There is a serious and disturbing new wave in animal rescue happening where those seeking to adopt an orphaned shelter pet must be aware of known as “Pop-Up Rescues.” These organizations incorporate as non-profit organizations and collect donations, ironically solely for profit. They are notorious for importing puppies by truckloads from other states in unhealthy conditions, in poorly ventilated transport vehicles, without proper health certificates and put local dogs at risk for diseases such as Canine Distemper and Parvovirus. Importing these viruses can get into our public shelters and put other shelter animals at risk of serious illness, euthanasia and cause shelters to close for intakes and adoptions.
“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 organizations have a Board of Directors overseeing the by-laws, mission statement and fiscal operations of the shelter/rescue. There are corporate officers, including treasurers that report to the Board all fiscal management. 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 provide 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.
For more information, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org