Baird should not and is not the only one responsible. There were inspectors that continued to license him, vets that worked with him, he had a lot of support, and too many agencies turned a blind eye toward what he was doing.
Please remember to keep your pets safe from pet theft -- don't leave them out unattended. There are so many animals stolen and sold to research facilities.
Thanks to all of you for reading this and passing it along,
Linda Money
http://www.midsouthanimalrescue.petfinder.org/
www.humanesocietyark.petfinder.org

Dexter Peabody
March 6th, 2006, 11:45 PM
Here is an article from the Daily American Republic, the Poplar Bluff newspaper. There were no "RUMORS," as the paper says, I saw it every Friday. There were obvious kickbacks paid by Baird to locals in Poplar Bluff. Comments by PB Government officials were laughable, if it wasn't such a sad, and, serious situation. They kept saying that there hare been "rumors" from time to time, but, when they sent a cop down to investigate, they couldn't find anything. That is so laughable. It was wide open. Baird parked his HUGE cargo truck in the same spot every Friday, and, there were lots of cars, and trucks, many from out of state, that parked beside him. Dogs were everywhere. http://www.darnews.com/articles/2005/02/04/news/news4.txt Many of the dogs were stolen out of the yards of their owners. I met one woman who told me that her neighbor had lost three German Shepards over a year or so period of time. These bast*rds who steal the dogs are called "bunchers" Heartless, bast*rd scum. Pukes who have no redemption an will burn in the fires of hell.

I was threatened several times, once with a gun. This guy, who looks allot like Baird, but, I could not be certain. Kept offering to show me his shot gun in his truck and went to get it. I kept walking, told him that I had all the guns that I need, and, walked across the lot to my car. I was armed as well, and, my gun was bigger than his was. He did not follow me. I have a photo of the man, and, his truck. Over the time that I went there, I took lots of photos, wrote down license numbers and passed them on to someone who I knew would eventually help, and, shot some video. Once, my digital camera was knocked out my hands by one of them. I didn't do anything about it, because I knew that there was an investigation going on, and, didn't want to cause any stink. My camera was fine. I kept shooting. Another time, a tall black eyed, evil to core looking man in his early thirties, tried to goad me into a fight. Threatened me, etc. He was cowboy dressed, and, had "prison" written all over him. He looked like he could kill you, not think a thing about it. These people are scum, pure scum. You could just tell that the dogs that were showing up there did not belong to the people who were bringing them in. I saw beautiful chocolate labs, Dalmatians brought in by the dog pound keeper in Paragould, Arkansas, Irish setters, Labs, Golden Retrievers, an absolutely gorgeous WHITE dog, that looked like a white Irish Setter, and, countless more. One Arkansas man, drove up in a hatchback car. He had built a crude wooden cage. Inside was a beautiful, scared to death Blue Tick Healer. She did not want to get out of the car, when he opened the hatchback. She was terrified. I got in his face and said that he didn't own the dog, I kept repeating it, he mumbled, but, did not reply. He had to drag her out. Now, how many dogs do you know who do not want to get out of the car, when the car is opened? That white Irish setter looking dog, and, the chocolate lab, looked happy that they were going for a ride. They wagged their tales and looked excited before they were put on CC Baird's big truck and ultimately to their deaths. The the young bast*rd who brought the white Irish Setter drove up in a Red pickup with handicap plates. He was all decked out in western garb. Cowboy hat, Huge rodeo type belt buckle. I got the feeling that, if he hadn't stolen the dog, that it was his girlfriends and he was getting rid of it, out of spite. Just a feeling. There were people who regularly came from Paducah, Ky, (about 2 hours away, Centralia, IL, (about 5 hours distant) Central and southern Illinois, as well as Arkansas and Missouri to the Sale Barn in Poplar Bluff, MO each Friday.

I started going down there in late 1998, or, early 1999, and, stopped going in late 2000 not long after I had a brain stem stroke. Before I stopped. I had picked up two dogs who had escaped on separate Fridays, before they wree put on Baird's truck.. One ended up at a neighbor of my sister, another, Sugar, a small part lab female, still lives with me.