The other day I witnessed an interesting conversation that somehow made it’s way in my timeline. I didn’t know any of the people involved, so I didn’t comment on it, but the topic was a very young puppy that was really too young to be away from her mother, and the person said they had rescued her from a puppy mill, and that’s why she was with them at such a young age.
That’s really sweet and touching on the surface, but not when I realized, upon scrolling down the conversation, that she went to the puppy mill, paid the breeder, and walked away with her new 5 week old puppy.
That is not a rescue; that is a purchase. The sad thing is that this conversation is not an isolated incident. Many people will talk of puppies they rescued from craigslist or from puppy mills, during which they handed money to the person who was abusing and neglecting the dogs.
I’ve seen people justify it by saying things like, “well the person on the ad said that if they couldn’t get rid of the puppies they were going to drown them!” And of course that is terrible! That’s a horrible thing. What a disgusting person, to threaten something like that! Do you know what you should do in order to rescue those puppies? Report the offender.
If the person who is committing these terrible offenses–which, for the record, in the United States is now officially considered a felony–is not being punished for their crimes, or worse yet, is actually profiting off them, then you have not rescued the puppy at all.
I understand the urgency that one can feel, when one reads something that terrible, or hears of all the awful things someone is threatening to do if they don’t get the puppies off their hands, but there are things you can do to put an actual stop to it. You can file reports and send screenshots as evidence. You can have the puppies rescued by an organization, and then adopt the puppy from them. That way you know that someone is taking action against the offender, while simultaneously removing the puppies from their custody and out of harm’s way.
I am a big fan of dog rescuing. I truly am touched when I hear stories of people rescuing dogs from terrible situations and I’m thrilled to tears when they find their forever homes and are loved and cared for. And I understand people wanting to do something like that, and wanting to say, “I rescued her.”
But don’t let your eagerness blind you. If the perpetrator profits from your interaction, it wasn’t a rescue. Don’t play into their hands like that. Don’t end up supporting them in your efforts to stage a rescue.