Bad Rap: California Group Won't Come Clean on Spindletop Dogs

We continue to be disgusted and saddened by the continued silence of Spindletop Dog Refuge owner Leah Purcell, and her lawyer, Zandra Anderson, who refuse to disclose the fates of dogs that are still unaccounted for.

When Montgomery County authorities and the Humane Society of the United States workers revealed the horrid conditions among nearly 300 dogs at the Willis ranch, every animal rescue volunteer in Texas and abroad felt a certain sort of sickness. The fact that Purcell and Andeson still have their lips zipped just compounds the injury. And now we're getting the same silent treatment from a California non-profit, Bad Rap, which took seven Spindletop dogs and now refuses to account for two of them.

Hair Balls was first alerted to the dilemma by Cindy Marabito, who has diligently reported on the Spindletop tragedy, and who herself had dogs at Spindletop.

Like many others who have followed the Spindletop saga, Marabito feels a certain responsibility for the dogs, many of whom have fortunately found wonderful foster and forever homes, thanks to the hard work of so many volunteers. A lot of people who were fooled by Purcell and left their dogs in her care feel a certain amount of guilt, and they are determined to make sure that these dogs don't suffer any more than they already have.

So it's downright mind-boggling that Bad Rap, which appears to be a reputable, Oakland-based rescue, refuses to disclose the whereabouts of these dogs. When we contacted CEO Donna Reynolds about these dogs, she stated in an e-mail that she suspected we were doing "the bidding" of anti-Bad Rap folks. She refused to answer our questions.

Linda Chwistek, listed on Bad Rap's 2010 tax forms as the group's director, didn't return phone calls seeking information. (She's also the logistics and inventory manager and partner at Folio Fine Wine Partners).

We expect continued sub-human behavior from the likes of Purcell and Anderson, but are just absolutely floored by Bad Rap's stonewalling. What possible reason could they have for not giving a status update on the dogs?

The only reason we can think of is a horrible one. And we hope it's not the case.

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