The Importance of Obeying the Law During Rescue Transports

Rescues pulling dogs from out-of-state shelters should follow the laws regarding pet transport for every state on the route.  This means obtaining health certificates and age appropriate rabies vaccinations for each dog on the transport.  Rescuers need to be especially careful when pulling puppies as they are more vulnerable to the common deadly shelter diseases such as parvo and distemper.  And if a rescue group is pulling twenty-seven puppies from a shelter on a single transport – that’s twenty-seven times the need for careful attention to the law.

Parvo and distemper both are very contagious and the potential for death is high.  Supportive veterinary care is too expensive for many rescuers, especially when the chances for survival are limited, at best.  Even if the pups look ok at the time of pick-up (and granted, this can be tricky as pups might be scared and not acting normally), the vet exam for the health certificate will get the rescuer a professional opinion on whether the pup appears to be free of disease.  The shelter should provide details on any known exposure and this information should be given to the vet performing the health certificate exam.

But let’s say, whatever the reason, rescuers don’t follow the law and obtain a health certificate for their shelter pups being put on a transport.  What’s the worst that could happen?  For starters, any pups who are harboring contagious diseases could infect all the other dogs on the transport.  Subsequently, every dog coming off the transport may have been exposed and may infect other dogs at their final destination.  Furthermore, if a rescue group pulls twenty-seven puppies and only gets them vetted once they have arrived, they might find out that most of the pups have parvo and be forced to euthanize en masse or beg for $20,000 to help cover vet bills.

I am all for treating sick pets who are not medically hopeless.  At the same time, I am also for following the law and spending donations from the public wisely.  The Barkley Foundation, a rescue group in Iowa apparently failed to follow the law for bringing twenty-seven puppies from a NC shelter into their state.  Upon arrival, it was determined that most of the pups had parvo.  The group proceeded to post on Facebook and set up a ChipIn for $20,000, stating they might have to close their doors and/or euthanize the sick puppies.  The Examiner picked up the group’s story as well.  Everyone appears to feel sorry for the rescuers because they were trying to do the right thing and then this bad thing happened to them.

Well, no.  In my view, they failed to follow the law and transported sick pups across state lines.  Now they want people to donate $20,000 to help pay the vet bills for this group of pups who never should have been transported in the first place.  If donations had been spent on obtaining the health certificates before embarking on the transport, the vet may well have deemed at least some of the pups unfit for travel, refused the health certificates and cautioned rescuers about exposing other dogs.  Imagine how many healthy/treatable shelter pets could be helped for $20,000.  It boggles the mind.

If this rescue were to shut its doors, would that be such a bad thing?

Thank you Kim for alerting me to this story.

83 thoughts on “The Importance of Obeying the Law During Rescue Transports

  1. Excellent post, even though with a bad ending. As a vet tech and having raised Cornish Rex cats for 22 years, I follow a strict protocol when bring in new cats, or if handling them at work. Vigilance and educating oneself to the issues in ‘multi-animal environments is imperative. UC Davis Shelter Medicine website is an excellent resource and send the link to any of our hospitals clients that are fostering or rescuing…not that they all read it and learn, but at least I try to educate…

  2. The transports I usually drive for have a rule that dogs need to be quarantined (if at all possible) for two weeks before travel, and have their health certs (especially since many of them go up to Canada). Puppies are only transported in bleached crates, and never placed on the ground. It’s kinda strict, but SO worth it.

  3. I saw the plea from the rescue. This probably sounds mean-spirited but I wondered whether it was a scam.
    The parvo problem in Southern shelters is so well-known that I don’t see how they could plead ignorance. Also, it doesn’t cost $20,000 to treat parvo pups and they don’t necessarily all have to stay in the ICU. I know rescuers who have had success with treating them in iso at home using parvaid and round-the-clock care.

    I haven’t coordinated a puppy transport in ages but when I used to put regular runs together, we always
    quarantined for 2 weeks first and made sure the pups had 2 sets of puppy shots before traveling. If they were old enough for rabies, they got that, too. If they were going to a state that required health certificates, they got one. But even if no certificate was needed, they got vetted–no exceptions. These were volunteer transports. The law is more strict for paid transports–health certificates are pretty much required across the board for those.

    We never even let other dogs ride along if they were coming straight from the shelter. But even with all these precautions, we still had a few puppies break with parvo. I can’t imagine the nightmare of transporting 27 straight from the shelter. That’s just way too many puppies to take care of on a single transport anyway.

    1. I wondered about the cost myself. I mean, my vet gives me a discount if I bring in a stray. I can’t imagine these fees reflect a vet’s discounted rate?

      1. At our vet down here we pay $250 to treat a parvo puppy. We do home treatment with daily trips to the vet for iv fluids and meds with good success I might add :). I have found up north that most vets charge anywhere from $900-$2000 to treat a parvo pup in house. And they don’t have the success rate as we do down here. It may be that they don’t see parvo as much as the southern vets do. Atleast that is how my vet explained it.

      2. It should not cost $20,000 to treat 27 parvo puppies.
        We have treated many of them at home with pen & gen & sub-Q fluids. Saved more of them than we lost.
        You do need a vet who is willing to send the meds home with you, and volunteers who can give the injectable meds & fluids, and are willing to go with very little sleep for a week or two.

  4. It really irks me when a transport acts like this. They hurt the good rescues who play by the rules. And why are they bringing puppies into Iowa anyway? Last I heard, there is no shortage of puppies in Iowa. Now New England is a different story… It appears to me–in a quick perusal of the IRS records–that “The Barkley Foundation” isn’t even a 501(c)(3). Now it’s possible that it is a non-profit operating under a different name but if they are serious about rescue, they need to file for non-profit status. Of course, I have never been a fan of the “Give us money now or Fido dies” approach. Something doesn’t smell right about this whole situation–and it’s not the parvo puppies…

  5. You’re not alone, Jeanne. I too saw the plea from the rescue, and was shocked at the amount of money asked for in the chip-in. I was also angry that they chose to blame the shelter for the shelter instead of their own lack of judgement. That shelter is in a rural area of NC, where animals don’t have much value (if any at all) to most people. It operates with very little funding – like most shelters in the South – but the employees and volunteers take good care of the animals. Shame on the owners who took those pups away from their mothers too soon. Better yet, having mom spayed would have prevented this horrible outbreak in the first place.

    1. Ginger have you seen the update-now there is some other health issue with some of these dogs. Wonder how many litters they could have PREVENTED if they had taken that $23,000 and sent it for spaying and neutering in that county.

  6. I live in CT and there is a legislative effort underway to penalize rescues who don’t follow the rules. Lots of southern transports, of course. Massachusetts vets are saying they are seeing more cases of parvo etc in the years since transports began.

  7. Some vets don’t give discounts to good samaritans. Yes, I worked for one for 4 years and the only discounts he gave were for baseball coaches and other doctors.

    But, even at the vet I worked for, and we were the expensive ones in town, I don’t think we could have charged out $20,000. I have seen parvo puppies cost $1000 each if they were hospitalized on IV fluids, IV medications, etc. for several days. But many people took oral meds home, gave some SubQ fluids and did pedialyte and water. We see quite a few parvo cases out here and many people can’t afford hospital treatment. But still many of those puppies came back in after being treated at home by untrained owners for their shots. It always amazed me that people wouldn’t get shots until after they have spent a couple hundred dollars on parvo treatment and been scared straight.

    So I could see averaging a couple hundred dollars per puppy for meds, subQ fluids, maybe hospitalization for a few more sickly ones until they stopped vomiting. I would only euth after I gave them a shot at treatment. I would say at my vet we saved 85% of the hospital cases and at least 50% of the send home cases. So, although parvo sucks, I don’t consider it a death sentence.

    But still, this rescue really should have known better and because they didn’t do their due diligence many puppies might die. I don’t care where their hearts were, this is just stupid.

      1. LOL! That would be awesome.

        The reason he gave me for giving this baseball coach a 50% discount? He said, “this coach hasn’t had a spring break in years because he is always taking these boys to games. He really sacrifices.” You should have seen my WTF?! face.

  8. To be fair, I’ve seen several vet “health inspections” and none of them included parvo tests. A physical exam is performed and that is all that is required for a vet to sign off on a health cert. All Iowa requires for admission is a signed Cert of Vet inspection and, if they are older than 4-mos-old (which many of these puppies are not) a rabies vaccine. A puppy with parvo could look healthy and pass a health exam in North Carolina and, because of the stress of transport, exhibit symptoms upon arrival.

    Is the rescue saying they didn’t get a health exam done in North Carolina?

    1. I don’t expect a vet exam for a health certificate to include a parvo test but it should include the basics to determine the pup is free of disease (things like temperature). From the various postings from the rescue group that I read, it sounded to me as if the pups did not have vet exams in NC but did have them when they got to Iowa – where fevers and various other symptoms of parvo were detected.

  9. How many stops did they make along the way? Get the dogs out and walk around? How many pets might the volunteers have petted along the way?

  10. Health certificates are a ridiculous requirement, right up there with annual vaccination or monthly flea preventative.

    What SHOULD be required, unless the dog is a fully vaccinated adult, is a parvo SNAP test. They could NOT be easier to do.

    Here’s a real scratch your head kinda question…

    So this rescue is complaining basically that it got stuck with a shipment of sick puppies, requiring them to spend $22,000 in veterinary bills.

    They didn’t have to treat to the puppies. I imagine the cost to euthanize them would have been much, much lower. I only say this because the reality is that they would not have taken 27 parvo positive puppies – they would have left them where they were… to be euthanized.

    I’m just having a real hard time with this whole story.

  11. I am a practicing veterinarian and would offer to treat those puppies for $10,000.00

  12. Thank you for covering this story and bringing more attention to this very important topic. It is an outrage that this group is allowed to transport sick puppies for sale across state lines. The entire practice of “humane relocation”–where tens of thousands of dogs are being imported from foreign countries and tens of thousands more moved from southern states to northern states–is cynical and greedy. This is not “rescue”. This is irresponsible and dangerous. This group deserves to be shut down and its leaders put in jail. This is a glaring example of how some shelters and rescues have become complicit in enabling irresponible breeding practices which makes these shelters and rescues little more than 21st century pet shops. These “puppy pipelines” are enabling “puppy mills.”

  13. Have seen many a health cert not worth the paper it’s printed on accompanying an animal with obvious, severe, and highly contagious health issues. Means nothing.

  14. “puppy pipelines” exist BECAUSE of “puppy mills.”

    Do you really believe that if the shelters started killing all the puppies instead of sending them to places where they could find homes that the millers would what – magically grow a conscience?

    And what exactly is your level of experience with the pounds and the conditions in these areas, Jay, that allows you to hurl these horrible accusations at hundreds of rescue groups who continue to go wherever they need to – to save as many as they can?

    (Although I still stick to my declaration that putting them all in one transport/area/facility is a ridiculously stupid idea on its own, I don’t care if the puppies came from an out of state shelter, a mill, a raid, a surrender or they fell from the damn sky).

    1. I stand by my “horrible accusations” because what many “rescues” and “shelters” have become is, indeed, horrible. Enabling irresponsible breeding practices does nothing to address the problem. For this “rescue” to transport sick puppies shows a complete lack of basic animal husbandry knowledge and common sense. My level of experience is extensive. Tens of thousands of puppies are being imported into New England for sale by “shelters”. This is puppy brokering and sales on a scale never before seen in this country. Engaging in this pratice while claiming to be a “rescue” or a “shelter” does not make it “okay.”

      1. The issue of transport aside, I don’t understand why getting animals to locations where they have a good chance of getting into homes is such a terrible thing. My local humane society receives puppies from southern shelters regularly, since they are in demand here. So you’d rather those puppies were killed rather than transported?

        OTOH, transports need to be safe, smart and actually get the animals there alive and healthy. Since I don’t know anything about them personally, I will leave it at that.

      2. Jay, you’ve failed to address the core logic of your argument.

        Number one – since when has it been the job of rescues and shelters to police/prevent/treat the puppy mill issue? You complain they’re not addressing the problem? Perhaps that could be due to the HUGE problems they’re already dealing with.

        Number two – are you seriously suggesting that if the puppy transport stopped, the mills would shut down? That mill owners would magically decide that abusing, starving, beating, neglecting and failing to care for their stock is ok, but not if the shelter is just going to kill the overstock.

        Give me a break.

        Oh, and “my level of experience is extensive” just doesn’t cut it around here, sir.

        You are on the wrong board to be criticizing the efforts of others to save defenseless lives. Seriously, to come on here and announce that New England shelters are doing a horrible thing by bringing in animals that are in demand AND would otherwise end up dead.

        Finally, if your issue is with brokers fronting as rescues, I’m with you 100%. But that is soooo not the issue being discussed here, so get down off the soapbox, drop the talking points and participate in the discussion. Like say… by answering the original questions. Just a thought.

    2. DogsInTraining, I wouldn’t call “some shelters and rescues” and “this group” and indictment of “hundreds of rescue groups”. There are hundreds of rescues and shelters doing the right thing and working hard. It just takes a few irresponsible rescues with no understanding of basic animal husbandry and very little common sense to taint everyone.

      This particular “rescue” behaved in an irresponsible manner, and now wants the public to bail them out.

      1. I’m sorry Therese, but your response made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

        Where did I say that this rescue was indicative of any other rescue or shelter? Where did I suggest that the public SHOULD bail them out? Where did I suggest that for one second their procedures during transport even approached “basic animal husbandry”?

      2. DIT you accused Jay Kitchener of “hurl(ing) these horrible accusations at hundreds of rescue groups” when in fact, he said no such thing. This situation is bad enough without people like you endulging in theatrical hyperbole.

        The rest of my post, I was simply agree with him and then stating my opinion on the whole sorry mess.

        Shall we argue about semantics some more or work to make sure this never happens again?

      3. “Tens of thousands of puppies are being imported into New England for sale by “shelters”. This is puppy brokering and sales on a scale never before seen in this country.”

        Tens of thousands. Just puppies. Just New England. “on a scale never before seen in this country.”

        Ok, so he didn’t use the word “hundreds,” but I think we can assume he didn’t mean dozens.

        As for you agreeing with him, well, you’re free to promote the killing of perfectly adoptable puppies whenever and wherever you please. But by suggesting that pet owners, shelters and puppy mill dogs are better served by empty cages requiring pet store and internet puppy mill purchases instead of adoptions (thereby directly funding the mills themselves) you’re asking to be flogged in public.

        What do the two of you believe exactly, that puppy millers across the south are producing puppies and selling them to shelters in the northeast? Really? I’m still waiting for someone to show me where ANYONE makes a profit on this.

        Time to break out the tinfoil hats.

  15. Sort of bad when the transporter was A.C.O. from the shelter that the aniamls came from, and most likely got a BIG CHIPIN for taking sick aniamls.

  16. I agree that a health certificate on a shelter puppy and a pile of mud are both worth about the same thing. No dog should be taken on a transport unless they have been out of a shelter and quarantined somewhere for two weeks. Of course, transporters say that costs too much. If rescues are going to take on the responsibility of transporting unquarantined shelter puppies then they should have the finances to handle the health issues that the puppies have.

    This sort of thing has become all too prevalent since the advent of “Rescue via Facebook.” Thousands and thousands of $$ are sent to Chip-Ins with no checks and balances on how the money is spent and since pleas for assistance on Facebook go worldwide, more and more “rescuers” are transporting sick puppies from one end of the county to the other in really crummy transport conditions.

  17. One can (politely) argue about whether transports are a good idea (especially when a northern kill shelter does a transport and existing dogs are killed to make room for the imports–even I have an ethical problem with that.) But the one thing I think all of us can *agree* on is that when transports like The Barkley Foundation screw up and don’t follow the rules, these orgs shouldn’t play on the heartstrings of an unsuspecting public with a whine of “We have sick puppies and now they might die if you don’t give us $20,000…” You can spay or neuter *a lot* of rural dogs for $20K and begin to address the root cause. I wonder just how many of the transport guidelines from the ASV (never mind how many state laws) The Barkley Foundation violated: (start on page 45)

  18. Okay, DogsInTraining, let’s try this again.

    Many of New England’s shelters and rescues have indeed made it their job to “police/prevent/treat the puppy mill issue” by supporting radical legislation against breeders. All breeders. New England’s kill shelters are importing puppies by the thousands to fill their empty cages, meet the public’s demand for puppies, and make handsome profits. Why are these kill shelters killing dogs to make room for these southern puppies? And, if these shelters have empty cages, what is wrong with having empty cages? Isn’t that the goal we all seek?

    New England’s shelters are not “addressing the problem”, they are enabling the problem. What part of that don’t you understand?

    Yes, I am very seriously suggesting that if shelters and rescues were to stop enabling the irresponsible breeding practices, then there would be no reason for these puppies to be bred in the first place. It’s very simple supply and demand economics. What part of that don’t you understand?

    You seem to be suggesting that it’s okay for shelters and rescues to assume the role of pet shops and puppy suppliers. Why is it okay for shelters and rescues to behave this way, when it is not okay for pet shops and breeders to do so?

    You also seem quite certain as to the source of this supply of puppies. Could it be possible that these puppies are being bred for the purpose of this trade? How cynical and greedy would that be? Why are all of the animals being shipped from the south to the north PUPPIES? And, why are 99% of the puppies being shipped a mix of toy breeds? Sure, there’s an occasional hound mix thrown in, but it’s still a puppy. What’s happening to the mature dogs in the south?

    I’ve broken my long-standing personal policy of not responding to anonymous folks on the internet. I have no idea who you are or what your experience is. Nor do you know mine. Yet, you see fit to attack me and not the merits of the discussion. I invite you to follow me on Facebook. My page is open to all. I have nothing to hide.

    Your sanctimonius and holier-than-thou attitude absolutely reeks of extremism. You’re welcome to come down off your soapbox, use your true identity, and join the discussion.

    1. So what happens when New England’s shelters have no puppies? When they have empty cages? Where do you suppose people looking to acquire a puppy are going to go?

      And the puppies born in the south and dumped at pounds – you truly believe that they are being bred for… the shelter trade?

      If the shelters in New England are filling empty shelter cages with puppies/dogs/cats/hamsters from other areas that would otherwise be killed, I fail to see the issue.

      The topic at hand is interstate regulations – my opinion is that moving any animal from any location to another is inviting the spread of disease. Such is reality of infectious disease. However, I don’t believe that a health certificate would have done much to prevent this issue. A parvo SNAP test would have been a prudent move, as would have not cramming 27 puppies into a single transport.

      However, you accuse me of personal attacks when you’re making rescues and shelters who participate in rescue across state lines into puppy brokers in some sick conspiracy. Are there puppy brokers who are advertising as rescues? Sure there are, and they’re pretty easy to spot – they’re the ones charging $500 for a puppy with “first shots.”

      The rescue in question is charging $200 for a fully vetted adult (they have a very nice selection of dogs including hard to place breeds) and $250 for a vetted but not altered pup with a spay/neuter contract. They also provide fully vetted cats for a fee of $80.

      Factor in transportation, vetting, food, lodging, medical bills and time… wow, they must be making a killing off these misery puppies.

      Shhhh… I hear black helicopters.

      1. What difference does it make where people get their puppies from? This is not a shelter’s or a Humane Societies concern. By importing and transporting dogs into another state and shelter that is brokering pure and simple. They are providing their “customers” with a product. Period. If it was truly about “saving” they would be trying to save the unadoptable ones-not the puppies that are easy to “sell” and in high demand.

        Not to mention if they truly had the desire to HELP with the over population in the South the they would be coming into the South with funds to spay/neuter dogs and/or bringing in those vans that go around spaying and neutering. I totally understand Jays point-they are coming into the south to TAKE not to SOLVE the problem. Think of it-if they solved the over population then where would they get their puppies that they sell?

        There is still the problem that these sick animals were transported across several state lines illegally. What could possibly justify this? If they are going to break the laws then they are not better then illegal substandard breeders who break the law. According to their own postings they did not want to pay the $290 charge to have these animals properly vetted and quarantined-is this not the same issue that is said about so called “puppy mills”–that they do not spend money to properly care for the animals? At least the “puppy millers” do not post it all over the web that they are going to KILL the dogs unless they receive donations to pay for the unexpected cost.

  19. “So what happens when New England’s shelters have no puppies?” They import them to sell.

    “When they have empty cages?” They can leave them empty, or import puppies to fill them.

    “Where do you suppose people looking to acquire a puppy are going to go?” Gee, I dunno, maybe a breeder or a pet shop?

    “And the puppies born in the south and dumped at pounds – you truly believe that they are being bred for… the shelter trade?” I’m honestly beginning to wonder.

    “If the shelters in New England are filling empty shelter cages with puppies/dogs/cats/hamsters from other areas that would otherwise be killed, I fail to see the issue.” Then you are ignorant by choice and by your own admission.

    I spoke to man this week who “adopted” a dog from my local kill shelter. It cost him $700.00. That’s tax free money for the shelter.

    I hear the IRS knocking.

    1. What you’re not telling us, and probably don’t know, is what that shelters spent on care, vetting, and training for that dog.

      Most shelters are either 501(c)(3) orgs, or municipally owned, and you can look at their books if you actually care. And it’s the rare shelter that isn’t operating at a loss if you exclude donations unrelated to the adoption of an animal.

  20. >I spoke to man this week who “adopted” a dog from my local kill shelter. It cost him $700.00. That’s tax free money for the shelter.

    How about a name and location of this kill shelter?

      1. Really?

        Because according to their website, they offer puppies for $300.

        Their adult dogs? $190

        Seniors 8+? $145

        Plus a $60 surcharge for dogs brought in from out of the area, which makes the demand higher for local dogs.

        Did I mention that any adult dog there longer than 8 weeks is reduced to $125?

        Oh, wait, here’s where the scheme must kick in… with the adoption, you get:

        “Adoption fees include spaying or neutering, the first series of vaccinations, a heart worm test, internal and external parasite control, a health evaluation with a local participating veterinarian, a collar with leash and personalized ID tag, and the offer of discounted Obedience Classes”

        Hmmmmm…. quite the racket they’ve got going on there.

        By the way, can we all just call a spade a spade here? This guy is obviously trolling around for something.

        This comment alone is enough to make me disregard any further posts by this individual:

        I asked: “Where do you suppose people looking to acquire a puppy are going to go?”

        He answered “Gee, I dunno, maybe a breeder or a pet shop?”

        Yes, much better that puppy buyers purchase unvetted misery puppies, the sale of which goes towards lining miller’s pockets and producing – you got it! More misery puppies. Much worse that they obtain the puppy from a rescue group or shelter that had the audacity to take them in from outside the immediate area, and that the proceeds from the sale (should there be any) go towards helping other dogs in need. Shame on them, right?

        Seriously… I really do hear black helicopters.

  21. My northern shelter gets frequent transports of dogs and puppies from southern states (Oklahoma and Georgia mostly). We have strict vaccination guidelines prior to transport, and as our state requires health certificates, so do we. if dogs appear unwell after the transport, we send them back (we had a big problem of groups sending us only sick or problem animals- we are not above accepting some of those (such as dogs with heartworm), but we want to know ahead of time that they’re coming, and we don’t want the entire transport to be filled with them).
    Even so, even the best guidelines won’t protect you 100% of the time- sometimes puppies get sick and they don’t appear unwell until the stress of the trip brings out the symptoms.
    Instead of using Snap Tests, we moved to titer testing when we have a transport dog break with parvo- the other dogs on the transport that have sufficient immunity can proceed to adoption. The ones without sufficient immunity have to stay in quarantine.
    We’re not above having some empty kennels, but we’ve found that when we don’t have any dogs, cats don’t get adopted either- dogs drive traffic to the shelter. plus, the groups we work with are so happy to be able to send us dogs- otherwise they would either have to euthanize the dogs due to lack of space (we never euthanize due to space restrictions), or would have to leave the dogs at local pounds where they would be killed. So by us accepting dogs, it allows them to use their resources differently and help more animals.
    The benefit to our shelter is obviously adoption revenue, good press, and building relationships with other organizations. plus, when dogs and puppies are available for adoption, this prevents ones being purchased from local pet stores- slowly they are going out of business

    1. This comment is not specific to Anne’s but to the many who point out health certificates sometimes seem worthless, etc. I’m not arguing that health certificates at the point of pick up would prevent sick pets from ever being transported. I’m arguing that it’s the law. And, if the exams are performed by an ethical vet, they should catch at least some of the sick pups. Even catching one in this case would have (hopefully) given the rescue pause about transporting the other 26.

    2. Ann said–We’re not above having some empty kennels, but we’ve found that when we don’t have any dogs, cats don’t get adopted either- dogs drive traffic to the shelter.”

      Would this not be an indication that ppl are IMPULSIVELY adopting your cats? Isn’t that one of the things that is supposed to be so bad about a pet store-the impulsive taking home of an animal that you are unable to care for? Haven’t people preached for years about impulse buying and now you have impulse adopting going on and you are using the importation of dogs to encourage this irresponsible cat ownership.

      Another case of a shelter acting as a pet store and “drawing” customers in with cute puppies so they can encourage impulse adopting of the cats.

      The difference between a shelter that imports animals for resale and a pet store are becoming less an less obvious—

      1. Someone who goes to an animal shelter has gone there intentionally with the purpose of possibly adding a furkid to their family. They aren’t there impulsively–unlike at the shopping mall where they went to buy a pair of boots and ended up with a Bichon puppy. So maybe someone went to the shelter thinking that they would like a dog and once they were there, realized that a cat (and especially a particular cat who maybe reached out and pawed them) fit their household better. That’s not impulse–that’s education. And it’s good for the cat, good for the person, and good for society.

      2. The idea of impulse buying a shelter pet has me picturing a stand like in the grocery store checkout lane where they put gum and chocolate and batteries and lighters and stuff. Maybe we could put little kittens in a rack like that at the front desk!

      3. @Isadream- i think our application and approval process typically takes care of the (very very few) attempts at impulse adoptions. We just don’t see it (as evidenced by the fact that our adoption return rate is less than 5%).
        I think Susan said it best

        @YB- hah! i can picture it now :-)

      4. Or liquor (“licker”) stores as a place for impulse acquisitions of pets–“Joe, give me a pint of Guinness, a Black & Tan, and why don’t you throw in a six-pack of kittens too?” But seriously, I don’t care if an animal is initially adopted impulsively–as long as it is kept intentionally safe, happy and healthy for the rest of his or her life!

  22. FYI Anne, a heartworm positive dog may be unadoptable, but it is NOT sick, and shame on your shelter for not accepting them. I am a rescue volunteer, and 80% of the dogs we take in are Heartworm positive. Most come from shelters that would otherwise kill them because they are unadoptable. Any reputable rescue will take a HW+ dog in…and TREAT it.

    1. I’m sure you have, but my point is that most HW cases are treatable. Since our organization was founded in 2004, we have taken in almost 1,000 dogs. Only 1 of those that were HW+ died of the disease. The others were treated – by us – and adopted out. Being HW+ is not a reason to turn a dog away. Also, a dog treated for heartworms should not be re-tested for 6 months.
      Sorry to get off the subject here, but Anne’s comment ruffled my feathers.

      1. I agree with Ginger. And heartworm treatment is not the overly expensive treatment it was once made out to be, if you have a reasonable vet. In fact, I’ve seen heartworm cases cleared cheaper than recurring ear infections. :OP

      2. Heartworm cases are for the most part treatable, yes (cheapest price I have heard of is $500–not exactly pocket change), but I’m not sure that an out-of-state dog who will likely take longer to be adopted should be taking up a cage space while a local non-HW+ dog is being turned away (in the case of limited-admission shelters) or killed (in the case of open admission shelters). Recently somebody who had just adopted a young Southern hound-mixed-with-who-knows-what actually said to me, “Isn’t it good that there are no more homeless dogs in Massachusetts so we can help Georgia with theirs?” Um, no more homeless dogs in Massachusetts? I don’t think so. Fewer, but far from none. And we didn’t get this way by shipping our dogs up to Canada. I’m starting to think that some of our “native” dogs would fare better in the adoption realm if we took them on a trip to Tennessee and then turned right around and drove back and called them “Southern dogs.” But in any event I could not condone knowingly importing a Southern dog with heartworm while hundreds of healthy dogs die in Massachusetts’ shelters each week.

  23. “…when dogs and puppies are available for adoption, this prevents ones being purchased from local pet stores- slowly they are going out of business.”

    And this is supposed to be a good thing? Why is it okay for shelters to adopt, but a pet store or a breeder can’t sell?

    “Adopt one until there are none.” Sorry. Not buying into that anymore. But, now I am off topic and I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

    1. Responsible breeders are one thing; pet stores selling puppy mill product are another thing entirely.

      And you’ve just dispelled whatever lingering doubts I had about what your motivation is in slagging off transport rescue.

    2. We are trying to put the millers and the backyard breeders out of business. The professional breeder knows who his dogs are going to, how they will be treated, and what they will be used for. The backyard breeder doesn’t know any of these things, and he couldn’t care less. When you pay him for a pup, he goes right out and mates the same dog again. And again. And again. When the dog can no longer produce, he dumps it, either at the shelter or on the road. He doesn’t give a damn what happens to the dog. Same with the miller. When you pay the pet shop owner for the dog, he goes right to the miller or the backyard breeder and buys another one. The circle just keeps going round and round.

      1. Wow Ginger you just describe what is going on between the North shelters and the Southern shelters. The North shelters come down get puppies out of the Southern shelters skimp on care and cost take the pups (illegally if needed) across state lines. Adopt them out to the unsuspecting public with no health warranties, no genetic testing and without giving a damn if that dog has bitten or shows the tendancy to bite in the past. And this repeats itself over and over–not to mention the abuses and neglect some of these animals suffer thru at these shelters and if the dog doesnt get adopted eventually someone takes him and kills him. Seems like really the BEST thing for the animals would be to put these shelters out of business!

      2. Just where do you think those “professional breeders” are? Can you describe them?

  24. Okay, DogsInTraining. I’m not hiding behind a screename, and I’m not calling anyone names. I came here for discussion. I’m not clear who appointed you monitor or schoolyard bully, but unless and until the owner of this blog tells me to shutup, you need to lay off the insults and stick to the facts. Okay?

    1. Facts? I’ll let you know as soon as you supply any. So far anything you’ve provided has been questionable at best (still waiting for an explanation to the $700 adoption).

      As for me being a “monitor” or a “bully”, well I refuse to apologize for calling a spade a spade. While I respect that you’re feeling stung by whatever legislation is going on in your state, I assure you that demanding that shelter puppies from other states be killed rather than transported to open cages (because empty cages serve to increase the demand for breeder dogs!) I just can’t take you seriously.

      I think you’re angry at the laws and taking it out on the puppies and the shelters trying to save their lives. Bottom line.

      Basically you’re saying that the puppies in the south should be euthanized instead of being brought to an area that actually has a demand for shelter puppies.

      But that’s not what’s bothering you, is it? Could it have something to do with your kennel club affiliations and their long time love affair with misery puppies? Or is it simply personal – you feel they’ve attacked your clique, you feel the need to attack theirs…

      The reality is that it’s not an either/or situation. There’s room for ethical breeders and there’s room for shelter dogs. You’ll find very few people on here who subscribe to the “When you buy, shelter dogs die” line of BS, but you’re also not going to get a lot of support by banging your cage because shelters are trying to help each other increase adoptions and reduce kill rates – or by suggesting people shop for their next dog at a pet store.

      Do I agree that this particular rescue acted negligently? Absolutely! Does that make interstate transport of adoptable animals a bad idea? Absolutely not.

      1. Alrighty then. Lest you continue to insinuate that I’m lying, or that my friend who “adopted” the $700.00 dog is lying, let’s please drop the insinuations, okay, Spade?

        And while we’re at it, please don’t attempt to put words in my mouth. I never said that any dog, anywhere, should be killed.

        I have very serious concerns about shelters and rescues that support draconian legislation, especially when they line up to support such legislation with cries of “dog overpopulation.” But, that is a topic for another day.

        The only line of BS here is your claim that “shelters are trying to help each other increase adoptions and reduce kill rates”. If we’re calling spades here, then I call that a big one.

        Folks have a right to choose their source of a pet. Eliminating those choices is not a good thing nor a step in the right direction. Folks who feel their choice for the source of their pet makes them superior to other pet owners is pure narcissism.

        I am deeply concerned about the unregulated, tax-free interstate commerce in pets. As it is being practiced at present, it is a very bad idea.

      2. Hmmm. Despite your first couple of sentences, you still haven’t explained that $700 adoption from a shelter that doesn’t charge half that for its most “expensive” adoptions.

        No one said or implied your friend was lying. Your friend hasn’t told us anything.

        And while it’s nice to claim you haven’t said any dogs should be killed, you have said that they shouldn’t be transported to other shelters–when their options are “be transported” or “be killed.”

      3. just by your term “misery puppies” you say plenty. Most shelter dogs come from “misery dogs” puppies with no known backgrounds and no health history for themselves ( see this debacle here) or their parents but that seems to be aok with you. If there is “room for ethical breeders’ there would be less shelter dogs period but it seems that the shelters do not want empty runs especially the private ones. They call themselves the shleter “industry” and the name fits. They fight any laws that mandate any control over what they do because they are “saving lives’ but in essence many are worried about the supply of “stock” and where they will get their next batch of “misery puppies” to sell to the public while slagging off all other forms of purchase. Yes Biscuit does a great balancing act here and points out many failures of shelters around the country and yet you seem to think they do no wrong.. well here is proof that they do. You can rad this blog every day and see that while some shelters do a stellar job with placing local dogs FIRST many kill those that they cannot place and import what they can sell.
        even the aspca has said that shelters could be breeding their own stock in the future due to lack of “salable dogs ( and heck maybe even cats) and then of course there is always this:
        If the title is true we should celebrate the fact that there are empty runs and shelters that can cut back.and yes even that many private ones can go out of business.
        Ass for dogs being killed.. I hope most of you know that dogs are being killed everyday to make room for the “imports”. If you do not you have not been reading this blog for long

  25. The worsed thing about parvo anddistemper, is even if a dog lives threw it they canbe carrier of it the rest of their life’s.

    1. I’ve contacted my friend for documentation of the $700.00 adoption. I’ll share the info when I get it from him. This is not an isolated case. I’m hearing this kind of thing from folks who’ve “adopted” from shelters all over New England.

      The options for these dogs are not limited to “be transported” or “be killed”. Let’s work toward removing the “be killed” option and having the problem areas take responsibility. What a concept, huh?

      1. Moving animals from where they’re not wanted to where they are wanted is part of getting to No Kill, Jay.

  26. NO solving the problem of excess dogs in the South is part of getting to NO Kill–taking the puppies out of the South while doing NOTHING to solve the problem IN the South is shelters making a profit! Please show me ONE shelter who is receiving puppies from the SOUTH who is DOING anything to HELP STOP their supply. Please you guys–prove that they are doing SOMETHING to help. I would love to be proven wrong on this. If they are doing nothing to STOP the supply of puppies then they are JUST the same as any irresponsible owner who allows their mongrel dog to produce litter after litter.

    I will be waiting for the list and what they are doing in the South (besides taking puppies to sell).

    1. It is common sense.. recognize it? Thank you Shirley for allowing some questioning here about shady practices. No one wants dogs or other animals to be killed but when the “unadoptables” are killed to make room for the “saleable” ones it is wrong headed thinking and it happens often..Much like this.. front door.. Oh look puppies from the “South” that need saving. they would have been KILLED otherwise.. public get in line.. get out your checkbooks .. halos with every purchase.. back door.. thanks Joe for picking up the garbage.. 20 “pit bulls” today gotta make room for the new merchandise..come back tomorrow same time same place same body bags. Shelter press . We HAD to kill them they were “unadoptable” damn all of you irresponsible people who made us do this..but no worries we have PUPPIES

  27. We’re seeing some similar cracks with the highly publicized Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR) who want to raise $1M to save the 50k stray dogs in Detroit. It’s shocking that they have asked for a ChipIn of over $10k for two dogs – yes, TWO DOGS – one with broken legs, the other with three gunshot wounds. And this after raising over $200k on their CNN and NBC stories. Can you say scam? And the group started without spaying or neutering any of their rescues until the outcry from the established rescue community that they supported breeding of the dogs (! gasp) caused a change in policy if not application.
    Everyone needs to be very wary of people who have their hearts possibly in the right place but who are putting all legitimate rescues at risk in the public eye.

    1. Are there actually 50,000 stray dogs in Detroit? There may well be–I have no knowledge of the facts. But that number seems sensationally high to me (even given the economic turmoil.) I wonder what they are basing this statistic on. I’m not saying that rescue isn’t necessary, whether it is 50 dogs or 500 or 5,000 or 20,000. But when a group (especially a group that seems to lack any specialized animal or veterinary knowledge) distorts the truth in the hopes of raising public awareness, manipulating emotions, and reaping the resulting funds, all that does is (as Jennifer points out) hurt effective rescue groups by painting them with the same brush of fraud once the truth comes out.

      1. VERY good point, Susan. No one knows the number of strays for certain and this fact is being exploited by that particular group to draw national sympathy for our economic hardship here in The D.
        The lack of a firm understanding of the scope of the problem is why another group (a responsible one, I might add) – World Animal Awareness Society – has funding to film and document the location of Detroit strays.

      2. now there is a transport I could get behind. Ok all of you “private shelters” bring on the Detroit imports.. wait what is that I hear?? crickets.. thought so..

  28. Rinthea Satterlee is not associated with Safe Haven of Iowa County. She held the post of founder for several years, however the org has& is a commutative effort of the many volunteers, support personnel & financial backers. Safe Haven is stringent on following federal, state & municipal laws. Safe Haven does not cross state lines to obtain animals. Safe Haven strives to obtain every resource to ensure the health of the animals, including vaccinations, health exams & iso prior to new animals being brought into contact with other animals already in its care.Safe Haven does not endorse out support the actions of The Barkley Foundation, Satterlee, our its actions.Safe Haven is a licensed non-profit organization.

  29. Let me begin by stating that I am an animal lover and that I support the ASPCA. My belief is that if you are really concerned about helping our furry friends than you should do so by helping the older ones too. You don’t need to go out of state to do this! I am sure you have enough dogs in your own state that need and would love to have a loving home. Why is that pulling puppies from another state, that may be sick is a priority over the homless dogs in your own state? Sorry something does not sit right with me here. I think some of these rescue organizations should to be audited!

    1. Do you live in the area surrounding New York City? If not, why in the world would you support the ASPCA, which is a local SPCA that serves only the area around NYC (but not including NYC itself or the rest of the state). If you think donations to the ASPCA help any other organization, or that the ASPCA is some sort of national umbrella group for other SPCAs, you are mistaken. While they spend a lot more money on fundraising than other local SPCAs, that is in fact all they are, a local SPCA. By rights they really ought to be called the NYSPCA or something similar.

      That said, I agree wholeheartedly that we should be focusing on our own local dogs first. While I applaud efforts to save animals, I have a real issue with local dogs dying while out of state dogs are shuttled in by the hundreds. And I have a problem with local groups, SPCAs, HSs, rescues, shelters etc., spending precious resources (and that means not only money but also space and volunteer time) on another state’s overpopulation problem. This isn’t just a problem “back east,” here in OR we get literally hundreds of dogs each month shipped up here from CA, mostly SoCal. They spend thousands of dollars on transports to get them up here, and we have local dogs dying for lack of homes. That’s just shameful. And to then ask people to help pay for sick dogs that have been transported in from out of state, well that is just wrong.

      If a shelter wants to farm out their dogs, let them contract to cover medical costs for a period of time. I know that sick dogs can slip through the cracks, that a dog may look perfectly fine and still be sick. I know that even with health certs you may get in some dogs that get sick. But a contract could be written saying that for a given period, say 2 weeks, the sending shelter is responsible for all medical costs, That would keep the burden of cost on the shelter, while relieving them of the dogs and freeing up space.

      It is after all their problem, they are asking for help by asking out of state groups to take in dogs, so they should foot some of the costs involved in out helping them with their problem. Of course that would not resolve the underlying problem with the scenario in this article, that of the new sick dogs infecting the dogs already in the rescue. THAT’S WHY YOU QUARANTINE NEW INTAKES. That one simple step would resolve the entire issue of out of state dogs infecting local dogs. Its not a hard thing to do. if my wife and I can do it with our little rescue, anyone can. And if you can’t afford health certs and a quarantine area, then you have no business taking in dogs from shelters out of state.

      1. wooo hoo!!!!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP.. I would add that each dog sold by a shelter that is NOT local should have to send 1/2 of the $$ that the pet is sold for back to the shelter where the dogs came from and that $$ MUST be spend on FREE spay/neuter for residents of that area.

  30. @ Barbara Russo
    I think you had better do some research into the ASPCA and what they actually do with the millions of dollars they bring in each year. They are not who you think they are.

  31. While I Agree You are Absolutely Right about the Transport Regulations – I Think the Rescue Group that Pulled These Puppies are Ultimately Responsible – They Pulled the Pups and They Started the Transport from NC to Meet the Barkley Foundation in Kentucky – Which Means the Rescue that Pulled and Decided to TRANSPORT Them to Kentucky SHOULD of HAD the Health Certificates from the Start!

  32. Myself, having been a rescue and a transporter in Texas and transporting in all 48 states, any baby up to 3 months old can contract Parvo…there are 10 different strains of Parvo that can even affect an adult immunized dog. Parvo comes from feces and flys through the air, well you walk a dog or a pup, you take the have pups around adult dogs you take the chance, even with immunization its still a crap everything about Parvo that was said is not necessarily true. Ask any can have all the health checks and the immunizations but it does not always work. Basically your barking out your hat. $20,000 seems a lot but then up North they gouge you on everything. I have spent up to $2500 to save a parvo pup of my own money. So unless you have those pups and dogs in a bubble from birth to adoption..there is always a risk.

  33. Jay Kitchener is an idiot who plays both sides of the fence. He’s not even worth responding to.

  34. Vet exams for health certs do not include parvo tests. If a dog is not yet showing signs of parvo, the odds are HEAVILY that the dog will get a health certificate. I’ve had several health certs done on dogs, and it is a very basic exam. Costs about $40 each. Maybe a little more these days. For 27 dogs, that would add up, but definitely a lot cheaper than treating Parvo…if you assume the exam would’ve discovered the Parvo. It likely would not have unless the pup were already showing some symptoms. So, no, I’m not going to harp on the rescue for not getting 27 health certs on puppies. I DO think they didn’t do a good job of keeping them separate. Parvo should not have spread to all the dogs, even on a close transport, if they followed some basic guidelines. Also 20K to treat the dogs is a bit much. While Parvo treatment CAN cost $1000 per puppy or more, that is with intensive ICU. If I were the rescue, I’d put the most critical cases in ICU and get an army of volunteers, if possible, to treat the remaining ones at home (it is very possible to do, just time intensive).

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