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The 'other' type of 'Rescue'
Rescue? Or Business Opportunity?
I guess it's human nature... or what would be the reason or excuse for some people to misuse the caring of other people for their own personal gain?
I guess it is the money that can be involved; but I hate to say it: A true rescue rarely has any 'riches' and any 'Non-Profit' should be that: Non-Profit!
I guess it is the fame that drives so many people to do something that will gain them the respect and attention of others!
I guess... I really don't know! I don't understand how you can play with the lives of animals and not only put them in harm, danger or even kill them; and make it hard for all those other honest and caring people!?
Do I sound a little angry? I guess I do get a little angry about this subject at times. If you get as many emails and Facebook posts as I am, each and every one of an animal that is facing death, and there is absolutely no way you can help them all... you understand!
We are not only fighting against careless owners dumping their unwanted pets; we are also fighting against those that call themselves 'rescues', bleed every source dry, leave animal control officers rescue-'unfriendly' and ultimately cause unnecessary deaths!
There is no time or room for Egos, Drama and Politics in Rescue! Statistically every 1.5 seconds a homeless animal dies in the United States! So in the time it took you to read this, one life was lost!
Imagine how many lives we could save if we all worked together! ...And based our efforts on honesty, integrity and the love we should feel for those we are supposedly saving!
The Puppy Brokers
Fair Warning: I am German! We are known to be outspoken and straight shots!
I will give you the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth! The way how it represented itself to me!
I don't know how many times I get emails that a Momma dog had been dumped at the shelter and her puppies had been pulled by a rescue.
I try to understand that diseases like Parvo can bleed a rescue's pockets, but puppies are easy to adopt and thus money makers!
There is also another thing that borders me... A LOT!
I will NEVER, EVER leave a family member or friend behind! If losing a family member or friend is hard on you, how hard do you think is it on a dog or cat that has apparently much more defined feelings than we allow them!? ...And so much more HONEST!
And while cats are not always social (most of mine are), dogs are by nature! They are domesticated wolves and pack animals!
If it is already bad to lose family or friend for the dog that 'walks away' to safety, how horrible must it be for an animal that is in a concrete and iron cell... smelling death and fear around it!?
It is my personal opinion that a rescue that only takes puppies, healthy puppies or certain puppies/breeds and leaves the Mom, siblings, family members or friends behind to die, is nothing but a Puppy Broker!
Rescue is not about only taking the cute and fancy ones, but about saving a life!
The Pet Shop - Type I
If a rescue takes dogs and cats in from private individuals and requires a donation, I have a problem with it!
Actually it is... two problems!
I believe that a rescue's mission is first and foremost to save lives. I can see a rescue respond to alerts of stray and homeless animals at large; or pulling animals on death row. I can also see a rescue help out private individuals upon occasion and in emergencies! I cannot see a rescue getting paid for taking an animal... And here is why:
Rescues usually charge an adoption fee. If they get paid to take the animal, which may or may not be already fully vetted, and later charge an adoption fee... That is double-dipping and in my eyes against the concept of 'Non-Profit'!
I understand that money is required to run a rescue; but that's were a good fundraising program and donations are for!
The Pet Shop - Type II
Rescuing costs money!
But when you think about that most rescues pull animals at animal control shelters for free or may have even taken them in from the street or as owner surrenders...
So lets do the math:
Spay/Neuter: $60 (most rescues get rescue prices at vets and clinics)
Shots: $15 (the rescues I know do their own and if you order online, it is even much less than that!)
Rabies: $5 (rabies clinics or the rescue's certified personnel doing it) or $20 max at the vet
Heartworm/Feline Testing: $20-30 (less if they order their own and do their own tests)
Dewormer: $10-20 depending on the type (less if you buy Happy Jack or similar at the farm store)
So if you are one of the regular rescues that only take the desirable ones with practically no 'issues', the average cost is $110-145 per animal! Unless you had it transported a longer distance or it had health problems. And then you have donations, grants, fundraiser, volunteer drivers...
WHY do some rescues charge $300-400 as an adoption fee?
Yes, there are costs involved in rescuing. But that's why you have donations, grants, tax deductions and fundraisers!
And while you are waiting to sell one of your 'rescues' to somebody willing to pay that price, considering all your restrictions and required documentations (instead of paying $100 or even less for a puppy from a backyard breeder posting on a classified website), others will die!
I'm really not sure what to all them... Thieves? Or one of the many other names that come to my mind...
A lot of large companies such as the large pet stores or petfood producers donate a ton of foods and other items to rescues. And so does Joe Schmo!
Apparently there are a few individuals that feel that those donations would be better of in their own hands!
I know of volunteers and board members that were supplying themselves from the medical cabinets to take care about their own pets. And trust me, I now how expensive having a pet can be!
Worse: I know of !former! employees of rescues that were supplying themselves with medical items and petfood to sell it to friends and even on flea markets! But not all of them are always caught!
I know of rescues that seek support from rescues offering petfood banks; and either have tons of donations coming in on their own and/or are trading the food in for services or other things!
It isn't just plain and simply lack of care causing hardship on often honest rescues and their charges; it is simply: THEFT!
Selfish and Neglecting!
We occasionally read the horror stories about raids at so-called rescues and sanctuaries.
Thank God it doesn't happen too often, but when it does it breaks my heart!
There are people that will hide behind the scheme of being a rescue or sanctuary and take in as many donations and such as they can. The animals live in horrible conditions or, worst case, get euthanized shortly after in secret! The money donated doesn't go to medical care or food, it goes into the pockets of criminals; ...there is no other word to describe them correctly!
They will pull and pull on your heart-string until you give in and help... them to get rich!
While the animals in their 'care' suffer!
We seriously lack control over animal welfare!
If there would be quarterly inspections and stricter licensing requirements, maybe it would get better.
If there would be a nationwide database for animal cruelty and neglet, puppy mills and fake rescues/sanctuaries wouldn't just move into a different county or state to be able to start all over!
I belief a chip-in is for emergencies or those that do a lot with less or nothing! I do not belief that a chip-in is to cover all the cost or more than a rescue could have with an animal they take in!
So if it costs the rescue $100 for transport (a friend of mine will transport from GA all the way to NY for that price, a lot of others organize free transport across the US, some organizations fly them for free!) and $120 for medical care (maybe another $50 for a health certificate), there is NO need to collect hundreds of dollars via chip-in!
You are a 'Non-Profit' rescue and if you are good at it, you get a lot of donations! If you had a lot of high vet bills and other tragedies, do a chip-in for that! And maybe, despite that it may cause a animal to lose its life, you shouldn't be taking anybody for a while! As much as I hate that thought! It truly makes me sick and I know how it feels to have to say No!
I will take my last cent and help a rescue that truly needs it and uses it well! I will not crosspost a chip-in or spend a penny towards somebody that abuses the 'system' and will only take an animal if others pay for all the care. Especially not if they have gigantic adoption fees and a lot of sponsors and donations!
Dont' take me wrong...
This is not how every rescue operates!
Thank God most rescues are organizations that truly follow their mission statement and are full of true Angels that go the distance to save a life!
But those few that only 'rescue' for their personal gain will always be a threat to animals in need and cause hardship for those that are trying to help those animals.
Many shelters are no longer rescue-friendly, won't adopt out of state or give true rescues a hard time! Those of us with the heart in the right place pay the price for the wrongful doing of straight-out criminals! And too many animals pay the price because of it!
I am a firm believer that we need a database to identify those that should not have animals or, worse, run rescues/sanctuaries!
I also belief that inspections should be strikter on the welfare of animals in rescues, sanctuaries, with breeders, with backyard breeders or, worse, puppy mills!
1. to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil.