Happy Endings Dog "Rescue" + Life Partners, Inc. + Camp Diggy Bones = Doggie Purgatory

Categories: Texas

Linda Robinson-Pardo Facebook screenshot
What say after the glamour shot, we save some dogs?
The owner of self-proclaimed animal rescue with an alleged history of not paying boarding fees is still refusing to explain why her rescue's major donor, the CEO of a multi-million dollar investment company, pulled his funds and will not pay to save 248 dogs abandoned in a Dallas-area kennel.

Linda Robinson-Pardo, aka Linda Kay Robinson, an ex-boxer who was suspended five times in two years, appears to have operated the Waco-area Happy Endings Dog Rescue solely on funds from Life Partners CEO Brian Pardo. The Houston Press could not find marriage records indicating the two were ever married, and Pardo's assistant would not confirm for us whether Pardo is still married to the woman identified as his spouse in U.S. Securities and Exchange Filings.

Pardo did not respond to multiple requests for interview.

A former associate of Robinson's, who asked not to be identified, said the current situation is just the latest in Robinson's history of pulling dogs from multiple shelters with no real plan to adopt them out.

"It's almost like it's a sickness, in the aspect that she wants to save them, but she won't make sure that she follows through," said the former associate, who claims that at least of the 50 dogs stuck at the Camp Diggy Bones kennel have been in Happy Endings' possession since 2007, and that about 100 have been with the rescue nearly as long.

Life Partners, a pioneer in the sale of life insurance policies on the secondary market, has faced a rash of legal action from state and federal authorities, as well as shareholders, and the legal costs may be one reason Pardo decided to stop funding Robinson's hobby. (Life Partners has come out on top in the recent legal proceedings).

Still, Pardo seems to be doing well: the company recently announced Pardo got a salary bump to $530,900. The company's latest annual report states that Pardo also owns a plane, which is "rented" to the company to the tune of $452,424; $422,057; and $189,653 during the last three fiscal years. Of course, Life Partners must also travel by water to conduct its affair, so the company also pays "well below the fair renal value" for Pardo's yacht -- over $300,00 total for the last three fiscal years.

SEC filings also state that Pardo's spouse, identified as Elizabeth Pardo, runs a company Life Partners contracts with called ESP Communications. That company is paid "&,500 on a semi-monthly basis," and was paid "$180,000 in each of fiscal 2013, 2012, and 2011." (Curiously, SEC filings from the early 2000's actually include Elizabeth's name; but her name is omitted from recent annual reports.)

Although Robinson declined to tell us anything of value, she did provide a rambling statement claiming that Happy Endings paid Camp Diggy Bones "over $400,000 in 2013 to adopt out, care for and house the [Happy Endings] dogs."

Robinson also claimed in her statement that Happy Endings is "focusing all effort to get these dogs adopted quickly [and] we need the help of local and national organizations." She also wrote that "An agreement...is being negotiated...to bring temporary resolution to the disputes between the two parties that will ensure the safety of the dogs while alternate rescues are found." (The problem is, "national organizations" don't like to clean up an incompetent rescue's mess if that rescue is still in business and will likely have similar problems down the road.)

Camp Diggy Bones owner Gene Mason claims to have had to nearly exhausted his own savings to cover the boarding of the dogs -- mostly pit bulls and pit-mixes. Mason also claims to have sent Happy Endings two demand letters for back payment, although he declined to share the letters after initially agreeing to. Mason has also refused to provide the name of the lawyer representing Happy Endings he is supposedly negotiating with.

In a statement posted on Happy Endings' Facebook page in January -- since removed -- the rescue noted "We are concerned that you Gene are unstable and while going on a sort of public relations campaign aimed at damaging our reputation and to extort money from us and/or those who financially support HEDR." The statement also noted that Camp Diggy Bones "is the home and residence of Gene and Nicollete Mason" which "makes it very difficult to determine exactly what money received is being used for HEDR dogs or personal use since the personal residence is the boarding facility and it is apparent you co-mingle business funds with your family funds and assets."

The former Happy Endings associate, as well the heads of two kennels in the Dallas-Forth Worth area who had trouble collecting payments from Happy Endings, all say they warned Mason of the rescue's payment history before he agreed to board hundreds of its dogs.

Mason has also been mum about what he is doing -- if anything -- to work with local and regional rescues to find homes for these dogs. Unfortunately, anyone who wants to make sure these dogs continue to eat every day have no option but to donate either to Happy Endings or Camp Diggy Bones, the very companies that created this cluster in the first place.

Robinson declined repeated attempts by the Press to find out more about Happy Endings got in this jam, and why Pardo suddenly stopped paying.

The former associate claims that Robinson didn't seem interested in actually finding homes for the dogs she pulled -- some of which spent so much time sleeping on concrete kennel surfaces that patches of fur wore away. At one point, the ex-associate claims, Robinson kept dogs in temporary construction trailers on her property that were quickly mired in urine.

The former associate claims that Robinson would tell her "'These dogs have a home...I am no hurry to get them a home.'" Yet, the ex-associate says, some of the dogs were owner-surrenders, which meant they went from sleeping in a home "to being caged their whole life."

At one point, according to the former associate, plans for a Happy Endings calendar meant to highlight and promote dogs available for adoption were scrapped for a calendar that put more emphasis on Robinson herself.

"It was like a promotion for Linda, basically....'Look at me, look at what I'm doing,'" the former associate says.

We hope rescues up there -- or even around Houston -- can do something about this. The dogs stuck in Camp Diggy Bones deserve better than the brand of human they've been getting.

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I will not comment on Linda's private life as that is none of my business nor does it help the Masons in saving the dogs!  I truly think more due diligence should have been done on this before taking the tone the article did.  HEDR did give Camp Diggy $400K in 2013 but it seems most forgot to ask what that covers.  I bet you did not know that Linda did not or had only paid very little & never paid the agreed upon amount in 2011 or 2012.  I also Camp Diggy went mos. w/little to no money from HEDR as Brian's accounts according to Linda were frozen during the trial so how much of that $400K covered 2012 nonpayment as well as prior years?  Also Camp Diggy is a boarding facility business of profit (that is quite frankly losing their a** because of Linda) and NOT a rescue group.  I know the Masons very well & sadly they started this business because of their love for dogs & thought in conjunction w/the business they could also help the rescue groups as it relates to boarding fees as ultimately many were paying $18-$30/night/dog (if you don't believe me ask many of the businesses & associates that were quoted in this article as well as the Waco 1) but Linda may ruin it for all.  If you add up all the money that Linda is bragging about giving Camp Diggy for the care & support of the dogs it is less then $3/day/dog which until the very end Camp Diggy was supplying food as well.  In speaking with Gene his attorney advised him not to the demand letters due to pending legal action.  The attorney said it was not Gene's place to provide contact info either.  Also, has anyone ask what count of the dogs in the past 3.5 yrs has been?  I would venture to say 296 was not the top #.  In early 2013 Gene mentioned to me that he was no longer going to pick-up dogs that Linda had tagged at shelters as the #s had to come down at the facility and she needed to adopt out faster then she was pulling which I think could be a new concept for her.  If Gene heard that HEDR was bringing a dog from Hewitt or a Shelter he told them to turn around.  Keep in mind Camp Diggy ONLY was to provide care & boarding for the HEDR which it seems is getting blurry w/some folks that are reporting on this & actually w/Linda herself as it is easier to place blame on someone else then herself.  There was a period of time that the Masons chose to assist to help out on other things w/the dogs particularly when Brian & Linda were gong to trial.  If you see the Masons you will see their compassion for the dogs & how attached to them they are, who would not be after 3.5 yrs? 

If Linda is focusing all her efforts on adopting the dogs someone should ask her the last time in the 3.5 yrs that she actually was at Camp Diggy & saw the faces of all the dogs that she walked away from!  Again, I can tell you that the Masons are extremely attached to many of the dogs that Linda abandoned and if you think for 1 min that the Masons are not doing everything w/in their power to save these dogs then you do not know them very well!!!  I can tell you that Gene's wife continues to work a fulltime job to try & support the short to no funds from HEDR.  I have seen the place that Linda says is the Masons' home and believe me there are no funds being redirected to personal items.  They lived in a 10X10 room (100SF), an old box 9 inch TV & shower that does not work.  Everything else is taken over by the kennel.    Both drive 14/15 yr old cars so if you think they are living lavishly then I am sure they would love to give Linda their life style any day of the wk & would be happy to have her live in their shoe.   

Did anyone inquired how and where some of the dogs came from initially especially for those that think the dogs are getting the short end of the deal from Camp Diggy.  I can tell you that even though funds were not being provided as agreed by Linda the Masons continued to care for clean-up after, support, have pictures of dogs taken for posting (cost associated with this), posted dogs on pet finders, donated money to get dog blankets, bought kongs, paid for vet bills when Linda was short funded, the Masons have called so many rescue groups from CA to NJ & everywhere in between that I have lost count of them all which also included the ASPCA, emails went out to everyone the Masons knew, put it on Facebook, had interviews w/Channel 11,  Channel 4 is coming up, Gene's wife has a deal that anytime anyone boards their dogs from her current full time job she asks them to donate beds to HEDR dogs as for years she has been asking for beds from Linda with no success.  I have been at Camp Diggy when Gene's wife sits in the kennel w/several of the dogs just to love on them particularly those that she is extremely close too.  The Masons check on sick HEDR kids at all hrs during the night as if they are their kids.  I have seen Gene & his wife personally just break down because of worry about where this may end!   Gene is at Camp Diggy everyday trying to save as many as he can as he depletes his life saving, while Linda & others that do not know Gene just trash him.  If you have any question where the Masons' hearts are then you need to set-up a meeting & talk to them & see their compassion.  As many may know the Masons do not have kids & like a lot of others the Masons tend to treat their dogs as their kids. I have been at the facility a lot & I can say I have never once seen Linda there since this broke out  or any of her staff (that are ultimately & have always been responsible for adoptions to begin with) at their facility.  Gene did mention to me that Linda's son came up a couple of wks ago to show a Rottie group some of the Rotties that were there & that was the extent of it.  Again, if Linda is so involved & her ultimate goal is for the well being & what is best for the dogs THAT she chose to pull WHY is she beating up the Masons that want to help the dogs.  Why is she NOT standing beside them trying to come up with solution that is not tied to an AGREEMENT that allows her to keep her "no kill" status if things go haywire or any financial recourse.  

Based on a conversation I had with Gene's wife all Linda had to say was "hey, I messed up, I have no money, we hit hard times but I am coming up there everyday, I won't pull another dog until this is over with, I will do what ever I can...fund raisers, show dogs, take pictures, do home visits & lastly I want to see the faces of the dogs I "brags" about rescuing" " I won't quit until every last one is in a perfect place for them." 


Not so fast there trigger.Tx appellate court just sided with the Tx AG and ruled that LPI fractionals they sell to investors are a security.  SEC verdict was mixed and the final judgement is still not in...stay tuned. 

Can a state force someone to become a bigamist?  Linda vs Elizabeth has raised questions over the years, Elizabeth is listed in many SEC filings as the CEOs wife.

Too bad the dogs and those involved with this hobby are getting hurt.

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