This is a story about a man who has deceived many unsuspecting souls, a man who has used the tragedy of the attacks on the WTC to bring himself unearned attention, money & fame. When you can fool folks like Dr. Jane Goodall, it sure does show how we so want to believe that there are true heroes out there.
Once upon a time I was taken in by this man above. But, he has taken in far bigger fish than myself. He got someone to write a book with him, he got Dr. Jane Goodall to believe in his heroic tales, and sadly he got a well-known legal firm to help him form a nonprofit foundation to supposedly help fellow rescuers. Tellingly, the sole IRS Form 990 filed for his foundation shows only roughly 6% of its donations going out as grants to Search & Rescue groups.
I have a huge story to tell about how he gained his initial credibility through alignment with the Land of PureGold, but I have been waiting for the day when the media would finally catch up with all of the lies that continue to litter the web. As a good friend and retired police chief says: “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn. Some day this will be totally brought to light.”
It is a pretty telling commentary when the co-author of his book has to put out the following statement:
There have been many erroneous facts, as well as misleading information printed in news and television articles about Scott Shields and his dog, Bear. I hope the following helps both readers and the media who may be interested in gaining greater knowledge of Bear’s true story:1.) Scott Shields refers to himself as ‘Captain’ because that is what others called him for many years on the waterfront in New York and Connecticut. This does not refer to any military or authoritative rank.
2.) Scott has emergency management training, but he and Bear did not have “official” or “professional” search and rescue (SAR) training.
3.) Bear did NOT accompany Scott to the WTC to do search work. He was there because he was always at Scott’s side.
4.) Bear is NOT credited with making any live finds at the WTC.
5.) Bear did NOT find more victims than any other rescuer or canine. Many official search and rescue canine teams stayed and worked for weeks after Bear left. Presumably, these teams made many sad discoveries.
6.) Scott and Bear did NOT work at the Oklahoma City bombing rescue and recovery mission.
7.) Scott and Bear did NOT respond to the earthquake in Turkey.
8.) Theodorable is NOT Bear’s son. At this time, Theodore is NOT a trained search and rescue dog. Theodore has been made an honorary ‘mascot’ in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is NOT a Coast Guard SAR canine.
Stay tuned for my story about this man. It is a story that started and ended far before he even dreamed of writing a book or creating his foundation. It began a few weeks after the WTC attacks and then ended abruptly in the summer of 2002. I have had to sit on this horrible tale until there was finally a glimpse of truth coming from the media. I think that time has arrived. So, do stay tuned.
In the meantime, check out this most interesting article –
Fraud Probe Hounds Rescuer
By Philip Recchia and Brad Hamilton, New York Post
September 25, 2006 — A celebrated Ground Zero volunteer who claims that his dog “made the only live finds” at the site is being investigated over $16,000 FEMA gave him to live in a Battery Park City high-rise, The Post has learned.
Scott Shields, who resided in Greenwich, Conn., in 2001, didn’t move downtown until six months after 9/11, and then got evicted from his $3,182-a-month apartment, records show.
The former dressmaker – who calls himself “captain” yet holds no military or police rank – is also being quizzed by the Parks Department for trying to pass himself off as a Parks officer in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, the department said.
He and his dog Bear didn’t find any 9/11 survivors, says the co-author of his memoirs, Nancy West, and primatologist Jane Goodall has asked that her blurb be taken off its future printings.
UWSP Faculty Members Use Dogs for Healing, Helping and Research
A group of five University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point professors have literally gone to the dogs for helping, healing and research. Biology Professor Terese Barta, Associate Professor of Biology Isabelle Girard, English Professor Dan Dieterich, Psychology Professor Mark Plonsky, and Associate Professor of Communication Karlene Ferrante are bringing their dogs to libraries, hospitals, care facilities and classrooms, where the presence of animals seems to soothe clients and staff. The “Dog Profs” also are collaborating on a research project that will assess the effects of dogs on student learning at UWSP.The application of animal therapy goes back to 900 B.C., when the ancient Greeks believed in the healing power of dogs. Since then, pets have been shown to lower stress among mental health patients, reduce prisoner violence and increase survival rates among heart attack patients.
Barta’s interest in dog training began in 1997, when she became acquainted with Plonsky, who trains service dogs. Since then, Barta (shown above with Golden Remy) has been involved with several dog-oriented organizations, including Golden Retriever Rescue, Therapy Dogs International, Paws with a Cause (that trains dogs for the mobility-impaired), Timber Ridge Dog Training Club and Therapy Dogs of Central Wisconsin.
Dieterich brings his golden retriever, Yukon (shown here on the left), to St. Michael’s Hospital nearly every week, visiting with patients on the second, fourth and fifth floors. Yukon is an 8-year-old registered therapy dog that Dieterich obtained from the Humane Society about three years ago. Reactions to the dog by both patients and staff have been described as “amazing.” One anecdote published in the hospital’s in-house newsletter describes a patient who was admitted with extreme pain. When the staff asked if he would like a visit from Yukon, he became very excited. The patient went from lying in his bed with eyes shut, moaning, to petting the dog and becoming cheerful and talkative with a big smile on his face.