In the Best Interest of the Dog

I am not perfect. It’s an obvious fact. I do the best I can and for the most part, I think do a better than average job of taking care of my dogs. 

I don’t expect anyone else to be perfect taking care of their shelties either. 


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When someone pretends to be the gold standard of care, when someone states that they are keeping a dog away from their rightful owner on the fantasy that it is “in the best interest of the dog”, I do point fingers and I damn well expect the care to be a hell of a lot better than the owner could provide. 

Case in point….

Piper the Sheltie

Piper is… well, was… a show dog until this past year. A Champion show dog. That doesn’t happen by accident. That doesn’t happen if you don’t work at keeping the bitch at the pinnacle of conditioning. 

At this point in time, no one can call her a show dog because she has been abused and neglected by an organization that had the responsibility… an actual order by the court, to keep her in as good condition as when she was first in their care. 

Penny Sanderbeck and the few cronies she has left, failed to do that. Failed miserably. Viewing the photos of what Piper looked like when seen by Veronica and Michelle after months in hiding, proves this.

The Show Dog

Suffice it to say, those who breed and/or show their dogs are obviously much more particular than the average dog owner.  They are interested in keeping the general health, as well as the coat, skin and nails in tip-top shape for showing. That requires more than letting the dog go to hell in a handbasket until a week before a show and then expecting the dog to look great with a quick bath and brush out. 

It requires constant upkeep. 

Attempting to cut corners will have a detrimental effect on the dog, its condition, and getting Winner’s Dog or Winner’s Bitch points. 

After all, you don’t see Miss America rolling out of bed, taking a quick shower, getting into her bikini and expecting to win. 

Consistent good grooming over the long haul is a necessity. 

When someone thinks they can take better care of Piper, when the court ORDERS THEM to keep her in as good care as when she was received…. And they DON’T….. I am calling them on their BS about “in the best interest of the dog”. 

They don’t have a clue.

And unlike the unproven innuendo and irrelevant stories COSR supporters spout, here are some photos that do all the talking about how poorly Sanderbeck (or maybe her fabulous foster) takes care of one dog. 

How Do You Explain This?

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few good photos to let the truth sink in.  And please, remind me again why Piper staying with COSR is in the best interest of the dog? Hmmm?

skin problem with dog returned to owner

and this

flakey skin on dog

and this

Is this keeping Piper in the immaculate shape she was obtained in? According to the shelter records Piper did not even have a mat on her when she entered the shelter. These photos have not been photoshopped. This was the condition of her skin.

More flakey skin on sheltie

and this

widespread skin condition on sheltie

and this

Any brushing at all would have dislodged this flaking crud from her skin, It would have been evident in her outer coat that she needed bathing and more brushing. But when you don’t even bother to brush a sheltie’s coat, it just builds up over weeks and months. 


skin problem on sheltie

and this

and this, all over her body

Bottom line, when someone can’t even bother to brush a dog on a regular basis and give basic grooming care, one has to wonder what else has happened in 15 months.

Being under the same roof for over a year doesn’t equate to good care when the above photos are the result. 

That is, if Piper was in fact under the same roof the entire time. 

It's common for rescues to have their dogs in multiple foster homes. So, to call it a problem is pointing a finger at themselves. The bigger question is just how many hours per day was Piper left in a small crate to languish. Was it 24/7? Was she given any exercise at all?

Upon exam by a vet immediately after being returned to Veronica and Michelle found Piper had no muscle tone. That means she got little or no exercise in the 15 months she was held prisoner. 

What kind of crap food was she fed?

endless crud

Just plain inexcusable

dead undercoat removed from sheltie

What in God's Name Do You Call This?

Below is what Piper’s nails looked like in April, 2015 when seen by a vet for an exam. Obviously a hatchet job done on the fly. Anyone who knows dogs knows that as the nails grow, the quick follows. Then you are stuck with longer and longer nails unless you stay on top of it and slowly get the quick to recede. Longer nails equals damage to feet and pasterns. And, quite honestly, a ten year old could trim the coat around the nails better.

Also, look closely at the second toe from the left. See the red peeking thru the chopped coat? That could easily be a fungus infection on the skin beneath (which is caused by moist conditions) that should have been taken care of, not ignored. Once again, so much for the best interest of the dog. So much for expert care.

poorly trimmed feet and nails on sheltie

Below is what her nails looked like in August. Apparently not trimmed for quite some time. Again, if Sanderbeck is going proclaim herself the best home for a dog, you’d think she’d care enough to put the work in to prove it.

nail infection

But as we already know, it’s not about the dog, it’s about her ego. Knowing she was going to give the dog back, this photo is, to me, an admission she could care less.

Lifestyle of a Show Dog

Show dogs by their very nature must be pretty sturdy, deal with travel, handling by strangers and change in environment with ease. If they don’t, then they probably won’t do well once in the show ring. And by show ring I mean either conformation or performance venues.

As much as I hate to anthropomorphize animals, I know there will be readers so brainwashed by the animal rights fanatics that it will be hard to explain to them things that are not within the normal human experience. So I will make the best analogy I can think of.

So, here goes….

People have children.

People send their children to summer camp. People send their kids to visit relatives. Kids get sent on class trips. My own mother was sent to live with relatives as a child to ease the financial burden on my grandparents. 

This is not considered abuse, neglect or cruelty. It is a socializing experience. Some children may have difficulty adjusting initially but that doesn’t make it wrong to do. Other children love the excitement of something new and different.

People do not hide their children In their bedrooms and forbid them to go outside and socialize for fear of stressing them too much. 

Life is experiencing new things all the time. Both for dogs and humans.

To say that re-homing a dog is “not in the best interest of the dog” is uneducated and narrow-minded at best, manipulative and dishonest at worst.  

Especially when rescues are in the business of re-homing dogs it seems like a double standard. 

So when Veronica says it’s OK to let Piper go with Austin, another sheltie to make the transition to his new home easier, that is a reasonable, easy, temporary change in environment, not some life-threatening-formal-ownership-changing situation, as Sanderbeck and company would like people to believe.

Staying with COSR Is in the Best Interest of the Dog??

Considering what I said about how show dogs need to have a sturdy temperament and how Piper could easily acclimate to new surroundings, consider this. How bad must have the living environment been that Piper turned so gray since she was taken by COSR?

graying hair on sheltie
grey muzzle

Did anyone at COSR consider Piper's feelings in all this?  NO! Such a pretty bitch, but sooooo gray now around her sweet muzzle from her stay with the organization that keeps on trying to take what isn't theirs.

Piper is home
skin red around nose

And just in case you missed it, take a closer look at her muzzle (enlarged below). See those red raised papules? I have to wonder how many hours Piper spent rubbing her nose against a crate door wanting out.

closeup of muzzle

All I can say is it's a good thing Piper can't talk and verbalize in easy to understand English all that she must have gone through during these last 15 months in captivity.

It almost makes me laugh when the radical animal rights cultists say they need to be "the voice of the voiceless". Convenient, don't you think when they can attach all sorts of unsubstantiated emotions, misread an animal's needs and hide their own shortcomings as in the case of Piper.

A First Hand Account

Another peek into the fabulous facility that is COSR. A little background first: Cheryl (Sherry) was Penny’s acquaintance. Sherry was in Hospice at the time of this incident. Adam was Sherry’s son:

“Around mid April, Cheryl asked Adam to go retrieve a mattress and box springs stored at the house of Penny Sanderbeck (also the location of the Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue and Sanctuary). According to Adam, when he entered the house and tried to retrieve the mattress, it was soaked with dog urine and covered with dog feces – and the entire home was also covered in urine and feces. Outside in a small yard were 12-14 shelties. Within the home/shelter, there were no crates or kennels – it appeared the dogs had unrestrained access to the house.

The bedding was unusable. “

~ Best in Show Daily

I have multiple dogs in my home. Many breeders do. Yes, it takes a concerted effort to keep the house in clean condition for humans and dogs. Yes, occasionally one may slip a day in keeping up with things. But it gets eventually gets done, unlike the situation described above.

The description of Sanderbeck’s home could easily be considered a hoarding and chronic neglectful situation. As a matter of fact, one has to ask, would she even be able to pass her own screening process to adopt, let alone pass an animal control inspection if she had one.

So in rebuttal to the belief that the only worthy criteria is that a dog stays in a single home, I say not so fast. Someone is looking for an excuse to keep Piper from her owners and to keep her in a filthy, deplorable environment to boot.

While Sanderbeck’s friends say they are “in it only for the dog”, it’s obvious from the facts (photos above) and the first hand observance of the conditions in Penny’s home and rescue facility, that that is not the case. 

It is a very twisted ego trip for someone that thinks no matter how badly she treats a dog, she should keep as many dogs as she can stuff into a house and not be held accountable for what she does. 

Shame on her, shame on Sanderbeck. Expert in canine care, my ass. Deserving of a dog like Piper? Not a chance.

In the best interest of the dog, Piper needs to stay with Veronica.

Piper and VeronicaPiper is right where she should be
Piper kissing VeronicaClose enough to give kisses and get lovin'

Will Piper Be Allowed to Stay with Her Owner?

That question still needs to be answered. This change in living arrangements for Piper is temporary until a trial decides who owns her. And while COSR's attorney is doing this pro bono (no attorney's fees for Penny), Veronica and Michelle must pay a private trial attorney to take this to court. And every time COSR's attorney submits a court document or motion, Veronica and Michelle's attorney must review it, respond to it and file a response. That costs money. Costs are over $100,000 at this time. 

You see how this has turned into a game of COSR trying to have the owners run out of funds and lose Piper by default. It looks like COSR has no intention of giving up hope of owning a Champion Shetland Sheepdog that they neither raised nor paid to show nor gave basic canine care to when they held her.

This feels much more like "payback" to make the owners suffer financially for bringing to the attention of the general public just how COSR does business. 

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