Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue in Yakima has added another victim to the long list of people it has scammed by selling her a dog with a number of horrible health problems.
As I documented last December, Rising Phoenix founder Trisha Prater constantly dupes well-intentioned people who want to adopt a rescue dog by selling them dogs with a variety of ailments and physical problems despite the fact that its website clearly states that the adoption fee includes “medical treatment to address any medical issues like cherry eye, entropia, tumor removal.”
This “guarantee” is a lie.
Sure, some people have adopted dogs from Rising Phoenix that were perfectly healthy, but this appears to be more of a fortunate accident than by design. Based on dozens of online reviews and information adopters have given me, Ms. Prater has adopted out a significant number of dogs with major health issues when she found them or developed them while in her care.
I learned of the most recent example when a woman contacted me about the dog she adopted from Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue in April.
Ms. Prater told her that the dog “still had a few issues and some weight to gain but other than that he would be … released from the the vet with good health.”
Here’s here’s how the adopter described to me what Ms. Prater classifies as “good health”:
“after we got out of the car we could smell something very odd but couldn’t quite figure it out. She (Ms. Prater) then opened the back of a vehicle where (the dog) was in a kennel and the vehicle did not have any windows open and parked in full sun it was approx 69 degrees outside. she said they had been waiting for an hour for us. after she opened the back this pungent smell filled the air it was like something rotting and overwhelming then I saw (the dog’s) face his eyes were swollen and filled with green and yellow goop and he was shaking his head. She exclaimed it was the issue she told me about, that he had an ear infection and scars on his hind end from chewing himself raw and actually chewing on his own bone… I was so shocked at the sight of him I decided to take him and get him out of this woman’s care so I paid and filled out an adoption contract loaded him into my car and left as fast as I could! His smell was so bad we had to keep all the windows down on the way home… (he smelled) like rotting flesh, sickness and dog poop.”
When Bruno arrived was so thirsty it drank about 6 gallons of water in 3 hours. She told me that “When he peed it was brown and the smell was like nothing I can describe.”
Because he arrived on the weekend she planned to take him to the vet on Monday, but the next morning she rushed him to an emergency vet because his testicles had swollen so much they looked like “softballs.”
Here are a list of the health problems both the emergency vet and the adopter’s vet found after examining this poor dog:
- a skin infection
- severe conjunctivitis
- ear infections “so bad you could not make out where his ear hole was”
- a broken tooth
- a hematoma on his scrotum from the neuter surgery
- long, cracked toenails
- staph infections in the sores on his feet, back, and neck
The vet said that, at 126 pounds, Bruno was severely underweight. He also said Bruno was in such bad shape she “(shouldn’t) plan on him being on this earth much longer.”
I’m not a veterinarian, but I can’t imagine any circumstance where he would have been considered in good health. In my opinion, Ms. Prater lied about about Bruno’s health so she wouldn’t lose the $468 adoption fee she charged the adopter.
Fortunately for Bruno, his new mom was determined to help him recover. For the first 2 weeks she had his she gave him medicated baths, put ointment in his eyes and on his sores, gave him antibiotics, and fed him 16 cups of food a day to get his weight up.
By the time Bruno saw the vet again his condition had improved considerably. Bruno’s mom told me that the vet “had tears in his eyes and told her “he didn’t think he would ever see the dog again.”
Bruno’s progress continued for the next few weeks; he still has ear infections, but has otherwise recovered thanks to his new mom’s determination to help him heal. And his weight is up to 170 pounds (an increase of almost 50 pounds).
She told me Bruno has an exceptionally sweet disposition and gets along with anyone he meets.
Although she’s only had Bruno a couple of months, she has already spent about $1500 on vet exams and medication, and that number will undoubtedly increase until he has completely recovered from the cruel treatment he endured at Rising Phoenix.
The most infuriating part of Bruno’s story is that his suffering could have been prevented if Ms. Prater had bothered to take him to a vet because his health problems were easily treatable.
But, as she has done with dozens of other dogs, Ms. Prater let his health problems fester so she didn’t have to pay a vet to diagnose and treat him.
Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue is NOT a rescue. Sick dogs are hardly ever taken to the vet. Adopters rarely get vaccination records. Some dogs are spayed/neutered the day before they are adopted. Dangerous dogs or dogs with behavior problems are often adopted out with no temperament testing. Phone calls made by people who adopted a dog with any health or behavior problems are rarely returned. Potential adopters are usually not vetted to determine if their home is appropriate for a dog or a dog is appropriate for a potential home.
Rising Phoenix is simply a business that buys and sells dogs instead of some other product. It’s also a cash cow for Ms. Prater as she spends as little as possible on each dog and then sells them for hundreds of dollars.
Please spread the word about this fake dog rescue that profits off the pain and suffering the dogs it purports to help.
If you’re considering adopting a rescue mastiff, contact Mastiff Rescue Oregon or email Tammy Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org. She lives in Washington and is well-connected in the mastiff rescue community.
Here are my other posts about Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue:
Dozens Say Dogs They Adopted from Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue Were Sick, Emaciated
Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue Skirts the Rules and Snags Dog from California Shelter
Woman Says She Adopted a Dangerous Dog from Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue in Yakima
Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue Lies to Another Family About the Dog They Adopted