"Adopt Don't Shop" Sounds Good Until You See Who Really Benefits

The phrase was admirable once but now it is used as an emotional hook to drag goodhearted people into a complex snare of lies and deceit. 

Retail Rescue Mills In The News.... 

spcaLA Investigation Leads to Revoked License for Veterinarian

"In its investigation, spcaLA discovered that FGR had been using Sandy’s worsening condition for fundraising for Sandy on social media, a practice not uncommon, and meant to pull at the heart and purse strings of donors.  “It is unclear why Whitney or Furrever Grateful Rescue allowed the miserable suffering of this animal,” said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein.  'Whatever their intentions, whether motivated by naiveté or greed, this kind of cruelty is beyond words.  No living being should ever suffer like that.' ” Read more...

National Dog Day: Could Your Rescue Dog Have Rabies? 

"Though some imported dogs are taken by legitimate US rescues, others are becoming the product of unregulated, informal markets, including online retail "rescues." According to the US Customs and Border Patrol, there have been numerous incidents involving smuggling of underage and sick animals." Read more....

Pet Rescue Raided by SPCA for "Disgusting"  Conditions in Ohio Used GoFundMe to Dupe Donors

"...what about rescue groups themselves soliciting funds purporting to help the furbabies? In many ways, they’re more dangerous than individuals putting up fake campaigns, as they often come with non-profit status from the IRS, lending credibility and tax write-off receipts to their nefarious activities." Read more...

Tennessee Woman and Serial GOFundMe Grifter Pleads Guilty to Theft in Service Dog Scam 

"Scammers and phony ‘rescuers’ often use animals to tug at heartstrings — whether it is an injured animal in their care or just stolen photos of someone else’s pet — and animal-loving donors are easily parted from their hard-earned money because who doesn’t want to help an animal?.... Police say Hulbig collected over $92,000 in fundraising efforts from January 2013 to April 2014." Read more...

The Global Stray Dog Population Crisis

"Pretending that rescuing dogs from developing countries with ongoing rabies epidemics is helping solve problems is not only short-sighted, it’s dangerous. At best it represents a shallow form of sentimentality, not true kindness. At worst, importing street dogs is a cynical form of old fashioned greed on the part of the organizations and businesses that are trading in them. Judging by their IRS 990 forms, the shelters importing these dogs are making a handsome profit on them, retaining their traditional image as shelters and marketing their product as unregulated pet stores." Read more...

Disparage – Regulate – Prohibit – Monopolize

Animal Mobsters Collaborate to Eradicate Purebreds and Take Over the Pet Marketplace

"The truth is, American dog ownership is at a tipping point and the future availability of many historical breeds is threatened.

Perhaps some Americans would be willing to trade the breeds they’ve grown up with for a feral dog from Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Mexico or India, but a public awareness campaign is surely needed to awaken those who haven’t knowingly signed on to this transaction." Read more...

Seller of sick pets ordered to surrender assets

"As a nonprofit corporation, Scottsville Veterinary Adoptions was not required to comply with standards of animal care that apply to pet stores and commercial breeders, and pet adopters had no recourse under the state's Pet Lemon Law." Read more...

Dozens Say Dogs They Adopted from Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue Were Sick, Emaciated

That a dog rescue group would adopt out dogs in such poor physical condition and with unpredictable temperaments is horrifying, cruel, and flagrantly irresponsible." 

Iowa: Lindsey Morrow was running a no-kill non-profit animal rescue. Police say it was a death camp for dogs. Morrow has been charged with multiple crimes

"'She collected $3,000 for one of the dogs and we found him dead in one of the kennels,' Petraline said." (Caution, photos very disturbing). Read more...

Dog Rescues Illegally Brought Thousands of Dogs into Washington Last Year

"As I suspected, some dog rescues that import thousands of dogs a year to Washington are not listed because the WSDA had no health certificates for the dogs they brought here in 2016.

Here are some examples:" 

Enough with the "Adopt Don't Shop" Lies !

It causes people to doubt they have the right to decide what type of dog they wish to buy for their family.

How insane have things become? 

The campaign started out as a way to reduce the unwanted dog population in shelters.

It soon morphed into a great little money making scheme. Who did this? The Rescue Mills. The ones who took an honorable activity from real rescues and bent it to their own financial needs. Meanwhile, the good rescues are getting buried beneath the weight of more and more rescue mills that come into existance.

Dog Overpopulation Myth

Some say canine overpopulation is real. More and more people are seeing it is just a myth. My belief is it is a carefully, artificially constructed situation by the rescue mills. After all, if the South is in such dire straits with an overpopulation of dogs in their area, WHY are they importing dogs from Korea to New Jersey? Get your stories straight, people!

Shoppers are hypnotized into believing a false moral imperative. That false assumption is:

  1. that there are an overabundance of unwanted dogs and
  2. the prospective dog owner is responsible for taking care of all these sick, dying, poorly bred dogs even while the rescue mills bring more and more of these dogs to the States from other countries to adopt out.

“There’s a sucker born every minute” as they say. We are walking into BIG BUSINESS territory now. Turn on your BS meter when you listen to “rescue mills” these days.

Why do organizations want to sell this pitiful assortment of dogs? Why do they want to deceive the public into thinking there is an overabundance of unwanted dogs?

Because they are easy and cheap to come by, and they can sell at a profit.

Making money is the bottom line. They want the biggest piece of the market for dogs, no matter the price to the consumer. And the trend to import was noted at least as early as 2003.

“ADOPT, DON’T SHOP” is simply a good marketing ploy to steer you away from healthy, happy puppies offered by breeders who medically screen their breeding stock and are willing to stand behind their dogs for life, or real rescues willing to do the hard work of rehabbing dogs.

Or if you care to read another article from THE NAIA (National Animal Interest Alliance) on the growth of retail rescue.

Or how about the study that shows 95% of dog in shelters are MUTTS not purebred. So why blame breeders. We don't breed mutts.

Let’s look at the typical process of how dogs are acquired by animal control agencies or “rescue mills” and then sold to the public. You will then understand the “smoke and mirror” con games being played.

Where They Get The Dogs

Imported from other countries - Dogs are imported regularly in great number. To the tune of 300,000 dogs imported into the US in a year. The CDC is even concerned because some enter the country with rabies.  

Good and ethical rescues work with their community. They evaluate the dogs they receive and keep them long enough to know what kind of behavioral baggage they may be carrying. They inform prospective buyers. Not the mills. It's all about quick turnover for them.

Now if you look at the comments from many pet traders they yell that the south is overrun with homeless dogs, shelters bursting and they have a real need save and/or ship dogs to other areas of the country in order to save as many dogs as possible. Really? 

According to an expose by a TV reporter, it is no wonder! They are importing dogs from Puerto Rico, Bahamas and elsewhere.

Interstate importation. One east coast “rescue mill” would have 50 dogs per week shipped in from Texas to sell. If that isn’t retail “rescue” I don’t know what is. I have seen news articles of truckloads of dogs being shipped from Georgia to Michigan. This is no one shot deal. This is an ongoing system.

Well, let’s turn over that rock and see what slithers out.

A. The Fake Hoarder / Abuse / Neglect Raid

First some trumped up charges about an owner of multiple animals is reported by an Animal Rights group or rogue “rescue” in search of some product to sell. An early morning raid / search and seizure occurs. Maybe a few staged videos are created for website viewing to make things look worse than they really are.

The dogs are put in the pound and the owner is given a choice of paying exorbitant fees for boarding the dogs against his will until the whole court process is completed (talking months here), risk arrest and jail time or sign the dogs over to the county. Guess what the owner has to do…. Guess where the dogs end up….

BAM! Looky here! We done got ourselves another bunch of dogs to sell, Bubba!! WAA-HOO! No muss, no fuss.

Next time you watch news coverage on a “hoarder”, take a good look at the dogs. They may not look so “neglected”. Don’t assume anything. 

How about this little sting operation? The man had had 2 litters in the past two years, He was having people sign a contract. This was no puppymill. It was in his home.

The city in its infinite wisdom took 6 week old puppies from their dam and put them in "rescue" who is already taking applications to sell the dogs

This "rescue" is not in good standing with the state, and was over it's legal foster limit before it ever took the pups. But I guess it's OK if they break the law. It's just us greedy breeders that had better tow the line.  

And the rescue isn't waiting for the man to go to court, heck no! Why wait for due process when they have people lined up to buy these puppies already. Wouldn't want to cut into that profit margin by keeping them any longer than 2 weeks if they don't have to.

  • One owner lost his dogs because they had fleas and some tartar on their teeth. Can you imagine? Abuse, my ass! OK, folks, let’s confiscate all dogs nationwide if they have fleas and teeth that need brushing.
  • One woman in Arkansas had her dogs taken because she couldn’t afford a $200 fee per dog to keep them on her property. So the county confiscated all of them, put them in the pound, then ON A NEWSCAST bemoaned they didn’t have enough room to keep the dogs! They said unless a “rescue” came along to re-home them (read sell), they would have to be put down. The vet report had said all the dogs were in good condition at the time they were confiscated. Easy pickin'. This is theft!
  • In one search and seizure on a farm, it was reported by the sheriff that a volunteer told him a donkey was swaying and therefore it was having psychological issues and needed to be confiscated due to abuse. I kid you not.

B. "Rescues" which refuse to return dogs to owners

Let’s not be fooled. Refusing to return dogs to owners is rarely about the dogs, their safety or happiness. There is never any legal basis to the accusation of abuse or neglect. Minor medical issues are blown out of proportion by the rescue to justify keeping the dog.

It is a statutory technicality that allows a rescue or individual to say after a matter of 5 days that the original owner no longer has a right to the dog. This is about business, about income, about money, about ego. 

"Rescue Mills" don't rescue, they take what they want with impunity. There are legitimate rescues all around the country furious with this new twist on dog brokering.  

I’ve written previously about Piper the Champion Sheltie that a “rescue” refuses to return to the breeder. You can read more here.

Click this link if you would like to sign the online petition supporting the return of Soda to her owner.

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

~Frederic Bastiat, The Law

Can you believe it?? Too late? A foster falls in love in one day and that wipes out 14 years of bonding with the true owner? THIEVES! Money. Grubbing. Thieves.

Anyone with a 14 year old dog knows there will be medical issues. You keep them as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. This rescue states it plans to put the dog through a double knee surgery and reconstructive face surgery.

At 14 years old and with a heart murmur? Yeah, right! More like, let's get those donations rolling in... I see $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 

Unfortunately, unless the owner has the money to sue, there is no recourse. Once again the animal control department did not comply with federal Animal Welfare Act and hold the dog 5 days and the "rescue" is obviously more interested in getting donations for a dog they now technically own.

Would you want to do business with someone like that who can't see what the ethical thing to do is?

You know what they would say in defense? "But we own the dog now." The unspoken end of the sentence is... "... and we don't give a f**k about the owner being devastated at the loss. Too bad, so sad. MINE, MINE, MINE!!! Finders keepers, loses weepers. MINE, MINE, MINE!!!!"

One woman is taking a bogus "rescue" to court. Here is the actual complaint submitted to the court. How many of you dog owners have the savings to support this long drawn out process to get your dog back? 

These groups are in business for the wrong reasons and there is a special place in hell for people like that.

Unfortunately, there are tons more stories just like these

C. Owner surrenders

Are there owner surrenders? Yes. Is it enough to justify the term Overpopulation? No. And since I and other reputable breeders take back any dog that we breed at any time, there are no dogs purchased from good breeders adding to the situation.

Now that you know where all these dogs are coming from, let’s look at how these flimflam con artists reel in their mark. It’s the long game.

The Pre-Sell Tactics

The “rescue mills" and Animal Control finger-waggers continue screeching that people have no right to choose a purebred dog based on personal preferences unless they are purchased at a pound or “rescue” and until all the dogs in shelters and “rescues” have found homes.

Let me be the first to throw down the gauntlet and say, that is total BS. We have been fed this line so long, many actually believe it. Real rescues know that it takes time to find the right home for the right pound dog. You don't just sell to anyone. Some may never be appropriate and the hard decisions need to be made. Not every dog is salvageable.

That is the same logic as saying people should not be allowed to have their own biological children until all the children of the world have been adopted. After all, children, unlike dogs are well aware of their history in foster homes shuffled around for years. Those children feel the lack of love and are traumatized by it year in and year out. Yet where is the outcry that no more children should be born?

Why it is BS to believe all unwanted dogs should get homes first before breeding new ones: 

Because these “rescue / shelter” organizations are doing whatever they must in order to keep up the flow of “unwanted” dogs that they can sell. As I said in the beginning… an artificial, contrived situation to create a never-ending market.

Here's another "rescue" that goes around collecting puppy mill dogs (yup, you know... the breeders they supposdly want to shut down?) The rescues are now the breeders customers and re-selling them for a few hundred dollars. Although, having looked at the photos of the dogs, I have to wonder if maybe they were bought at an auction. They certainly look in decent shape, not the mangled messes usually portrayed.

This is not rescue, this is simple pet trafficking, this company is a pet trader. It's not illegal, but certainly the term "rescue" is deceptive.

The Sale

Hmmm, remember the situation with pet store puppies? 

“Don’t buy a pet store puppy.” We would all say. “That will just lead the puppy mill breeders to produce more dogs to replace what was bought”.  If the demand was there, the supply would continue to meet it. True enough. So, buying puppies in a pet store is now generally avoided because it is pretty well known as a puppy mill outlet. 

However, many people do not realize that shelters are simply replacing puppy mills in the very same role. As a matter of fact, some even use pet stores to display their dogs and cats. The face has changed, the dance is pretty much the same.

In the case of the shelters, or “rescues”, they don’t even have to bother with the effort of breeding as puppy mill breeders did. 

(Although some are considering getting into the breeding business. After all people want puppies not adults and they must keep the consumer coming back to them). 

But for right now shelters and “rescues” are in the dog flipping business. You know what house flipping is right? Same for dogs. Buy low, sell high.

Double Standard for rescues vs. breeders

The "Rescue Mill" Game

Of course once the prospective adopter has been sucked into the “ADOPT DON’T SHOP” vortex, getting a dog from a “rescue” is a long and arduous process. There are many absurd requirements to get a dog and it may not be the dog they were interested in. Dogs up for adoption have been known to mysteriously disappear. 

You get what the “rescue” wants you to get. You have no right to choose. After all, only “rescues” know best. The customer is a mere mortal! Please remember though, you are the mortal with the checkbook. Vote with your hard earned money.

To add insult to injury, the “rescue’s” contract may state that the buyer will never actually own the dog. Some contracts state the rescue has the right to show up at the adopter’s door and take the dog back at any time if they don’t like how the adopter is taking care of the dog.

No refund, no reasons, no appeal. Just take the dog and resell it. That’s what “adoption” means to them. You don’t buy, you adopt…. Well, actually lease would be more accurate.

Stop the Madness !!

As long as the canine recycling trade can find people willing to believe in this “overpopulation”, the "Adopt Don’t Shop" agenda will be a big, lucrative business.  

As long as you put up with their harassments, they succeed.

Woman tired of rescues

As long as they make you weep for the dogs they have stolen, refused to give back to owners or deliberately imported for sale, dogs will continue to be stolen and sold for profit.

As long as they can make you feel guilty for wanting a healthy, happy, well-bred puppy with guarantees, directly from the breeder, they win. 

As long as they have you believing you have no right to choose the dog you want, they have your money. 

Do I object to profit? No. I object deception, to profit from stolen goods. I object to dogs sold without reasonable medical and social history. I object to the con artists that have taken over what used to be an honorable activity of REAL RESCUE, of breeding good dogs, of rescuing TRUE strays and finding rightful owners.

I object to law enforcement that lets them get way with all their shenanigans. 

This is a massive shell game being played by animal control and “retail rescues” nationwide. The only one who benefits from the game are these criminal canine recycling salesmen and women. The dogs lose and so do prospective dog owners. 

How do we eradicate the myth of Overpopulation and end the "Adopt Don’t Shop" mantra? Don’t buy into their scam. If there is no market for these imported or stolen dogs, the game has to change. Because as always, they follow the money.


Do you know how to get a dog to stop begging at the table? You just ignore him. 

Do you know what the dog does then? 

He increases whatever begging behavior used to work until you think you will go mad. Crying, whining, pawing, sad eyes, drooling… you name it. 

That’s called an Extinction Burst. Just keep ignoring him. Don’t give in. After the extinction burst, they give up and go find something else to do. He learns that no amount of pleading works anymore.

Same with the rescue mills. Stand tough. Let them scream. Eventually, they will exhaust themselves.

If You STILL Choose To Adopt From A Rescue

If trying to adopt a dog from a rescue, this is what the legitimate ones can tell you:

If You STILL Choose To Adopt From An Animal Control Pound


  • Do they comply with the Federal Animal Welfare Act that requires dogs be held 5 days before selling to the public?
  • Do they have a return policy
  • Do they give a refund?

If You Choose To BUY From A Breeder

Find yourself a reputable breeder to buy a puppy or older dog and ask:

  • Do they have a written contract
  • What is their return policy
  • What are the guarantees
  • Do they do medical clearances on all their breeding dogs?
  • Do they offer a refund
  • Definitely, see the puppy before buying.
  • If they do rescue and re-home dogs how long do they try to find the owners? 

Your Consumer Rights

Remember, you have rights. Here are the Consumer Rights summarized:

  1. Right to Be Informed - This right states that businesses should always provide consumers with enough appropriate, truthful information to make intelligent and informed product choices. 
  2. Right to Choose - The right to free choice among product offerings in an environment open to competition
  3. Right to Be Heard - Consumers may voice complaints and concerns about a product in order to have the issue handled efficiently and responsively.
  4. The Right to Redress - To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
  5. Right to Safety - Defense of consumers against injuries caused by products 
  6. Right to Satisfaction of Basic Needs - To have access to basic, essential goods and services

Be a smart consumer.

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