I’m sure there must be ethical animal rescue groups out there somewhere (and please tell me who they are because they need to be recognized), but why do so many of these organizations leave such a bad taste in the mouth?
And what’s with the guerrilla tactics, the hit-and-run in the middle of the night, meet you in a parking lot to exchange an animal YOU’VE NEVER MET for money? Personally, I’d never agree to adopt an animal I’d never met, but that’s just me.
I’ve heard such horror stories. A woman I know adopted a labradoodle puppy. Dog didn’t seem well, but she was told it was “drowsy” because it had received its shots. Took it to the vet the next day only to discover it had Giardia (a nasty intestinal parasite that can be transmitted to people as well as other pets). Scared and angry, she called the woman who had sold her the dog and forced her to take it back. God knows what happened to it. (Okay, let’s face it. We all know what happened to it.)
Another woman picked out a dog online, did the old clandestine meet-in-the-parking-lot routine, agreed to take the dog, and 24 hours later was dealing with bloody diarrhea. When she called the rescue group, she was told that the dog was now HER problem and that they wouldn’t return her money or take the dog back. (To her credit, she told them “You’re the last people I’d give this dog to!”) She stuck with the pooch and as far as I know, the dog remains healthy.
Yet another story told of two Boston terrier pups adopted from rescue. By the end of the first week, the family had spent almost $2000 at the vet trying to save their lives.
The word SCAM comes to mind, with innocent animals as the victims.
What’s got me on this topic? Well, I stopped in at our local Petsmart the other day to pick up a new cat carrier and they were hosting an Adoption Day event. Since we’re thinking seriously about adopting another dog, I thought I’d go take a look. I figured it was the Humane Society or ASPCA or a reputable rescue organization running the event.
Oh. My. God.
I’ve never seen such awful looking dogs. Half were desperate, screaming for attention. The other half were listless, dead-eyed and lost. The woman running the event (who never gave her name but said she was “from down South”) told me that all the animals had been fully vetted, spayed or neutered, and were deemed healthy. At which point, one of the dogs hunched over and ejected a mass of (I’m not joking) HOT PINK stool the consistency of canned pumpkin.
Yeah, lady, all my healthy dogs do that, too.
I should have walked away then, but I didn’t. My heart was breaking over these little guys and gals. I was even tempted by one who looked like a cross between a Pomeranian and a Border Collie. (Sweet dog, however my husband is away and I’m not about to bring a new animal into the house without us being in agreement over it.) I went to say hello, give the fellow a few pats. The Soul of Honesty followed me to his cage and fed me a storyline about his history, where he was found, etc. (Yeah, like I’m going to believe you now, lady?) There was another dog in the pen, a sweet-natured emaciated dachshund with a golf-ball sized callousy mass on one hind leg. No joke, folks, I could count every bone in that dog’s body. (I mean, really. Don’t rescue places feed these animals? Do they think a pathetic looking animal has a better chance at being adopted? What gives?) I stooped to pet the dog and murmured, “Oh, you’re so thin,” at which point Mother Justice informed me “Oh, we’ve had him on a diet because he was so fat when he came in.” Excuse me? How fucking stupid do you think I am? I know a starving dog when I see one.
I left in despair, uncertain what to do. My first thought was to open every crate, fill my car with dogs, and take them home for a warm bath and a good meal. Does a corporation like Petsmart even realize how bad it makes them look, trafficking with someone who obviously (excuse me) doesn’t give a RAT’S FLYING ASS about the animals they are supposedly rescuing?
Rescue means “to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger or evil.” In the case of these dogs, it’s hard not believe they’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire.