FORMER RESERVIST FOSTERS DOGS TO HELP HER HEAL
Kimberly Rew lives in Thurston County with her husband their young toddler. He is currently stationed at Ft. Lewis, and she was in both the Navy Reserve and Army National Guard.
Kimberly has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and like many people who suffer from it, she has used dogs to help her cope with it. When her dog Cooper died last year she decided to channel some of her grief towards fostering a pregnant Maltese for a rescue group called Furever Homes in Olympia.
Her saga began on December 18 when she met Furever Homes founder Sharon Gold at a gas station near Olympia. When Ms. Gold opened the door of her SUV, Kimberly was surprised to see a female dachshund mix with 9 four-week-old puppies. Ms. Gold said the pregnant Maltese didn’t make it on the transport.
Kimberly asked for their vaccination records and health certificates, but Ms. Gold told her that “fosters aren’t allowed to have that information as (they) aren’t allowed to get medical care for the fosters.” She also said all their health certificates go to her veterinarian’s office.
When she got the puppies home, Kimberly discovered that the mother had a case of tapeworm that was so severe the dog “had tapeworms coming out of her anus.”
Ms. Gold said she would call her veterinarian to get medication but Kimerly never got it. Instead, she used an over-the-counter dewormer she already had because only a veterinarian could prescribe a stronger one.
Kimberly took the puppies and their mother back to Ms. Gold on January 2nd because she was supposed to have knee surgery. All the puppies at that point were “fat and happy,” and they showed no sign of illness.
Kimberly ended up not having surgery because she was sick, so she picked up 4 of the puppies on January 12th to continue fostering them.
PUPPIES GET SERIOUSLY ILL AFTER STAY AT RESCUE
On January 15th Kimberly told Ms. Gold two of the puppies had diarrhea and were pooping blood. She told Kimberly to deworm the dogs again even though Kimberly had already dewormed them 3 times and she had no idea why the puppies were sick. She did not ask Kimberly to take them to a vet to determine why they were pooping blood.
On January 20th a male puppy was extremely sick. Kimberly told Ms. Gold that he was coughing, sneezing, and “spraying diarrhea everywhere.” He also had a fever of 104.2. The sites I found online said if a dog’s temperature is anywhere from 102.5-104 degrees F you should call a veterinarian immediately.
Ms. Gold didn’t call her veterinarian. Instead she instructed Kimberly to pick up the antibiotic Clavamox for the puppies from her rescue partner even though she still didn’t know why the puppies were sick.
After Kimberly starting giving them Clavamox their health did improve but they still had diarrhea.
On January 21st, Kimberly told Ms. Gold that she found roundworms in the puppies’ kennel and all the puppies had diarrhea. Ms. Gold expressed concern that the puppies had worms again but did not ask Kimberly to take them to a vet.
On January 24 Kimblery told Ms. Gold that a female puppy named Cissie was lethargic, passing blood, and not eating or drinking. She also had 104 degree F fever. But instead of authorizing Kimberly to take the puppy to a vet to get checked out, she told Kimberly to bring the puppy to Sam, her rescue partner.
When Sam met Kimberly she told her she was late because she had to bleach a kennel she would be putting the yellow pup in because 2 puppies died in it same morning although it wasn’t clear if they were from the litter Kimberly fostered.
Kimberly asked if she was taking Cissie to the vet. Sam said no vets were open on Sunday (emergency clinics are open 24/7) and that she had the medication at home to treat the puppy.
Remember, at this point Cissie hadn’t been to the vet so no one knew what she had. I don’t see how Sam could have known what medication to give her without a diagnosis from a veterinarian.
PUPPIES GET SICKER BUT STILL DON’T SEE VET
On January 25th everything came to a head. Kimberly texted Ms. Gold,“I need to find out if this is parvo. All my pups are sick. Now vomiting. They need to be seen by a vet.” They were also passing blood and had raspy breathing.
Although the puppies still had not been vaccinated or taken to a vet, Ms. Gold insisted the pups didn’t have parvo.
Kimberly pointed this out when she said, “How do you know without testing? Bella is vomiting, bloody mucous diarrhea, fevers, lethargic.”
Here is a screenshot of the conversation. Kimberly’s comments are in blue, Ms. Gold’s are in gray.
Kimberly said she would take the puppies to Furever Homes’ veterinarian if Ms. Gold would make an appointment. Instead, Ms. Gold said she would come get the puppies. Kimberly asked if she was going to take them straight to a vet. But Ms. Gold wouldn’t confirm it, saying that she would “do what needs to be done.”
Not believing that she was going to take the puppies to a vet, Kimberly told Ms. Gold she would meet her at the vet. Here are the screenshots of the conversation as it continued:
ONE FOSTER PUPPY DIES
Later in their conversation Ms. Gold said she had everything she needs to treat the puppies – IV fluids and anti-vomiting medicine – even though a veterinarian still hadn’t diagnosed the puppies’ illnesses and she didn’t know why they were sick. Kimberly again offered to bring the puppies meet with Ms. Gold at her vet to have them examined.
While they were texting, the female puppy named Bella died.
REMAINING PUPPIES RETURNED TO FUREVER HOMES
Kimberly then said she would return Bella’s body and one of the puppies that was still alive to Ms. Gold, which she did that afternoon. Now Kimberly had just one puppy, a male named Otis, which she was going to keep per her agreement with Ms. Gold. She gave Otis to a neighbor who knew how sick he was and wanted to help him recover. Kimberly paid for his vet care herself, but unfortunately he was too sick to recover and he died of distemper not long afterwards.
Kimberly was told later by someone close to Ms. Gold that only 1 puppy survived from the litter of 9 she fostered.
On February 1, Kimberly saw a picture on Furever Homes’ Facebook page of one of the puppies she fostered before her knee surgery. Despite Ms. Gold’s claims during their texts that none of the 5 puppies Kimberly left with her after her surgery showed any signs of illness, this puppy looks emaciated and unhealthy (see picture below).
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
Since I’ve thrown you a ton of information at you, he’s a summary of what happened between December 18 when Kimberly took the puppies and January 25 when she took the remaining puppies back to Ms. Gold.
- December 18 – January 2: Kimberly fostered a litter of 9 puppies and their mother. The puppies were approximately 4 weeks old when she got them. During this period none of the puppies showed any signs of illness.
- January 2 – January 12: All the puppies were at Ms. Gold’s house as Kimberly was scheduled to have knee surgery.
- January 12: Kimberly took back 4 of the puppies. She was going to keep one and foster the rest until they were ready to be adopted.
- January 15: Kimberly reported to Ms. Gold that 2 of the puppies were pooping blood and mucus. Sharon told her to worm them a fourth time. They were not examined by a vet.
- January 18: None of the puppies had been vaccinated yet, so Kimberly bought vaccines herself and vaccinated 3 of the 4 puppies (the store had run out of vaccinations). Ms. Gold was supposed to bring by vaccinations but never did.
- January 20: Kimberly told Ms. Gold that a puppy was coughing, sneezing, and “spraying diarrhea everywhere.” He also had a fever of 104.2. Ms. Gold told her pick up the antibiotic Clavamox from one of her helpers to administer to the puppies. Their health improved but they still had diarrhea.
- On January 21st, Kimberly told Ms. Gold that she found roundworms in the puppies’ kennel and all the puppies had diarrhea.
- January 24: A female puppy named Cissie had a fever, was lethargic, passing blood, and not eating or drinking. Ms. Gold instructed Kimberly to bring the puppy to her rescue partner, not a veterinarian.
- January 25: Kimberly told Ms. Gold that all the remaining puppies were vomiting and insisted that they should go to veterinarian to see if they had parvo. Ms. Gold demanded that she bring the puppies back to her. During the conversation a female puppy died. Kimberly took its body and one of the remaining puppies to Sharon. She kept one that she ended up giving to her neighbor who wanted to help him recover.
PUPPIES INFECTED WHILE AT RESCUE
The key factor here is that the puppies were never sick during the 2 weeks that Kimberly initially had them. Their symptoms appeared 3 days after Kimberly took 4 of them back on January 12 after they had been at Ms. Gold’s house for a week.
In my opinion, the puppies were infected while they were at Ms. Gold’s house. As has been reported before, Ms. Gold keeps dozens of dogs in her home that mingle together continuously. Considering that she has brought up a load of dogs from Mexico every week without matching health certificates and doesn’t take them to a veterinarian before adopting them out, I believe her house is full of extremely contagious viruses and parasites that are easily spread, remain active for months, and extremely difficult to remove.
I have another reason to believe the puppies were infected while they were at Ms. Gold’s home, a reason based on a tragic event that occurred soon after Kimberly gave the remaining puppies back to Ms. Gold.
MORE PUPPIES FROM INFECTED LITTER DIE
As I mentioned earlier, Kimberly has PTSD, and Cooper, the dog that helped her cope with it, died last fall. On January 20, someone unexpectedly contacted her and her husband to see if they wanted a Blue Heeler puppy. Kimberly met the puppy, felt an instant connection to it. and decided he would be her new PTSD therapy dog. She named him Ryder.
Because of the sick puppies downstairs, Kimberly took extreme measures to ensure Ryder wouldn’t come into contact with them by quarantining him upstairs and having him used pee pads instead of taking him outside to go to the bathroom where the puppies had gone. They also changed clothes before they went upstairs.
Since she couldn’t take the puppies to a vet, she didn’t know why they were sick until her neighbors told her the puppy from her foster litter she gave them was sick. The vet diagnosed him with coccidia, giardia, and kennel cough. He died a few days later.
Their neighbors said he ultimately died from distemper, which can develop when a dog’s immune system is weakened by kennel cough if it’s left untreated. Kimberly also learned another puppy from the same litter died from distemper.
KIMBERLY’S NEW PUPPY DIES
Once she learned how the neighbor’s puppy died, Kimberly took Ryder to the vet where he was diagnosed with the early stages of girardia and coccidia. He also had roundworms in his stomach.
The vet prescribed medication for his ailments and for about a week and a half he was fine. But on February 10 his health suddenly declined rapidly, and by early afternoon Ryder was dead. The official cause of death was parvo.
Ryder most likely contracted it when Kimberly’s toddler accidentally left the gate keeping Ryder upstairs open. Before Kimberly discovered this, Ryder had gone downstairs and ate some of the foster puppies’ poop. He had all his vaccinations, but according to VetMD.com, “the precise time when a pup can respond well to a vaccine is variable — it might occur at 6 weeks or perhaps 12 weeks.”
Again, the puppies showed no signs of illness when she had them from the December 18-January 2, and their symptoms began 3 days after they returned to Kimberly’s house and 5 days before they got Ryder.
If there’s another explanation regarding how the puppies were infected, I’d like to hear it.
FUREVER HOMES DOGS THREATEN PUBLIC HEALTH
On top of everything else Kimberly endured, she and her husband now must spend thousands of dollars to sterilize her entire house as the organisms that cause coccidia and parvo can live for months. They’ll also have to remove the topsoil in her yard.
That’s why this is public health issue. Apparently, Ms. Gold’s house is a petri dish of viruses and parasites that spread quickly when so many dogs are kept in a confined space.
Every time anyone leaves her house they could have parasites or other organisms on their shoes, clothes, and hands that could sicken their own pets with giardia, coccidia or parvo. Giardia can be passed along to humans as well.
And where is she putting all the potentially parasite-infected poop that dozens of dogs generate every day? If she’s dumping on her property it could be a health hazard.
RESCUE TRIES TO ESCAPE BLAME BY SMEARING ACCUSER
Ms. Gold will do everything she can to cast doubt on Kimberly’s story. Fortunately, Kimberly kept meticulous records of all their conversations, including the ones where she is literally begging Ms. Gold to let her to take the puppies to a veterinarian.
Ms. Gold attempted to smear Kimberly’s reputation by posting lies about her on the Furever Homes Yelp page. Here are some of them:
- “This is a lady who has been fired from every job (she) ever worked after a short time.” This is a complete fabrication.
- “This woman is under investigation for stealing.” No, she isn’t.
- “I never deny vet care to any of my animals.” Screenshots I posted earlier show this is not true.
Kimberly has an excellent reputation with the military. She was in active service with the Naval Reserve and the Army National Guard until 2006. After the Army assigned her husband to Ft. Lewis she took an active role in supporting troops and their families by doing things like putting together rooms in barracks for single soldiers, making welcome home banners, and planning events t0 help families cope when their spouses were overseas.
Eventually a rear detachment commander noticed her work and asked her to be his Senior Advisor. In that capacity she made sure families were taken care of when spouses where gone, addressed crisis situations involving family members and made sure they passed annual family readiness inspections held by the Division.
As a testament to her work she has certificates of appreciation from the 16th Combat Aviation Bridgade, and the 7th Infantry Division as well as this letter or recommendation from Colonel T. Christopher Petty with whom she worked:
THIS IS HOW REPUTABLE RESCUES OPERATE
They have ALL their dogs checked by a veterinarian when they get them.
They don’t deny medical care to sick puppies showing signs of serious illnesses like parvo, giardia, and coccidia.
They don’t bring puppies under six-months-old into the the US, which violates US Department of Agriculture regulations.
They have valid health certificates for every dog they bring into the US.
They don’t keep dozens of dogs inside a home.
They ensure all their dogs are vaccinated and healthy.
FOREVER HOMES MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Source have said that 8 puppies of the 9 puppies that Kimberly fostered are dead. They also suffered for days because Ms. Gold didn’t allow Kimberly to take them to a vet.
This is not how reputable dog rescues operate. Ms. Gold runs Forever Homes like a business that uses dogs instead of some other commodity to generate cash, and if some of the dogs die during the process, well, that’s just the cost of doing business.
I believe that’s why Ms. Gold expressed little concern for the puppies’ health in her texts with Kimberly.
What this military family suffered during Kimberly’s tragic interaction with Sharon Gold and Furever Homes rescue is reprehensible. They watched puppies get sick and saw one die. They watched their own puppy die. They have a house and yard infested with parasites that will cost them thousands of dollars to clean. Kimberly can’t get another dog to help her with PTSD for months. And now their young son is petrified their cat will die like the puppies.
Kimberly has turned over the records of her interactions with Ms. Gold and Furever Homes to Joint Animal Services for Thurston County.
Hopefully they’ll do something to stop this sham of a rescue.