As a dog lover, I have the utmost respect for most animal rescue organizations. They rely on foster families, which are always hard to find. They make sure the dogs are treated for any health problems and vaccinated before being put up for adoption.
Organizations like Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, CAPE (Center for Animal Protection and Education) or ASR (Animal Shelter Relief) are registered non-profits and rely on a diverse group of people and often a board of directors to keep true to their mission.
Not All Are Rescuing
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to animal rescue. Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA’s senior vice president of forensic sciences and anticruelty projects, reports that one-quarter of hoarding cases are with alleged rescue organizations and shelters.
Called “rescue hoarders,” they can be individuals with a savior complex who cannot stop finding and keeping animals they believe they can help. With hoarding tendencies, they then balk at adopting them out. Humane Society investigators discovered over 150 dogs living in deplorable conditions and almost 100 dead when they visited One More Chance Rescue and Adoption in Florida.
Lisa Bruno’s Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary took in more that 7,000 cats in a fourteen-month period but found only 23 homes. When it was finally raided, 391 were found mostly starved, ill and too weak to care for themselves. Another 106 dead and rotting carcasses were found and it was suspected thousands more were buried on her property. Astoundingly, volunteers enabled her and more than 700 people signed a petition to get the case dismissed.
Even worse are those who set up fake rescue organizations for the sole purpose of collecting donations and adoption fees.
What to Do
How can you tell a reputable organization from a hoarder or rip-off? How do you know which animal rescue organizations to support and which to be concerned about? This Daily Herald article provides guidelines to help you sleuth it out. If you suspect an organization is not reputable, refer to these Humane Society and ASPCA articles for step on how to reporting it. You can also contact your local animal control or police department.