Each and every time dog lovers hear about puppy mills or kill shelters, their skin crawls. They wonder what it is that they can do to prevent such awful things from happening to canines that only deserve people’s love and respect.
Now there is a serious and disturbing new wave of animal rescues happening. These orphaned pet shelters are called “Pop-Up Rescues.” They incorporate as non-profit organizations, collect donations and then sell the pets for a profit!
These organizations are notorious for importing puppies by the truckload from other states. The puppies are in unhealthy conditions, being transported in poorly ventilated transport vehicles, and without proper health certificates. Although these puppies mean no harm, they are actually putting local dogs at risk for diseases such as Canine Distemper and Parvovirus. If we allow these viruses to be imported into our public shelters, the local shelter animals will be at risk of serious illness, euthanasia and it could cause shelters to close for intakes and adoptions. This would be deplorable!
“Overcrowded store fronts, lack of medical paperwork and vetting, viral outbreaks and even breeding dogs are some of the irresponsible acts these alleged rescuers engage in,” affirms Robert Misseri, President of Guardians of Rescue. “Because puppies are a big sell, overcrowded trucks from the south transport puppies to NY and some groups are even purchasing puppies from puppy mills and saying they are rescued dogs from death row shelters, tagging them with an adoption fee of $500-$600 and sending them out without a bill of health or sterilizing them.”
This is why animal rescue organizations of Suffolk County, NY are banding together to create the Rescue Responsibility Act, which is a legislation to oversee rescues and shelters. There are currently no laws specifically regarding rescues in New York State but Guardians of Rescue hopes Suffolk County will help to set the standards of accountability regarding orphaned companion animals. “It is sad to think that people can stoop to a new low on the profiting of animals,” said Misseri. “The state of Connecticut has laws regulating the import of companion animals and so should we.”
Reputable rescue organizations are set up like any other business. They have a Board of Directors that oversees the by-laws, mission statement and fiscal operation of the shelter/rescue. They also have corporate officers, including treasurers, the report to the Board all fiscal management of the organization. Current tax returns should be displayed on websites and are public information of non-profit charities.
Guardians of Rescue believes that responsible rescues and shelters will spend large amounts of money saving lives; that they exceed the adoption fees due to illnesses, injuries, spaying, neutering, microchipping and caring for the animal for months or even years. Every shelter dog or cat should be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, tested for disease and if necessary provided with dental procedures to ensure a healthy life. A reputable rescue or shelter will screen applicants, require references and even do home checks to place the pet responsibly and will always take the animal back if there is ever a problem. Shelters and rescues have moral, ethical and financial obligations to each and every animal they take into their care.
So, beware of the so-called “Pop-Up Rescues.” They are not there for the animals, they are there for themselves! What a pity!