Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

"Rescue" Hoarding vs Reputable Rescue

AnneCS
March 2nd, 2011, 02:59 PM
Sadly, not all rescuers are equal. I'm not new to rescues and think a majority of rescuers are wonderful people with beautiful hearts, but several years ago I had two separate underwhelming experiences with rescuers where I probably didn't ask enough questions or was too trusting. Those incidents opened my eyes to the potential for things like this:

Link: Rescue Hoarding - Whole Dog Journal Blog Article (http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/Animal-Hoarding-and-Rescue-Shelters-20221-1.html)

The frequency and scale of these seizures is somewhat surprising to me. The author mentioned that articles like the one she linked to in her post (349 dogs confiscated plus 76 found dead on the property of one "rescue organization" on Feb.22/11), are received by her about twice a month. :cry:

I'm sure this is still much less common than the BYB/mill epidemic of the breeder world, but it's something for the public to definitely be aware of too.

There are plenty of sites and forum posts all over the internet about how to select a reputable breeder. What about selecting a reputable rescue group?

What should one ask of a rescuer, what should one expect, and what are the red flags?

kathryn
March 2nd, 2011, 08:18 PM
I've actually been dealing with a situation like that. I knew of a rescue hoarder through the shelter I used to work at. I kept trying to talk to her and she kept getting whackier and whackier. I ended up trying to anonymously report her and it backfired- I was fired from my shelter job and at my other job (pet store) the hoarder was a customer and complained about me there. Luckily I wasn't fired but even just today I had a "talkin' to" from my boss.

Here is the thing: the number of animals almost NEVER has anything to do with the situation. Sure, anyone with 200 cats in their house is probably nuts but while I may have 12 cats, that doesn't make me the same as someone who has 12 cats and doesn't care for them.

For example, I know of people with multiple animals including-
12 cats, 1 dog
7 cats, 2 dogs
2 dogs, 6 cats, 2 rats
3 cats, 1 dog, 10+ reptiles, small animals here and there

the thing that separates them is they CARE for the animals they take in. The lady I reported had upwards of 50+ cats living in her basement and a shed in her backyard. She often did not s/n them, didn't believe in ANY kind of traditional vet care (no vaccines, no antibiotics) so the cats often died on the property from Panleuk, leukemia and other preventable diseases. So, I reported her! And it cost me my full time job and nearly cost me my part time job. Even then, her 'rescue' continues and she still steals donation money to pay her own bills and still hoards cats somewhere.

I also know a rescue hoarder that hoards RABBITS! She keeps piles and piles of them in cages in her home and in her newly opened "shelter". I went there to visit playing dumb and the place was a disaster. They converted a garage into a "shelter" and had over a 100 rabbits in there with almost no ventilation. I couldn't breathe at all. But, is it even worth trying to report them because everytime I try to help it backfires.

Luvmypitgirls
March 2nd, 2011, 10:11 PM
Omg are you kidding me! A shelter fired you for trying to help dozens and dozens of cats whose welfare was in jepardy?
What kind of shelter does that?
Sorry but that just seems ridiculous, you should've been hailed a hero not fired.

kathryn
March 2nd, 2011, 10:30 PM
Omg are you kidding me! A shelter fired you for trying to help dozens and dozens of cats whose welfare was in jepardy?
What kind of shelter does that?
Sorry but that just seems ridiculous, you should've been hailed a hero not fired.

The new director the shelter (only been there a bit over a year) is just as much of a whack-a-doodle as the person I reported. Ever notice how crazy people seem to get along really good together and bask in each others madness? Yeah, that kind of is what happened. They were friendly with each other, I pissed the one off by reporting her for animal cruelty and BOOM, fired!

This is the kind of lady that would have dead cat carcasses amongst the other cats and not think anything of it. She told me one time she had an outbreak of a URI in her house and a fair number of cats became very ill and their "eyes exploded" (cornea rupture from something like FHV or calici) but she didn't really have the time or money to deal with it so she just gave them some herbs and homeopathic remedies and was surprised when they dropped dead :rolleyes:


But clearly I am the bad guy.

14+kitties
March 2nd, 2011, 11:22 PM
What about selecting a reputable rescue group?

What should one ask of a rescuer, what should one expect, and what are the red flags?

You should be able to find those answers by talking to some reputable breeders. They should be aware of "good" rescues IMO.
Google rescues and see what comes up. I'm sure you should be able to pick out a few that have been in business for quite some time. That is usually a good indication of whether it's a good rescue. I would think after a while the "bad" ones would get a reputation and would a) drop out of sight or b) change their name on a regular basis to "cover" their tracks. And :lightbulb: ask on websites you belong to. They should be able to lead you in the direction of good rescues.
As to what you should ask - if you were adopting from a breeder what would you ask? Same questions, wouldn't they be? Except you are "usually" dealing with an older dog, not a puppy.
Red flags would be if they don't let you come to their home or their rescue; if they want to meet you somewhere - like a parking lot of a mall; if they can't tell you much about the dog's/cat's personality I would be walking away. Good rescues know exactly what the personalities of the animals they are adopting out are. They don't offer the pet for adoption until they do.

kathryn
March 2nd, 2011, 11:33 PM
A red flag is also if they aren't willing to share information whether it be on their website or on the phone or in person. That is a HUUUGEE indicator around here. For instance, the person I reported: She has very little information on her website.. no information on adopting, no information on adoption prices... sure there are some websites that just aren't totally finished yet which is understandable, but no, hers has very little information other than how awesome she is. Same for the rabbit rescue... website lacks any type of adoption application, adoption info.. I always find that very sketchy (for my area, this may not apply to everywhere). A legit rescue would want to share anything they possibly could... the shady ones always seem to try and hide everything but still try and put up a good front.

If you can't even put up a paragraph about adopting a pet from your group, there is likely something weird going on there.

ETA: 14+ is right, for the ones that change names and jump around. If the rescue has something like "formally known as" or "formally from" you should go back and look into that just to double check. The rabbit rescue lady moved from NJ to FL and back to NJ and has gone by several different names... a quick search of her on google and waddaya know.. TONS of reports of animal cruelty and neglect from a group that otherwise looks pretty spiffy.