FAKE DOG RESCUE
Three years ago, a Beaverton, OR man had to rehome his 8-year-old St. Bernard named Astra because she nipped at young children. After he posted about Astra on Craig’s List, Trisha Porter from the fake dog rescue Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue in Yakima responded that she would take Astra and find her a home.
Her owner decided to give her to Rising Phoenix. About two weeks later, Trisha Porter texted him that Astra was dead.
If you haven’t heard of Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue, it is, in my opinion, the worst dog rescue group in Washington. I first learned about this fake dog rescue about a year ago after seeing dozens of complaints from people who adopted or attempted to adopt dogs from it.
One potential adopter said after he petted the dog he wanted to adopt from Porter his hands were “black as tar said they smelled like death.” He also said the dog had broken teeth, infected eyes, ear mites, and infected paws. Another said their dog had “the stench of sickness that came off her I will never forget.”
The truth is, Porter doesn’t give a damn about saving dogs. To her, Rising Phoenix is a money making operation. So she just finds dogs wherever she can and adopts them out as quickly and cheaply as possible.
TRICIA PORTER LIES LIKE A BLANKET
Here’s are excerpts of Porter’s response to the post Astra’s owner put on Craig’s List. The bolded text explains why each of them is a lie.
“We are a non profit no kill rescue and we keep all of our dogs in foster homes so that they do not have to sit in kennels and cages all day. We do not believe in keeping these big guys in tiny cages.”
Multiple witnesses have told me that Porter keeps the dogs in crates virtually 24/7.
“We work with a number of trainers and vets in the area to make sure that the dogs get the best care possible while they are here. We are able to work on any behavior issues and take care of medical issues as well so that the dogs that we take into our care can be ready for the homes that are looking for them.”
Numerous people have said Rising Phoenix’s dogs are in terrible physical condition when they adopted them. After a year of investigating this rescue, I’ve found no evidence trainers have worked with any of its dogs.
“We are able to find amazing homes and be much more selective then the average owner since we have a intense screening process and contracts that keep the dogs in great homes.”
Porter does virtually no screening of potential adopters; she’s more interested in taking their money than screening them.
“We are also able to offer follow up advice on the dogs if there are any issues that do come up once the dog is adopted.”
She usually just berates the adopter for not knowing what to do with the dog.
“We are also able to keep the prior owner updated on the dogs if they ask to be informed.”
They provide virtually no information to prior owners about their dogs. The information they do provide is often not true.
Unfortunately, Astra’s owner didn’t know that Rising Phoenix Mastiff Rescue is a fake dog rescue with a terrible reputation or its horrific treatment of its dogs.
ASTRA IS DEAD WITHIN 2 WEEKS
Astra’s owner began to realize he should not have given her to Rising Phoenix when he saw her picture Petfinder. It showed Astra in an enclosure with Mastiffs even though he told Porter that Astra would fight with other dogs.
He told me, “After the posting I saw on PetFinder, I saw her with other large dogs….Basically I’m sure Astra was fighting with her other Mastiffs.”
A few days later he noticed Astra wasn’t on Petfinder. He then texted Porter to see if someone adopted Astra. He also offered to help her new family get settled with her.
But no one adopted Astra. Porter told him that Astra was no longer available for adoption she had eye cancer.
Her owner told me didn’t believe it. Astra had great eyesight and “no signs of eye problems” when he left her with Porter.
He asked to see Astra, but Porter said that because of her declining health, she moved the dog into a foster home where “she could enjoy her last days.”
He told me he “pleaded” with Porter to allow him to take Astra back. Porter told him he couldn’t because “the foster family has grown so attached to her and feels that if I came it would stress her out.”
One day later, Porter sent a text saying that Astra died.
I believe Porter lied about Astra’s eye cancer because:
- “Most canine eye tumors or ocular tumors are benign which means they are not cancerous or dangerous to the health of your dog. “
- To diagnose eye cancer, a vet takes a small sample of the tumor and sends it to a lab for analysis. I can’t believe Porter took Astra to a vet because so many of the dogs she adopts out have serious health problems.
- A dog cannot develop an eye tumor, have a sample of taken and sent to a lab for confirmation, and then suddenly die within 2 weeks. Furthermore, most eye cancers that haven’t metastasized can be treated successfully.
TRICIA PORTER IS A SCAM ARTIST
When her owner first contacted Porter, he told her he was “very sad, because she is my friend, and it will be very hard for her to be away from us and me. We do not want her to leave, but we cannot take a chance on her when she decides to bite again. I know she would do well with an older couple that would treat her like one of their own kids. She has so much love to give.”
But to Porter, Astra was just a piece of merchandise she could sell to make a buck. That’s all the people who run a fake dog rescue care about.
And the dogs aren’t the only ones that suffer. Three years after giving Astra to Porter, her owner is still guilt-ridden over what happened to his beloved dog.
In his initial email to me, he said, “I sent her to be murdered by a terrible person…”
The Washington Legislature must change the law that exempts private rescue groups and shelters from providing specific minimum standards of care for their dogs (RCW 16.52.310(4)(b)). It should also give local law enforcement officers more leeway to enforce those standards. Until then, scam artists like Tricia Porter will continue run fake dog rescues that generate tens of thousands of dollars at the expense of the dogs they purportedly save.