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Following the statements made on Facebook against Save the Dogs and its president, Sara Turetta filed a lawsuit against Lorenzo Croce, chairman of AIDAA (Italy).
Sara Turetta and – more generally Save the Dogs and other Animals – are accused of “selling” dogs and “making money” through a commercial activity that would be in total contrast with the Statute and the principles of the association. These allegations – which are totally false, as STD transparent budgets can testify - are meant to damage the image and reputation of Save the Dogs and other Animals. Croce recently lost a similar case with Enpa Parma.
We hope not only that justice will take its course and will protect STD and its president, but especially that the Italian media will start verifying the reliability of the press releases they get, to prevent useless sensationalism and misinformation.
Following the statements released by Bridget Maasland to the Dutch press and TV, STD would like to point out the following:
- our association never requested Dutchypuppy to sign an “exclusive” co-operation contract nor did it request the right to retain “all funds”. On the contrary, Save the Dogs flagged to the Dutch organization three other associations (one in Italy and two in Romania), asking Dutchypuppy to help them. We are aware that dogs suffer in many other countries in the world and we are glad that there are foundations for the purpose of helping these needy animals anywhere in the world.
- The only contacts, during the past five years, between Sara Turetta and Bridget Maasland have occurred during her three visits to Romania. All communications between Dutchypuppy and Save the Dogs (all conscientiously archived by Save the Dogs) took place almost exclusively by e-mail with the Foundation President, Frits Maasland, and under no case on a weekly basis. The last e-mail message received from Dutchypuppy dates back to 28th June 2009. There have been no further contacts from that moment on, notwithstanding our request for a meeting (dated 13th July 2009) for the purpose of finalizing the details of the “Dog Walk” event, an event whose proceeds Dutchypuppy had originally proposed to devolve to us.
Save the Dogs has formally broken off its links with the Dutch association Dutchypuppy, founded by the TV personality Bridget Maasland.
The cooperation with the group began 3 years ago after the Dutch presenter adopted a puppy from Rumania, the country where Save the Dogs has been operating a programme of sterilization and adoption of strays since 2002.
The partnership was launched when Dutchypuppy donated a camper worth euro 32,000, which Save the Dogs converted into a mobile clinic to sterilize dogs and cats in remote villages in south-east Rumania. The inauguration of the clinic was filmed by Dutch, Rumanian and Italian TV. This donation was a part of what Bridget Maasland earned for posing for the Dutch version of Playboy.
In 2007 and 2008 Dutchypuppy made contributions to Save the Dogs worth euro 26,900, 25 kennels and approximately 40 tons of dog food.
Despite our repeated requests, the association refused to sign any kind of agreement which would lead to an exchange of balance sheets and to a definition of guidelines for funds raised in Holland. This kind of written agreement is normal practice for all major international organizations and is part of Save the Dogs policy in Italy and Rumania whenever a new link is established with foreign partners.
The need for complete transparency in the management of funds became even more urgent following the broadcast last June of the Dutch programme Xperience, which filmed the veterinary work of the mobile clinic. Since the programme no other financial contribution has been made to the projects in Rumania, and we have not received any communication from Dutchypuppy.
Despite the financial difficulties that Save the Dogs is currently experiencing, as can be seen from the recent closure of one of our four projects in Rumania, the association has decided to keep faith with its basic principles and has broken off all links with Dutchypuppy.