Gloria with JC--Lionhearted Man in Black --winning Winner's dog and Best of Winners at the Mastiff supported entry in Trenton. NJ in 2008.
Although I have not always agreed with how she raised and kept her dogs--they were always happy, healthy, and appeared well fed. Over the years, frequent accusations have surfaced relating to how Gloria breeds and maintains her dogs--the term "puppy mill" has arose more than once. With no visible steady source of income (i. e. a job)--it appears the sale of puppies is at times her sole source of income. At times over the years, In years past, She also gradually collected several different breeds of dogs, and has even bred a few "designer" dogs for the pet market lending conformation to the "puppymill" label. This fact alone set her up for criticism by many in the Mastiff community.
She discussed with me of her future plans to relocate with some friends to the New Mexico area and set up a boarding kennel. There she would finally have a home and a place that was proper and correct to breed and raise her Mastiffs in the manner of which she had dreamed.
It was during this breeding and my stay with Gloria that I got to see the woman I came to respect and call friend. We shared stories of our childhood ( we were both raised in the Florida panhandle) and we shared our beliefs on family, friends, love, and Mastiffs. I grew to know her as a kindred spirit--a woman who had been through hard times, a survivor, and a woman who truly loved her dogs with all her heart and soul. When she spoke about her dogs--she spoke from her heart.
She confided to me that her dogs were her anchor in life and her purpose here on earth. Her Mastiffs was what kept her going when things were bad--her dogs were her inspiration and her reason for living. She told me about her past struggles and difficulties; both personal and within the mastiff community--after hearing so many rumors for so many years, I finally got to hear her side of the story.
Thus over time, we began to talk frequently and corresponded about our dogs, our families and our lives. No matter where she moved--or how bad her life was--she always called me , wrote me, or e-mailed me and kept in touch. We had many a long phone call at nights talking about life and our dogs.
She called me in November of 2009--all excited about moving to SC--we laughed and joked about her being closer to me. We discussed and planned a breeding. It was a discussion full of hope and joy shared by two friends who loved their Mastiffs.
Gloria promised to get in touch with me as soon as she settled in her new location in SC--our breeding was planned for early March and she told me she would touch base with me by February. It was the last discussion I ever had with her.
Ch. Lionhearted Maximum Power CGC winning Best veterans at Bucks ( shown by Kelly)
The pictures were dated 2/9/2010--they had been taken a week earlier by Kazia Burress Martz, Gloria's current room mate and business partner. I immediately began making calls and sending e-mails to both the Kazia (the property owner where both her and Gloria were living) and to Gloria asking what had happened and I did offer my help. I did not receive any response to my phone calls or e-mails which further alarmed me. In the past, Gloria has always answered my calls/emails with in a few hours.
By mid-day Tuesday, as a handful of friends and Mastiff owners began to contact each other-- a horrible story was slowly uncovered and revealed. None of us were able to believe what we were being told and shown. It simply did not match what we knew about Gloria, but more alarming was that none of us had been in contact with Gloria for some time.
Another individual who had received some of the same photos and knew the location of where Gloria and Kazia were living in SC and had contacted and reported the dead dogs to animal Control in Anderson, SC. Animal Control was on the premises by 1100am and attempted to inspect the kennels. The Entrance was locked and the property owner, Kazia Martz, refused AC access to the property. Ms. Martz was read her rights and arrested. A search and seizure warrant for the dogs was obtained and Animal Control entered the property. One additional adult Mastiff was also dead--making a total of 8 adults intially found dead on the property
As Animal control began to inspect the entire property, 2 puppies approximatly 2-3 weeks of age were also found inside a trash barrel partially burned.
At first, I was angry; how could I be so wrong about someone? But as I began to ask questions, the answers just did not match up. When I asked about the dead dogs on the property--Kazia told me AC had picked them up--AC told us that the dogs were still on the property and Ms. Martz was responsible for removing them and had been instructed to do so
After two days of sitting home in shock and anger, confused by conflicting information; I drove to the property to see for myself. My purpose was to remove the dead dogs to be cremated, but I also went to see for myself what was true and what was fiction.
Within minutes of stepping into this death camp, I knew Gloria Davis was not responsible for what I saw. No breeder who had spent the greater portion of her life protecting , loving and cherishing her dogs would do what I was now seeing. Gloria would have never left Max dead on the ground; she would have never shot any of her dogs, and she would have never left JC--her future and the pride and joy for her Lionhearted line starving.
None of the dead dogs I picked up to be cremated that day had died from exposure or starvation--they had been shot. Most looked to be in good condition--One female weighed almost 230lbs. One female had been dead for a longer period of time and advance decomposition which did not allowed for a good evaluation of weight, but the remaining 6 were all in fair weight. One dead dog was taken by AC for a necropsy and as evidence.
Ms. Martz also stated that Gloria had returned on several occasions to pick up mail and personal belongings after these dogs died. However no one has seen Gloria on the property in at least a month. Gloria's SUV sits in the driveway and Ms. Martz admits to using this same SUV for the last few months. Gloria's personal property, dog papers, cell phone, and computer all remain there in the house on the Anderson property.
While I was on the property I was witness to questionable behaviors by Ms. Martz. At times she was threatening toward me and she expressed delusional idealization. I was witness to her picking up a dead cat, placing it inside her jacket, rocking and holding it like a baby. If asked any questions or for information, Her responses were jumbled and often unrelated to the question asked. I was not able to get any direct answers from her. She continued to parrot the same story over and over--like a well-rehearsed song.
These dogs have been living outside in below freezing weather for over a month in conditions that would have killed a healthy dog--much less one weakened by parasites, disease, and hunger. Inside of the pens one can see where the surviving dogs dug down into the dirt trying to stay warm. There were no feces in the pens--it appeared that the dogs ate their own waste in an effort to stay alive. Each of these pens were within 20-30 feet of the back door and each dog was easily visible as one entered and left the home.
Thankfully, Animal Control in Anderson, SC was contacted early Tuesday Morning.
I would like to thank the authorities in Anderson for their prompt response after being notified. I also want to thank them for the love and care they have given each and every dog.
As some of us who knew Gloria were reeling from the bits and pieces of information of this story; we began to touch base and share information. Each of us noted that we had received no direct communication (no phone calls ) from Gloria for an extended period of time--most of us have not spoken directly to her since late November/ early December. Some of us had received responses to e-mails that simply were not written as Gloria would have responded. We all independently came to the same conclusion--we now doubt that those communications came from Gloria.
Gloria always kept in touch with her parents in Florida. She had promised to visit them over the holidays, and she did not visit as she had planned. When her parents tried to reach her--Ms. Martz was the only person they ever reached. After some time of not being in contact with their daughter, they filed a missing persons report. They also received a Valentine Day's card from "Gloria" and they have identified the hand writing as not being Gloria's.
Currently this case is still under investigation. Animal control has not filed any charges nor listed a responsible party for the abuse of these dogs. Gloria Davis is considered a missing person and has been entered into the National data bank for missing persons by the FBI.