Sundance Film Festival 2015 – Owner to Promote Film about Murdered Dog


by Denise Carey-Costa

Imagine being wrongfully accused of a crime, thrown into a prison, then executed all based on little to no evidence that you actually committed a crime.

Your first thought is most likely, “How could that actually happen?” But it is happening every day in cities all over the world. Pit Bulls are being seized from their homes, locked up, then murdered by local courts all based on a raging hysteria that has no basis in fact.tonystaleposter

Michelle Dozier, of Clifton, Arizona has lived every dog owner’s worst nightmare. It started November 18th 2011 when an Animal Control Officer and a deputy showed up at Michelle’s door demanding she relinquish her three dogs, Faith, Tuppy, and Tony over to them. This demand was based on allegations made by a neighbor that Michelle’s dogs had killed their dog. Michelle begged and pleaded to keep her dogs with her but they were seized and taken away.

For several months Michelle fought the charges and the court. In March of 2012 two dogs, Tuppy and Faith were released back to Michelle. Tony was kept at Animal Control and was court ordered to be euthanized, deemed the aggressor based on his Pit Bull breed. What the court failed to acknowledge was that Tony had two broken front canine teeth making it impossible for him to have made the bite wounds that were found on the neighbor’s dog.

Michelle continued to fight for her dog through petitioning and social media. 40, 000 people worldwide stood by her side and rallied with her for Tony’s life to be spared. But the public outcry was ignored, the lack of evidence was ignored and Michelle’s pleas for mercy for her dog were ignored. On June 18th, 2012, Tony was euthanized by order of the Justice of the Peace Grace Nabor.

Michelle Dozier cried and the world cried with her. Michelle will never forget her dog Tony nor will she ever forget the nightmare she and her family were subjected to by small town court corruption and breed specific hatred and prejudice. Her life will never be the same. Tony can never be brought back. But he will not be forgotten.

In October 2012, author Denise Carey-Costa published her book “Tony’s Tale, Tragedy in Arizona” exposing the story of Tony and Michelle and the injustice they endured.

In July of 2014, author Denise Carey-Costa teamed up with filmmaker Josh Mitchell to produce the documentary film of the same name. The film shows through use of interviews and flashbacks the life of Tony, his 7 years on earth as a beloved family member and pet to his untimely death.

Josh Mitchell and Denise Carey-Costa will be promoting the film at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2015 and Michelle Dozier would love nothing more than to attend the film festival as well.

But due to financial constraints and being limited to when she can work while taking care of her handicapped sister 24/7, this is almost impossible for her.

Please help Michelle go to the film festival by donating to her fundraiser at Give her the opportunity to see her beloved Tony immortalized on the screen and to bring awareness for the continued murder of dogs like Tony throughout the world.


The above story was first published on and is reposted here with the permission of the author.

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