Name withheld at the request of the Author
To protect the author's privacy, the author has requested to remain anonymous.
(Author's real name is on file with Gentle Giant News)
November 1, 2007
I too, went to Gentle Giants Rescue because I believed what they said on their web site about their dogs being pure-bred large and extra-large breed dogs that were rescued from bad situations like divorces and hospitals where their bills couldn't be paid. I also believed the part where Burt says that their dogs are extremely well behaved because they all have been "trained" by them.
The fantasy that their web site wants you to believe that this beautiful pack comes out and greets you and you have twenty or so beautiful joyous dogs to choose from is absolutely false. Tracy Ward brings out, one by one a dog, and often, not the dog you asked for. This is because there are SO MANY dogs in the house, she can't find the one she wants and sometimes the wait is up to 30 minutes in between each dog. When she takes that dog back into the house - you can see how sad it is to go back inside!
What I found when I got there:
- I was shown a tack house/shed that was filled with years of filth and garbage There was a back room that was pad locked that I was not to open under "any circumstances"; Burt told me it was because he trained Police attack dogs. I find this preposterous, since later on he admitted "he knows nothing about dogs"
- The compounds where we waited to meet and greet the dogs was filthy and the smell of dog feces was almost unbearable, flies were everywhere. There was no lawn for the dogs anymore (like in the video), just mud and poop for the dogs to run in.
- Burt and Tracy were dirty and wearing clothes that hadn't been washed in weeks.
- During the viewing of dogs process with Tracy, Tracy was almost incoherent at times, rambling on and on about stories about dogs, these were stories that were fantastical - you could tell that she had told these stories many times and had come to embellish them.
My long story will be kept to the short side. After many, many hours of looking at dogs that were in less than healthy shape, i.e., no energy, scared, filthy coats, diseased eyes, Or, not the breed that I asked for. I settled on a Newfoundland that I told was one years old and had just come to them one week ago. This dog was taken to their vet, and given a clean bill of health: "perfectly health!".
We brought down our dog from home (endured a 9 hour car ride) so that we could do the highly encouraged "introduction" by Tracy. This introduction took less than 30 seconds. When my new adopted dog, growled at my "dog from home" Tracy "popped" my adopted dog on the head. She encouraged me to "pop" him on the head with a water bottle if he does that again. That was the end of the introduction.
We took the mandatory embarrassing video where she force feeds info into your mouth and makes you say that you want to come back. " Would you come back and get another dog?" I wanted to scream, "No, get me out of here!" But, I honestly was afraid of her.
She also gave him a Avid MicroChip injection with a Gentle Giants I.D..
When we got our new dog back to the hotel room we realized he was covered with feces and urine. One of the things that they make you promise is that you won't wash your dog for a week! How long had he been covered with feces? I was not going to abide by that promise, I tried to get as much off of him as possible, considering we were in a hotel room.
My "dog from home", a beautiful affectionate breed, wanted nothing to do with this new dog, she was afraid of him and coward whenever he came near. This was a big sign of things to come.
After returning home I immediately took him to my vet whereupon he found, four fractured teeth, an imbedded foxtail on his eardrum and told me that this dog was closer to FOUR years old than ONE. Newfoundlands only live to 8 or 9, I just paid $850.00 for a dog that was half way over with his life. And by no way was in perfectly good health. He was four years old and only weighed 77 lbs. Male Newfies should be in the 120's - 140's. These medical problems were things that should obviously have been found by their vet. My vet also scanned the Micro Chip information, and found TWO micro chips in him, which means that this poor dogs had come and gone from Gentle Giants twice, she had told me that they had only had him for a week.
I immediately called Tracy and talked to her about these things and she got so defensive and argumentative that I realized I was not dealing with a rational person. I could hear Burt in the background telling her what to say.
Every day for the next three days things got terribly worse. The dog could not be left alone for a minute; he had created an unnatural attachment to me very quickly. He tried to jump through our double pane windows to get to me.
Here is a list of some of his additional behaviors:
Extremely aggressive and violent towards my "at home dog"
Unable to walk on a lead because of lunging towards dogs
Walking and pacing in circles while in a large un-contained area (like a caged animal)
He would try to "herd" me or dominate me as I walked through the house
Standing over me in the middle of night - ready to attack (this was the most scary)
I spoke to my Vet after he removed the fox tail from his ear and he had a closer look at the teeth while under anesthesia; and there were two that were going to have to be pulled. I spoke twice to my Animal Behaviorist that I worked with before ( I have rescued two other large breed animals) and because of the violence towards my dog and the escalating domination towards me, which could turn violent. I put my new friend to sleep 6 days after rescuing him from Gentle Giants Rescue.
The Vet, the Behaviorist and I all believed that it would take years, if ever, for this dog to recover from the abuse and neglect that this dog had suffered. He obviously at some point in his life had been malnourished and neglected and his escalating dominance towards me was frightening and nothing I was going to pass on to some else by adopting him out or God forbid, returning him to the Wards so they could make more money off of him. He is at peace.
Permission to Post This Testimony has been Granted by the Author
This comment is from individual person voicing his/her opinion and warning about Gentle Giants, based on what he/she has personally encountered with Gentle Giants.
Disclaimer: The words written here are experiences of the author ONLY. The webmaster and owner of this site believes these statements to be true and correct, however, does not take responsibility in verifying the accuracy of these statements. The accurancy of these statements can only be made by the author of this testimony.
Last updated: September 2013
Discovering and Disclosing The Truth About
Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions