I’ve obtained the amended petition of Melody Whitworth and Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue, f/k/a Dogs Deserve Better Missouri vs. Dogs Deserve Better Inc. and Denise Cohn.
It’s chilling in it’s indictment of Cohn’s activities since taking the helm of Dogs Deserve Better. You’ll remember that Cohn and Budin, with no forewarning, discussion, or respect for Melody’s years of service to the organization, dumped Dogs Deserve Better Missouri in November 2015—just before Christmas—and left Melody Whitworth, a highly-respected DDB Representative since 2008, with 27 dogs in foster care and her small facility and with no group to back her. (Read all about their extreme Grinchiness here.)
[DDB didn’t get away with that, though, because thanks to you and I, we made sure those dogs were taken care of by Santa Paws last year. I am so grateful to everyone who stepped up for her and the dogs. You gave them a great Christmas, despite the heartache caused by Cohn and Dogs Deserve Better.]
We’re in an age of nonprofit transparency…people want to know the nonprofits they support are doing their jobs, and doing them well.
Yet, since Cohn took the helm, DDB has retreated behind a false front, full of secrecy and control at every level. Everyone Cohn touches is forced to sign confidentiality agreements. Repeatedly.
If you look at their Facebook page, you’ll see next to no posts about what the organization is actually accomplishing. Staff are not mentioned by name. Activities are not shown. No stands are taken against dog chaining—in any way, shape, or form. When I looked at their last 12 posts, 7 of them advertised for other sites, which DDB makes money on when you click the link.
In fact, I’ve been told Cohn thinks my activism was ‘ridiculous.’ Yet, almost every single place we did Chain Off Events, all across the country, we raised media attention, and we changed hearts, minds and lives. That’s the point of activism.
Dogs Deserve Better was started as an activist organization, not a shelter—which is what it has evolved to.
We stood against chaining, and the organization should continue to stand against chaining today, or fold and call it a day.
The group Melody has formed after being dumped by DDB—Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue—has held to the principals DDB was founded on, and she and her group of volunteers are out in the community constantly working on the issue.
Melody Whitworth’s case against DDB and Cohn has been amended, and I was able to get a copy of that amendment from the courts this week.
From these court papers, I learned that Cohn forced Melody to get a bank account she could ‘monitor.’ Then, when she got angry that Melody wouldn’t sign her form ousting her from the organization and wouldn’t sign her confidentiality agreement which expected her to keep silent about Cohn’s dastardly behavior, COHN REMOVED ALL MISSOURI’S MONEY AND LEFT THEM WITH NOTHING TO SURVIVE ON.
So, to get this straight, Cohn not only dumps Melody’s branch, leaving her with 27 mouths to feed and no group to fall back on, but then she TAKES WHAT LITTLE MONEY THEY HAVE LEFT TO LIVE ON AND LEAVES THEM PENNILESS!
Can you say Grinchy to the Max? It puts me in mind of the Grinch going back down the chimney to steal that ONE. LAST. CRUMB. All this despite Cohn’s own assertion in her ‘dumping letter’ stating that any money left in the branch will be given to the next organization to care for the dogs…um, that would be Unchained Melodies, thank you very much.
I applaud Melody Whitworth for standing her ground, and revising her court documents to reflect the latest bad behavior by Denise Cohn and by extension Dogs Deserve Better.
I wonder if Cohn’s hiding this from the board of directors, or are they so blinded to her activities that they endorse this behavior in their Director?
Here are some other interesting tidbits from the amended court papers. Enjoy! If you’re interested in donating to a group that’s really walking the walk for chained dogs, AND starting to take dogs in from other states too, might I suggest http://www.unchainedmelodies.org/. They’ve stood up to a bully, and hopefully they will have a positive outcome as a result.