by Katharine Dokken - March 18, 2016.
Second in a three part series on rescue scams in America.
At left: Katharine with renowned tiger trainer Carlos Quinones, Mindy Patterson, President of The Cavalry Group, and exotic animal trainer Doug Terranova at the USDA Headquarters, Washington, DC, 2016.
I covered in part 1 of this continuing series, rescues all across America are shipping in plane loads of supposedly stray Golden Retrievers from Turkey in the exploding rescue dog scam across America.
The rescue trade is so lucrative that new rescues are growing like weeds on every corner and byway of America. They exploit your hearts and wallets for all tax free profit using social media to push their business model.
They can reach across cyber space and touch the heart of a stranger with just the right sob story, a "crisis" in an animal that needs to be saved or any other embellishments they can come up with and get strangers to open their wallets and hand over their money. Just as private prisons are a billion dollar enterprise, private rescues have mastered how to market themselves on social media to make people feel like they have made a difference in life. To sell them on a product and the story attached to it. Their biggest problem is, America is out of product for them to sell.
In the last decade, America has run out of homeless dogs looking for homes. Most legitimately homeless dogs in America now are pit bull mixes. Instead, to keep shelters and rescues full of animals to buy, they are importing them from foreign countries and washing their backgrounds through fellow shelters.
Some rescues admit they are importing plane loads of foreign dogs, others blame mythical overpopulations in other areas of this country to hide the source of their animals. A huge imported dog pipeline exists from Mexico through California, and then shipped north to Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Canada. Besides importing from California, Washington imports from India and other Asian countries.
These shelters and rescues will promote that they saved these dogs from overcrowded California shelters to hide the fact that the dogs actually came from South America or Asia. Another huge import pipeline comes through Asia, India, the Bahamas, Aruba, Guam, and Puerto Rico shipping dogs to the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and others states and the dogs are then shipped north to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England as saved from an "overcrowded southern shelter."
These animals are washed through several shelters and each reports them as "intakes" inflating the numbers of dogs reported as being in American shelters and hiding the true origin of the dog.
Foreign dogs are imported into Florida and Georgia, rescue groups in Alabama and the Carolinas then import them in, count them as intakes, then ship them northeast and each group is skimming off profit and fundraising raising off their activities until the animals are finally sold off in New York, Maine, and other wealthy areas. As one sign of this madness, "Animals on Board" ships dogs into Tennessee, "Hardin Animal Relocation and Transition Team (HARTT) ships dogs out of Tennessee.
Dogs from Tennessee are being shipped into Miami Dade, Florida. While Miami ships in dogs from Aruba, Bahamas, Turkey and many other countries. Even cats are now being shipped to Maine and Connecticut for resale.
Last year, Canadian border agents stopped a fly by night rescue called "Save a Puppy" run by a woman named Kim McDonnell that was shipping in sick puppies and kittens into Canada from Aruba while fundraising on Gofundme and pulling in thousands of dollars. They turned the flight around and refused it entry. Instead the shipment was sent to Miami, Florida where a rescue there gladly took custody of them. The animals arrived at covered in urine and feces with ugly bloated bellies from internal parasites. When challenged on her illegal shipments, "Save a Puppy" posted on their website that they were not an incorporated rescue but instead just one Canadian woman who went to Aruba to attend medical school and went into the puppy import business when she came home because conditions there were so "horrible." Actually I would question why a Canadian wouldn't attend medical school in Canada and instead went to Aruba's beach life to attend medical school before discovering that selling "rescued" dogs is more lucrative.
Before the fake Turkish Golden Retriever scam I warned about in Part 1 of this series, was the Asian dog meat scam that introduced a deadly canine flu into America last year. Just this month, the San Diego Humane Society imported yet another plane load of dogs from Korea for resale. San Diego. California. The same California that claims to have a massive overpopulation of dogs in their shelters when they ship dogs north to Oregon, Washington, Utah and Canada is importing dogs from Korea. Not just any dogs. Puppies. They also claim that San Diego County, California has reached zero. "Zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in San Diego County." Now that they are running out of product to sell, it's time to join the import train.
"San Diego Humane Society's Special Response Team once again made the trip to San Francisco International Airport to transport another 21 dogs, including 15 puppies, saved from the Korean meat trade."
In a single week as San Diego admits they are out of sellable dogs and are importing more from Korea, another California group named the Animal Humane Society bragged that they have shipped 1,000 Chihuahuas to Minnesota for resale. One single group has shipped 1,000 dogs.
No dog breeder anywhere in America can match the sheer volume of the dog trafficking of these so-called rescues. Where did all these Chihuahuas come from? In that same week, "All For One Pet Rescue" in Palm Beach, Florida received a shipment of 30 puppies from the Bahamas. Instead of saving dogs in need in Florida, this group is shipping in foreign puppies for resale.
They call it "freedom flights" from the Bahamas when it's really nothing more than exploitation for profit while at the same time, local politicians outlawed pet stores from selling puppies bred by American dog breeders.
Under federal law, it is illegal to import any puppy under the age of six months for resale but the USDA does not track or regulate any of these rescues. The regulation exists but the USDA ignores it while they instead hammer down on dog breeders for a single cobweb or a rust spot on a wire.
Vying for the top stop year after year is the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Maine and the North Shore Animal League in New York. Both have shipped in over 150,000 cats and dogs from all over America to sell off through their two shelters. In just 2015 alone, Greater Androscoggin bragged that they sold 4,060 animals, most of them puppies imported from who knows where.
"This private kill shelter in Maine sold 4,060 animals in 2015, and most of those animals were puppies imported from mysterious places out-of-state. At an average price of $300 per animal, this shelter took in $1,218,000 from animal sales and did not pay a penny in sales tax. So, puppies from mysterious origins that are sold tax-free are "good", but puppies from licensed and inspected kennels that are sold with tax paid are "bad"? This is insane. This is Retail Rescue." Jay Kitchener, the Cavalry Group.
It's not just the sheer numbers and all tax free profit, the biggest problem of these imports is that these rescues have imported rabies, mange, heartworm, parvo, distemper, ringworm into America. Animal rescues have shipped in rabid dogs from Puerto Rico, India, Thailand, Iraq and Egypt putting Americas at risk.
The Coastal Humane Society in Maine is a huge importer of animals and in August of 2014 they had to shut down after an outbreak of Ringworm that they brought in with a shipment of puppies from Alabama. They of course asked the public to give them money.
After eight weeks, they reopened and started shipping in puppies again. The Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society in Texas sold off 20 dogs that died of distemper, while at the same time the Amarillo SPCA had two dogs die of distemper.
A cat rescue in Wisconsin shipped in two parvo affected litters of puppies from Ohio and then fundraised from the public to pay for all their medical bills caused by their irresponsible actions. Fairfax County, Virginia adopted out 10 kittens to the public knowing their mother was euthanized for rabies. After a public outcry they admitted what they had done. Even with plane loads of puppies and now kittens coming in, rescues still can't get their hands on enough product to flip for sale which has lead to sky rocking rates of pet theft.
All across America, pet owners are starting to sue shelters and rescues after finding out their missing and stolen dogs are being resold to new families. A dog supposedly "lost" in Tuscon, Arizona was resold by a rescue in Wisconsin. Another dog stolen in Texas is resold in Indiana.
Dozens of dogs have been reported stolen out of Wise County, Texas. A lost dog in Iowa is found being resold in Kansas City, Kansas. Pet owners can't understand how their "lost" dogs are getting such long distances not realizing their dog was stolen and shipped out of state for resale as a rescue though one of these pipelines.
From Wichita Kansas to Pennsylvania to Jacksonville, Florida thieves have been caught posing as animal control officers to steal pets. A dog stolen from an Alberta couple is found in Memphis, Tennessee. All over America, owners are finding their stolen dogs in the custody of private rescues who are refusing to give them back and give up on their lucrative sales.
Southwest Wisconsin: "A resident there told News 3 he watched as a woman pulled up, grabbed his dog right out of his yard and put it in her car before he stopped her. When police questioned her, the woman said she simply thought the dog was a runaway, and she was never charged."
The only way to stop all of this fraud and to protect your pets from disease is to stop supporting these rescues. Stop giving them money. Stop buying these animals from them. Research the best type of pet that would fit your family's needs and then buy from an American pet breeder. There is no need to be ashamed of supporting well-bred and healthy American bred pets.
In Part 3 of this continuing series, many shelters proudly brag they are utterly empty while lobbying to outlaw pet stores and America's pet breeders in the name of "over-population."