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.

The Ellen Debacle

The Ellen Debacle
Mr. Breeze was rescued in 2009, and returned to TDL twice – no fault of his own

Whether or not you have adopted from The Dog Liberator or not, you should take a moment, find your dog’s adoption contract and read this post.  Even if you purchased your dog from a breeder, this may pertain to you as well.

I know it’s an old story, dating back to October 2007, but it’s one that was plastered on every news channel for quite a while.  I think it even increased Ellen DeGeneres’ show for a while!  The story should be very simple.  She adopted a dog, Iggy, and later gave it away to her hairdresser.  The rescue, Mutts and Moms, took the dog away from the hairdresser, stating Ellen had violated their contract.  Here are a few facts:


  • DeGeneres had said her hairdresser’s daughters, ages 11 and 12, had bonded with Iggy and were heartbroken when the dog was taken away.
  • Fink said Moms and Mutts has a rule that families with children under 14 are not allowed to adopt small dogs.
Excuse me while I laugh hysterically at any rescue who has “rules”, because rules will always come back to bite you in the buttocks.  Guidelines, yes.  Rules no!
  • DeGeneres said on her show that she spent $3,000 having the dog neutered and trained to be with her cats, but Iggy did not mix well with the cats so she gave him away.

What?  The Dog wasn’t already neutered?  That just blows me away!

  • Mutts and Mom’s Contract States:  No Right to Transfer:  anyone accepting a dog agrees to “NOT give or sell ADOPTEE to another person, company, organization, medical research, pound or animal shelter,” or, “If ADOPTER fails to abide by the terms of this clause, ADOPTER will pay all costs, including any legal fees incurred, required to secure the return of ADOPTEE to RESCUE and will, in addition, be required to pay liquidated damages in the amount of $500.”
  • Ellen was wrong to take this public and use her TV show as a platform to air her grievances. 
Sunkissed having a blast with Bart and China while waiting on Transport

I even read some comments that poor Iggy was stuck in a crate since he was taken away from Ellen’s hairdresser.  More Drama Seriously?  Do you know what happens to my dogs that are given back to us?  They find themselves back at the Border Collie Boot Camp having a blast with their old friends, and yes… some of them even end up on the couch with us!

Click here to read more about the drama-filled Hollywood version of the story.

Click here to read the follow up story from  Mutts and Moms.


Who is right, and who is wrong?  And What if it was You?

When you adopt a dog from The Dog Liberator, or many shelters, pounds, rescues, or breeders, you may have agreed, by signing your contract that you can not give away, destroy, or sell the dog without written permission from the agency.  This is true with my contract.  We do this for many reasons.

Should your dog face a sudden illness or injury, and you can not afford the vet bills, this does not give you the right to put the dog down.  The Dog Liberator reserves the right to at least be given a chance to find alternatives to save the dog’s life.  We may have options in veterinary care, or we may find grants that are available, or donations that can ask for to help save your dog.

You also can not transfer your Dog Liberator dog to anyone else, because of micro chip purposes.  Should you change your email address, phone number, or move, please contact the shelter, pound, rescue, or breeder immediately.  If your dog is found, and you have moved, we will have to hunt you down!  We have done this many times in the past, and we’ve always been able to reunite our dogs with their owners.

Please do not think that just because you purchased your dog from a breeder that you can do whatever you want to with your dog.  Your contract may have a clause that clearly states the dog must be returned to them.

During all of my adoptions, I explain that should my adopters be on vacation abroad, and their dog is lost, I will be notified immediately.  The Dog Liberator will go through extremes to get your dog out of the pound, pay the fee, prevent your dog from being euthanized, find it a boarding facility, foster, or transport your dog to safety until you return.

Rescue is a two-way street

We also understand and are compassionate about the fact that people’s lives change.  Especially in today’s times, people are losing their jobs and homes.  People do get sick, people move, and things happen that are beyond our control.

Understand that our contract clearly states that we can take your dog away from you, if we feel that your dog’s needs are not being met.

Easy Rider!

Let’s use this example hypothetically:  Years ago you adopted three dogs from us, two large Lab mixes and one small Border Collie.  You have since lost your job, divorced, and lost your home.  You’ve decided to take all of your money, and buy a Harley, and you’re going to travel the country and live off the land.  That’s great, but clearly, you can’t take all three dogs with you.

In this case, we do reserve the right to reclaim your two large Labs, but that does not mean that your Border Collie can’t go with you.  If you can provide for the dog, and the dog is happy being with you, we focus on  health, love, and commitment.  I know that my Lady Di, and China would never go for this kind of lifestyle, but my Ozzie would go in a minute!

You DO NOT have the legal right to re-home one of our Rescued Dogs under any condition.

The most important thing is communication.  If you feel that you are in a bad situation, and can not take care of your dogs, please do not leave it up to someone else to make that decision for you.  Talk to your boss, your neighbors, family members, and tell them, in writing what you expect to happen to your dogs.  You could put it in your will, or set aside some money for emergency boarding if necessary.

If your dogs are found home alone and animal control seizes your dogs, there is a very slim chance they will scan them for a microchip, therefore, we will never be contacted.  The end result could be devastating.

While we are not a boarding facility, and we do not run a doggie daycare, The Dog Liberator will do everything we can to take one our adopted dogs back for any reason.  But if we can’t reach you, and we do not know about your situation, or your wishes, we will be forced to terminate your adoption, and re-home your dogs.  If your dog is re-homed by The Dog Liberator, regrettably  the adoption will not be reversed.

Please update us with any changes you have made since your dog’s adoption.

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2 thoughts on “The Ellen Debacle

  1. saying ellen was wrong is more of a subjective judgment, rather than an objective viewing of the situation.

    She spread awareness of rules and regulations of an organization that weren’t in the best interest of the animals they swore to protect, for one.

    She made people think about getting the ownership details of an adopted animal taken care of.

    Ellen even stated that the rules the organization put in place were rarely actually followed, and that they had a vendetta against her for some reason.

    the point is… the dog went to a loving family… the organization could have said.. ok… we will take the dog back, and give the family a week to pick it up if they still want it… in fact.. I bet ellen would have paid for any new fees to cover that action.

    anyway… Just a few thoughts.

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