SCALAWAGGLES’ POOR TRACK RECORD
Last November I wrote that multiple people said they adopted sick puppies and dogs from Scalawaggles Pet Rescue in Renton.
Last month I wrote about a couple who adopted a dog from Scalawaggles with kennel cough and tapeworm.
And last week, people with direct knowledge of how Sherry Halfon and Pam McGriff operate Scalawaggles sent me information regarding what goes on behind the scenes at this fake rescue group.
The information paints a disturbing picture of a dog rescue that appears to be more concerned about making money rather than ensuring their dogs and puppies are healthy and finding the best possible homes for them.
Here are some descriptions of what people witnessed at Scalawaggles. I made some minor edits for clarity.
DIRTY AND DISGUSTING
“Their cages were almost always filled with feces. At times I had to take the dogs to the bathroom in Petsmart and bathe them because they were so dirty.”
“The yard was filled with feces. There were flies everywhere.”
“The house is absolutely disgusting. She has about 6 dogs of her own. They laid down pee pee pads because not all are house trained. They leave them on the floor for hours. There are random turds on the floor.”
“Someone cleaned the dogs crates once a day. If they pooped in the crate right after someone cleaned it they sat in it until the next day. Sherry would say ‘we can’t chase poop all day'”.
“One time Petsmart caught us bathing a puppy in the restroom sink. They got very mad (understandably) but there was so much poop caked on that wipes weren’t helping.”
SICK DOGS, DEAD PUPPIES
“The first small room that you walk in is considered “quarantine” for Parvo puppies. I volunteered for months and in my time there I pulled out 2 dogs who has passed away. Sherry pulled out several.”
“She put sick puppies in crates with puppies who didn’t show symptoms of being sick. There was a litter of 4 beautiful pitty pups that all died. When they got sick no one took them to a vet. Sherry had her own “meds” to treat them.”
“I read the story about Brownie. Brownie was absolutely ill prior to his adoption because he had diarrhea.”
“So many of the dogs had ticks and kennel cough and I was afraid I would bring it home to my 2 dogs.”
“… they had an event at the Hangar bar over by the Renton airport. A young couple who had just lost a baby due to a miscarriage adopted a small brown puppy. Sherry got a phone call from the husband saying they had to take her dog to the vet because it was sick and just as they arrived the puppy died. They were devastated.”
“there was a puppy she adopted out and it was sick (not sure the symptoms)… she refused to deal with it so the adopters called Petsmart and they agreed to cover all the medical expenses since the dog was adopted from one of her Petsmart adoptions.”
“At Petsmart Issaquah they had to euthanize (a dog) because they suspected it had distemper. It’s name was PeaBody.”
“(PeaBody) was lethargic and was bleeding from the gums. They took it over to the Banfield vet area to be seen. The vet then walked over to he adoption area and asked to speak with Pam alone. After she returned I asked what happened and she said they think it might be distemper. I believe they did blood work also. Sherry tried to see if they could take the dog to the SPCA for care because she couldn’t afford it but she couldn’t contact anyone so they put the dog down.”
“She mostly has puppies. Otherwise they are younger dogs between 1-3 years old. She says they are from shelters on the euthanization list. But (she told me) the litter of pit puppies who all died were “’hand raised for me.‘”
“the backyard was off limits because she said it was “‘infected with parvo.‘”
CRUELTY AND DECEPTION
“Animal control set up an appointment (to do a home visit) with Shery so she rented a Uhaul and put all the dogs except 10 in there so animal control wouldn’t see that she had so many (dogs).”
“The girl (redacted) who works for her drove it around until Sherry called her and said she could come back. They always rent a big white UHaul van.”
“She had to use a poor quality transport system because she could no longer afford the better one. They were not fed or given water with the poor quality transport because the drivers aren’t allowed to touch the animals.”
“She sent senior dogs to a place in Colorado… if no one adopted them soon enough.”
“The reasons Petsmart asked them to leave were #1- the smell. Several times the employees came to us and said we needed to do something about the smell. #2- sherry was using another rescue’s information.”
“PetSmart, Mud Bay, Pet Pros, and Reber Ranch” no longer allow Scalawaggles to have adoption events at their stores.
Scalawaggles claims it’s a pet rescue. It’s not. Selling a healthy dog to a loving home is more of an accident rather than its mission.
Sherry Halfon and Pam McBride are just dog brokers. Their buy dogs as cheaply as possible and sell them for as much as possible.
They sell puppies for $450 and adult dogs for $400. Their website claims they have found homes for 1468 dogs.
After dividing the total number of adoptions evenly between puppies and adults, I calculated that Scalwaggles made $624,000 since Halfon and McBride founded the rescue in 2016.
Since they don’t pay taxes and spend negligible amounts of money on medical care, their bank account should have a substantial amount of the money they charge for adoption fees.
I asked Scalawaggles to send me its tax forms to check out its finances. I wanted to know if Halfon or McBride pay themselves a salary and how they spend the money the rescue makes.
Despite the fact the IRS requires 501c3 charities to provide tax information to anyone that asks for it, they ignored my request.
After I write a post like this, several people usually ask me what they can do to stop these fake dog rescues. Here’s what you can do about Scalawaggles:
Ask for its annual tax returns
The IRS website says, “501c3 charities must make available for public inspection and copying its annual return.” Anyone can do this regardless of whether or not you live in Washington. You can email a request to Scalawaggles for its tax forms (also called 990s) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-652-0819.
An organization that doesn’t file tax forms annually could lose its status as a charitable organization.
The State of Washington also requires charities to provide its 990s to anyone that requests them; if Scalawaggles refuses to do this, report it Washington Secretary of State’s Office at email@example.com.
Ask for a health certificate
Washington Administrative Code 16-54-179 requires each dog or cat over 3 months old brought into the state for adoption to have a health certificate signed by a veterinarian.
The health certificate must show a dog/cat at least 90 days old “is current on (its) rabies vaccination”; all dogs over 6 months old must have “tested negative for heartworm or are currently on a heartworm preventative.”
If Scalawaggles can’t/won’t provide a health certificate to an adopter or potential adopter that asks for one, they should file a complaint with the Washington Department of Agriculture’s Animal Services Division.
Several pet stores in Puget Sound banned Scalawaggles from holding adoption events. The only store I know that allows it to hold adoption events is Yummy Tummy Pet Supply in Covington.
I hope Yummy Tummy allows Scalawaggles to hold adoption events because its owners/staff doesn’t know Scalawaggles’ history of adopting out sick dogs; to ensure they do know this, click here to send an email explaining why you think the store shouldn’t allow Scalawaggles to hold adoption events there.
If you send an email, please be respectful. Your goal should to educate people at Yummy Tummy about Scalawaggles by presenting facts regarding how the rescue operates. Ranting or using accusatory language will put them on the defensive and could make them less receptive to your message.
If you want to stop Scalawaggles from continuing to import and sell sick puppies/dogs in Washington, please take one of more of these actions.
While dog rescues in Washington are virtually unregulated, we do have some tools that can hamper their ability to operate here.