*** Warning - some content and pictures are graphic ***
It is with a broken heart that we are finally able to tell you of the passing of one of our most precious dogs. On March 12, 2016, Shayla - the beautiful soul rescued from the streets of North Philly by Temple Students - was tragically killed. Today, we are asking for your help in giving her senseless death meaning as we embark on the legal battle to seek justice for Shayla.
It was during the “polar vortex” back in January when Shayla was found - starving and freezing - on the campus of Temple University by several college students. Her sad face and defeated demeanor quickly stole the hearts of all those who saw her story circulating on Facebook. She even gained the attention of Fox 29’s Dawn Timmoney, who also joined in the search for a rescue group to take her in. We became that rescue group and the search for foster began. We did not know anything about her past. But we could tell it was a life where humans before have failed her. Despite this, you would never know it given her sweet and gentle disposition. No longer would she feel fear of human touch. No longer would she be alone - unloved or uncared for. Never again would she know pain, abuse, or neglect. She was safe. And she knew it.
Shayla was moved into foster care and thrived. Common things like toys or a bed were all new to her. Being part of a family - with all it had to offer - was all so wonderful. Belly rubs, foster siblings to play with, going for car rides - she loved it all. She was moved from her first foster home due to one of the other dogs being elderly and having a new foster dog in the home was too much for a senior. She was just as loved in her second foster home but her foster dad had major surgery that made having a foster dog a lot to take on while recuperating. A third foster stepped up - Jonna Amentt - and she was everything we could have wanted in a foster. She said and did all the right things that a rescue wants to hear and see. She was screened, like all our fosters are, and was approved. On Thursday, March 10th, Jonna picked Shayla up and brought her home. 48 hours later, Shayla was dead.
On the morning of March 12th, Jonna contacted me to tell me that her live-in boyfriend, Tom Kasee, had an issue with Shayla and was threatening to take Shayla to the shelter. IMMEDIATELY, we started the process of finding another foster. We were successful in finding actually TWO people who were willing to take her. I continued to contact both Jonna and Tom by both text messages and phone calls well into the evening with very little response. Desperate, I finally called the Montgomery County SPCA to advise them Tom Kasee was threatening to bring Shayla there and, if he were to do so, they were to notify me immediately. I was put on hold multiple times before finally being told that Tom Kasee had called the Horsham Police Department, who, upon arrival, shot Shayla while she was chained on a lead inside a 6ft fenced in yard. I was told that she did not die right away and was then transported with Tom Kasee and the shooting officer to the Montgomery County SPCA. It was there - almost 2 hours after she was shot (without our knowledge or permission) - that she was euthanized.
There aren’t words to describe how horrified and devastated we are. Our hearts are shattered knowing the promises that were made to her when she was first rescued - that she would never be afraid, unloved, or in pain were all broken. We are left asking “Why?”. What possible purpose could her short life and tragic death have? As more and more details of that day become known, we now believe that Shayla’s life - and death - most certainly did have a purpose. That even though we were not able to save Shayla, we can now help bring about change that will prevent this from happening again. Perhaps, in that, we can find peace in all of this sadness. In losing Shayla, we are saving another.
We have retained legal counsel and have filed complaints against Jonna Amentt and Tom Kasee. We also filed complaints against the Horsham Police Department and the Montgomery County SPCA. This is going to be a true David vs Goliath battle. And it will be an expensive one. Unlike the Horsham PD or the Montgomery County SPCA, we do not have unlimited funding and big fancy lawyers. We are a small, all-volunteer rescue made up of people just like you. Even though it seems overwhelming to take on, it is not an option to walk away. We simply cannot ignore the injustice that was done. We have started a legal chipin to help us with the incredible legal fees we are facing. In the upcoming months, we will be having multiple fundraisers, in Shayla’s memory, to not only help us raise money, but to raise awareness. We are asking for your help. Donate if you can, attend fundraisers if you are able, but most importantly - SHARE OUR STORY. It is a tragic one but one that MUST be told if anything positive is to come from it. So please, share it. Everywhere and anywhere. Help us give her a voice.
We are aware of the emotion that surrounds a story like this. But we are asking that everyone please refrain from any threats of violence or direct name calling against Tom Kasee, Jonna Amentt, the Horsham Police Department, or the Montgomery County SPCA. Any comments like that will be removed. While we can understand your outrage, we must protect ourselves as well. Some of the pictures attached are graphic, so please be aware. But in looking at ALL of them, not just the graphic ones, it will be immediately obvious as to why we are fighting for her. Look at her face - how content and at peace she was. How trusting she was. She did not deserve to die like this. No living being does.
In the moments when I feel that this seems like an impossible battle….
When I feel like we cannot possibly “slay” the giant that we face….
I remember this: To say nothing....to do nothing....changes nothing. So for her, we press on.