The pet adoption website Adopt-a-Pet removed Desiderata Rescue from its listings this week “due to non-compliance with state regulations.”
Adopt-a-Pet opened the investigation into Desiderata Rescue after Seattle DogSpot sent a letter documenting how the rescue violated the site’s rules.
Desiderata Rescue founder Miriam Kelly used to live in Tacoma and import dogs from primarily from Texas to Washington.
Rescues classified as charities that sell dogs and fundraise in Washington must register with the Secretary of State’s office. But despite receiving notices that she needed to register Desiderata Rescue to raise money and sell dogs in Washington, Ms. Kelly continued to illegally import dogs and ask for money in Washington.
Last fall she moved to Seminole, OK where she continues to send and sell dogs here illegally.
Recently, Ms. Kelly sent sick puppies and kittens here. At least two died.
She also fraudulently claimed that Desiderata Rescue was a 501(c)(3) charity months after the IRS revoked the its charity status for not sending tax information for 3 consecutive years.
Desiderata Rescue Violated Adopt-a-Pet’s Rules
As you’ll see in the email below that I sent to Adopt-a-Pet, Desiderata Rescue violates or has violated several of the organization’s rules that rescues/shelters must follow in order to be listed on the site.
My Email to Adopt-a-Pet About Desiderata Rescue
Here’s the email I sent to Adopt-a-Pet executive director David Meyer on June 19:
“I hope you’ve been well. I’m writing about another animal rescue in WA that shouldn’t be on your site.
The name of the rescue is Desiderata Rescue. It is an illegal rescue that is selling sick puppies and kittens in Washington State. Miriam Kelly started it in 2016 in Texas to rescue dogs there and bring them to WA for adoption. Ms. Kelly, lived in Tacoma and found homes for the dogs when they arrived in WA.
I contacted the Washington Secretary of State’s office to find out Ms. Kelly should register the group in WA since she sold dogs here.
A representative from that office told me that although Ms. Kelly registered Desiderata Rescue in TX, she had to also register in WA if they were selling dogs here:
Ms. Kelly ignored messages from the Secretary of State’s office and continued to operate in WA.
Furthermore, last year the IRS revoked Desiderata Rescue’s 501c3 status because the group provided no tax reports for 3 consecutive years.
Despite the revocation, Ms. Kelly fraudulently continued to claim the rescue was a 501c3 charity. I took this screenshot of her site a few weeks ago. She has since taken the site down:
I emailed Miriam Kelly to find out whether or not the IRS still considers Desiderata Rescue a 501c3 charity. Here’s our email exchange:
Seattle DogSpot: “Could you please tell me if Desiderata Rescue is still registered as a 501c3 charity? Both the IRS and the WA Attorney General websites show that the group’s tax exempt status has been revoked so I wanted to check with you to see if that information is accurate. And if it is accurate, is the rescue registered under another name?”
Miriam Kelly: “Out of fodder for your lousy blog, huh? Do not harass me again.”
Seattle DogSpot: “This isn’t harassment. Just trying to determine if you’re operating legally in Washington. If you can’t/won’t provide anything showing the rescue is properly registered I’ll just go with the information I have.”
Miriam Kelly: “I have repeatedly asked you to not email me so yes this is harassment. I don’t care what information you want. You are a blogger who thinks you have some sort of authority. But you are just a slimy weasel. If you wanted to be a real journalist, you would expose (redacted) for the fraud she is but you are too busy sucking her dick. Now, do NOT email me again. Ever.”
Not long after the IRS revoked the rescue’s 501c3 status, Ms. Kelly moved to OK. Now she’s doing the same thing – taking dogs and cats from TX, and now OK, and selling them in WA. The group is still not registered in WA and is therefore sending these animals here illegally.
She doesn’t just sell animals here illegally. In at least 2 instances, she brought in sick animals, some of which died.
Desiderate Rescue sent a puppy named Leo to Washington a few weeks ago. He contracted Parvo on the transport and the adopter had to spend thousands of dollars on treatment.
This is from Leo’s owner confirming the puppy had Parvo and that a puppy from the litter it was transported with died.
This post from last Tuesday is from a woman who adopted kittens from Desiderata Rescue that she found advertised on your website. Within 24 hours of arriving the kittens fell sick and one is now dead. The rescue said the kittens were six weeks old, which is still too young for them to leave their mother, but the vet said they weren’t that old. So far the woman spent over $2000 on vet bills.
Desiderata Rescue doesn’t just sell pets illegally in Washington. It also sends sick animals.
The information in this email unequivocally proves Desiderata Rescue is breaking several of your Rules of Service:
“We don’t require 501 (c) (3) non-profit status of organizations that list pets with us. However, you must be a legitimate rescue organization and not engaging in activities counter-productive to the cause of animal rescue such as using Adopt-a-Pet.com to list puppies acquired from auctions or breeders. You must be in possession of any local or state-required permits necessary for your operations. You must not have any pending or confirmed animal control or criminal citations or violations.”
“We kindly ask you to treat members of the public, especially those who find you through Adopt-a-Pet.com, in a courteous fashion.”
“You must be honest in your pet postings about breeds, ages, and all other information, and, when dealing with adopters, you must disclose any known health or behavior issues.”
Adopt-a-Pet Takes Action
After receiving Seattle DogSpot’s email, Adopt-a-Pet opened an investigation to determine if Desiderata Rescue violated its rules.
Last week it determined the rescue did violate its rules and removed it from the site.
Desiderata Rescue is the third sketchy dog rescue from Washington that Seattle DogSpot asked Adopt-a-Pet to remove from its site.
To the best of my knowledge, Adopt-a-Pet was the ONLY pet adoption site that listed Desiderata Rescue.
I don’t fault Adopt-a-Pet for listing fake rescues. It can’t thoroughly investigate and monitor the more than 21,000 organizations on its site.
People looking to adopt a rescue dog often start their searches on sites like Adopt-a-Pet. Most assume all the dog rescues listed on these sites are legitimate, and the vast majority are.
However, some fake dog rescues will slip through the cracks and get a listing. That’s why people who find a fake dog rescue on Adopt-a-Pet’s site should report it immediately.
Many thanks to Adopt-a-Pet for looking at the evidence and removing this fake rescue from its site.