Chapter Twenty-two

“Little thieves are hanged but great ones escape.” 

– 14th Century French Proverb 

The breaking news was viewed with suspicion from the moment we heard it. In fact, it was too good to be true. Even if it was true, we all agreed MB would find a way to slither out of the accusations, like the snake we knew her to be. Like the last time we had her cornered. Or so we thought. A decision was made to keep our ears to the ground and take no immediate action. We had to be sure before we joined forces with the new axe to grind rebels. Week after week, the story unfolded in the news. Video coverage emerged with damning testimonies by people on the HSOD payroll. Proof that MB had ruled her kingdom with threats, intimidation and lies. If you worked for her, she owned you. Employees who wanted to keep their jobs learned not to disobey an order. Her slime ball attorney mailed out Cease and Desist letters like candy on Halloween to anyone who threatened to expose her dirty little secrets. Until one day. The day she gave marching orders to a veterinarian. A feisty midwestern cowgirl raised in a Mormon family. Someone who knew right from wrong. Someone who could not be bullied. 

Dr. Racheal Reedy (RR) had been working at the animal hospital for about a year. Long enough to watch MB bully hospital staff, take unnecessary risks to cut corners, and stuff her own pockets. That day, MB’s commanding order violated the good doctor’s ethics. When she refused to obey, the Botox queen launched an all-out threatening attack. After a brief moment of shock, RR shot back with: I quit – I don’t have to work for you! She pulled her medical license off the wall, packed her office and called her staff together. A staff that over the course of a year, felt more like a family. They begged RR for a special meeting, pleading with her not to quit. They had a plan B. 

It was a last-ditch effort, but they had nothing more to lose. If the plan failed, they all vowed to quit. The hospital staff decided to go around MB, writing letters to all the other HSOD board members. The letters put these HSOD members on notice. Listing a summary of grievances against MB came the delivery of a grave ultimatum: She goes, or we all go. The board responded – please give us three days. Don’t quit. 

This is not a tactic that would have worked for me and my comrades three years ago. We didn’t have any leverage, like shutting down a $2 million animal hospital. Besides, we absolutely had no respect for MB’s cherry-picked board members. At that board table, decency and the truth were two empty seats. Afterall, they had voted for the hostile takeover, never responded to MB’s many critics, and accepted her abhorrent behavior. Even MB’s husband was a voting member. A family Kleptocracy with board members chosen among their wealthy friends. MB as the president gave us every reason to believe the board was a rigged stage of corruption. A lost cause. Fortunately, the hospital staff had not been in the trenches fighting MB over Save A Pet three years earlier. They did not suffer that hangover of defeat.  Marching forward, the hospital staff put their faith on the board table. Their ultimatum worked. 

Whether this latest crisis was the impetus for worried HSOD board members taking swift action to look like the good guys, or overt criminal investigation of the non-profit, outsiders may never really know. What becomes clear is that the board took action to avoid a catastrophic shut down of the animal hospital. So, the board kept its word. Three days later they had ousted MB and her puppy dog husband. The board pledged an alliance to the hospital staff and offered their full support. As if this was not shocking enough, I waited a few weeks before I could believe it. I wanted more details and the media delivered in spades. Earthquake sized shock waves hit when the HSOD board claimed to have turned over financial records and other evidence to the Sheriff – proof of MB’s embezzlement and fraud. They also courted the media to publicly air MB’s dirty laundry. This emboldened board seemed ready to acknowledge the testimonies of MB’s accusers and do the right thing. 

MB crossed my path just a few weeks before that fateful day when she loaded the SAP dogs into her van. What happened next, and the toils that prompted other chapters written, remains my motivation to put ink on paper. My wholehearted attempt to channel outrage, failures, and disappointments in a productive way. In hopes that others will find their own voice of courage in their fight for justice. 

Soon after Ann surrendered, a lovely older lady returned to the SAP property only to find Ann and the cats.  She had come to adopt one of the SAP dogs named Frodo. Although Ann took MB’s threats to harm the cats seriously if she didn’t get everything she wanted, she still believed the dogs went to the HSOD shelter. With Ann’s direction, the woman drove off to claim the dog she had been visiting, Frodo. The shelter attendant on duty that day simply said Frodo had gone to his forever home. Although disappointed and little heartbroken, she was pleased someone had adopted him. She learned the ruthless truth on Facebook. It was all a lie. 

Soon after MB had taken control of the hospital, horrible news was being leaked. Frodo was put down. An order by MB was the only reason given. Frodo’s forever home was in heaven. In MB’s conquest, the dogs were disposable baggage. Only Ann’s cats had remained safe. The cattery was allowed to occupy the rickety old property Mary Snydes purchased decades ago. MB had no use for it. There was nothing left of Mary’s rescue. Nothing except for revenge.

See our Facebook group Friends of Save A Pet for all the gory details.