After reading this account I would not use Tom Beard to transport any live animal. Powder Puffs death was needless and tragic and so easily avoided. PLease crosspost to all your rescue contacts.
In Loving Memory of PowerPuff
I am writing this in honor and memory of dear, sweet Power Puff...a little Persian who was rescued from the Indep. MO shelter and then was needlessly and tragically killed on transport to her foster home while under the negligent "care" of Tom Beard or better known as "Tom the Trucker". This was completely preventable and never should have happened. Please read her story below so this will not happen to any other animals. It is fairly long but I wanted to include all the information and PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE STORY and let your contacts know not to transport with Tom!!
I sent out Power Puff's picture and info as I do for many animals at the Indep. MO shelter. A great purebred cat rescue in Ohio contacted me and said they could take her as well as a Siamese and three Maine Coon kitties. We got them out of the shelter, to the vet where they were tested, given shots and Power Puff was given a special shot of antibiotics that the rescue requested because she had pretty bad URI. The rescue paid for their vetting and their boarding. We were told by a fellow rescuer/poster that Tom Beard would be headed through that way. It is often hard to get transport across many states, so we thought this was great. Tom was supposed to take them on Sat., Oct. 25 but his load got delayed so he ended up coming through on Tues. Oct. 28. We had worked out details with Tom about the transport and meeting places and specifically said the cats were to be in crates at all times and we would provide the crates and litter boxes. This, of course, is the only way cats should ever be transported to ensure their safety. Tom even asked that we put the name and phone number of the receiving rescue taped to top of the crates. We planned on it and also taped the vet paperwork to the top of their crates. We were also sending two schnauzers. We understood it that this would be the entire load...five cats in three carriers (each adult cat in their own and the three kitties in one together) and then the two dogs.
On Tues morning, a volunteer whose wife fosters, took all the animals to the truck stop in Oak Grove to meet Tom. The cats were in their crates and ready to go. When the volunteer took the cats out to give to Tom, Tom said, "No, I don't want these." and he refused to take the carriers!! The volunteer didn't know what to do as this was his first time doing this. Tom took Power Puff out of her carrier and threw her into the truck...literally tossed her back, according to the volunteer. Did the same with the Siamese. Tom completely disregarded what had been agreed and would not take the crates provided. The two dogs were loose as well. The kitties he did keep in a crate, thankfully.
We did not find out about this until after they were on their way and we were extremely upset, understandably. These cats NEEDED to be crated for their safety and we were up until 11:30pm the night before getting them ready and to the right spot. We then found out that Tom picked up 9 more dogs...totalling 11 dogs in his truck! Almost all of them were loose!!! We told Tom on the phone we were worried about the cats' safety and he said, "They'll be fine. They're hiding in the back somewhere." The cats must have been completely stressed and then to put them with a bunch of loose dogs that you know nothing about is plain stupid! Not good for the dogs either.
Well, later that evening our greatest fears became true....a dog in Tom's truck attacked Power Puff. Tom said Power Puff had went diarhhea near front of his truck and then he tied a cattle dog to the back, who he later told me he knew was cat aggressive, and thought the dog was not in reach of Power Puff, who was hiding in the back again. Tom said, "When I heard her scream, I went back there and she was in his mouth. I had to pry her out of his jaws." He said Power Puff must have jumped down by the dog. She was in his mouth for a few minutes. Tom then took her to a vet he found and explained what happened. He got their phone number and left her there, in Effingham, IL, continuing on his route. I didn't know any of this until he was in Indiana. The vet told us later on the phone that he had no idea why there were so many loose dogs and cats in his truck like that and that they should never have been traveling that way.
When I first talked to Tom about this, he didn't really seem that concerned or sorry. Just like it was something that happened. I was so upset, words can't begin to explain. He wanted to tell the receiving rescue, but I knew I should first. I called the receiving rescue to tell her and of course, she was just as upset as I was. We both were crying and furious. I gave her the vet's number and she found out that Power Puff had been bit in the chest and the abdomen and that she was in great pain, crying all the time. The vet gave her an antiobiotic and heavy duty pain meds and said he'd know more tomorrow about internal injuries. Well, when the rescue called him the next morning, she was informed that sweet Power Puff did not survive and that her liver had been badly injured and was bleeding. They knew a farmer who respectfully buries animals from this vet and that is what they were going to do with Power Puff as there was no way for us to get her remains.
After the incident, Tom put the Siamese adult into a carrier with a Japanese Chin. He maybe realized..finally...that it wasn't safe for a cat to be loose with dogs like that in a confined space. They get a pack mentality but also...it isn't safe with even one dog. When I asked again why he didn't just take the carriers we had brought, he said, "It takes so long to clean them out when they crap all over in them. I don't have time to do that." Well...maybe you shouldn't transport if you can't do it the right way and safely. Plus...we supplied litter boxes in the crates. What is better...pooping all over the truck and sharing germs? There was evidence of poop on the water jug. So...a life was stopped short and tragically ended because someone didn't want to clean out a cage?? We'd rather have them filthy and alive, if that must be that case, than dead.
Tom met the receiving rescue with the Siamese and kitties later that next morning and he did pay for the vetting...which is the least he could do for letting a sweet innocent soul get killed under his watch...or lack thereof. The money can never bring her back and doesn't make it right. When the cats were being picked up by the rescue at the truckstop...Tom was walking a dog and then another one he had tied to the door got loose and climbed under the running truck. It took Tom and the rescue person for the cats to get her out and back into the truck. A chihuahua was close to getting out when the door opened and had to be pushed back in so Tom could get in the truck. Clearly, nothing about the way the animals were transported was safe.
I think this is very important for everyone to read, know and crosspost. Many people use Tom for transporting but maybe you don't know how things really are. He should NEVER transport cats again...he didn't do his part of ensuring the safety of the animals he had in his truck. Plus, from my conversations with him, I feel he really didn't value Power Puff's life and wasn't that bothered by the whole thing. The dog's were not safe either. There are basic rules to be followed when transporting and just plain common sense...but Tom didn't abide by any of it. If you are driving, there is no way to monitor what is going on. He didn't know these dogs or cats and he even was told that the cattle dog was cat aggressive and still didn't make simple arrangements to keep them safe. This was 100% preventable and needless...we had the crates right there with the cats in them!!! Plus, they were not his animals to do with as he wished. Those involved in this are truly heartbroken...I cried tears of deep sadness and extreme fury and anger for this happening. That is exactly what we did not want happening and it is still unreal to me how an animal can be killed on transport to her rescue. I just keep having images in my mind of how Power Puff must have felt and how scary that whole environment in his truck was. How the dog grabbed her as she cried out and then she ended up again in a cage just as at the shelter, this time at the vet, but now in extreme pain and alone. There, she died. The Siamese was terrified when he reached his rescue, even the next few days. He witnessed another cat being attacked. The dog who got loose at the truck stop was also shaking in fear and running trucks were parked all around. Please crosspost this to everyone you know and make sure everyone is aware of this and to NOT use Tom Beard for transporting any animal!!!
-Kim T, rescuer in Indep. MO