Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When is a rescue group a "rescue" and when is it a "for profit" business?

Looking at Wikipedia - they define an animal rescue thusly:

An animal rescue group or animal rescue organization is dedicated to pet adoption. These groups take unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray pets and attempt to find suitable homes for them. Many rescue groups are created by and run by volunteers, who take the animals into their homes and care for them — including training, playing, handling medical issues, and solving behavior problems — until a suitable permanent home can be found.

I would add a lot more things to this definition -
- they usually use foster homes instead of having a physical shelter - or one place like an outdoor shed that sometimes does not have adequate physical amenities
- when they take on a dog or a puppy, if that animal presents with physical ailments - they deal with and pay for those problems before the dog is adopted out - they don't just euthanize the animal - unless it's a terminal condition
- the cost of the spay neuter is included in the cost of the adoption donation
- responsible rescues will not adopt out dog to homes that have unaltered animals in the home
- every animal is micro-chipped before it leaves the rescue
- when they take in puppies they have the adopter sign a contract that the dog will be neutered at 6 months and then follow up and if that dog has not been altered - they seize the dog
- they do home visits before adoption
- they guarantee a dog for life - if at any point in the dogs life the dog has to be returned - for any reason - the dog can go nowhere but back to that rescue

I say all this because there is at least one local dog broker in Nova Scotia who is trying to present themselves as a "rescue" - and has aligned themselves with what everyone considers to be an upstanding local rescue to rehome a dog.

What this business does is take all the puppies from an owner and then spay the Mom and leave the Mom behind - they then take the puppies to their property and keep the puppies in a shed until they are all "adopted" out.

They don't do home checks, they don't guarantee for life, they don't have volunteers - it's all paid staff - they charge $350 for each puppy - it is a for profit organization.

They've been in business for a couple years - and for the first time for whatever reason - they've come into contact with an adult dog that needs to be rehomed and they've felt that they can't do it themselves - the dog may be pregnant - they don't know because they haven't spent the money to take her to the vet to get any pre-natal care - she just may be going into heat.

I am taking severe umbrage to the local good reputation rescue saying that this for profit organization should be taken seriously - they are one step away from being Gail Benoit - they are giving respectability where it definitely should not be.

It is cheapening them by being associated with them.

I have been fighting against back yard breeders, dog brokers, and puppy millers for more than 10 years and I'm not going to stop just because someone says it makes things look bad - you should not buy your next dog or puppy from someone who is selling the puppy for profit - even respected dog breeders don't sell for profit - they make no money from their puppies because of all the expenses they've incurred testing their dogs for defects, going to dog shows to champion their dog - they do it solely for the love of the dog - the only good place to get your next puppy is from a respectable rescue or from a respectable breeder - not a dog broker - and this is what this place is - and shall I tell you their name? They are called "Oops Puppies". I hesitate to give their name because that only gives them free advertising.

Do not buy a puppy from them - they are a dog broker - nothing better than any dog broker who's been on the news in the last few years. The second they get an adult dog that they don't think they can make any money off of - they run to a real rescue. For shame.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I think people need to be aware of these things. I volunteer/foster along with many others for a non profit rescue in Washington state. Our dogs are always vetted, microchipped, vaccinated AND sometimes we take in a dog or cat who seems healthy but presents with a real problem that needs to be taken care of. We do that. Special needs dogs and cats are sometimes with us for a long time. Thanks again for pointing out the other side. Spaying and neutering is so important to help reduce the number of animals who are dumped at shelters.

  2. I've actually adopted an oops puppy and nothing that you say has any merit whatsoever. I felt my fee I paid for my puppy to be completely fair for what oops puppies does as an organization. Even if there was a slight overhead on the monetary side. I wouldn't care because they care enough about the animals to find great homes for them along with fixing the problem of more unplanned litters down the road.
    I was asked an extensive amount of questions before I could even meet my puppy, signed agreements to both neuter him as well as if I ever needed to give the puppy up to contact them.
    I have no idea why you feel the need to misinform people and stir the pot. But I can't stand by and see something I'm really glad I contributed to be put down over lack of information and a sense of being a super hero to puppy breeders.what you've ended up doing is looking like an ass an putting down an organization I think others could learn from.

  3. Cody - did you read my post - it was about whether Oops Puppies is a rescue - which they are trying to pretend to be, or a for profit organization - did Oops go to your house to do a home check to make sure your home was a good fit? Are the people you met volunteers or paid employees?

    I don't have a lack of information - I have facts - the difference between a broker - someone who sells for profit - and someone who is a true rescue - which is the topic of my post. Please get your facts straight.

    Brokers can sell healthy puppies - that doesn't mean they are ethical.

  4. Jenine11:34 AM

    Joan, just a question in regards to the home checks? What would you be looking for in a house to make it a good fit?

  5. This article is totally irresponsible. If you truly care about the welfare of dogs, you would research your subjects before writing. It is clear that you have not done so. You cannot have visited Oops Puppies, nor met the owner (who is also the organization’s sole, full-time, tirelessly hard working "staff member"), and have written what you did. If you had spent but 10 minutes speaking with Oops Puppies’ owner-operator, you would never have written what you did.
    I can understand having some questions about just how any new organization dealing in animal welfare is run; I cannot accept blind and uncorroborated judgments. Where exactly is your frustration stemming from? Is it the fact that the puppies are kept in a shed? I have visited it: it is warm, well ventilated, and full of soft, natural light. It is also super clean. Do you take umbrage to the fact that puppies are kept with their litter mates until they are 8 weeks old? That they are thoroughly temperament tested? That they are extensively socialized? That they are brought for multiple vet visits before adoption? That they are micro-chipped? Are you offended by the teenager who is diligently present to play with the pups, but has not asked to be officially called a volunteer? Or are you bothered by the 120 family members who regularly support new puppy owners through a private website, again without asking for any title or other recognition in return? I am really trying to understand. You surely can’t be upset by the extraordinary efforts to match each puppy with a home that is truly well suited to them?
    We are a noisy, active family. Our son also has an intellectual delay, and we have known that teaching him how to properly engage with a puppy would be challenging for us. We did not know if we could find a puppy that would be happy with us. We knew we needed to choose one with an appropriate temperament, but we had no idea where to begin: we did not know what to look for, or how to see it. The person you say “sells for profit” put hours into corresponding with us, in order to properly understand our particular needs. We heard about her organisation through an ad for an older pup that had not found a suitable home yet. When we asked about him, she told him he was not for us. It is funny, my definition of someone who just wants to make money is NOT someone who refuses to sell a dog; or keeps him for several weeks after his litter mates have been adopted, despite families expressing interest...
    When the puppy that would fit well with us finally did come along, and came home, this person who you say “sells for profit” continued to answer emails and respond to questions posted on the private site. Then, when I was not well for a few weeks after Christmas, and unsure whether or not I could still care for our pup, this person offered to take her in , in her home, for 10 days, with no charge, to help me get back on my feet. We did not know each other before I contacted her about adopting a dog. We are not friends, or related. The gesture was done out of pure kindness. A gesture I cannot even begin to imagine how I can repay.
    I know I am not alone in having a story like this to tell. Despite the organization being just a few years old, I am sure you can find hundreds of people to fill you in on how wrong your prejudices are, if you bother to look.

    1. Kelsie Croft5:13 PM

      I am with you 110%! I keep trying to comment a very similar comment, but it keeps getting deleted.
      This woman needs to seriously get a life!

    2. Ps to Kelsie croft. -- I do not delete comments - I moderate them - so the problem you are having is that your comment is not appearing immediately. It is you who needs to get a life it would seem to me. My life is fine

  6. Jenine - it all depends on the dog and what his needs are.

  7. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Oops Puppies is NOT an organization, animal rescue, etc. It is a BUSINESS. No different than going to a pet store. I was shocked to learn that puppies were housed in an old, drafty, unheated shed even during the coldest days of the year. I've heard that the shed has since received an overhaul, and has portable heaters that are connected to propane tanks.

    I wonder if the tax man is aware.

  8. I will stay tuned. Interesting post but I don't have enough personal knowledge one way or the other so reserve comment other than I have heard both sides - people who quite like them, and others who don't. However, I do agree with you that "rescue" is the wrong label if they exclusively buy back yard bred puppies. Going by what people who like them say, they aren't the typical broker types either.

  9. I have had the exact same experience with kindness and thoughtfulness in adopting my first dog, from Oops! Puppies. The owner made sure I went home with a puppy that was suited to my family and experience with dogs. She is always the first responder when we have a question and post it on the site. When I picked up my little guy, I never for one instant thought that it wasn't a perfectly wonderful place for a dog to be. I think the effort used to write this post could have been much better used actually helping dogs that really need it. Oops! Puppies are in wonderful hands. As far as the adoption fee, any dog owner knows it costs a lot to take care of a puppy properly. If it were up to this person to pay for all of these puppies to be cared for, she probably wouldn't be able to do it. Then these puppies would still be in their unfit homes. I would gladly pay to have a dog that I know has been taken out of a bad situation and been cared for, and know that this payment will help other dogs down the road.

  10. Jenine3:37 PM

    Joan, I was asking about the home checks, as you referred earlier about Oops Puppies not being a rescue as it was concerning as they do not do home checks. I'm just wondering why that in itself would make Oops Puppies a terrible thing. I know when I filled out Oop's application, it states if I am willing to have my home checked, and I'm quite certain if I checked "no", that would have sent some red flags. Plus, if home checks are being done, who's to say that the home is really my home and not staged? So, since Oop's mainly deals with puppies, what would you consider "needs" of a puppy in regards to a home check?

  11. Got more info from a very reliable person. Don't ask me who cause it's confidential, but based on that am now strongly leaning toward Joan's side.

  12. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Oops puppies in MY eyes:

    I say this all because there is atleast one rescue organization in Nova scotia that cares very well fot there puppies. Which IS an Upstanding local rescue that rehomes dogs

    What this buisness does is take in unwanted puppies and in return, they spay the mother. ( If you came home to find four puppies and your dog in your house, how would you feel, You cant afford this! Wouldnt you be glad that someone says that they will come and rehome all the puppies, Then spay the mother?) THey take the litter of puppies to there property and bring them into a room with other puppies. Mostly, each litter gets a nice room to themselves, along with each pups very own blanket! There room connects to a playroom. Now its not very big because the organization spends almost all there profit to care for the puppies. But it certaintly is NOT a shed. The room also homes some quails. The owners harvest the eggs for breakfast, because it saves money. They go through a number of fun activities with the pups. They are well socalized and well exercised. Each day, the owners of this organization switch up the Types of toys they play with and the type of dishes they use for feeding. Metal,glass,plastic. So the puppies get a good learning experience with each.

    When My family adopted from Oops, we filled out a longggg sheet to see what litter matched our family the best, and if we were ready to get a dog. One of the questions in there was: "Could a member of Oops come to inspect your home? If no, why?"

    They charge $350 for a puppy, which is a VERY good price compared to a Breeder that wants $800-$1000! They are doing outstanding in buisness, and have come very far. This IS an organization. I've adopted from Oops and I don't see anything wrong with it. Yes, they dont have the funds to take Upmost care of there puppies. But the time and care they put into there job is Amazing.

    You say you have been fighting against back yard breeders, dog brookers, and puppy mills. Then get going on the horse you rode in on and go 'Fight' against them. THEM being ACTUAL Puppy mills and such. I DID buy MY puppy from Oops and I can say that I'm PROUD of it. They don't sell for profit, they use almost all of the money for the care of the next litter of pups.

    I did buy a puppy ftrom them- they are NOT a dog broker- Go after the actual dog brokers. The second they get an adult dog, it goes onto there website under adoptables. They DO get adopted. Not as fast as the puppies, but with the same ammount of time and care put into them.

    Honestly, you should be ashamed for attacking such a great organization. If you want to help then go and track down *REAL*back yard breeders. I'm 13, and would do anything to fight against Puppy mills. I hope to do so when i'm older, and pray to god that I don't end up like you. Attacking Oops for no initial reason what-so ever.

  13. I have seen adds for this organization and often wondered about it. What really concerns me is the puppies being kept in a shed. Puppies need to be raised in a home around people and with all that comes with the daily routines of life. With so many dogs ending up in rescue with various issues and behaviour problems it would be really irresponsible to be putting out more and more puppies in the world without the proper start in life. Puppies are a lot of work, just ask any good breeder. But it's very important work that affects the dog for the rest of his/her life. I don't have first hand knowledge of this "rescue" but if they isolate their puppies in a shed then there is something not right.

  14. Anonymous who is 13 years old - when you are my age and have been exposed to all the various aspects of rescue that I have - you will truly know what a real rescue is and when someone is doing it to make money - I hope you get involved with rescue volunteer activities like volunteering at the SPCA - or by opening a dog related business like selling dog products - but please don't add to the population of unwanted dogs and selling misery by becoming a dog broker - another idea is becoming interested in one specific breed and becoming a responsible breeder - taking your dog to shows - maybe becoming a professional dog handler or groomer - but please don't follow in the footsteps of Oops Puppies - it is not a noble profession. Please let my advanced age assure you of that

  15. Anonymous11:04 PM

    So for $350 what do people get? I'm curious. Who is ensuring these pets are going to be spayed/neutered considering a large number of dogs don't make it to their 2nd Birthday in their first home. Is this in the adoption contract, is there a contract? If not good way to keep business going full circle, get a pup, let it get preggers, contact them, they spay the pup you bought from them and take the puppies for profit. I am always amazed at the educated people who still don't see a broker or puppymill when it's right in front of them. Just because there are cute photos that look "nice" doesn't mean that it is.

    1. Anonymous11:47 PM

      I am going there this week to see their puppies and will see for myself...but if we do not adopt/buy these puppies and spay/neuter them and love them...what happens to them then?
      Maybe the government should have someone investigate all registered business' for the selling of animals

  16. I am going to Oops puppies this week and will decide for myself upon visiting there place whether or not to adopt/purchase a puppy!

  17. This lady is still going strong.. and she now will not even you allow to go see the puppies before hand she will choose your puppy many red flags with this company