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Dog-Walkers to Client: "We Don't Walk Dogs for People Who Want Marijuana Legalized"

sad_dog.jpg
Noël Zia Lee/Wikimedia
Will somebody please walk me? Please?
When news of a Girl Scout selling cookies outside a Colorado marijuana dispensary went viral last month, it had far-reaching consequences for a St. Louis family: They were "fired" from the dog-walking service they had been a customer of for years.

It all started when Tricia Moyer, a mother of two and a Girl Scout troop leader, thought the idea of a thirteen-year-old with the business sense to sell delicious Thin Mints outside of a marijuana dispensary was funny. So she did what tens of thousands of other Americans did and shared a photo on Facebook.

Tricia didn't realize that the owners of her dog-walking service -- Pack Leader, Plus Inc. -- are devout Christians who don't believe there was anything funny about it at all.

"[We] were upset by the pic with the Girls Scouts selling cookies outside of a government-funded drug house because they knew a bunch of whacked-out dope fiends would buy a bunch of cookies," said Tom Ziegler, co-owner of Pack Leader, Plus, told the Moyers in an e-mail. "We think this is appalling and not funny or cute."

And so the Zieglers decided to end their business relationship with the Moyers.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy," Tom Ziegler tells us. "We don't tolerate any drug users or people who think drugs are OK. Just like we wouldn't tolerate child molesters or rapists, we don't tolerate drugs."

See also: Stray Rescue: 22 Dogs Rescued from North, East, South St. Louis This Weekend

Ziegler further explains that it's simply his faith and his beliefs, and he won't bend, not for man or government.

But Shawn Moyer says he and his wife don't even do drugs. They do believe that marijuana should be legalized, but that's about as far as it goes.

"Having that position and having the inside of your home look like Cheech and Chong's are two different things," Shawn says.

He also says that not doing business with someone based on their political beliefs is a form of discrimination.

"It's not that different than saying one only does business with Democrats or Republicans," he says. "I'm an atheist, and I overlook the fishes on the windows at the dry cleaners."

Shawn says they would normally just find another dog-walking service, but their two dogs have special walking needs. The dogs are rescues and had been abused and neglected for years before the Moyers adopted them. One result of that prior abuse was they had never been taught to walk normally, so they have to be run.

See also: Coon Dog Rescued from Illinois Cave; Canine Spent Three Days Trapped in Narrow Cavern

moyer_dogs.JPG
Shawn Moyer
Moyer says the dogs need to be ran like this.

"The way I can make the dogs cope is to run them on a bike," Shawn Moyer says. "So I have two bike leashes I attach to a mountain bike and I run them a couple miles per day on the bike. And Brooke and Tom were the only ones we could find that were willing to do that."

And now the dogs don't have anybody to walk them when the Moyers go on vacation.

This comes just a few days after Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed private businesses to refuse services to people based on their religious beliefs. The bill was widely described as a way to legalize discrimination against gays and non-Christian religions.

Here in Missouri, state legislator Wayne Wallingford introduced a so-called "religious freedom" bill that also would have allowed people to refuse services based on religious beliefs.

See also: Sen. Wayne Wallingford Is Having A Really Hard Time Defending His Religious Freedom Bill

So we ask you, dear readers: Should a business be allowed to refuse customers based on his or her stance on marijuana?

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.

My Voice Nation Help
248 comments
lynwooddesigns
lynwooddesigns

It really is no ones business what you believe or how you live or whatever...as long as you are not infringing in their space or pushing your beliefs into their life, they really have no right to "retaliate". Mean spirited people are becoming more and more prevalent it's sad to say... 

joannecone26
joannecone26

OMG, what's next, not doing business with people because of the color of their hair, their eyes, they're overweight, they're too skinny?  Did the dog walking company have a "morals" clause in their contract with they Moyers?  Whatever happen to those good Christians who just prayed for those they perceived to have "lost their way"? 

mrstooie
mrstooie

So ... someone won't walk their dogs because they don't like their beliefs about pot ... I have no sympathy at all for people who are this sensitive that they resort to using the power of the word discrimination to hurt someone they disagree with.  It wouldn't matter if they were actual kids ... what the heck, wouldn't you rather work with someone that cares?  Why do you have to make it a story so that others also bash this person for their religious beliefs.  So many intolerant people in this world ... just disagree and go on.  The less tolerant people in my view are the ones who can't move on ... and it's almost always because it's a Christian.  I have no problem if you  lean left and are an atheist or your moral basis is somewhere other than a religious faith, but why do you care?  So this person was wondering why ... if they were that concerned, most people have telephones, call them up.  I think the problem is that too many that were bullied as a child, became adults who decide it's okay to bully back.   Now we have this society belief that if you are offended for any reason it's okay to ridicule, bash, offend them back and even sue.   I don't have to post my beliefs on the door for them to be valid.   

People wonder why there is so much hate in the world.  This right here is a perfect example why. 

Shawn Moyer
Shawn Moyer

People who live in grass houses, something something.

Chris DiMercurio
Chris DiMercurio

Just like a devote Christian to be the first one to throw a stone.... At a stoner? Ha cha cha

TheWolfman
TheWolfman

Subscriptions to High Times and donations to NORML should be addressed to:

Tom and Brooke Zeigler

Pack Leader Plus

7527 Virginia Ave
Saint LouisMO 63111

Shawn Moyer
Shawn Moyer

There is an unofficial page for them now, but yeah, company page is gone. It was at 81 reviews and 1 star.

Sara Ivie-Trankler
Sara Ivie-Trankler

I only hire stoners to walk my dog. Who I'm kidding, I walk my own fucking dog and spend that money on black market pot.

Elizabeth Jaggie
Elizabeth Jaggie

Wow, people are getting weirder and weirder every day! Do they ASK people about their political opinions before taking the job??? = )

Andy Sims
Andy Sims

I swear to god, no pot was smoked prior to me writing all those comments, because THAT WOULD BE WRONG.

Andy Sims
Andy Sims

I personally am for legalizing pot, but if a dog get's caught driving high, it should be a DUI.

Andy Sims
Andy Sims

And if you told me someone was a professional dog walker, I would just assume they were a pot head. I mean, come on.

Andy Sims
Andy Sims

I mean they're happy dogs sure, but oh so fat.

Andy Sims
Andy Sims

Those dogs are probably addicted to the pot. That leads to fat dogs that are harder to walk.

Jason Charney
Jason Charney

Guess who's yard has the most dog poops in it for being such a conservative douche?

Michael Land
Michael Land

Wow. PLP, Good luck in your next venture.

Lace King
Lace King

lmfao...talk about being full of yourself.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

I thought all dog walkers were complete stoners... how the hell else can you tolerate a job walking dogs....?

John Null
John Null

Their facebook is gone. They're going to have to change the name of their business and then start hiding the fact they don't approve of legalization, especially in St. Louis, where support for it is around 93%. Hopefully, though, their careers are just totally over now.

TheWolfman
TheWolfman

Holy shit, guys. So apparently this isn't anything new. Check this out:

https://plus.google.com/116369270792578715723/reviews?hl=en&gl=us

"They cut off ties with me and my pooch without explanation 6 months ago. I never understood why, and they never explained why. I was worried to death for months that perhaps my dog did something horrible (attacked another dog, relieved himself in their car, etc). Now I read that they dropped a different customer because of a meme that the particular customer posted on Facebook, and it all makes sense. Pack Leader had access to my residence, likely saw that I subscribe to Playboy and read the New York Times and that I (gasp) had girls over from time to time that I wasn't married to *egads!*, and dropped me for political/religious reasons. Very unprofessional (and un-American) if you ask me. I wouldn't post this if I hadn't given them multiple chances to explain themselves and leave me completely in the lurch with no backup options for my dog. Now it all fits together."

cwxj415
cwxj415

Ziegler is, of course, free to choose whom he wishes to take on as clients.


But by this ASTONISHINGLY DUMB-ASSED decision of his, he has marked himself as a jackass and an ignoramus.  So let him suffer the consequences by seeing his business go BANKRUPT, as he deserves.

fbook.arp
fbook.arp

"One result of that prior abuse was they had never been taught to walk normally, so they have to be run."


They can be taught to walk. Seriously. If you can't, call in Cesar Millan. He will make sure your dogs do not need religious freaks to go take a dump.

julie.bergfeld
julie.bergfeld

I will run those dogs! I am 100% serious. This is crazy

garthpro
garthpro

"Investigators found crack and marijuana pipes, 1.64 grams of cocaine and nearly a quarter-ounce of pot as they went through Zeigler's belongings"
~WOW! 


ricomarcolo
ricomarcolo

@mrstooie A crappy business with crappy business practices got exposed. Cry me a river. THEY are the morons who injected their faith into it. 

sophie1914
sophie1914

Wasn't the husband/co-owner of this place the ex cop who shot his girlfriend in the face some years ago? Not sure I would want a creeper like that walking my dog anyway. BTW I am a pet sitter and this is super shitty business practices on their part. I don't care what people do on their own damn time just so long as it doesn't put me in danger when I am in their residence tending to their pets.  

ShawnMoyer
ShawnMoyer

@fbook.arp  They can be walked, and in fact initially Brooke was working with my wife on teaching them. It's just that they're easier if they get a run in. Sorry, I think that one was misunderstood when I spoke to the RFT. 


I think Ray might be a cat person. 

mrstooie
mrstooie

@ricomarcolo @mrstooie All the evidence says it was a good business, the people evidently trusted them with their babies, so why would you call them crappy?  Your attitude is part of the problem, one where people only know how to deal with disagreement in harness and hate.  Your response is why this type of attack, rather than just moving on, has been so successful.  You beat people down and they give in.   If all you want are people around you who say yes to everything you say and stroke your ego, that's your choice, but a sad way to life a life, you will miss so much with this outlook.  Tolerance is not presence of agreement, it's the lack of hate for those you disagree with.

fbook.arp
fbook.arp

@ShawnMoyer  Lol, got it, Shawn.Those cat people thinks up some weird stuff indeed!

sophie1914
sophie1914

@cwxj415 @garthpro  he was involved in a domestic violence incident where his girlfriends face was shot off. She is alive but disfigured for life. Or so I have read. I think this goes back 2003ish or so.

slchlubna
slchlubna

@ShawnMoyer @mrstooie Good for you, Shawn.  I own a small business and much of my new business comes word-of-mouth from current customers. I have an open door policy for all.  The closest to discrimination I came was suspending an employee for being next-to rude to a same sex couple staying with me.

ShawnMoyer
ShawnMoyer

@mrstooie Well, I'm pretty sure my wife was the one that offended someone and started this whole carnival ride. And calling us criminals and drug users sure seems like tearing down the other person to me. 

I'm sorry you feel bad for these people, I suppose I do too. Perhaps if they'd contented themselves with a simple "no comment" they'd have been better off. The last I checked, they were still commenting on every negative review on Yelp and elsewhere and calling everyone who left a review "Pro-drug and Anti-Christian". Uh, guys? Not helping.

As has been said, I'm not a Christian, but if I were I don't think I'd want these folks framing other people's view of that faith. 

mrstooie
mrstooie

@ShawnMoyer @mrstooie I agree, Jesus, while of course he judged, that was part of his job after all, taught kindness and forgiveness, just look at the story of the lady at the well that had been with many men, not something He was okay with but was still forgiving.   In proper context, he would have walked the dogs but would have also taught the "sinners" what they were doing wrong.  While personally I have had the discussion with friends on legalization of pot, the point to me is not that the dog walker was right or not, in our view, it's their belief that is important to them and they stuck to that - without injuring anyone, more than I can say for many people I come across that bend and fold at the least bit of provocation.  They did nothing wrong, the only crime is having offended someone ... and then people piled on top derision simply because they were offended.  It's that I wish people would quit doing.  Argue your point without tearing down the other person, that's my bottom line. 

ShawnMoyer
ShawnMoyer

@mrstooie Just so you know, these comments above aren't from me or anyone I know. I *did* find someone else to take care of my dogs. Interestingly, that person is someone of deep religious faith, who doesn't approve of Tom and Brooke's behavior either. Imagine that.

I just wanted people to know about Pack Leader Plus' behavior because I think it's not a good way to run a business or to live your life, no different than a business that refused to serve Led Zeppelin fans, or whatever. 

I don't have any problem with people of faith, many of my friends and family are devout practitioners of many stripes. Still, I don't think people people of faith should behave this way. 


As someone else already posted, Jesus would have walked anybody's dogs, don't you think?

mrstooie
mrstooie

@ricomarcolo @mrstooie Just the fact you would use the phrase a free pass itself automatically implies their belief has no validity.   That is a loaded phrase ... so I'll play ... yes, they get a free pass.  They were not hateful, the did not cause any harm, they did not keep anyone from enjoying their God given freedoms or if you hate God, then we can agree they did not violate any legal freedoms ... where is the injury?  Are there no other dog walkers?  (I'll answer that, yes, there are hundreds most likely)  I'll give you a free pass for being so angry and hateful, because for some reason you just can't stand it when a person of Christian faith does something "stupid".  It's not like the person was Fred Phelps.  Their belief is that God does not like the use of drugs for intoxication, and while wine clearly was accepted in ancient times (the conversion of water to wine was of course Jesus' first miracle) it's abuse and overuse has never been good.  

Once again, you can't reply without use name calling and put downs.  Why is that?

mrstooie
mrstooie

@ricomarcolo @mrstooie Sure, it sounds pretty stupid ... but again, why hate on someone because you think they are stupid??  I don't get that.  Just let it go ... and why does it matter where they found out?  Just because we don't agree with it and it doesn't rise to the level of reasonableness should be a reason to claim discrimination ... to me that is stupid ... but I'm not gonna sue over it.

ricomarcolo
ricomarcolo

@mrstooie The rest of your response is a mess. I'm gathering that you are implying that it is intolerant of me to have a problem with intolerance? Or does the business get a free pass because they played the "It's my religion!" card? If I told you my religion forbids me to give tolerance a free pass, would you be as charitable to me as you are to those nimrod dogwalkers?

ricomarcolo
ricomarcolo

@mrstooie @ricomarcolo All the evidence? Like what, refusing to serve a customer over a FACEBOOK post??? Great business practice, that. If that is what you consider a good business, you sure have low standards of customer service. 

ShawnMoyer
ShawnMoyer

@fbook.arp @ShawnMoyer  Don't get me wrong, they're sled dogs, they pull like mules, but it's not like they physically can't be walked, they're just way happier getting a good run. What Huskies were born to do.

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