Is this kind of pet rescuing illegal in any way?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was friends with somebody for a time, partly because she liked to rescue pets or so I thought. I can't rescue any as my town doesn't allow kennel licenses.

    It didn't take long before I found out that this lady seems compelled to take in animals (cats and dogs) yet hand them out to unchecked strangers after she has had them for a few weeks or days. She doesn't even like the two dogs she already has, but she has a kennel license to take in more than the allotted number of dogs and cats so she does. Some are puppy mill dogs and some are sick. She gets tired of them fast and gives them to anyone, including ex-convicts (I kid you not). One rescue cat got away from her and instead of looking for it she said, "Well, I couldn't run on anyone's lawn because I'd be traspassing." I found the cat a month later a block from her house.

    The pets are fed and taken out when she has them. She puts them in their kennels a lot, but that's not against the law. If they so much as growl at each other, she will put them in the back yard and would call me to take them or she'd take them to the pound (she raises her two young grandchildren and thinks that even if dogs growl a bit at one another they will bite her grandchildren). All in all, she is not giving these dogs and cats a permanent home, although she promises the owners that she will. She puts on a great act and her house is clean. But she harms the dogs. I know of several that ended up in the pound because she won't take them back once she has pawned them off on somebody who is not equipped to take care of them.

    Is this legal? Sadly, it probably is.
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Darn! I just typed a long response and then lost it! What I meant to say was ... it may be technically "legal" (depending on the local animal laws) but this woman is in no way a "rescue"! She is the kind that gives the legitimate rescue organizations a bad name, one step away from being an animal hoarder, and she doesn't seem to be really concerned about the welfare of the animals at all.

    There are legitimate breed-specific rescue groups for almost every breed of dog, some that take all breeds, and some that take cats. The ones I have been involved with and am most familiar with are those for Bostons but all reputable rescue organizations operate just about the same way. Every rescue I have ever heard of is staffed by a network of dedicated volunteers. Most of the dogs are shelter pulls and a few are owner turn-ins. They are placed with volunteer foster families who care for them until they are adopted. Before they are deemed adoptable, they are fully vetted and will be spayed or neutered. NO responsible rescue group would allow an intact animal to be adopted. They also pay for all medical treatment for sick or injured dogs and many of them are. The dogs are carefully assessed for temperment, behavior, etc., so the most suitable adoptive family can be found. A reputable rescue will take adoption applications and they are very careful to make the right match of the dog to the family, with the emphasis on what's best for the DOG. Potential adopters are very carefully screened and they will do home studies and ask for vet references. And a legitimate rescue will ask for an adoption fee, usually several hundred dollars, because this (and donations and fund raisers) is how they pay for the vet care and other expenses. And almost all rescues ask adopters to sign a contract stating that if for some reason they cannot keep the dog, ownership will revert back to the rescue and the dog will be returned to them.

    Anyone can call themselves a "rescue" but it doesn't sound like this woman does any of these things and she is probably doing much more harm than good. This is a very sad situation.

    If I were you, I would report her to the authorities. Much of what she is doing would be considered to be animal abuse.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I guess I will. I don't know that they can do anything, but they can keep an eye on her. Because she has a kennel license, she has to be watched a bit more carefully.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know that having a kennel license means much of anything, other than that it would exempt her from any local laws about the number of pets a family can have. It would not cover how she obtains or keeps these animals or how she disposes of them. Or that she considers herself to be a "rescue". And I doubt if it means that her "kennel" is ever inspected.

    Even the worst of the puppy mills are usually licensed by the USDA. All that really means is that they are subject to government inspection but almost never are.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If she has a kennel license, is she a member of the BBB or any other groups? You can write an anonymous complaint online.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can call the Animal control office for whatever area she is in. Even with a kennel license, she has to answer to them and follow their rules. chances are that she is breaking no laws. While taking animals to the pound is not the nicest thing to do to an animal, it certainly isn't illegal. If there is something she is doing that is hurting an animal, or if she has too many of them, or does something that violates local laws then Animal Control can investigate or shut her down. In MOST areas, it is illegal to sell or "adopt" out a sick animal. Doesn't matter what type of illness, you are required to get vet care and keep the animal until it is healthy before you can sell it or let it be adopted. Is she charging an adoption fee? Making sure they are spayed or neutered before she lets them go? Some areas require "rescues" to spay or neuter every animal before they are released. I know our area requires it. The ONLY reason we got Capn Morgan on Fri when he was to be neutered on Tues was because the vet that Animal Control uses (one of the vets) is the vet who has cared for our animals for almost 2 decades. She vouched for me, and said she could go find me if I didn't bring him in (LOL), so we got him for the weekend before the surgery so he could adjust some before he got snipped.

    If you know she has a sick animal and is ready to adopt him out, let animal control know. You may have to do it several times. In our town they get one chance. If it happens a second time they close the organization down. Here they don't even get that if they say they are a rescue and they send animals home with-o being spayed or neutered. Exceptions like we had are the way around it - the surgery date must be within the next 5 days and the appointment must be set. There must be some surety that the new owners will show up - in our case it was the vet's word, in other cases they demand a forty dollar deposit that is returned when you bring back paperwork from the vet.

    I hope this helps.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    That's something else that the reputable rescues do that I forgot to add to my original post. When the rescue organizations have the pets vetted, they are ALWAYS tested for diseases such as heartworm and tick-born illnesses before they are adopted. If they test positive, they are treated BEFORE they can be adopted. When I got Trace, my youngest Boston, he had already received extensive medical treatment including his neuter and eye surgery, he had been tested for Lyme disease and heartworm, and was given all his shots including the vaccine for kennel cough. All of this does not come cheap, which is why they ask for adoption fees, take donations, and have fund raisers.

    This woman is more an animal "shuffler" than she is a rescuer! If someone were to adopt a pet from her they would have no idea about the temperament of the animal, whether or not they were good with kids or other pets, or what medical problems or diseases they might have. I've heard some very sad stories about people who got pets from people like this, only to see them die of heartworms or some other disease a few months later, or find out that they have some other medical condition that will cost them thousands of dollars in vet bills.
  8. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    It's abusive. It may be borderline legal but it's abusive. I work with a no kill shelter and I am livid to hear about something like this. This just drives me bat poo coo coo, as Donna said, she's an animal "shuffler" not a rescue. This: is a rescue shelter not someone who happens to have a kennel license and shuffles animals around. It's obvious she has no sense of canine behavior at all, growling is communication not aggression (not in all instances anyway, or most for that matter).

    If you can prove it, the city will take her license away. A kennel license is not a license for a shelter, it's a different set of rules and regulations. At least it is here. The no kill shelter I work with has several licenses, including a kennel license, shelter license, and a few others like their non-profit charity license and business license. No vet care means fines and an investigation. A real shelter has a legal obligation to provide vet care to the animals, including a wellness check when they come into the shelter, quarantine of an animal who is sick and vet care or evaluation for ongoing vet care or whether it is a case where nothing can be done.

    If she doesn't do these things and claims to be a legit rescue, there are a lot of legal repercussions that will catch up with her sooner or later.