When is a rescue not a rescue?

Recently I was surfing the petfinder.com forums. (Something I do  on occasions just to raise my blood pressure to boiling point, and to see red  for the hell  of  it.) It gets very frustrating at times,  I can no longer post on there since my IP was banned because I  dared to question the authority of the gorrilla. ( anyone who is on the forum KNOWS the gorilla thinks it’s god).

Anyway… A poster asked if anyone  knew anything about a certain  rescue. Posters responded  with the  ” no   I know  nothing about them, but by the looks of it they are selling pups.” This of  course peeked my interest… since when does a rescue SELL pups?

I checked the listings and the website, and sure enough they listed a large amount of pure bred & none pure breed pups with “adoption fees ” of anything from $150- $600, not only that,  for that grand total you got  what looked to be a sickly pup, that was said to have had it’s shots  but was not altered, but on a spay/neuter contract (A HUGE NO NO in  a lot of rescues) As the thread progressed and my blood pressure got to the point where steam was coming out of my ears (10 pages I think it was) it turns out  this “Rescue” was BUYING puppy’s from Back yard breeders and puppy mills and listing them for  “ADOPTION”  at what most people who are in rescue would consider Broker/ Pet Shop prices. (another big no no) not only this, but some of the posters commented, as the thread progressed, that they  knew about this rescue, it buys 15-20 pups per week, it had handed off some very sick dogs to another rescue, trying to pass them off as fully vet checked, there are some  other things  that raised my  doubts that I don’t recall the details right now, but the signs of this  being a re-seller posing as a rescue was as clear as a 1000 candles buring on a pitch black night.

 The poster of the original  question was actually brow beaten for daring to question this rescues ethics, ( this happens a lot on those forums, certain few people seem to get away with bullying, name calling, and instigating)  as were some others who gave less than favorable  information about this rescue.

My pent up frustration at the entire situation prompted me to  do some checking of my own  on Petfinders Shelter listings, I was pretty disgusted by the end of an hour.

I saw so called “rescues” listing pure bred pups for adoption fees ranging from $300- $900, these listings offered little information about the dogs, and offered these pups with less than reasonable vetting. Oh and of course across the USA  shipping.

My advice is if you use petfinder to look for your next family member check the “rescue” out first.

Lots of pups listed, spay/neuter contracts (although not in all cases)  minimal vetting, and adoption fees over $300 are all red flags. In these cases you need to ask lots of questions.

  1. Why not altered when pediatric  Spay/Neuter is available?
  2. Who did the vaccinations?
  3. Has the pup had rabies shots?
  4. Where did they get the pup?
  5. Who is the vet they use?
  6. Do they have the pups parents, if so can you see them?
  7. Ask if you can see the pup in it’s current enviroment.
  8. Do they ship?

I am sure you can think of more things you would like to know.

Remember, when looking to adopt an animal ask questions, a REAL Rescue will have no problems giving you straight answers, and will infact be delighted to give you as much info as they can, they will also be pretty impressed you care enough to ask. Just as not  all people are good, neither are all that call themselves rescues.

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5 thoughts on “When is a rescue not a rescue?

  1. Oh how right you are! It is a huge BUSINESS by many rescues to go to Puppy Mill Breeders and buy puppies. If you ask them why they do this they save they are saving lives… when you point out that they are only putting more money into the hands of those who cause the HUGE overpopulation problem in the first place and they are only going to buy more puppies with the money they will scream at you. They way I explain it is this…

    You have a drug dealer standing on your corner. You don’t want him to sell to the children so you buy ALL of his crack. The drug dealer takes that money and buys more crack. YOu gain buy it all from him. The drug dealer thinks to himself COOL! No work on my part. I will just go get more crack and sell it to this crazy lady. MONEY MONEY MONEY!

    So, you really aren’t helping are you?

  2. Unfortunately, while you may be right in some cases, adoption fees over $300 barely cover the costs of these pups. While that ONE pup you adopted may have only cost the rescue $100, where do you think the funds come from for the animals that come in and require $500 worth of treatment? Their adoption fee is only $300 so they LOSE money on some of these animals. To break even, adoption fees are set slightly high in some cases… this does not make them less than reputable.

    Though I will basically ditto your other sentiments and concerns.

  3. Which is why I encourage ppl to ask lots of questions, ask to see paper work for the dog etc.
    Having worked in and around rescue for many many years, I can tell you for every dog that needs upwards of $500 of vet treatment on average you will adopt out 3 that just required basic med treatment.
    When rescue charges puppymill/ broker fees or more the public is going to start putting dollars in the pockets of the millers and brokers. Less is often more.
    The rescue I refer to in this post did NO vetting except for basic shots, thats $80 tops it they did it themselves even less, they paid maybe $50 – $100 per pup.

  4. I had a recent experience with _____ ____of Radford, VA. _____ _____is the creator of this non-profit rescue, and while her intentions are above reproach, her methods indicate she wears some sort of blinders with regard to those that adopt and love the pets. after multiple e-mail exchanges about a specific dog, i submitted an application (approved) and went thru interview process with my wife and child at my home some they could further evaluate us as prospective adoptee(s). we passed with flying colors (or so I was told). when it came time to pick up the dog, by the way, the dog was 3 hours away, i was told the day we arranged to pick her up was not good with foster family. i said fine, lets do it next week … same time, same place… suddenly, no contact from _____ … no e-mails, nothing. after leaving multiple messages. i finally got an e-mail… dog was adopted by someone else (this is a 5 day later). now that might be standard operating procedure for “rescue operations” … admittedly, I’m new to the game … but on a personal level to not e-mail me, call or give me some warning after discussing and trying to arrange pick-up. my thought(s) were that _____ was being inconsiderate, at a minimum, and moreover, I felt I had some “contract” with her and her organization with regard to this specific animal. I must say now I’m extremely hesitant to use another rescue to find a dog … or to contribute to their cause in the future. Rescue organizations are certainly in the “animal business” but it would seem invariably their business is “people” as well … convincing them not only how to treat animal’s humanely but selling them on the notion that taking care of those that cannot care for themselves is a duty … and that we are all mandated to carry that out. _____ and her organization shortcomings aren’t for a lack of trying … just their inability to get the mix of animals/people right to where it run smoothly for all.

    Names Removed By Admin…. cos we have to be careful 😉

  5. welcome to my world , i’m on my .. 16th banning .. 😛 too bad too.

    ( still helped at least 2 animals per banning, so the gorilla can stick it . last go round, got some info to help with a pittie in GA, and another poster info on schnauzer epilepsy. )

    If they’d let the people stay that can actually distribute decent advice, and are seasoned rescue people , and allow us to properly educate the newbies…. which includes asking the hard questions …. to get them up to speed .
    their would be a lot more education going on
    and it could save more animals in the long run if people would just step back and play devils avocate on their own though process.

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