Gretchen Lieff, a Santa Barbara local, has founded Davey’s Voice following the case of 20-year-old SBCC exchange student Duanying Chen, who fatally tortured Davey, his 5-month-old miniature pinscher puppy, last year. Davey suffered severe burns, broken bones, and cuts that ultimately left him incurable. Vets euthanized Davey shortly after Chen’s girlfriend rushed him to a local emergency clinic. The infamous case motivated animal rights activists across the nation to take a stand against animal cruelty.
Davey’s Voice specifically aims to raise awareness about animal abuse in Santa Barbara County by encouraging the public to promote animal rights. Through Davey’s Voice, Lieff plans to support local projects that inspire the Santa Barbara community to get involved with animal rights programs. Though 501(c)(3) status is not yet confirmed for the organization, Lieff has already designated a board of directors that includes actress and animal rights activist Linda Evans, as well as Montecito residents Penelope Bianchi and Marjorie Layden.
“We want to ensure something positive comes out of Davey’s horrific fate and pledge to make Santa Barbara the most animal responsible county in California. After that, we will continue our mission throughout the United States and beyond,” says Lieff. The organization is not involved with legislative activism directly, but is affiliated with other local nonprofit animal organizations such as DAWG (Dog Adoption & Welfare Group) and the Diana Basehart Foundation, which helps low-income seniors care for their pets.