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THE DANE DEFENDERS
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The Michigan Contract Violation Case

danes_in_winter.jpg

THE DANE DEFENDERS

All that is left behind one of the century's worst winter storms is a blanket of white covering the horizon. Whining and grunting break the silence as a pile of fourteen Great Dane puppies compete for attention from the unexpected visitors. They aggressively struggle with one another trying not to be trampled into the icy ground packed with urine and feces. All they have come to know as their world is a small fenced pen attached to a shed, surrounded by fields of nothingness. Somehow these 6-month old puppies have managed to survive the extreme conditions, but the question is, how many have not? Two days have passed since the last snow and still no tracks from caregivers. Who would know if the puppies survived the harsh weather? Apparently, no one cared. UNTIL NOW!
Imagine you just learned that one of your hand- raised puppies is living in these conditions, instead of the safe, loving home you were lead to believe it would be. Approximately 25 Great Dane Breeders nationwide unknowingly fell into the same snare in fall of 2000. The majority of these puppies were sold with a written contract intending to protect the dog from abuse and/or neglect. REALITY CHECK! One year later and counting, ten plaintiffs and a dwindling group of un-socialized, adolescent Great Danes anxiously await "due process". A long, drawn-out, emotionally exhausting, time consuming, exorbitantly expensive, legal process - diligently carried out in the interest of our animals' welfare.

In late March of 2001, the Sanilac County Animal Control seized 10 Great Dane puppies from 2 kennels set in the middle in an open field, due to unsanitary and cramped conditions. A deceased Great Dane, approximately 6 months old, was also discovered and removed from the edge of the property. At the time the animals were seized, there was no residence on this property, and no evidence of running water or electricity.

There is evidence of at least 25 Great Dane puppies that have been in this person's possession within the past year; however, the exact number of Danes that were purchased is still unknown. The breeders of these Great Danes believed their puppy was going to live at this persons residence and would be cared for in a manner they deemed acceptable. A breach of contract lawsuit has been filed in an attempt to regain possession of the Danes to be reconditioned and placed in proper homes. The original complaint did not ask for any money damages, only that the buyer return the dogs and pay for the legal fees incurred. This lawsuit was responded to with a vigorous defense and Counter-Claim alleging libel, malicious prosecution, harassment, conspiracy and emotional distress. Unfortunately, the Counter-Claim has resulted in postponed court dates and greatly increased legal expenses.

It is our goal not only to recover the Danes and place them in proper homes, but also to set a standard for contractual agreements that protect animals from abuse and neglect. The legal expenses associated with this case have far exceeded our means and we are currently reaching out to animal lovers for understanding and financial assistance to complete this necessary process. We are working with Great Dane Rescue, Inc. of Michigan to remedy this situation and anticipate a successful jury trial sometime in early summer of 2002. We have received support from many individuals along with Great Dane Clubs and Rescues throughout the U.S. and Canada; however, the need for support still remains. Please consider our need as we depend on your contributions to remedy this situation and prevent similar scenarios from occurring in the future.

All donations are tax deductible and should be mailed in the form of a check or money order payable to:

GDR - DANE DEFENDERS
P.O. BOX 654, HOLLAND OH 43528
Any excess funds received will be donated to Great Dane Rescue
(Receipt available upon request)


E-Mail:

savethedanes@hotmail.com

Web Site:

http://www.geocities.com/danedefenders/

For those wishing to learn more, here are a couple of links.

WDIV TV News story

MSNBC News story