The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Terry Watts Searches for Answers

Last week, I introduced you to Hope Master, today, I introduce you to Terry Watts from the Panama City, Florida area. I post this not out of design, but out of necessity because Terry has asked for our help. Who is Terry Watts? Here is the short list of dogs that she has either pulled, fostered, transported, or asked me to take into our rescue: Tater, Boscoe, Gisele the Collie Girl, and Jaffe. Impressive, list isn’t it?

Late Wednesday night I received an email from Terry, which was a bit confusing, so I called her immediately. She explained that a Director of an Animal Control, will no longer allow her to pull, help transport or coordinate saving dogs from his shelter after she made a comment on facebook about a horrendous, horrible murder of a Pet Pot Belly Pig that was picked up by an Animal Control Officer. The pet pig was in their possession for stray hold. The Officer took the poor baby home, butchered it and ate it! He was not fired for this behavior.

Terry explained to me if she can not pull or help transport dogs from this pound, less dogs will get to rescue, and more will be euthanized. While on the phone with Terry, she elaborated that the pet pig’s family had returned to Animal Control looking for their lost pet, but it was too late. The pig had been allegedly murdered prior to the mandatory 5-day hold that this agency places on lost strays.

In a Blink:
So in one split second, Terry Watts, a long time animal rescue volunteer is being prevented from doing what she does… saving animals. This afternoon, Terry provided me with three email address that we can use to asks that someone steps up to uncover this mystery. Did it really happen? We simply do not know. If this is all a joke, then why not say so?

My last update from Terry was just a few moments ago. She reports in a text message that a news station is coming to do an interview! I’m so proud of her! I’m not sure what I can do to help Terry find the truth, and the closure that she needs, or what I can do to help her continue to rescue from this shelter.

My greatest concern is the cavalier attitude with which a government employee terminated an effective relationship with a private citizen. If this behavior is allowed, if pound administrators are permitted to control the speech of the rescue community through bullying tactics, who will be the voice of the animals? Are rescues just supposed to be quiet yes-men to these people? Who works for who? Where is the accountability?

Hopefully we will learn the truth of the allegations in this specific case, but let us not lose sight of the bigger picture. Rescues and volunteers should do more than just pull individual animals out of kill shelters. There should be a partnership with them, one that encourages and enables them both to be more effective in saving lives and raising awareness of responsible pet ownership.


Update: One clarification is that a family was coming to adopt the pig before his demise, not the original family that lost the pig! Terry has been interviewed and will be aired this evening. I will provide a link if it’s available.

News story available

Well, today is Terry’s birthday. The director of the shelter has resigned. She has been given her rescue rights by a Commissioner. Details to Follow. Thanks to everyone who believes in the right way to rescue! Love you Terry! Now… let’s get back to work!

Terry Watts Vindicated!

4 thoughts on “Terry Watts Searches for Answers

  1. Posted on Facebook:
    Jennifer Zupko Spaeth This was the email I got in return…

    Commissioner Gainer has received Mrs. Watts concerns and has passed them on to County Administrative Staff to be addressed. Mrs. Watts concerns are part of an ongoing personnel investigation and will be addressed accordingly through the County’s Human Resources process. Additionally, and separate from Mrs. Watts concerns, staff is reviewing the current policies in place that outline how and when animals are released to rescue agencies. Thank you for your time and attention o this very important matter.

    Bob Majka
    Assistant County Manager

  2. I was absolutely disgusted when Terry came to us and told us this story..we work with Terry on a weekly basis and she has nothing but HEART for these animals and I know that without her loving gestures to these animals most of what we have rescued would never have seen the light of day ever again. I know this sounds bad because it REALLY IS but I know that the people that work for our "animal control" are a bunch of wackos! Most of them do not even care if the animals are mistreated or go without care. They only care about their pay-check at the end of the week. So for this SCUM BAG to take this pig home and slaughter it leaves me no shock whatsoever. I am appalled at the way the animal control of bay co. conducted their worker and never reprimanded him for his actions. I AM POSITIVE THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE MORE THAN WILLING TO ADOPT A SMALL PIG LIKE THAT. IT WAS NOT LIKE IT WAS A HUGE SOW OR ANYTHING!! and shame on the COUNTY FOR ALLOWING SUCH PEOPLE TO BE IN CHARGE OF ANIMALS. BAY COUNTY YOU ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS JUST AS MUCH AS THIS MAN. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT LETTING PEOPLE LIKE THIS WORK FOR A FACILITY THAT ENSURES THE WELL-BEING OF ANIMALS. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT IF IT WERE UP TO ME AND OTHERS I WOULD HAVE TERRY BECOME THE HEAD OF WHATEVER COUNCIL TO ENSURE THE ANIMALS WELL BEING. AT LEAST I KNOW THAT WHEN IT CAME TO ANIMALS SHE WOULD HAVE THE HEART TO DO WHAT WAS BEST AND KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG. I support Terry in her actions and bless you Terry for being such a good soul to these animals. Your hard work will not go unrewarded I promise!!!


    Panama City, Florida


  4. Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Terry pulls for 501c3 rescues as a volunteer. The employee who killed the pig, was an employee of that organization. Terry has not talked about this incident since she was given permission to rescue again. You are the only still talking about it.

    Something happened, it was wrong, it was addressed, corrected, and it's over with.

    I approved your comments to post, but we in rescue have moved on.


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