Pet adoption website Adopt-a-Pet removed Washington-based Furever Homes Rescue from its site last week for violating its terms of service.
Seattle DogSpot notified Adopt-a-Pet last March about the long list shady practices of Furever Homes founder Sharon Gold and requested that it drop her so-called rescue from its site.
Furever Homes is the second disreputable Washington dog rescue Seattle DogSpot asked Adopt-a-Pet to remove from its website.
Last October Adopt-a-Pet ousted Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue in Yakima from its site after Seattle DogSpot sent them information about the horribly sick dogs they sold to unsuspecting adopters.
Furever Homes Rescue’s Long History of Deception and Rule Breaking
Adopt-a-Pet has several rules that dog rescues must follow in order to use the site. Here are the ones I believe Furever Homes Rescue violated:
“We don’t require 501 (c) (3) non-profit status of organizations that list pets with us. However, you must be a legitimate animal welfare organization and not engaging in activities counterproductive to the cause of animal rescue such as breeding pets, encouraging the public to breed pets, or selling pets for profit.
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.
Adopt-a-Pet also requires shelters and rescues to operate “with all applicable local, state and federal rules and laws.”
I’ve written several articles showing Furever Homes violated a number of these rules:
Sharon Gold tormented a military family fostering a litter of puppies for her.
Several had untreated parvovirus, a highly contagious life-threatening viral disease.
Despite numerous pleas, Gold refused to allow the family to take the puppies to the vet. Instead, she unsuccessfully tried to treat them herself.
Several puppies from the litter died. They also infected a puppy the family recently bought to use as a therapy dog for PTSD.
That puppy died as well.
Furever Homes Rescue brought nine one-month-old puppies to Washington on December 18. 2015. This is illegal according to the Animal Welfare Act.
The AWA is clear on the standards groups importing puppies must meet before they can bring them into the US from another county. Chapter 54, section 2148 (b)(1) states: “no person shall import a dog into the United States for purposes of resale unless, as determined by the Secretary, the dog – (A) is in good health; (B) has received all necessary vaccinations; and (C) is at least 6 months of age, if imported for resale.
After the mom of the military family reported Gold to the police, Gold harassed her to the point where the woman filed a restraining order against her.
The reports show Gold dumped 50 dogs at the shelter simply because she had “too many dogs.” She also turned over 18 dogs to JAS for euthanization.
Some of the reports say Gold often lied to animal control officers.
Gold moves her rescue often to avoid paying for the damage her operation does to the houses she rents. This fire occurred just after one of her moves.
Gold continued to lose track of its dogs even after public scrutiny on the rescue increased.
Both Gold and a minor who was with her threatened to kill Animal Control Officer Erika Johnson last year.
Officer Johnson has an excellent reputation in the dog rescue community. Last month, the Humane Society of the United States honored Officer Johnson with a national award recognizing the TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS in the US for their excellence in Humane Law Enforcement. Specifically, she was honored for her “leadership in combating illegal animal abuse.”
Joint Animal Services banned Gold and the minor after they threatened Officer Johnson.
Sharon Gold Lied When She Announced Furever Homes Would Close
Last December 24, Gold announced on the Furever Homes Facebook page that she planned to “permanently close” Furever Homes after she found homes for the few dogs she still had in foster care.
Sharon Gold continued to run Furever Homes Rescue after she announced last December that she would close it.
Furever Homes Cited for Bringing Dogs to Washington Without Health Certificates
I have dozens of reports that Sharon Gold sold sick puppies to adopters. Several adopters paid $450 for a puppy that required hundreds or even thousands of dollars of medical care for highly contagious diseases like parvovirus, giardia, heartworm, and distemper.
That’s why the Washington State Department of Agriculture cited Gold for bringing puppies into Washington without health certificates.
It requires a veterinarian to examine any dog coming to Washington and certify it has a current rabies vaccination and tested negative for heartworm.
One of the dogs also didn’t have a certificate showing it tested negative for heartworm.
Gold usually adopts out most dogs as quickly as possible without spending money vet exams or vaccinations.
That’s why I have so many stories from people who adopted sick dogs from Gold.
Here’s one an unfortunate adopter sent to me last April after Gold announced she would “permanent close” the rescue the previous December:
“purchased a puppy on April 11th from Sharon my puppy is very sick I paid 450.00 for the puppy had him 2 days he became lethargic wouldn’t eat slept all the time I took him to the vet he had a gastro intestinal infection the vet gave him a iv and antibiotics he got better a few days later he got kennel cough he’s very sick again I love this puppy so much I searched forever for him he needs to be hospitalized and I don’t know how I’m gonna pay for it can anyone help me I am going to do whatever it takes to save my lol love bug this woman needs to be shut down all she cares about is money shame on her this is not just a dog to me he’s part of my family.”
Report Shady Rescues to Adoption Sites!
If you adopt a sick dog from a shady rescue, report it to the websites it uses to list its dogs. Doing this won’t shut down these rescues, but it will make it more difficult for them to operate.
However, you can’t expect a pet adoption website like Adopt-a-Pet or Petfinder to kick a dishonest rescues off their sites just because your report them.
You must also provide specific proof like statements from adopters, vet reports, vet receipts, and screenshots of conversations that violate the websites’ rules.
You should also follow up with the site to ensure that it will investigate the rescue you reported.
While this process can be frustrating, reporting fake rescues listed on pet adoption websites is another important tool you can use to hold them accountable for mistreating dogs and misleading adopters.
Thanks again to Adopt-a-Pet for removing Furever Homes Rescue from its website. I hope Petfinder follows their example.