Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Echo in the middle of everything. Like so many large breeds, the 170-pound dog appears to think he is a small dog. courtesy photo.

To our community,

Thank you so much for all your continuing guidance, love and support. We want to stress that this is not a case of us vs. them, this is about Echo’s life. A life that deserves to be lived, just as any living being’s.

We have been tirelessly reaching out to professional dog trainers and behaviorists specializing in large breed dog behavior as well as rescues and sanctuaries all week and have received a wave of support as well as professional assessments, such as: If Echo was an aggressive dog and wanted to hurt others severely and for the sake of it, he would do so.

He has never hurt anyone severely or out of malice; always as a warning or as a reaction and all of these incidences can be psychologically traced back to his own insecurities and dependencies. The general consensus amongst professionals is that Echo’s behavior can be modified with proper training, time and patience. All of which we and numerous professionals are willing to give.

James Tsai, one of North America’s top experts in canine rehabilitation, “Dog whisperer of extremely dangerous dogs” and founder of the Arf Arf Bark Bark Rescue Foundation ( wants to foster Echo and provide him with extensive training, or adopt him outright.

James has over 1,400 days and almost 20,000 hours working alone primarily with extremely dangerous giant dogs. He has been recognized by the Court of New York to successfully rehabilitate the most extremely dangerous Great Dane (that attacked 16 different people) in North America in 2016/2017.

Here is his account of that rescue, as it can be found on his website:

“Tonka was New York Court-designated as an ‘extremely dangerous’ giant dog. He had 3 active kill orders due to having attacked and bitten a total of 16 people through 7 different adopters in 19 months. Every ‘top trainer’, master dog trainers, internationally-recognized animal behaviorists in North America unanimously declared to the affluent Southampton Animal Shelter (New York) this innocent dog could ‘never be trained’ because Tonka was “too dangerous and can’t be medicated enough.”

Fortunately, the Southampton Animal Shelter wanted Tonka to have a real life instead of being slated to be killed for his viciousness due to absolutely no fault of his own. He was partially blind and hearing impaired with slight brain damage from being beaten so badly, that the shelter knew it was the humans that profoundly failed him. They moved Heaven and Earth to get him to me…including fighting a Court Trial by animal control’s attempt to force the shelter to kill him.”

Echo has never attempted to hurt or kill anyone. All of his behaviors are results of factors such as low self-esteem, interdependency, agoraphobia, and emotional disenfranchisement. All of his behaviors can be addressed and rehabilitated in a safe, professional environment.

James Tsai’s board and train program is $6,000/mo., which we are prepared to pay for. The community has also generously offered to help Echo financially, should it be needed.

Please visit James Tsai’s website for more detail:

Killing an innocent animal without giving them the opportunity to be thoroughly assessed and rehabilitated is the antithesis of humane behavior. There are numerous available options for Echo’s rehabilitation and we have presented them to the Ark Valley Humane Society for consideration.

We are aware of all of the emotions involved in the public opinions for and against Echo’s euthanasia, but we want to let our community know that there are amazing resources that can help ensure that the community feels safe and heard.

Finally, nothing is more important to us than saving Echo’s life and making all adjustments necessary to understand him better psychologically and emotionally and work with him alongside professionals with an understanding and level of compassion beyond words.

We want to urge our community to refrain from hateful comments towards the Ark Valley Humane Society or towards us, so that productive communication can ensue and a future for Echo can be established.

Thank you,

Sophia and Shawn Vrooman