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Readers Respond To Shelter Marketing


We selected the best reader responses to Animal Shelter Marketing. The premise of the editorial was “Shelters & Animal Rights seem to have the same goal; to put hobby breeders out of business, using your tax $$$, expert sales staff, and purebred puppies.”


Breeders Make Shelters Needed

I can't believe you would be so irresponsible to make these ridiculous claims. The SPCA and shelters wouldn't even be needed if it wasn't for the back yard breeders pumping puppies at an alarming rate. I know of one near my home that breeds so indiscriminately that she sold puppies that were supposed to be mini poms but were Maltese. As a groomer, I see the results of their attempts. It is not easy to see dogs coming in born with only one eye or several extra toes and many other defects.


It's people like you who keep the market over flowing…[cause] more and more need for the SPCA. If you think they are the rip offs need to sit down with someone who can do the math for you. The SPCA has to pay for vets to fix the animals they adopt out. Do you think they pull that money out of the air? Another thing you should do the math on is this. It takes hundreds or even over a thousand dollars for one of your so called professionally bred dogs. It takes a few hundred dollars to adopt from the SPCA. That covers needles and spaying. It is cheaper than if you took a dog for those services at your local vet. That is because the vets give a discounted price for those services to the rescue and they pass that on to the adopter. I hope you will reconsider any more poison articles like this one. You are causing so much suffering with this. Darlene Fry


Big, Unregulated Shelter Business

Glad to see folks are catching on to the Shelter/Rescue take-over of the market for pets in our country. Here in Minnesota, and most other states, dog people are beginning to see the light - but the public has not. MCDC (Minnesota Council of Dog Clubs) is trying to amass information that tells the truth about the number sales of pets by tax exempt, unregulated, organizations that prey on the soft hearts of the uninformed public.


Here is just a compilation of financial information from the 2011 990 tax returns of some of the shelter/rescue organizations in our state. The column titled ‘ADOPTION SERVICE REVENUE’ is described by IRS as: “Revenue. For each program service, section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations must report any revenue derived directly from the activity, such as fees for services or from the sale of goods that directly relate to the listed activity.


Minnesota Rescue/Shelter 990 Data 2011


19,837,824.OO                 $6,283,842.00                                       $31,927,666.00


As an aside to Minnesota’s disturbing statistics, there is this: Connecticut and Massachusetts brought over 28,000 dogs into the states for resale, an amount estimated at $4.5 million, which we presume is tax-free. What do you know about your own state’s shelter/rescue business?


The 501(c)3 organizations pay no income taxes, no real estate taxes and are exempted from our “Puppy Lemon Law’ which at least gives consumers recourse for unhealthy, incompatible animals that are sold through these ‘pet recyclers’ whereas breeders are required to abide by the Puppy Lemon Law. Petfinders web site lists more than 210 such organizations for the state of Minnesota alone. According to the ASPCA, there are currently only 8 pet shops in Minnesota that sell puppies and kittens. The market for pets has changed drastically in the last decade. Be aware. Follow the money. Karen Elvin


Shelter Business Theft

I wanted to share my unpleasant experience with a shelter that has become an ongoing struggle when in reality it should've been settled long ago. This is how it went. I made an agreement with a no kill animal shelter in Las Vegas, NV to board my dog when I had to move on a very short notice. They, Little Friends Foundation, said she could stay there as long as I paid for her expenses. I went to the shelter on a regular basis to drop off food, money and visit my dog, each time I was assured my dog would be there when I came to pick her up. Once I got settled in I called the shelter and learned she had just been adopted out. The shelter manager and staff claimed they had a contract that authorized them to put my dog up for adoption. The only paperwork I had been given was questions about what my dog ate and her behavior. I never saw nor signed a surrender contract. I’ve asked for a copy of the document they say they have on file but all demand letters and emails were ignored. Because of this, I strongly believe a signature was forged. Since then, I’ve printed flyers …talked with a lawyer … put up a Facebook … looking for my dog.


The shelter's manager who was in charge at the time Rudy was boarded was terminated from his position and the facility itself is closing its doors. They have to vacate the property by the end of January 2014. Despite this, they will not give out any information regarding the whereabouts of my Beagle. I miss my dog and have suffered a lot of heartache because of this situation. I can provide additional details and would greatly appreciate if you would consider my story to raise awareness of not only the search for my dog but also a growing problem known as pet flipping. I've also discovered that there are many dog owners such as myself who have had similar experiences [with] rescue organizations and shelters who aren't what they claim to be.


Here are just a few examples, TV News Investigation finds dog rescue owners have criminal history and Youtube videos re: Kimi Peck & Kim Maggio Steal Puppies and this, ABC World News report on pet flipping spreading across the United States


It is eight months but I can’t give up. I found out about a new no kill shelter opening and after checking with the Secretary Of State, it appears to be the same people responsible for [selling my dog.] According to the IRS, they have no records of the new facility, called The Churchill Foundation in their files. I set up a Facebook page for my dog Rudy. Finding Rudy Thank you for your help. Sincerely, Emilie Clark


Greedy Breeders

Your article was shared on Facebook by a breeder in a group I am a member of. It's the most appalling, narrow minded, conspiracy theory I have ever had the misfortune to read. It upset me soooo much I felt sick. Greedy, righteous breeders who fill people heads with nonsense are so absorbed in their need to be the best... They forget most people just want a pet, not a prize possession!!! I'm a Burmese cat lover, and I HATE breeders. But seems the stupidity is not just in the cat breeding industry! Here in Aus, animals are given a second CHANCE through the love and dedication of volunteers for a fraction of the price it cost to prepare them.


Rescue Worker Facts

PLEASE do not include/consider all Rescues in the same category as the establishment SPCA/Shelters & AR Whackos. While some Rescue people are more than a little nutz, most of us are dedicated to saving dogs. And in many cases this includes working with Breeders, ethical & otherwise, to re-home dogs. The AREs & establishment SPCAs regard Rescues as the enemy, competition. Face facts, for years, Rescues have been doing the work SPCAs should have been doing.


Rescues began spaying & neutering adoptable dogs long before the SPCAs. Most Rescues save far more dogs for far less money than the establishment SPCAs. No help from AKC with heads firmly planted in derriere until it is too late. Legislators & other bureaucrats receive favorable publicity & funding thanks to the AREs. Sandy Fisher, Secty Lower Susquehanna Irish Setter Club, Setter owner since 1970, occasional breeder, exhibitor & field trialer but every bit as important, a dedicated Rescuer.


Common (Shelter) Sense

I do not mind sharing my hard earned money but I do not want to share it with someone who has taken in a lot of dogs and let them multiply before their eyes and never stopped them and now shelters ask for donations to help feed those dogs and rescue them! I did not take those dogs there to begin with, why do they think I want to pay for them? When I do have puppies I work hard to keep them social and I do not want to take someone else's dog that has been out of control for years. Not fair to me [to] make me feel bad for my hobby that I am totally responsible for. I have produced show dogs, titled therapy dogs, and am now working a puppy in tracking.


People need to know that the money they send in to rescue in my county goes to feeding dogs and getting them spayed. I just spent nearly $2,000 to get my Ch. bitch bred to a Ch. male and she is not pregnant. I do not care anything about paying for someone else's dogs to be spayed. There was a dog that raised $40,000 for broken leg and they gave the rest of the money to rescues. I do not see anyone giving a homeless person $ today but they will beg and show pics of dogs in bad shape to [collect] more money. Trish Androff


Everything in the article is true!!!! I've experienced much of it first-hand!!!! I believe strongly in [rescue] but I hate the tactics of blaming the owners and the breeders. What they need is a policy similar to what they do with newborn babies... drop off's with no blame and no questions... perhaps with an x amount $ fee for doing so... $50 something like that, according to ability to pay. To me some rescue's are just another way of monetizing placing animals; they don't pay full vet bills due to reduced vet fees and they get donations, volunteers’ time, plus free food, toys, etc... Shelters [have become] sellers of pet that they pay nothing for and yet make a profit on (and yet are non-profit?). (rare exception, name withheld)


Bittersweet Shelter Worker

You make a point here. I don't doubt many shelters are political institutions and that for them there are far more important issues to care for than the welfare of animals. Nevertheless I think the way you put it in your article goes in detriment of the welfare of many animals that for one reason or another have ended up in such institutions. Those institutions should be exposed, for sure. I am right now in a battle to do so myself with a certain shelter but I still encourage people to go and get their dogs from that place. They also need homes.


I used to work in one of the biggest shelters around here. I have to say that one of our policies was to recommend people to go to authorised breeders to get their pure bed puppies if that's what they were looking for. … even if your article is based in statistics and has information that is truthful and interesting, I am left with a very bittersweet taste in my mouth after reading it as for me you're not just about exposing the facts but completely undermining the efforts many welfare organisations put into such a difficult field as is the overpopulation of companion animals. Ali Arcila, dog groomer


Editor’s correction – With the greatest respect and appreciation,, I offer this correction. There is no overpopulation of companion animals. There is however, a huge problem of irresponsible, self-centered owners who prey upon innocent animals to satisfy emotional needs which are rarely met. Pets are not psychiatrists. Pets freely offer comfort and ego gratification but often suffer for such utter devotion to mankind.




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