by Lee Day, Pet Entertainer
Today I wanted to write you about a very serious issue that is happening in the Animal Abuse area. For a long time now, we've all been thinking Animal Abuse means when they are physically injured. Well, I believe we have another area that is occurring where people are actually taking money from people that was originally meant to help the Animals.
What I'm about to tell you is not a story about collecting money, revenge or to degrade anyone. It is about a hidden situation that is currently happening everywhere where indirectly Dogs are suffering because Dog Lovers who loaned money to friends and didn't get it back never realized the horrible consequences of their actions.
When I heard a story from my dear friend, Kathy Tarochione, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. For sure her story is one form of Animal Abuse. In her case, specifically Dog Abuse. But I'm going to let you be the judge on this one.
She told her story in her video below, but I'm giving you my version of her story to you here. This story is not meant to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone. It is intended to bring awareness of what is happening in the world these days and the trickle down effect that occurs when people hurt people.
Let me begin by asking you a question. Have you ever borrowed money from a friend? Did you pay it back? If you did, that's great. If you didn't, shame on you. Have you ever thought of what happened to the person you borrowed the money from? What were they going to use that money for? If you haven't, you will now after hearing this story.
My friend, Kathy, is the owner of Picture A Moment Pet Productions LLC. She produces The Dog Connection TV which is a Dog related WebTV series. The Small Business Trendsetters said it perfectly about her goal. http://smallbusinesstrendsetters.com/dogs-enlighten-humans-through-kathy-tarochiones-dog-connection-webtv-series/
For as long as Kathy can remember, she has been helping animals in one way or another. She ran a Shelter in Illinois in the late 70's, she's been an Animal Advocate and Activist for over 50 years, and she's adopted, trained, fostered and actively participated in Adoption/Spay/Neuter events for 2 centuries. Kathy was a very successful business owner for over 36 years. She is a Photographer, Digital Artist and 3D Animation Specialist. She dedicates all of her time to helping Dogs and building The Dog Connection WebTV Series. What's interesting about Kathy is she literally puts her money where her mouth is. For many years she has donated a percentage of her proceeds to help animals and over the last 10 years she has donated all of her spare money to help Dogs in Shelters get adopted and get medical services they desperately need. She pledges her time and money even though she is a 70 year old disabled Widow on a limited income.
Now to the issue at hand. Kathy became friends with Jim Bumgardner and his wife, Alicia Usery-Bumgardner in late 2012 in Harrison, Arkansas. In January 2013, Jim and Alicia began asking Kathy for loans because they were having great financial difficulty in paying their mortgage, utilities and putting food on the table to feed their family. Kathy began loaning money to them from January 2013 thru November 2013 with the understanding they would pay her back as soon as possible. When the money ran out, so did Jim and his wife for they no longer communicated with Kathy. When they wouldn't communicate with her in any way and blocked her on social media she was confused. Suddenly very slanderous and false posts came out on social media about Kathy where they used her real name. This led to harassment from the people that believed his misrepresentation. She really didn't know who Jim was anymore for the way he was portraying her. He posted some pretty terrible remarks on Social Media that left her devastated. After all, how bad could she be for lending him money? She was so confused and deeply hurt by his name calling and accusations. He told everyone she was a Stalker because she was trying to connect with him to schedule repayment of the loan.
She knew she had to do something. She decided to take legal action against the Bumgardners in April 2014. She was granted a Judgment against Jim. So what does this have to do indirectly with Dog Abuse. I was coming to that.
Kathy had been donating money consistently to save Dogs in shelters every week for many years. But the places where she generally placed her pledges to help the Dogs as well as the shelters she supported to get Dogs adopted had stopped because the money she had allocated for them had been loaned to what she thought were people in need. She was receiving notices, heartbreaking pictures and updates of the Dogs she normally would have financially helped only to find out either they were destroyed or died. The mental anguish was overwhelming and her nightmares began to haunt her about Dogs dying and she could do nothing. Oh how she wished she had that money she loaned out.
So here is how I look at it. Because Kathy was unable to support the Dogs she so loved to help because she loaned her money to people she thought were her friends, when they didn't pay her back that meant that many Dogs were unnecessarily destroyed, many dogs died because they didn't get the medical care they needed; and many Dogs remain in Shelters that could have been adopted. That money would have saved many Dogs in need. Isn't that a form of Dog abuse when care, money or action is withheld for whatever reason? YES, it most certainly is for sure! How very sad. Now we have another form of Animal Abuse in America that seems to be targeting Senior Citizens.
There are so many Senior Citizens who are true animal lovers that give their money to help them every day. For these generous people that also help out humans too, it becomes very depressing for them when they are not repaid they loaned to people the believed were really in need. But someone like Kathy not only gets depressed, but is totally devastated over knowing the Dogs she could have saved have crossed over Rainbow Bridge. She has learned a valuable lesson now and we hope we can help other Senior Citizens from lending money to people that won't pay them back. If you can't afford to lose it, don't lend money.
I'm sure you're thinking that Jim and Alicia probably needed the money. (Find out the in-depth story here) Well in fact, they really didn't need it. Jim is gainfully employed as a local TV Producer. Alicia is the owner of a local business as well. It's been 3 years since the original loan was given and no repayment and worse yet, no communication. I believe that communication is key when it comes to helping anyone. I can only feel sorry for Jim and Alicia because they probably don't even realize how much they hurt Kathy but more importantly how many Dog's lives weren't saved because of this unfortunate situation.
How do we stop others from doing the same thing. When we look at someone that preys upon Seniors that love animals, it makes my blood boil. It's one thing to help someone in need, but it's another when they, in my opinion, steal the money that should have gone to help the animals. This is totally unfair.
Join us in helping others know what can happen indirectly to an Animal Lover who lends money and expects to have it paid back. Why? Because they are some of the generous and kind souls that are actually making a difference in helping Animals.
So here is Kathy's story, and what she has to say.
It's our intention at Rabbi Otis to work with organizations that have senior citizens that donate their money to help the animals. We want to make sure they are not giving their money as loans and don't receive their money back. They will get their money back. This is a personal promise from me.
Lee Day – Celebrity Pet Entertainer
Her business has been spotlighted on Eye on L.A., the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, Nickelodeon, Eyewitness News, the Regis Philbin Show, The Gayle King Show, A Current Affair and has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, The Globe, Star-Ledger, L.A. Times, The Enquirer, Woman's World, National Examiner, Londons' Daily Mirror, People Magazine and Instyle Magazine. She has been seen on productions in London, Rome, Japan, and Australia. Lee has worked with the biggies. Her clients include a Bark Mitzvah™ for Joan Rivers' dog, Spike where Doris Day and Betty White attended., a wedding for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakers' Yorkshire, Corky, (to a white poodle named Peaches) which were televised. She's also styled Mary Tyler Moore's golden retriever, Dash, and Liz Taylor's dog Sugar. She has sung for Princess Diana and her sons. Lee is a spokesperson for The Doris Day Animal Foundation TDAF.org in helping the animals. She operates a Facebook page, Rabbi Otis-Stop Animal Abuse. As an Animal Advocate, Lee dedicates most of her spare time to helping the Animals.