I’ve written about some atrocious, negligent, and callous dog rescues over the years, but based on my most recent research, I think Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue (RPMR) in Yakima is the worst one yet.
Here are a few descriptions from adopters/potential adopters about the dogs they saw from RPMR which is run by LaTricia/Trish Porter/Prader (she has used more than one name):
- Adopter said the Mastiff/Presa mix looked “severely neglected, underweight, and sick”.
- After potential adopter petted one dog he said his hands were “black as tar said they smelled like death.” Another said their dog had “the stench of sickness that came off her I will never forget.”
- The man reported that the dog had broken teeth, infected eyes, ear mites, and infected paws.
- He had an infection on his neck with an odor so foul “it could make you gag.”
- Porter told them dog was “good with cats” but the adopters said it “tried to tear (their) cat in two” in front of their 6-year-old son.
- As Porter told them the dogs was “good with everyone, including cats, and toddlers”, it lunged and bit the husband on the hand.
These are just a few of the more than 2 dozen complaints about Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue that I posted below. I found most of them on Facebook, RipOff Report, the Better Business Bureau, Scamorg.com, and Revdex.com. The others I found through a public records request to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.
Similar to other questionable dog rescue groups I’ve investigated, the complaints I found about RPMR are eerily similar.
Virtually all of them said the dog they wanted to adopt from RPMR had one or more serious health problems.
Some dogs had parasites. Others had parvovirus. Many were described as emaciated or starved.
Mange, pneumonia, infected wounds, ear infections, diarrhea, and bloody stool were other maladies the dogs had in common.
And a good chunk of the adopters paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for the medical care needed to treat these medical problems.
Many adopters also said that the descriptions of their dog’s temperament and age provided by RPMR on adoption sites weren’t accurate.
Several adopters said they never received vaccination records or adoption contracts for their dogs.
Some said that when they reported their dogs’ injuries to Porter she claimed the dogs were fine when the adopters took them and accused them of causing their health problems.
And Porter didn’t refund the adoption fees to the people who returned dogs to her.
That a dog rescue group would adopt out dogs in such poor physical condition and with unpredictable temperaments is horrifying, cruel, and flagrantly irresponsible.
Porter has consistently denied the allegations against her and RPMR (click here to see a typical response at the bottom of the page), but in my opinion, the large number of and similarity between the complaints make it difficult for me to believe her denials.
This why you MUST do your homework before you adopt a dog from a rescue. As with other businesses or charities where monetary transactions are made, some people will always try to game the system to make a quick buck.
If you’re not sure how to avoid dog rescues, this post that I wrote a couple of years ago can help: 10 things you can do to ensure you adopt a dog from a reputable group. The easiest and most important thing you can do is google the name of the rescue and/or the name of the person who runs it.
I’ll write more about RPMR asap. In the meantime, please share this post to get the word out about this shady dog rescue.
Here are all the complaints/reports I found so far about Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue written by people who either adopted or wanted to adopt dogs from them.
I’m sure you’ll find them as disturbing as I did.
If you don’t want to read all of them you can read the summaries I put at the top of each one.
Thanks to all the people who helped me put together this post. I couldn’t have done it without their help.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF “RESCUE” POSTED ON FACEBOOK
Puppy was sick when they picked her up.
Puppy got “violently ill” within 24 hours of arriving at home.
Puppy was hospitalized with parvovirus.
Puppy diagnosed with “multiple hernias” that required surgery.
The adopter incurred “tremendous vet bill.”
Porter refused to provide medical records or name of vet that treated the puppy.
Porter claimed adopters didn’t provide a good home for the dog and threatened to take her back.
Adopter said the Mastiff/Presa mix looked “severely neglected, underweight, and sick”.
A vet diagnosed the dog with “pneumonia and worms.”
Vet said dog was a pit bull, not a mastiff mix.
The dog was 4 months old and only weighed 20 pounds.
Porter said adopter was “killing the dog by giving it the recommended treatment from the vet.”
Adopter had to put down her 10-year-old Pomeranian after adopted dog infected it.
Potential adopters said Porter brought 3 “emaciated” Mastiffs. One had “green snot coming from his nose and all three had goopy eyes.” Its hips and ribs were showing.
“These were obviously not healthy dogs and it is obvious they were going to HAVE to see a vet.”
After the potential adopter petted one dog he said “his hands were black as tar said they smelled like death.”
The female was only about a year old and had already had pups.
One of the potential adopters called the sheriff and animal control to file a complaint. They told her an investigator in Las Vegas called their office about Porter “ripping someone off by sending a sick dog that only survived several days.”
Complainant said someone she knows sees Porter show up at the same location every 2-3 days “with emaciated sick dogs she is meeting adopters with.” She can “see their hip bones and ribs and can tell they are filthy dirty.”
Below are comments posted on Facebook in response to the above post. Here are some of excerpts:
Two days after they adopted the dog, “horrible snot started pouring from his nose.”
The vet who treated him said the dog had “the worst case of pneumonia” he had ever seen.” He also said the dog had “an ear infection”, was “severely malnourished”, and “severely dehydrated.”
The vet bills the adopter incurred were “in excess of $1000 and climbing.”
Two hours after dog was home it, “snatched our neighbor dog by the head through the wood slats (of a fence) and would NOT let go.” The dog spent two weeks in intensive care and had to undergo several blood transfusions.”
Adopters were told dog was 2-years-old but he was about 8.
Vet report from Pasadena, CA was “bogus.”
Dog was “extremely skinny”, had “an infected wound on her cheek”, “a cough”, and “diarrhea”.
The dog was supposed to be friend and good with kids and dogs”, but she had “serious aggression issues.” She had been “in five fights with our other dog and snapped at the other one.”
The “vet records” they gave me for her “appear to possibly belong to another dog.”
Adopter received a “hand written vaccination paper and she have avoided multiple requests for official vet records.”
“Within 24 hours of getting her home she was violently ill.” She was hospitalized with parvovirus and was in “very bad shape.
The adopters had a “tremendous vet bill” for her hospitalization and were told by their vet that “she had multiple hernias that would require surgery to correct.”
The dog her mother adopted from Trish Porter “was very underweight, infection in both eyes, and many other things I could just go on and on about.”
“Not one day goes by that I don’t think about all the poor dogs being abused or even dying.”
Trish Porter gave adopter a dog with the “worst case of mange the vet had ever seen.” The adopter had to treat the dog with “medicated shampoo, antibiotics, and vitamins for MONTHS.”
The adopter said after they got the dog it was “vet bills galore with health problems for awhile” and never got the $50 credit for spay that he was promised or the vet bills that Porter said was “lost in the mail.”
Adopter said the 8-week-old puppy she bought came with “a bunch of health problems, mange, and various health problems that cost quite a bit.”
Porter said the puppy was vaccinated but she claimed to have lost the paperwork, then claimed “SHE’D actually done it herself.” She also said the adoption contract was “lost in the mail and there was no second copy.”
Adopter “never received the voucher promised” for having the dog fixed which is something touted on the rescue’s website.
Adopter said it was “odd to have to rescue a dog from a rescue itself” and warned other potential adopters to “Avoid Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue at all costs.”
“The only truth she (Porter) told me was that the dog was a male St. Bernard.”
The dog had “severe elbow and hip dysplasia” and was blind “due to a huge facial skin fold and entropion.”
Porter claimed she didn’t know about the dog’s medical issues but adopter said it sounded like “she knew about his medical issues and just hid them from me.”
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF RESCUE FILED WITH YAKIMA COUNTY SHERRIF’S DEPARTMENT
Porter provided no vaccination/health history about Denver or information about previous owner, but the woman who gave the dog to RPMR said she provided Porter all the dog’s vet records to her.
Adopter never received copy of adoption contract.
Denver had tag on collar that belonged to a poodle in Olympia.
Porter claimed she had Denver was neutered, but the owner that turned Denver over to Porter said she had dog neutered at 6 months.
The owner said Denver bit her husband and she gave up Denver due to “aggressive behavior.”
Denver’s owner told police he gave Porter a “four page letter” saying the dog “had not had any contact with young children due to his aggressive behavior” and wouldn’t recommend placing it in a home with kids. Porter placed it in a foster home with kids.
The owner also said Porter’s description of Denver on Petfinder was “incorrect and misinforming.” The Petfinder ad for dog said she was a “Loving, friendly dog. Good with children and pet(s).”
Porter told adopter the dog was 3. Papers from owner said she was 6.
Adopter noticed cut on Buster’s mouth when he took the dog from Porter. Porter claimed he was a “fence-biter” and injured lip in a park.
When Buster arrived at his new home the adopter’s wife said the wound was “open, bleeding, and appeared infected.”
The right side of Buster’s face was “scabbed and bleeding from scratching.”
Adopter’s vet said Buster’s face wounds were infected and would require antibiotics.
The vet also said Buster had a torn cruciate ligament in his right hind leg.
Initial vet bill was $115.
When the adopters contacted Porter about Buster’s health problems she said the dog was fine when she turned it over to adopters and contacted the local SPCA to accuse adopters of causing the injuries.
An SPCA officer examined Buster and said the wounds were too old to have been caused by his adopters.
Adopter said 4 days after he adopted Emmit she was “extremely ill and had to be hospitalized due to the extent and severity of the illness.”
Porter claimed to police she advised the adopter that the dog “was not 100 percent” and wasn’t ready for adoption.
Adopter’s vet told police the dog had an upper respiratory infection that turned into “full blown pneumonia.”
Vet also said dog should have been on antibiotics for at least 30 days and possibly up to 6 months. Porter claimed that vet in CA gave her a prescription for only 2 weeks of antibiotics.
A man filed a report with the Yakima County Sheriff regarding a Mastiff he adopted from Porter that he believed had been “abused and neglected.”
The man reported that the dog had broken teeth, infected eyes, ear mites, and infected paws.
Porter told him the dog was 4-5 years old. His vet said it was at least 8.
He never received an adoption contract as promised and got no response to the “numerous” emails he sent asking for it.
Potential adopter met Porter about a St. Bernard name Wiley that was supposedly 10-12 months old. She was “mortified and horrified” at the appearance and smell of the dog.
Wiley appeared to be “significantly underweight” and had “multiple open sores on his body that were oozing pus.” She told police it looked like Wiley had been kept in a crate so small he couldn’t move.
Wiley had multiple abscesses in his mouth, one of which was “the size of a quarter” and oozing pus. He also had a large, “very crusty” sore under his collar.
The potential adopter’s husband called the Mapleway Vet Clinic about the Wiley and was told she was about 3-years-old and had 2-3 litters of puppies.
Porter claimed Wiley was up to date on her vaccinations but couldn’t produce a shot record or rabies certificate.
The potential adopter told Porter she wouldn’t take Wiley because she was “in extremely poor health and emaciated.”
Laguna was a stray Great Pyrenees that someone found and turned into the Humane Society of Central Washington. The person who found him said he had an infection on his neck with an odor so foul “it could make you gag.” Laguna’s collar was so tight the man’s daughter had to cut it off.
A woman named Annie Dickens called the Humane Society and claimed Laguna belonged her. While being questioned by the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office about Luna, Dickens lied twice about where she lived before admitting she lived with Porter.
Dickens told investigators that Laguna neck’s was fine when he escaped, but the veterinarian who examined the dog the day after he was found said Laguna’s injuries were “likely caused by a pinch collar that was too tight” and the wounds on his neck were “3 days to a week old.”
Dickens said she was fostering Laguna and claimed she adopted him on April 28, the day before he was found.
The officer who interviewed Dickens wrote the following in his report: “I believe that based on my experience and numerous complaints about the business practices of Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue, Latricia Porter was, at the time of the Laguna’s injuries the rightful owner of the dog. The adoption paperwork was signed and post dated by Dickens in an attempt to claim ownership of Laguna and have Laguna released into her custody by the Humane Society.”
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF RESCUE FILED WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
Adopters were supposed to get a rescued English Bulldog. Someone crossed out “Boxer Mix” on paperwork and replaced it with “English Bulldog.”
Dog had “several open bite wounds on him.”
Porter told them dog was “good with cats” but adopters said it “tried to tear (their) cat in two” in front of their 6-year-old son.
They returned the dog but didn’t get refund for $450 adoption fee.
Adopters spent $750 on medical bills for the cat.
Porter told adopter that the dog “was very good with other dogs, was ok with cats but may need a little bit of training, and had a microchip”, but the adopter said the dog was “extremely aggressive toward all other animals, including all dogs, cats, even our turtles.”
Dog was very sick due to what the vet said was “severe and recent neglect.”
Adopter incurred over $1500 in veterinary expenses after having the dog for a week.
Adoption profile said dog “ADORES dogs, cats, kids, etc.” Adopter was also told directly that dog was “great with other dogs.”
Adopter was told dog had been bathed but it had a “foul” stench.
Dog was very skinny and looked like “it hadn’t eaten for days.”
When adopter introduced it to one of her dogs it attacked her boxer/cur mix without warning and latched onto its throat. It also bit their Labrador Retriever in the ribs.
Porter blamed the adopters for the dogs health problems.
Adopter was told dog was young but it had a “graying face.”
Adopter was told “the dog was gentle and had not been aggressive in any way,” but within a minute after meeting her small dog it “viciously attacked him.”
Porter blamed adopter for attack, said she wouldn’t return adoption fee because of her “bad decisions.” Adopter returned dog anyway.
Adopter had to pay vet $250 to treat her dog that was attacked.
Adopter said Porter “lies for a living and abuses dogs for profit. She has no compassion or guilt for what she’s done.”
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF RESCUE POSTED ON RIPOFF REPORT
Woman surrendered her Great Dane named Daiquiri to Porter due to “aggression issues.” Prater said they would wait a month before adopting her out to monitor her behavior, but there was an ad for Daquiri on Petfinder “a few days later.”
She said Porter’s ad contained 3 inaccuracies she believed were included on purpose “to make her seem more adoptable”:
The ad said the dog was young, but she was 4 (“middle aged for a Great Dane”).
The ad the owner gave up the dog because it and a sibling started fighting, but the dog she gave up actually attacked her sibling “3 times unprovoked and did serious damage.”
The ad said “they had not seen any aggression towards people” even though the dog had been surrendered because “she tried to attack a neighbor twice.”
“I could not believe my eyes, this dog was so skinny, a Mastiff should be about 150lbs or a little more, this dog was 118lbs.”
“This dog could hardly walk, his eyes were full of gunk, you could see his bones, he had a very bad odor and scars.”
“…I knew this lady was a liar and this so called Rescue is a scam.”
Vet examination revealed Sam had a “yeast infection of the right ear,” parasites, and roundworm.
Adopters were told the dog they wanted was a “healthy dog, who has a microchip, who loves kids, is good with other dogs, and most likely ok with cats.” Instead, they got a dog that tested positive for giardia, was NOT microchipped, on two separate occasions lunged at small kids while on leash, is highly dog aggressive,…and has attacked a cat.”
“They are completely unethical and untrustworthy!”
“DO NOT support the continued dog flipping for profit that this rescue is running.”
“This woman is a liar, an animal hoarder, abuser, and is absolutely dangerous.”
The pictures of the dog adopter wanted were taken an angle “to hide her emaciated and bite ridden, poor sickly Staph infected body.”
The dog “tried to kill my cat” and “attacked my sweet male Mastiff.”
“…the stench of sickness that came off of her I will never forget.”
She would “kill another animal, probably even for food as she was that starved, and who knows what she would have done to a small, quick moving child.”
Adopter said he wished he kept her and had her euthanized as “that would have been a better fate than going back to whatever hell hole Trisha Prater hides them in.”
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF RESCUE POSTED ON SCAMORG.COM
Adopter was told South African Mastiff named Fergie was 3-5 years old. Info on microchip said he was 8.
Health problems: Weeping eye, ears filled with earmites, dirt, and debris, rough/cracked paws, most nails broken, infected paw.
Porter said King “was healthy” when adopted and refused to give adopter the number for Fergie’s chip.
Adopter said Fergie could “hardly walk” and was “in so much pain and sick.”
Porter told potential adopters that wanted a Great Dane that a Beauceron would be a better fit even though they filled out no paperwork and Porter knew nothing about them.
The house where they met the dog was “just falling apart” and had “dog crates line up around the outside of it, filled with dogs out in the (100 degree) heat.”
As Porter told them the dog was “good with everyone, including cats, and toddlers”, it lunged and bit the husband on the hand.
When the couple told Porter they would be first time dog owners and didn’t feel comfortable about taking it, she told them to take it home at no charge and keep him in a kennel for a month “until he was so starved for attention he would bond with (them).”
Porter told adopter a puppy was a Mastiff, but it turned out to be “a 20lb terrier.”
The puppy was “covered in faces, riddled with whipworms, with falsified vet paperwork.”
COMPLAINT ABOUT RISING PHOENIX MASTIFF RESCUE POSTED ON REVDEX.COM
Porter told adopter that the puppy they purchased was a Great Dane/Dane mix, but it’s a pit bull.
Puppy was very sick when they adopted him – blood in stool, mange, worms.
Vet said “poor care” caused puppy’s health problems.