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Dog rescuer commits suicide, but not before offing 31 dogs she was caring for

Didn't we have a recent thread about how some people who work for animal rescue organizations have issues? This story is mind-boggling. Why did rescue group entrust so many animals to one person -- especially someone who had been noticeably depressed? Yeah, overwhelmed.

An animal rights executive has been found dead in her Ohio garage, along with 31 dogs she had rescued, in an apparent suicide.

A friend of Sandy Lertzman discovered her body inside the garage of her Moreland Hills home on Monday. The engine of the car was still running.

Friends of the 62-year-old mother, who had dedicated her life to saving animals, believe she killed the dogs out of concern for their future.

Police found vials of prescription pills inside the vehicle and an apparent suicide note, which has not been made public, was inside her home.

The executive director of the Animal Rights Foundation, who was married and had a 20-year-old son named Matthew, was last seen on Sunday. One of the puppies in the car with Mrs Lertzman managed to escape from a small opening in the garage. It is being cared for by her husband, Rick.

Gina Lutes-Finley, a friend of Mrs Lertzman and the Director of Dogs Unlimited Rescue, told WKYC the animal rights campaigner may have been overwhelmed by caring for animals.

'She wanted to continue to rescue and save these animals but, [bold]unfortunately, nobody can take care of 30 animals, properly, by themselves,' Ms Lutes-Finley said.[/bold]

She added that Mrs Lertzman probably chose to kill the dogs out of concern that no one would be able to look after them.

'I can see why it would be so hard to walk away but you can't do it alone, and that's the bottom line,' Ms Lutes-Finley said. Loss: Gina Lutes-Finley says her friend may have killed the dogs out of concern about who would care for them

'It's absolutely one of the most tragic stories because she had all the right intentions of helping those puppies,' Ms Lutes-Finley, who is helping to find homes for her friend's 20 cats, said.

Neighbors told Waff Mrs Lertzman, who lost a son in a car accident ten years ago, had seemed increasingly depressed over the years.

As well as rescuing animals, Mrs Lertzman had written a book, Ask Dog Lady, which her surviving son helped her with.

by Anonymousreply 2111/11/2013

DL is slipping.

by Anonymousreply 111/09/2013

I understand, R1. That must be why you are responding on a Saturday night to an animal thread.

Could you at least pretend to be blinded drunk?

by Anonymousreply 211/09/2013

She's caring for them in doggie heaven now.

by Anonymousreply 311/09/2013

People like r2 annoy the shit out of me. How dense and insular do you have to be not to understand that the WORLD WIDE web covers more than the single time zone your podunk neighbourhood happens to be in.

by Anonymousreply 411/09/2013

She was crazy, crazy people do crazy things. It's unfortunate, but a segment of the population will always be crazy and these things will keep happening. Just be glad a crazy person hasn't killed you yet.

by Anonymousreply 511/09/2013

R4 - please start a poll to clarify this, OK cunt? Since most of us live outside of Siberia.

by Anonymousreply 611/09/2013

The OP, R1 R2 and R6 are all the same person.

Next time you want to generate interest in your thread with fake posters, remember to CLEAR YOUR COOKIES FIRST.

Unless you have some type of dissociative disorder.

by Anonymousreply 711/09/2013

Is it bad to create interest in something that might be important, R7? You may not care when a crazy woman tops herself and takes nearly three dozen dogs with her. Or when her crazy friend piles nearly three dozen dogs on her when she's not able to handle them.

My disorder was cooking dinner and taking a nap, but thanks for your non-DSM-V DX. Are there any axes diagnoses you'd care to add to my assessment?

by Anonymousreply 811/09/2013

She is an animal rights activist who 'rescued' animals, not an animal care worker.

In the companion animal world, that is a huge difference.

Regardless, I'm sorry she didn't get the mental health treatment she needed. I'm even sorrier that she decided to take innocent lives with her.

by Anonymousreply 911/09/2013

Whoa whoa whoa, step back from the ledge, Mary.

by Anonymousreply 1011/09/2013

I have volunteered in animal rescue for a while (horses, not dogs) and this does not surprise me in the slightest. Not only can it be financially, emotionally, physically and mentally draining, the animal rescue world is full of total bitches that like to do nothing more than destroy rescues. I would not be surprised if there was more going on here.

by Anonymousreply 1111/09/2013

[quote] the animal rescue world is full of total bitches that like to do nothing more than destroy rescues

In what way, R11? I haven't heard this before and I'm not sure what you mean.

by Anonymousreply 1211/09/2013

Hi, Atrocities to Animals Troll (aka OP).

by Anonymousreply 1311/09/2013

R12 - ohhhhhh the things one hears! Haha. Here are just a few examples that I personally know of:

Someone putting up flyers at feedlots/saddlery stores saying a rescue was closing, animals needed to be rehomed and included the phone number for a legitimate rescue that was NOT closing - they had no idea.

People Facebook-messaging supporters of horse rescue groups telling them that the 'charity' is not registered and dodgy and to not support them (when a 5 second google search confirms the rescue is legit).

Reports to Animal Control of things that never happened - consistently.

Facebook hate groups against certain horse rescuers/groups - some leading to court action.

Things being stolen - hay, feed, rugs, animals.

Rescuers calling each other out on Facebook pages about this other rescue did that and the other thing and are terrible and to never support them (forgetting that we ought to be working together). Usually resulting in mud-slinging and swearing and generally very bad manners.

Anonymous phone calls to vets and suppliers telling them not to deal with certain rescues or groups.

Total badmouthing to any and sundry.

Doggers refusing to sell horses in feedlots after shocking abuse from rescues and their supporters (when technically, they are only doing their jobs).

A general mentality of 'we know what we are doing, no-one else does'.

Refusing to work together to save animals - dodgy dealings to get certain animals before other rescues (the skinnier the better, as you get more donations).

Animals being poisoned.

Nasty anonymous phone calls in the dead of night.

Rescues being in over their head and starving animals themselves, or misappropriating donations for their own personal expenses.

Etc etc etc. Now some of it are from people who have had animals taken away from them for whatever reason, but a lot of the time rescues know who has done what but never have any proof. Seriously, if you ever feel like reading some drama, hit up some animal rescue groups on Facebook. It could almost be entertaining, if it wasn't so spiteful and hateful. It's pretty sad when you think about how much it's taking away from the actual cause. I think sometimes people forget about the animals and concentrate on the drama instead.

by Anonymousreply 1411/09/2013

I love animals as much as the next guy, but people who get overly emotionally invested in animals, like a lot of rescuers, usually have serious psychological issues and are trying to use animals to fusillade some emotional need that isn't being met by actual human beings.

by Anonymousreply 1511/09/2013

R15 - couldn't disagree about that. Some have major issues, that's for sure. There's a current case here where I live that involves a lady who hoards dogs, horses and cattle. She has a lot of money but does not use it to actually keep up their care. Classic hoarder mentality. Won't let the animals go because she thinks no-one else will care for them, but fails to see that she is starving her own animals.

by Anonymousreply 1611/09/2013

How do you get 31 dogs in one car at the same time? Notice that she also had 20 some cats who were not killed, even she didn't give a damn what happened to them .

by Anonymousreply 1711/10/2013


by Anonymousreply 1811/10/2013

It's not just these "lone loons" ( some very well meaning and selfless too ) with their own personally run, donations driven rescue groups, but even the larger national and international groups hate each other with a passion.

Here in Toronto the two largest groups, went after each opther in a very bizarre, very public battle.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided the Toronto Humane Society arrested President Tim Trow and four other staff members who are facing criminal charges, including animal cruelty.

Trow was charged with animal cruelty, obstruction of a peace officer and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Four senior managers also face criminal charges; every member of the board faces non-criminal charges of animal cruelty.

The nastiness still continues, ironically the fight was not even about the animals treatment , but but over the incredible amount of funding both price and public and the power the government grants , everything from dog license fees to the right to inspect zoos and aquariums.

I could never figure out who was right or wrong, but the money & power at stakes was staggering .

by Anonymousreply 1911/11/2013

>>One of the puppies in the car with Mrs Lertzman managed to escape from a small opening in the garage.

Let's hunt that puppy down and kill it.

(And they weren't all in a car; they were in the garage with a running car.)

by Anonymousreply 2011/11/2013

R20, You can't. That puppy is under my protection. Just try me.

by Anonymousreply 2111/11/2013
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