UPDATE: Dave Thomas, the San Bernardino man arrested last week, was detained on suspicion of drug possession with intent to sell and not for a missed court appearance for speeding tickets, which is what he told the San Bernardino County Sun. Thomas’ wife was also arrested, and thus his dog, Buzz Lightyear, was impounded. Maria Sanchez, the woman who raised money for Buzz Lightyear to return home, recently posted that she will be returning all remaining donations on account of Dave Thomas’ ungrateful behavior. According to Sanchez, Thomas publicly accused her of withholding Buzz’s donation money, while she insists that all proceeds would have gone to Dave and Buzz just not in the form of cash. When Sanchez tried to contact Thomas, his wife allegedly screamed at her. This was the last straw for Sanchez, who has now posted why and how she will be returning the remaining proceeds. — Global Animal
(TOUCHING TALE) Dave Thomas, a San Bernardino man, was jailed for missing a court appearance, which led to his dog being impounded. The two-year-old pit bull mix, Buzz Lightyear, was taken to the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter, where it would cost Thomas $400 to get his canine companion back. Thomas, unfortunately, did not have the money and sat with his beloved bowwow while pouring water into his bowl. Luckily, this was all caught on camera by animal lover Maria Sanchez. Read on to learn how this captured moment brought Buzz back. — Global Animal
A picture from Maria Sanchez's Facebook page of Maria, Dave, and Buzz. Photo Credit: Maria Sanchez
A picture from Maria Sanchez’s Facebook page of Maria, Dave, and Buzz. Photo Credit: Maria Sanchez

Huffington Post

The next time you catch yourself crying on a street corner, just hope that Maria Sanchez is taking clandestine photos of you.

Last week, Dave Thomas, a San Bernardino man, was briefly jailed for failure to appear in court for traffic violations, leading to the impoundment of his dog on Feb. 13.

Upon release, Buzz Lightyear, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, was waiting for him at the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter. But Thomas couldn’t pay the $400 to get his pet back, KABC reported.

Just as Thomas found out he couldn’t get his dog back, Maria Sanchez, a photographer at the shelter who happened to be watching, captured the scene on camera.

Thomas and Buzz at the shelter. Photo Credit: Facebook
Thomas and Buzz share a moment at the shelter. Photo Credit: Facebook

“He was pouring water into his dog’s water bowl, his dog sat there and licked up the water for about a minute, he sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez told KABC.

She posted the photo to Facebook, where strangers pledged to help the man.

Since Thomas hadn’t left a phone number or a name at the facility, Sanchez needed to identify him before she could reach out.

She made phone calls and posted calls for help online. She drove around town posting flyers. She received a traffic ticket and had her car sideswiped.

All the while, donations poured in. On Monday night, KABC identified Thomas and put him in touch with Sanchez, who told him the cost of getting Buzz back was covered.

“God bless you darling,” he said over the phone.

More Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/dave-thomas_n_2717448.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular




  1. Maria was right to delete your comments. Maria works to save animals, NOT to donate to suspected drug dealers. She offered Dave and his lousey wife donations that were sure to go to Buzz Lightyear. What part of that don't you understand? You've got a twisted idea of extortion. An

  2. Maria Sanchez stated " I just got a phone call from KTLA channel 5. Apparently, Dave has called to inform them that I am keeping the money raised for his dog. I have transferred $842.07 into my bank to reimburse myself for the shelter fees, vet and PetSmart shopping spree that I put onto my personal credit card"… Buzz is not Maria's dog but she spent personal money knowing she could use donated funds to reimburse herself…her personal funds spent should be her personal donation..I also read she received 2000.00 in donations..she is extorting funds from innocent people…She could have waited for Buzz's owner and gave him all the funds raised they are for Buzz not her bank account..why not do this for all the dogs in the shelter she harasses?

  3. she transferred all the donated funds into her personal bank account..she borrowed against donated funds…this lady should have given all the donated funds to the dog owner so he could get his own dog out of the pound then he could have went on a shopping spree with his dog but this lady took it upon herself to use personal money to get the dog out and went on a shopping spree then reimbursed herself with donated funds..ALL THE FUNDS DONATED WENT INTO HER PERSONAL ACCOUNT…i commented on her page and she deleted my comments..way to miss use funds.

  4. What motivated her, is that she goes to the shelter and photographs animals to post and try to find homes for them. The only reason this was made public was because a news station found out and was one of the many that helped her find the owner. Ms Sanchez also paid for veterinary bills and took the ungrateful owner and his dog shopping at a pet store. She spent over $800. in all. The "moral ground" in this situation, is the "very, bad taste" this leaves for the many people who give willingly to help others. Check out Ms. Sanchez FB page, she even asked people that donated to let her know what they want done with the excess donations. She will either refund or give it to other animal charities.

  5. I think you misunderstood. He got his dog back. He was freaking out at Sanchez because he wanted the remainder of the donation money – what was left over AFTER bailing his dog out. I believe he threatened her with a law suit. He is an ungrateful POS imo. No good deed goes unpunished, eh?

  6. Seems awfully spiteful to withhold the money on some "moral" grounds. Just hurts the dog, who will probably be systematically murdered if they can't make his bail. Nobody asked Sanchez to get involved. So he lied? Why should he have told her it was for drugs and not traffic? So much for do-gooder — apparently some are just as judgemental as the next meany. Wonder what motivated her in the first place? Wonder how much beyond the release fee she collected? I wish she'd just pay the fee and have the shelter notify the owner, then disappear back into the scenery. So sad, using the dog's life as a pawn.