Marley Update

We recently became aware of an incident involving Marley the dog in Panama, where the dog was snuck up on during sleep and then bit an individual. It is worth noting that Marley was in a shelter for what we believe was about a year. He shuttered at the sight of the animal control officer. Additionally, he came from overseas and was in the war zone, as he stayed with a camp of soldiers.
Based on what we know about him and have been told, we firmly believe this scenario was caused by startle reflex. This is a common condition, and is deemed a non-aggressive one. Even humans have it, think about it, how would you react if someone woke you from a deep sleep? You would be startled right? Although it can happen in any breed, it is most common in Greyhounds and Basenji’s.
Rather than stop there, we wanted to take a further look into what may be behind this, based on Marley’s history. So we looked into dogs who have been in similar situations. We think that Marley might have hypothyroidism, as it can show in many ways, OCD behaviors, fear, startle reflex, shyness and other symptoms. Luckily there is a drug called Soloxine, that can help dogs with this condition.
Regardless of if Marley has hypothyroidism or not, it is clear he has startle reflex, and either needs his own area to sleep or it needs to be addressed head on. It is very possible that this situation was brought on by the amount of time he was in the shelter and the quality of his care in conjunction with his past. To put it simply, dogs who have been in the war zone, should not be handled like this.

38 thoughts on “Marley Update

  • From all that he has gone through the this is totally understandable. I had a loving toy poodle that a child grabbed as he was hiding from her and he snapped at her. First and last time. The child was not allowed in my house again.

  • The concept of startle reflex makes total sense. With this dog has been through he really needs a little more time and patience to get him through this. Marley will prevail ❤️

  • I totally agree with you. If there is a thyroid problem just as in people, it controls about 90% of body functions. PTSD can be another issue. My husband was in Desert Storm and always startled when wakened. We don’t know how Marley was treated for the 11 months in animal control or what they did to him

  • Marley needs to go home where he belongs and let the family handle it they way they see fit!!!!!! If im horsing around with my dog and get bit big deal it’s my dog now it it bit someone else then it may be delt with accoringly and that depends on what happened also SO LET THE FAMILY have MARLEY back!!!!!!!!!! This is just so unfair

  • Marley was reacting naturally. Please don’t punish him for that. Humans should be more aware & not startle the dogs.

  • I read on line that you should contact Ceasar Milan the dog whisperer that trains and helps dogs. He could help Marley. Please contact him and get the help Marley needs from being in a war and then in a cage at the humane society or wherever you are keeping him. He needs to be with a family and loved and shown the love and respect he deserves after being in the war and serving with the soldiers. He does not deserve to be put down and cast aside. Get him the help he needs and do the right thing here.

  • Wonderful article-thank you. I’ve been trying to find the story regarding Marley’s re-incarceration. Thank you for the update and a caring attitude towards Marley and his family.

  • I truly believe that Marley is actually suffering from Canine PTSD. I recognize the symptoms of PTSD in Marley as I , too , suffer from Clinical PTSD. I believe this is the route to target.

    Thanks for the Update on Sweet Marley.

    I will be opening an Online Shop and a Website soon . please let me know if I can do any Fundraising to help Marley’s Family with this Case, please.

  • My heart goes out to Marley. He loves Jonathan and the family so much. I am an animal lover and Marley’s case tears at my heart! The last I knew, Marley was back home in his fenced yard. I checked in 2 to 3 times a week just to watch him run & play so happily. I’ve seen him interact, per video, with Jonathan and the family…he is just a “sweetheart”, so loving. However, knowing his background & being in a warzone, it is just common sense to understand his feelings of being scared, esp. walked upon in the dark. I would be scared all the time & probably act worse than Marley. This is so common. If he can be treated with this drug to rid him of being scared, etc, give it to Marley so he can be with his family & Jonathan. Being with them is all he wants. I just hate that he is constantly hassled & his life upset. He does not deserve that. There are thousands of us that love Marley & we will go to bat for him in a heartbeat.

  • This family and Marley have suffered way to much. This crap has to stop. My husband recently was bit by a friend’s dog because he surprised him at the door. Sure it bled and hurt but we all knew that my husband scared the dog. The dog was doing what a dog does. Ten minutes later this big ball of fur was in my husband’s lap kissing his face, tail wagging away. We won’t kill human murders but have no problem killing animals. Maybe we’re the animals. Let the dog and family recover from all they have been through.

  • This is an absolute sad story. I feel so sorry for this poor baby. He removed from his loving home for no reason. Very cruel! Animals have feelings just like humans. They feel depressed, sad feel painand can be home sick. This poor adorable dog was removed from not only a loving home but the only home he ever knew He is not a danger to society and needs to be placed back in his loving home where he feels safe and loved! This extremely angers me. People need to stop treating animals as if they don’t have feelings. They deserve love, good homes and to be treated righto! I’m tired of hearing about abused animals. These poor babies are helpless and not defend themselves. I’m sorry but these twisted people that do this need to be shot! Enough is enough. Animals hAve rights to just in case anyone has forgotten! Hang in there Marley. I love you and so do others and we want to see you have a loving life. I love you boy!

  • This news about Marley deeply saddens me. This poor animal.
    Here you have a great guy who rescues this stray war torn dog from the streets of afghanistan home
    and the two become inseparable. After the dog is getting use to things and playing and leaning, slightly bites
    someone because he was being a protector because thats all he knows. Then poor Marley is taken away only to be
    caged in solitary confinement never knowing what he did and why he can’t goes to his loving home. After a major battle, Jonathan gets him back home, and Marley is one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen! He was so content and playful and when he was with Jonathan you could see how happy they were again.
    Then, a child not knowing any better,kind of creeps up on Marley as he was sleeping, and Marley gently does a brief bite. Brief! So once again, Marley is shipped off to confinement.
    If Marley really wanted to bite or hurt someone, he would! That’s NOT what happend! This poor animal has been treated so cruel! He isn’t perfect, he is still learning.
    Why does the city want to hurt this animal so bad? They are probably jumping for joy about now!
    The pain that Marley and Jonathan are going through is absolutely terrible.
    My rescued Greyhound did what Marley did when I first got him. But with love patience and some training, he stopped. It just takes a little time.
    My heart goes out to Marley and Jonathan
    This is heartbreaking.

  • Icant beleieve this thought marley was
    safe with his family so sad !!! hope he is freed he has been through so much he needs to be free.

  • what can we do to help this poor dog who has been through enough already. He was just back with his family and now he’s gone again. When ever someone is awaken from their sleep they are startled, and Marley was acting in defense to being waken up like that. Give this dog a break look where he came from he was probably afraid. Let this dog go back to his/her owners and live a dog’s life. This lady at this shelter should have pity on this poor dog. And let someone wake her out of her sleep and she how she reacts.

  • I have had many many pets and worked at wild life rehabilitation.. each animal is different. I have been following Marley for many months. Marleys offenses seems very minor compared to attacks and maulings. His treatment has been a personal attack on Marley and his owner. It began because a not so nice noisy neighbor stepping in and advanced to a year long struggle. It seems Bay County is dead set on murdering Marley no matter what the truth is. I pray someone in authority will help Free Marley if not to his owner then to a sanctuary.

  • Dogs that have issues should not be around children, period. This is the responsibility of the childs parents and the owner of the dog. Both knew the history of the dog and are responsibile for it biting the child. As this is the secnd bite, why is so mch time and energy beng spent on a dog that has issues when perfect dogs are being euthanized for nothing but space .

    The owner should not have dogs he cannot handle or oversee if he himself has issues or cannot be a good pet parent.

    Enough rescuing dogs that bite! My dogs are never around my grandkids, never. I then never have to worry about them biting them!

  • Please save Marley! I know that this is not a dangerous dog. PLease!!!!Look at the bite. What a set up. Don’t punish an animal because of human error.

  • please let Marley go home to his family.If its anyones fault its the owner for not putting Marley up when children are around. Children have a tendency to irritate are agitate animals when they are around them. Of course the parents of these children should not just let their kids do whatever when they are in someone else’s home knowing that they have a canine. No one likes to be snuck up on and it can be startling to anyone are anything such as a human are animal.All dogs are capable of biting, so are humans but that doesnt mean that whom ever does the biting should be killed. Marley apprently has a condition and needs therapy and regular excercise to maybe over come his condition. The poor canine came from Afganistan where conditions were not good and most likely underwent some terrible experiences so do u really blame him for being on the defense? Please let Marley go home and get the much needed help that he needs and help owner understand that Marley could maybe in the future be in more danger of his life if not given the oppurtunity to get therapy. Marley is a beautiful canine and should be given a SECOND CHANCE.

  • You would not like my reaction if you woke me out a sound sleep and I have never been in a war zone or abused. Use the brains you were born with and do not wake the dog out of a sound sleep. Any normal person will tell you do not startle an animal.

  • Thank you for your support! I agree 100% that Marley is a victim of the unfortunate circumstances placed upon him by officials who aren’t skilled or trained in animal behavior. He is not a dangerous dog. Please help save him!

  • if the owner decides to release him to the sanctuary would Marley be able to be adopted by another family?

  • Thank you for standing up for Marley. Shame on those who caused this dog further mental stress by the cruel captivity of this family pet.

  • I believe that any dog who has had to endure war, incarceration and been isolated from the only form
    of love and security he has ever known would quickly develop a “startle reflex.

  • I agree with what you are saying and that is why jonahtan is is trying to his dog marley to overcome his fears and etc. it takes time ok this dog cannot be in a kennel he needs space and free roam and when his owner sells his house he will have his dog back but in the meant time the sanuary will be able to help since they have behavorior theripist on hand alsoe

  • Startle reflex- PTSD. Both sound likely. You cannot blame a person or an animal for these traits. They are both due to trauma. People and animals need help and understanding dealing with such things as this.

  • Marley obviously has gone through trauma….A lot of Shelter dogs have different behavioral problem…I have a shelter dog I adopted from Greece….I know what its like to get them through their anxieties..People should understand this,and help them

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