Cindy’s communication with Rochelle took place online and by telephone on a handful of occasions; communications that were prompted by a Facebook message from a mutual friend.
“Rochelle on Facebook has a business that saves dogs. She saw your post somehow? She asked me if I had your contact info so she could contact you….That’s about all I know about it,” said the message from the schoolmate.
But Cindy had made no social media post about Panama or the breeder. The only people who knew anything about what had transpired was the breeder, the McDonalds’ manager, veterinarian and one close family friend. So how did this woman know to contact Cindy?
Cindy put the question out of her mind. Her schoolmate had said the woman saves dogs, she obviously wanted to help, so why not get in touch with her? And so Cindy did; first through Facebook messages and then by telephone.
During chats and talks Rochelle questioned Cindy about the details of the transaction between her and husband, and the Tennessee breeder. Cindy believed at that time that Rochelle’s concern was shutting down the back yard breeder that Panama had come from. She had no way of knowing that Rochelle was the “rescuer” who had taken Panama in.
Cindy was also unaware that Rochelle had been stalking her and Danny’s Facebook pages, and possibly those of her children, even before she had initiated any contact with Cindy through their mutual friend. Rochelle had ‘mined’ Cindy’s Facebook friend list, searching for mutual friends that she could use to contact Cindy. She had been stalking the couple since day one of the couple surrendering Panama (Marshall) at the vet.
It was easy for a Facebook savvy person like Rochelle to view the content of Cindy’s Facebook page, containing post after post of personal information, since Cindy was not Facebook smart and had no idea she was posting publically. Still, Cindy had never posted anything about the pup she had gotten from Tennessee. How could anyone know.
As if that weren’t bad enough, Rochelle had been sharing the couple’s story on her personal Facebook page; a place where hundreds of people were reading it.
At first what Rochelle posted was true enough.
“Nothing like being on the phone with a person you can’t get off the phone when a voicemail from the ER clinic pops through. Heart attack central. Just so happens it was the woman me and my ninjas tracked down who surrendered this very puppy,: Rochelle wrote. [Referring to Marshall, formerly named Panama.]
Rochelle goes on to write about Cindy. “She was a tremendous mess and I feel bad these monsters took advantage of her after losing her 5 year old ‘heart’ dog with no warning. $800 spent and still heartbroken and no dog to hold……This woman’s story is an example of why not to buy a puppy online from a puppy site. Sigh…. I wanted to tell her she randomly saved this dying puppy by going through with buying him for $800 in a McD’s parking lot in Tenn by a 60 year old sweet talking couple out of a black Milam, but I didn’t. I may after he is adopted by somebody else.”
It’s unclear at what point Rochelle finally told Cindy that she had custody of Panama [Marshal] but eventually she made that known during their conversations. Rochelle explained to Cindy, and had posted on her personal Facebook page, that the girls at the vets office had contacted her [Rochelle] immediately on Panama’s surrender.
It was then that it was clear to Cindy how this woman knew about Panama, the pup now named Marshall. But the question still remained; how did Rochelle get Cindy’s name?
The vet had been clear that Cindy and Danny could not be told where the pup went after they surrendered him. So wouldn’t that go both ways? Would the vet not be required to keep Cindy and Danny’s information private as well? And if everything was supposed to be kept so hush-hush, why was the “rescuer” reaching out to them now and exposing herself? Was that even legal? Was it ethical?
Cindy tried to put those questions in the back of her mind. Marshall was getting the care he deserved and that is what mattered. She felt less than adequate that she couldn’t provide that care and it’s something that haunted her. She told herself she had done what was right and the best thing for Marshall. But the guilt tore at her; remaining ever present. Even Rochelle had told her that she understood and that what she had done by surrendering Marshall was the right thing. Surely if a rescuer was telling her this her actions must be justified.
After all, Cindy and Danny hadn’t known until recently anything about back yard breeders. They had no clue how rescues operated or even that they could have gotten a pup from one. They had never surrendered an animal before. Up until now, all of the animals in their life had remained with them until their ends. This was all new territory for the couple and they found it all overwhelming.
Unfortunately what Rochelle was telling Cindy didn’t coincide with the ongoing updates she was providing to others on Facebook.
Cindy had no way of knowing what was going on behind the scenes with this woman whom she was trusting with her experience. She was seeing the updates on Marshall, on Mac the Pitbull’s page, but so far no posts there were about the couple’s experience, at least not directly. Cindy was oblivious to the posts Rochelle was making on her personal Facebook page.
At first what Rochelle shared with her friends was fairly accurate and seemed sympathetic enough, but soon her posts became a twisted version of the truth.
“Basically the family (they seem great) had a five year old Shar Pei….,” said Rochelle. She told of the couple’s lost pet, of how the breeder had scammed them, and even of how they paid the $800 for Marshall instead of leaving him behind in the hands of a monster.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the conclusion part two
A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the conclusion part three
A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the conclusion part four
A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the conclusion part five