“She’s taken something as natural as death and birth… and turned it into something ….”
These were the words of a son who just lost his mother – and he was at a loss for how to say how he felt…
Adam Meredith continued… “… I don’t know.” As he struggled to try to explain the last days of his mom’s life, her losing her battle to cancer in such a very short time from knowing to dying, he continued, “She [Sanderbeck] took something from me… and out of my karma and my soul, I wanted to do something for my momma, so I let her say goodbye to her – I feel I did the right thing for my mom and at the end of the day, it is all about my mom and not me…”
After a pause, Adam continued, “This is about proving this woman is a bad woman and it’s time for justice to prevail.”
This author came to this story during the diaries I’ve been writing about Piper, the Champion Sheltie being held hostage by Penny Sanderbeck/Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue.
From the first diary about Ch. Legacies Pipe Dream, Piper, owned by Veronica Covatch, this story has taken such sad and disturbing twists with the story of Piper and the Meredith family merging into much bigger ones yet to be resolved for either family. Covatch and Piper are currently winding through Civil Court while the Merediths have yet to have their case brought before the Court, be it civil or criminal. What is strange is how the players in these two very different situations overlap and intertwine in a manner that causes so much grief.
On July 12, via private message, Arron Meredith reached out on Dailykos after this diary appeared on July 11, piper still needs your Help – and so do ALL dogs who fall into the abyss
During the following weeks, I had the opportunity to interview both Arron and Adam to learn more about Sanderbeck, the Meredith’s tragedy, as well as finding some of the missing pieces in the Piper story.
What happened to bring so much pain and sorrow into the sadness already born of losing their mother. How did the little dog Piper become entangled into the lives of the extended family of Cheryl Meredith. Who could be so callous to cause such hurt to both the Merediths and to Veronica Covatch and all those who are following these disfunctional situations. And how does this interweave with the lost Champion Sheltie called Piper who is still missing after more than four months!
The Meredith’s story is of two young men who lost their mother far too soon while someone was there reaching into darkness to steal and commit acts that caused unbearable pain and anguish during that time of great loss. That same person who so cruelly abused the trust of a dying woman and her family also ensared Veronica Covatch and her dog, Piper, into the same web of deceit. This is a story that connects through twists and turns a family’s loss of a loved parent to one lost sheltie whose mom is desperately trying to bring her dog home. This, however, is not JUST the actions of one person, for the same names keep appearing across the police reports and documentation of BOTH stories – showing a much wider conspiracy that continues to bring grief and suffering without reason – it is here, the question remains: why?
Please come beneath the fold – and share the sorrow and sadness – for this can and does happen more often than we want to believe. This is one snapshot in time where lives cross and stories mingle to show that evil spreads – and envelopes all who are pulled into the vortex.
The Meredith Family:
When Cheryl Merdith (also known as Sherry) was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March of 2014, her sons, Adam and Arron and their familes all came together to share the time they had left with their mother as a family. While families at times travel different roads, this family united as one to be there for Cheryl when she needed them most.
What would have been a difficult private time for this family turned strange and distressing when a friend of their mother began to behave in a manner that left confusion and many questions unanswered. Cheryl’s friend, Penny Sanderbeck, met Cheryl in 2012 where they worked at Huntington Bank in Columbus, but the women had a falling out at some point in 2013. When Cheryl was diagnosed in March, Cheryl and Penny renewed their friendship.
Around mid April, Cheryl asked Adam to go retrieve a mattress and box springs stored at the house of Penny Sanderbeck (also the location of the Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue and Sanctuary). According to Adam, when he entered the house and tried to retrieve the mattress, it was soaked with dog urine and covered with dog feces – and the entire home was also covered in urine and feces. Outside in a small yard were 12-14 shelties. Within the home/shelter, there were no crates or kennels – it appeared the dogs had unrestrained access to the house.
The bedding was unusable. A few days later Adam and Sanderbeck drove to purchase a hospital bed his mother purchased to replace the damaged bedding. On that ride, Sanderbeck brought up the topic of a dog she had just acquired from the Franklin County Animal Shelter a few days earlier. She told Adam that she had originally planned to name the dog Sherry (after his mother) but the owner had shown up and was trying to claim her so she was changing the name to “Mirage” – “you think you see it, but it’s not there”.
Sanderbeck told Adam that she had aquired the dog because the owner was too stupid to go to the shelter to look for her and that since she neglected to do so, Sanderbeck was not going to return the dog she named “Sherry” (after Adam’s mother). She reiterated she would not return the dog – that “Sherry was now hers”.
During the week following Easter, Sanderbeck approached Brittany Meredith (Adam’s wife) and asked her if she would like to adopt the dog. Brittany said she would like to adopt this Sherry, however, when Sanderbeck demanded to come and do a home inspection, Brittany and Adam (who own a golden retriever and a schnauser) told Sanderbeck no. It was during this time that Covatch had already sent proof of ownership and Jim Melton of the Sheltie Rescue of Utah was attempting to negotiate Piper’s return.
Sanderbeck admitted that Veronica Covatch was looking for her dog, Sanderbeck again told Adam that she would never return the dog and that no one would ever find her – that she had changed the dog’s name (now known to be Piper) to “Mirage” – she told Adam “you think you see it but you don’t!” She also told Adam that the dog was valuable and she was going to make Covatch “pay”.
On May 10, 2014, Sanderbeck/Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue posted a letter on the rescue website (to replace the original one taken down after public outcry over Sanderbeck not returning Piper). The attorney stated that no proof of ownership had been offered, but were such proof be given, the owner would be able to reclaim her dog – however, first the owner had to scrub the internet of all mean things said about Sanderbeck/Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue, Donations had to resume to COSR, and an alleged “burglary” at Sanderbeck’s home had to be solved by the owner first. [For more complete information on the negotiations to recover Piper, this article in Best in Show Daily gives a complete timeline that occurred during the period that Sanderbeck was stating to Adam that Piper would never be returned.
On May 18, 2014, Cheryl fell and broke her hip and was underwent surgery . In early June, Cheryl was transferred to Hospice (The Rehabilitation and Health Center of Gahana, Columbus, OH). From the time of her surgery for the broken hip until she died, Cheryl remained under heavy morphine and narcotics. Her oldest son, Adam, held her Medical Power of Attorney and as Cheryl worsened, Adam’s wife, Brittany, took a leave of absence to care for her.
While Cheryl was in Hospice, Penny Sanderbeck would come to visit and while there, she informed Adam that she held Power of Attorney for his mom – but out of respect for his mother, Adam didn’t push Sanderbeck to produce the document.
During her visits with Cheryl at hospice, Sanderbeck would update Cheryl regarding the dog, saying, “they will never find her” (referring to Piper as “Mirage”).
On June 16, 2014, Adam received a phone call from the Hospice where he was advised that Sanderbeck had attempted to get nurses on the 3-11pm shift to witness a new will for Cheryl Meredith. The nurses refused and immediately contacted their supervisor. The hospice wrote to the Merediths advising them of the incident and stating that Cheryl “did not possess the cognitive capacity to make informed decisions” and that the hospice had informed “Penny” that the staff would not witness any documents.
In that same statement sent to Adam Meredith, the Unit Charge Nurse also witnessed on the same day Penny Sanderbeck sending out text messages on Cheryl’s phone and hearing Penny state that Cheryl had made the texts.
The statement from the Hospice also states that on June 20, the Unit Charge Nurse went to speak to Cheryl regarding the hippa precautions her son and POA Adam Meredith had put into place. The nurse heard Cheryl speaking to a woman she identified as “Penny” on speaker phone – and at that time, “Penny” made the statement to Cheryl “remember, do not take the xanax”.
At that point, Penny Sanderback was banned from the Hospice.
Cheryl also told the Unit Nurse that she was very comfortable with Adam making her decisions.
On the 23rd of June, the evening nurse entered Cheryl’s room to find Attorney John Bell (who represents Penny Sanderbeck and Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue) standing over Cheryl Meredith. When the nurse entered, Bell stated he had to go and immediately left the facility. A few minutes later, Adam arrived to be told of the unannounced and unauthorized visit by Bell.
On June 24th, Adam stated he had gone to retrieve medical records from his mother’s apartment and found that the apartment had been entered. Only he and Sanderbeck had a key to the apartment. He found paperwork and prescription drugs missing – and as Medical Power of Attorney, he was responsible for the drugs, so he filed a police report with the Whitehall Police Dept. [No. 14–14394-0F]
Also on June 24th, unbeknownst to anyone in the Meredith family, all mail to Cheryl Meredith’s residence was forwarded to a Post Office Box in Groveport, Oh (opened by Penny Sanderbeck). (The Merediths did not learn of that until July 2nd, four days after Cheryl’s death.)
On June 29th, as Cheryl lay near death, Adam Meredith released the ban on Sanderbeck and allowed her to come to visit Cheryl one last time. Sanderbeck, accompanied by Tamara Basso, came to the Hospice room and spent the time of that final visit repeatedly asserting that “the dog will NEVER be found” – both Sanderbeck and Basso kept saying that she was hidden and no one could ever find her.
On June 30th at 3:30am, Cheryl Meredith succumbed to her illness.
Approximately 4:19am, approx. 45 minutes after Cheryl Meredith’s death, Penny Sanderbeck without the family’s knowledge, cleaned out Cheryl Meredith’s bank account via the ATM, even though her Power of Attorney died with Cheryl Meredith.
Adam Meredith stated that a few days after his Mother’s death, he went to her apartment to begin to clean it. When he arrived, he said he found Penny Sanderbeck inside. When he asked Sanderbeck what she was doing there, she told him she had a Power of Attorney and said he should talk to Attorney John Bell. After she left, Adam found the area where legal documents kept to be ransacked.
On July 10th, the Merediths filed a second police report regarding missing papers and asked for the Whitehall Police and Columbus Police to go to Sanderbeck’s house to retrieve the atm card, the credit card, legal and medical records, all accountings for moneys withdrawn and spent from their mother’s account and any drugs taken.
On July 19th, Officers from Whitehall and Columbus PD, went to Sanderbeck’s house (also the location of Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue). When the officers arrived, no one appeared to be home. As the officers prepared to leave, Adam saw the door crack open and Sanderbeck peer out. The officers returned to the door and this time Sanderbeck answered. Sanderbeck demanded the Merediths step off her property but showed the police officers a piece of paper purporting to be a Power of Attorney, notarized by Tamara Basso. She showed the Police Officers what she claimed was a Power of Attorney but she no longer had any of the paperwork, or items and that it was all with her Attorney, John Bell. The police visit and conversation was captured on video by cell phone. [CPD: P140588711]
that evening, an email from Tamara Basso states that Sanderbeck and Basso were up most of the night preparing paperwork for Bell re the Meredith request.
On July 11, Adam and Arron closed out Cheryl Meredith’s account At that time, the bank presented a Power of Attorney that had been given them notarized by Tamara Basso and authorizing Penny Sanderbeck as designee.
Officer Grimstead contacted Attorney Bell and advised him that Sanderbeck had three days to make restitution and return the items that were taken. Bell informed Grimstead that Sanderbeck had financially “fallen on hard times” however the items could be picked up at his office.
On July 21st, Arron Meredith went to Attorney Bell’s office carrying his cell phone with which he recorded the encounter.
The envelope handed over to Arron Meredith on July 21st contained no capital one credit card, only an atm card (cut in pieces) and no records of expenditures for the duration that Sanderbeck claimed financial Power of Attorney. Instead of an accounting of monies spent on behalf of Cheryl Meredith, Sanderbeck included a narrative of items purchased and several questionable bills. There were no drugs or prescriptions in the items turned over by Bell.
On July 12th, a charge to Cheryl Meredith’s Discover Card was made at Kroegers in Groveport near where Sanderbeck worked (this was two days following Sanderbeck stating that she had no property or bank cards belonging to Cheryl Meredith).
[Also, for a matter of record, ANY financial Power of Attorney is issued ONLY for funds to be used for the person who issued the POA – and it ceases to be in effect upon the death of the person who issued it.]
On July 12, via private message, Arron Meredith reached out on Dailykos and to the Piper Bring me Home facebook page.
On July 13, Arron received a forwarded message that was sent by Tamara Basso (the woman who Notarized the Power of Attorney on the day of Cheryl Meredith’s hip surgery and again on June 23rd, six days prior to Cheryl’s death). The email sent to Attorney Bell regarding the documents and materials requested by the Meredith family states that she [Basso] and Sanderbeck were up late into the night preparing documents to turn over, yet Sanderbeck told the Columbus and Whitehall Police officers that she had no documents and that all were already in Bell’s hands. In that email, Basso mentions that “Arron has joined forces with the Piper Group”.
Attorney John Bell represents Penny Sanderbeck and Central Oho Sheltie Rescue in the now epic battle for Piper. A Replevin has been filed and today, Attorney Bell will finally file an answer as to what reason Sanderbeck feels that she should keep the Champion Sheltie, Piper, that she held for less than 24 hrs before being contacted by Piper’s owner. Perhaps, now, Bell and Sanderbeck will offer some legal reason for not returning Piper other than Sanderbeck’s statements to Adam Meredith that “they were too stupid to come looking for her and I’ve got her now” along with “the dog is valuable and I’m going to make her (the owner) pay!”
The Merediths are still waiting to hear from Attorney Bell and his client, Penny Sanderbeck, to learn when the monies illegally taken from Cheryl Meredith’s account will be repaid and for a legal accounting of the money Sanderbeck spent during the period she claimed to have a Power of Attorney.
Just as the Piper story continues, so will the Merediths – and we will follow up as there is news.
For, as both Arron and Adam Meredith have said, “…it’s time for Justice to prevail”.
and for more information on the Piper situation, you can follow her story here on Best in Show Daily, an online media magazine for Dog Enthusiasts.