Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gloria Davis--Lionhearted Mastiffs-Update Feb. 2012

It's now been three years since I received the e-mail that informed me of the abuse and  neglect of the Lionhearted dogs. For the first few days following the initial release of information, confusion, dismay, anger, and outright outrage ran rampant in the Mastiff community. Rumors, and rumors of rumors began to circulate about Gloria and her past; her past with her dogs, her past with her family, and her past with other Mastiff breeders and owners.

At first, I was among the outraged. I felt betrayed. I had known Gloria for over 30+ years, and I considered her one of my closest friends. How could I have been such a fool? Then the more I heard, the more I realize--the Gloria Davis I knew could not have ever done had not done what she was being accused of doing to her dogs. I began to ask questions--first hand questions to the animal control investigating officer, and to Kazia Martz Burrgess who was living with Gloria at that time--and still living in the home on the day Animal control picked up the Lionhearted 7 adult  and 5 puppies found starving and reported (by Mrs. Burrgess) as being abandoned by Gloria.

Fact: One of the starving dogs picked up by animal control was JC--Lionhearted Man in Black--Gloria's hope for her Lionhearted line. The dog who she felt was the dog she had waited 30 years to bred. JC stood starving in a pen, with no dog house or shelter from the prior 2-3 months of snow and freezing weather, and with the untouched dead body of his kennel mate. Although he was starving slowly to death, JC would not eat his kennel mate. He had ate his own feces, leaves and trash to stay alive. When Animal control finally arrived to remove the living dogs, JC stood over the body of his dead kennel mate and guarded her. JC was and still is a true Mastiff-he would have protected his defenseless kennel mate with his dying breath.

With in the next 48 hours after learning about the dead dogs still on the property, Myself and a few other concerned individuals made arrangements to pick up the 6 dead dogs remaining on the property and have them cremated. I drove to Anderson, SC and picked up those dogs. I also went to see for myself.

Once I walked on that property, and witnessed for myself the conditions existing on the property surrounding the abuse and death of Gloria's dogs--dogs that had been shot and left dead for weeks; I knew in my heart Gloria was not responsible for the carnage and abuse I found on that property. I left that death camp asking God and Gloria to forgive me. For I knew in my heart, what I had just witnessed would have never happened if Gloria was alive. I also knew, that everything Kazia Martz Burrgess had told relating to this event was questionable.

I personally wrapped each dead dog in plastic. I saw the bullet holes in their heads. I saw how they had remained in the same position once they had hit the ground after being shot. I saw where 4 of the brindle females had been lead into a single 6 x 6 pen, probably tied to the fence, and then shot. Their bodies lying haphazardly where they had been untied and dropped to the ground. Dogs who had laid on the frozen ground long enough for rats to tunnel underneath them and eat on the dead bodies. Max, Gloria's  pride and joy was one of the dead dogs--and he had been dead for some time. No way, Gloria would have allowed Max to lie unburied.

I also witnessed behaviors and actions on the part of Mrs. Burgess which in my personal opinion, was less than appropriate. Mrs. Burgess had remained living in the house on the property, walking in and out of that house in full view (less than 50 feet) of the dead and starving dogs. The feeding and watering dishes were thrown and piled up against the fence--dirty and full of leaves and trash. They had been there for some time--unused. Fact-Gloria picked up her feeding dishes each day after the dog finished eating, washed and dried them, then stacked them up ready for the next day. Kazia' excuse for not feeding or watering the dogs? She was afraid of what Gloria would do to her. Why did she not call Animal control herself and report Gloria? Another unanswered question.

What did Kazia Burrges do? She e-mailed out pictures of Gloria's dead dogs to Gloria's friends, people from whom Gloria had bought dogs, and the members of the rescue community asking for finical assistance to help "feed" Gloria's dogs. Gloria's friends are who reported this situation to animal control, and from that point the story took a bizarre turn.

Once an AC investigation was begun, no one but Ms. Burrgess and two of her "friends" had reportable seen, spoke directly to, or interacted with Gloria since approximately Mid December 2009. Once Gloria's friends began talking and comparing notes--none of us had spoken directly to Gloria since December 2009. We also agreed that recent E-mails from Gloria were different and not her usual "style" of writing; We all agreed--some of the e-mails we had received were not from Gloria. Someone had been impersonating Gloria via e-mails and per phone calls.

Several weeks later, a missing person's report was filed by Gloria's family and an investigation into Gloria's disappearance was begun. Within a few days, this investigation was advanced into a homicide investigation and an open homicide investigation is still in place. The local authorities in Anderson, SC, SLED, and the FBI have all been involved in this investigation.

Truth. None of Gloria's friends or family have had any contact with her since December 2009. All of her personal belongings including her ID, SS card, driver's license, Checking account information, personal belongings, and her car were found in the house on the Anderson property. Since her disappearance, there has been no activity on her SS card/number, banking account, credit cards, or any other personal information. Gloria Davis has basically fell off the face of the earth.

Much has been discovered and discussed in the months since this event surfaced. Gloria's dogs were placed though Anderson County Animal Control with the assistance of a few concerned individuals. Eventually, a few, made there way into Mastiff rescue where they were care for, fostered, and place up for adoption. On a personal note--JC now lives with a family and has made a full recovery.

So many unanswered questions remain, and well remain until Gloria can be located. Somewhere, someone has information relating to Gloria's disappearance. It is the hope and prayers of Gloria's friends and family that those who hold the missing pieces to this story will step forward. Gloria's sons, grand children, and her mother all deserve closure.

If you feel you have information relating to the disappearance of Gloria Davis, please contact the investigating officer in Anderson, SC-- Detective Wayne Mills. Any piece of information may be the link so needed in this investigation. He can be reached at

On a personal note--I will never stop asking questions. I will never stop looking for information. I will never believe that Gloria walked away from her home, her dogs, her family and her friends. Gloria was not a perfect person, but none of us are or will ever be. Gloria and her dogs deserve justice and peace. I believe in Karma and I believe in God's justice. In time, we will have our answers. In time, those who are responsible for these horrendous deeds will answer; if not in man's court, in God's court.

It is still hard for me to write or discuss this case. Since it is an open case, much can't be discussed at present. I would ask that each who reads this blog --do what I do. I pray each day for strength and guidance for Detective Mills, and peace for Gloria's family.

I see Gloria's love and devotion for her dogs in my Gracie and Hope--I see Max in Gracie and Hope's puppies. I know Gloria would be so proud of these dogs. I wish she was here to see them.

Catie Arney, KioKee Mastiffs Hickory, NC