January 03, 2006
Rescue DUMPS Dogs - With "Best Friends" who needs Enemies!
This e-mail is being sent to you for information purposes. I think it's important that we, as protectors of targeted breeds, know which organizations/people can be counted on and which we should steer clear of. And which need to be held accountable for unacceptable practices.
We have a situation here in Las Vegas that has gotten out of hand, and innocent dogs are in danger of being killed.
Starting at the beginning:
In early December, 69 Pit Bulls/AmStaff's were confiscated from a hoarder somewhere in Kane County, UT (please note, Kanab is located in Kane County and is also where Best Friends is located). 44 of the dogs were transported to Las Vegas by Best Friends and left at Dewey Animal Clinic. Dewey used to be the animal shelter (a high-kill shelter) but is now a veterinary clinic & boarding facility. The fate of the other 25 dogs is unknown. 4 of the 44 brought to LV were euth'd immediately, reasons unknown.
Dr. Freer of Dewey Clinic called Bullie Buddies to help with trying to find homes/rescues for the 40 dogs. We selected 9 dogs to keep with our rescue. The NSPCA took several dogs. With one great adoption that we had right away, there wound up being 25 dogs left to find rescues for. As far as I know, the Kane County Sheriff's Dept. paid Dewey for 10 days or so of boarding for these dogs, as well as s/n's & vaccinations for all (this is the information I was given by the clinic, it may or may not be accurate).
For the past month, I have been trying day and night to find other rescues or at least some foster homes for these poor sweet dogs to no avail. Because of the holiday, we had a deadline of emptying out the kennels at the clinic. Every boarding facility and vet's office is always completely booked for the holidays in Las Vegas. There was nowhere for these dogs to go, and we were very afraid of them being put down to make the necessary room for scheduled boarders.
Just before Christmas I was contacted by some people in CA. that were able to help with a temporary solution. A truck was rented, crates borrowed and two awesome ladies drove out from LA, picked up 13 of these dogs (all there was room for) and drove them back to LA where they to be boarded until JAN. 2ND. Luckily, this freed up enough space at the clinic to keep the other dogs safe...for awhile. Notice how we have gone from 9 dogs to 25? It's very difficult, handling these dogs day after day, to allow even one to be killed because of a lack of room for 10 days. I could easily have said "I will take care of my original 9 only" but I could not turn my back on the others that I had grown to love.
As of today, Best Friends has offered to pay for the truck rental and mileage only, leaving a boarding bill way in excess of $3,000 to be paid - $2,500 I paid by credit card, and that covers the 13 in Los Angeles until tomorrow only. We are now out of funds. We have a little bit of donations in our paypal account, which has been earmarked for s/n's & vet visits for our other dogs as well as special training classes for Otis, our deaf pit. That cleans us out.
I have tried numerous times to get someone at Best Friends to step up to the plate and HELP the dogs they DUMPED here in Las Vegas. The dogs in Los Angeles will be headed to the shelter in the morning unless I can come up with some way, somehow, of preventing it. I don't know what that will be, as we are completely out of funds. In addition to the boarding fees that we have been stuck with for all of these dogs from UTAH, we have our other rescue dogs which require care. We have it all, from a deaf dog with tumors to a puppy with Coccidia. And that's ok, we're a rescue and taking care of these babies is our job. But what about Best Friends? Did their job end when they drove away, back to Utah with 44 less dogs to be added into Kane County's euthanasia stats for 2005?
To be honest, we sure didn't need another 40 pit bulls in Las Vegas and we sure as HELL did not need them being dropped off at our former kill shelter right before Christmas. We are killing thousands of them every year in this town, and if I had the resources to save 25 at a time I could keep myself busy on owner surrenders alone never mind the ones dying in our local shelters day after day. Where is Best Friends' accountability in this? This, in my mind, is very bad rescue (if we should even call it rescue). Best Friends ignores me - I have e-mailed and called and I get no response.
I sent the following message to them at 1 am this morning, being extremely frustrated and unable to sleep with this preying on my mind:
"TO BEST FRIENDS:
I would like to know what Best Friends proposes to have done with what is left of the 44 pit bulls from Utah that were dumped in Las Vegas by your group? Is it standard practice to pull dogs from a situation, transport them to another state and leave them to become someone else's problem? I really hope the answer to that is no, but from what has happened over the past few weeks I am starting to wonder.
The bottom line on this situation is this: My tiny rescue group has gone through thousands of dollars trying to save the life of these dogs that were, again, DUMPED on us here in Las Vegas. BEST FRIENDS has done just about zilch in this situation. That is unacceptable. If any *small* group had done that, there would be hell to pay for it.
I am not, repeat not, going to spend any more money on this situation. Neither am I going to take the fall for this horrible "rescue" that Best Friends got itself involved in and then is obviously unable to complete.
There are THIRTEEN dogs in Los Angeles with no where to go, and no one to pay for their boarding after January 4th. There are another 12 still in Las Vegas, running up a boarding bill day after day. I AM NOT ABANDONING THESE ANIMALS, YOU ARE IF YOU CHOOSE TO CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING. I'm sure at this point Hurricane County will choose to euthanize, if so I believe they will need to send someone to pick up the dogs that are being kenneled. Perhaps Best Friends should do that, and finish what you started.
I have lost count of the number of times I have tried to get help with this situation. We have exhausted all of our rescue funds on this. There is nothing left. You need to take action and very quickly.
I expect someone who can actually do something about this to contact me and resolve this satisfactorily, which means that I do not need to exhaust the little bit of money I have left in my savings account that pays my bills so I can live.
Needless to say this was ignored, as was my phone call, as was my two e-mails to Francis Battista in which I begged him: "If there is any way at all that you can help, I am begging for it. Otherwise we have no choice but to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals. We have been literally left stranded, and financially strapped. I am imploring Best Friends to do something to help the animals they left here, in a town with one pit bull rescue that consists of two people."
So, there it is. Again. A large organization that receives probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, that has what I understand to be acres of land, leaves the "little guy" to clean up their mess. How often have we seen this lately? How often have pit bulls been involved in these "bad rescue" attempts? How long do we stand for these innocents being victimized not only by the "criminal" faction, but also by those involved in animal welfare? When is enough going to be enough?
I, personally, have had it. And I hope you have to. And I hope you join with me and demand accountability on the part of Best Friends and their sham rescue.
To see the faces of the dogs concerned, take a look here, from the 3rd row down:
(Thor (1st row) and Nike (2nd row) were also part of the Utah pits, but I was able to get them into our regular kennel and they are safe now).