A lawsuit filed by Peninsula Pet Lodge in Gig Harbor against PURRR Rescue last September claims that PURRR moved 14 of its dogs 3 times between at least 3 dog rescues and the home of its director over the course of about 30 days in May and June last year.
Peninsula Pet Lodge filed the lawsuit in order to reclaim $7927.58 it says PURRR Rescue owes it for boarding 14 dogs last May and June.
The purpose of this post isn’t to make a judgement on whether or not PURRR owes Peninsula Pet Lodge the money – the courts will decide that soon enough. Instead, it shows that PURRR is spending thousands of dollars on bringing dogs to Washington and then basically keeping them in boarding instead of finding homes for them.
Furthermore, moving dogs constantly without providing them any stability or consistent behavioral training can exacerbate any behavioral problems they have or create them in dogs that don’t have them. It will also will make it even more difficult to find the dogs homes.
Here’s how events transpired according to the complaint filed by Peninsula Pet Lodge:
On May 1, 2014, PURRR Rescue was boarding 9 dogs (8 Pit Bulls, 1 German Shepherd mix) at Country Kennels in Tacoma, 11-12 dogs at Pet Ponderosa in Graham, and 7 Pit Bulls at PURRR Director Diana Van Husen’s home in Lakewood, a total of 26-27 dogs.
Around that time, Van Dusen asked the owner of Pet Ponderosa to contact Peninsula Pet Lodge to ask if they could take the 9 dogs at Country Kennels. Peninsula agreed to take the dogs for $20 per day per dog.
On May 5, 2014, the owner of Pet Ponderosa picked up the 9 dogs at Country Kennels and brought them to Peninsula’s facility in Ollala. Peninsula stated in the lawsuit that the dogs “arrived in poor health and presented obvious signs of neglect.” In addition, the dogs were “emaciated, malnourished, and smelled badly from not being bathed.” All the dogs needed medication for worms and fleas.
The lawsuit notes that the German Shepherd mix named Duke was “in particularly poor condition,” “suffering from stress and malnutrition,” and “missing hair all over his body.” His skin is described as “scaly and sloughing off his body,” and he was in “substantial discomfort and extremely sensitive to being touched.”
They took Duke to a vet who said he suffered from a fungus that needed immediate treatment, including “medication and regular baths with a specially formulated shampoo.”
On May 12, 2014, Van Dusen emailed one of Peninsula’s owners asking if she would take the 7 dogs she was keeping in her house, saying she was “in a bad way” because “animal control got [her].” Peninsula agreed to take the dogs at the $20 per day per dog rate.
On May 13, 2014, someone brought 6 dogs to Peninsula from Van Dusen’s house, and Peninsula took 5 of them, bringing the total number of PURRR Rescue dogs boarding at Peninsula to 14 (13 Pit Bulls and 1 German Shepherd).
In the lawsuit, Peninsula said these dogs had similar health problems to the PURRR Rescue dogs already there, stating they were “emaciated, malnourished, smelling badly, and in need of flea and worm medication.”
There was no information in the lawsuit explaining what happened to the other 2 dogs.
According to the lawsuit,” all the dogs showed substantial improvement in their health and well-being as a result of the care and service” they received at Peninsula.
In early June, the lawsuit states that PURRR Rescues’s account “was not current, ” and that due to its failure to make payment, Peninsula instructed PURRR “to remove the dogs from [its] business premises.”
On June 9, PURRR transported the 5 of the dogs at Peninsula to Storm Rescue in Thurston County. The remaining 9 dogs were transferred to Storm the next day.
But just 2 days later, PURRR moved the dogs again, this time to the Pet Ponderosa, which was already boarding 11-12 dogs for PURRR, and the Pet Brigade. Both businesses are owned by the same person.
In addition to Peninsula Pet Lodge, the lawsuit alleges that PURRR also owes outstanding balances to Country Kennel, Pet Ponderosa, and/or the Pet Brigade.
The lawsuit says PURRR moved the dogs from Storm Rescue because the dogs were “housed outdoors, exposed to the elements, in metal cages” which is ironic since PURRR is currently keeping some of its dogs outdoors in metal cages inside flimsy tents.
Again, I’m not saying Peninsula should or shouldn’t win this lawsuit. But in my opinion, the information in it provides more evidence that PURRR Rescue is not providing a healthy, safe environment for almost 2 dozen of its dogs that gives them the best possible opportunity to be adopted into permanent homes.
The fact that later that summer, 3 dogs adopted from/fostered for PURRR killed two dogs and two cats provides supports my opinion. 2 of those dogs were euthanized and another has been at a boarding facility at Joint Base Lewis McChord (I don’t know if any of those dogs were among the 14 that PURRR moved around earlier in 2014).
PURRR Rescue denies the allegations in the lawsuit just as it has denied every other allegation made against it that I know about. But based on the number and similarity of the allegations, I don’t see how PURRR Rescue can continue to claim none of them are true.
And while I understand that anyone running a dog rescue group faces numerous challenges, I believe responsible rescues don’t take in more dogs that they can handle, don’t put their dogs in multiple boarding facilities, don’t have dogs that are “emaciated, malnourished, and [smell] badly,” and provide the training and care that gives their dogs the best possible opportunity to be adopted.
Here’s the entire document for the lawsuit Peninsula Pet Lodge filed against PURRR Rescue last September: