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For Tamira Ci Thayne: Released September 2008

Two One-Woman Art Shows, in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,
to Feature Piece Censored by Blair County Judge

Artist Insists Censorship Violates First Amendment Rights and Will
Exhibit "When the Circle of Compassion Extends to All" in both Shows.


September 18, 2008, Tipton, PA - Artist Tamira Ci Thayne, formerly known as Tammy Grimes and founder of Dogs Deserve Better, will be featured in two one-woman art shows during Pennsylvania Week for the Animals. During the exhibits at Chatham University in Pittsburgh and The Rotunda in Philadelphia Thayne will exhibit a piece entitled "When the Circle of Compassion Extends to All", a work which a Blair County, PA Judge has attempted to censor.

"When the Circle of Compassion Extends to All" has previously won an Honorable Mention at the Blair County Arts Festival.

Thayne created the piece based on her experience in rescuing a dog who lay chained and unable to stand, flailing about in the mud and his own feces. When police refused to charge the owners with cruelty and insisted Thayne (then Grimes) return the dog to its abusive situation, she refused, and was thereafter convicted of theft for helping him.

Video of the dog was withheld from the jury by the judge as well as 'after' photos and video of him standing and walking again. The judge subsequently ordered Grimes to remove all images of the dog from the Dogs Deserve Better website and her art. The case is currently in appeal.

Thayne has removed the dog's photos from items for sale on the Dogs Deserve Better site, but has refused to remove the dog's images from its history of the case page or her artwork, citing violations of first amendment rights.

Thayne states, "Doing what any concerned citizen should have done for a suffering animal was not wrong and will never be wrong—no matter what a corrupt 'justice' system says. I feel this in my gut. I have been subjected to what amounts to emotional torture as a result of helping Doogie—yet I could have done no other.

Creating a piece of art based on my experience which speaks to a time when animals will be treated with the reverence they deserve is my right as a human being and an American citizen. I will continue to show "When the Circle of Compassion Extends to All" on my website and at any shows where I am able. I am no criminal."

20 pieces of Thayne's work will be shown Saturday, September 20th from 4-8 p.m. at Eddy Theatre at Chatham University, Woodland Road, Pittsburgh. The show runs with three films shown, I Am Unseen by Dogs Deserve Better, The Witness by Tribe of Heart, and Uncaged, Second Chances for Puppy Mill Breeders by Ann Metcalf and Chris Shaughness.

The works will show in Philadelphia from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, at The Rotunda, Walnut Street, also in concurrence with I Am Unseen and Uncaged.

To view Thayne's art, visit her website at http://www.littlegirllooking.com. 20-50% of all proceeds from sales of Thayne's art benefit Dogs Deserve Better.

Thayne can be reached at Tami@littlegirllooking.com for comment, and is available for art shows, commissioned works, or interviews. She holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. in Naturology from the American Institute of Holistic Theology.

Dogs Deserve Better was founded in 2002, is an international nonprofit with 140 area reps in the U.S. and Canada, and works to bring dogs out of the backyard and into the home and family. The site can be viewed at http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org.

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