Yesterday a Thurston County Judge approved a permanent restraining order against Furever Homes rescue founder Sharon Gold to prevent her from harassing Kimberly Rew, a woman who fostered a litter of puppies for her rescue in January.
The order notes that Ms. Gold “committed unlawful harassment” dictates that Ms. Gold is restrained from:
- Making any attempts to contact Kimberly or her young son
- Making any attempts to keep Kimberly or her son under surveillance
- Entering or being within 500 ft. of Kimberly’s residence and place of employment
Kimberly confronted Ms. Gold last month when she refused to allow her to take some of the puppies to a veterinarian after they began vomiting and pooping blood. Instead, Ms. Gold insisted that Kimberly return the puppies to her. Sources have said 8 of the 9 puppies in the litter died.
Kimberly began fostering the puppies and their mother in December. The puppies were healthy until Kimberly sent them back to Ms. Gold’s house in January when she was scheduled to have a medical procedure.
A few days after Kimberly got some of the puppies back, they began to get sick, and she started to tell Ms. Gold that they needed to see a veterinarian. A necropsy on one of the puppies that died showed it had giardia, coccidia, and kennel cough.
This wasn’t too surprising since an article in the Olympian last summer showing that Ms. Gold had approximately 85 dogs in her home where “the stench of feces and urine (could) trigger your gag reflex.”
The foster puppies also infected a puppy named Ryder Kimberly got in late January to replace her dog Cooper which helped her cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but died last fall. Ryder died from parvovirus in early February not long after she stopped fostering for Furever Homes.
After she returned the puppies on January 25, Kimberly reported Furever Homes to Joint Animal Services for Thurston County which led to the rescue being cited by the Thurston County Permitting and Land Use Office for having more than 3 dogs in a residence.
She also reported the rescue to the US Food and Drug Administration because she illegally brought the puppies into the US from Mexico when they were only a week old. Puppies must be at least 4 months old and vaccinated for rabies before they can come to the US from Mexico.
Ms. Gold began harassing Kimberly after she gave the puppies back and reported Furever Homes to authorities.
She began by posting lies about her on the Furever Homes Yelp page like “This is a lady who has been fired from every job (she) ever worked after a short time.” and “This woman is under investigation for stealing.”
Then, on February 7, Kimberly noticed a woman in a white Chevy Suburban parked on her street who appeared to be taking pictures of her house.
On February 22nd, someone broke into Kimberly’s house and completely ransacked it. The person/people who did it didn’t steal anything – they just threw around whatever they could get their hands on and spray painted an obscenity on a wall.
While no one knows who broke into Kimberly’s house, it certainly was a coincidence that the break-in happened not long after she went public about her dispute with Ms. Gold and reported Furever Homes rescue to animal control.
The next day Kimberly filed for a temporary restraining order against Ms. Gold which a Thurston County judge quickly approved. It provided Kimberly and her family protection until yesterday when another judge made the order permanent, which means it remains in effect for a year. Kimberly can petition the court to renew the protective order when the current one expires on March 8, 2016.
After a judge approved the temporary protective order a red SUV parked on Kimberly’s street for a few days. When several people asked the man in the car why he was there he claimed he worked for a security company, but gave conflicting answers about the name of the company.
Given the break-in and the white Suburban that parked in front of Kimberly’s house a couple of weeks earlier, the possibility that the man in the red SUV has some connection to Ms. Gold or Furever Homes cannot be ignored.
This whole episode disgusts me. All Kimberly wanted to do was foster dogs for a rescue to help her get over the death of her service dog. Instead, she and her family endured harassment when she dared to question Ms. Gold’s refusal to allow a vet to examine the extremely sick puppies and reported the “rescue” to animal control.
People often ask me how shady dog rescue groups continue to operate while openly committing questionable, and sometimes illegal actions. Based on my experience, they escape prosecution by harassing and intimidating people who try to expose them.
Kimberly deserves a ton of credit for publicizing her experience with Furever Homes, reporting the “rescue” to animal control, and refusing to allow Ms. Gold to intimidate her. Her courage exposed an unscrupulous organization more concerned about making money and squelching criticism than rescuing dogs and finding them permanent homes.
Here is the restraining order issued to Sharon Gold yesterday.