June 25, 2007 Received via E-Mail
I was at Fashion Island and came across your adoption showings on Saturday.
I have done rescue in the past (in the Los Angeles area) and all my personal dogs have been rescues. I cannot believe that a legitimate rescue group would actually show dogs in front of a pet store that is nothing more than a puppy mill outlet store. Where is your integrity? These people are the polar opposites of everything you should stand for.
Aren’t you worried that people are going to go into the store and touch one of the possibly diseased puppy mill dogs and then touch and infect one of the dogs that you and your group have lovingly saved and restored to health? I have adopted some of my rescues to families in Orange County and Irvine and they know better than to frequent anything that remotely resembles a “pet shop”. Can’t you find a park, a Whole Foods or Trader Joes or another pet store that doesn’t sell pets to show your animals? Also, from your web site it doesn’t appear as if you do house checks. Do you take the animals back if they don’t work out in their new homes? Also, your pricing is discriminatory. Why is a purebred dog or cat work more? What happens if the medical care for “a mutt” is higher? Is one dog or cat really worth more than another?
I wish you much luck but i really think you should re-think your procedures for the good of the animals you are trying to help,
Response from Founder
Dear Stacey Perlman,
I am the founder of the organization DiAnna Pfaff-Martin and my emphasis and goal is to save lives. I believe in the freedom of choice we have here in America and I understand that you have the right to your opinion and know that you would be welcome to participate with many animal rescue groups that operate the way you believe.
In 1996 I operated from a housing area, then public places all over the Newport and Costa Mesa area. In 1998 I began doing PetCo adoptions in both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa and I was also a guest of the “said to be” spectacular Pet Smart Adoptathon. PetCo and PetsSmart adoption events have proven to me not to be an effective way to place animals into new homes.
If every group was able to place more animals by becoming more effective then more animals would be helped. When a rescue group tells the public it is always full, it simply means that they either don’t have enough help or are not placing enough animals into new homes to keep up with the need.
Fashion Island adoption events sponsored by Russo’s Pet Experience have gifted an average of 600 animal’s lives a year. No rescue would survive if could not pay bills, and the animal placement prices help support the high costs associated with rescue that donations alone cannot support.
Many rescue groups in Orange County refer people that need help with animals our funds provide customary rescue veterinary medical at no cost for pet-lovers who have found animals and we give “free” spays for momma cats when the momma’s kittens find homes through our network.
We have no have no office, no kennel or facility and have no salaried employees, yet are able to help others. Volunteers with local groups such as; OCSPCA and Pet ProLife and AALOC and Cats In Need call and ask us for help.
Community Animal Network rescues animals from OC shelter’s death row and we have experienced shelters having more sickness than the pet store. The customary shelter cold is herpes based and the animals take many months to recover fully costing the organization expensive medicines and caregivers to become overwhelmed.
The organization has never had a traditional fundraiser, yet people gift without parties and trinkets. We haven’t made the time for a monthly newsletter since 1999 and haven’t mailed out sad stories to get funds.
No other organization without a kennel does the quantity of life saving that I know of. Our pet-quality animals live in private homes with people that love them and we have a 100% adoption rate for FIV and FELv cats that participate at our adoption events. We place senior dogs and cats into new homes and people have driven from as far north as San Francisco and as far South as El Centro to work with us because people are unable to find help in most areas.
The animals are dying for our help! Allow me to congratulate the rescue group or the person that can top our life-saving with no solicited funds and no kennel.
Stacey, you decide what is important to an animal’s life, a new home or a boycotting a rescue pet adoption event location at a pet store? Why not take some from death row animals and participate and see from personal experience? You would be welcome to house them, love them and drive them back and forth and meet the people that you may decide worthy of adopting your foster animals.
I believe that it is foolish to pass judgment without the knowledge or the perception of the greater good. In order to save lives change is eminent and new ways must be found. It has been proven that change will happen “one funeral at a time” before a new way will prevail.
When I recently meet with shelter officials about change I felt like I was working with dinosaurs. Sometime soon I hope that the dinosaurs will start walking so we can stop the senseless killing.
I hope you will allow yourself to see the greater good of the cause. There are many ways up a mountain. Why loose so many lives on the trail you follow? Why believe your way is the only way. Why criticize success when animals’ lives are being saved?
I am only one person without staff, using three cell phones, three land lines and a web site, I take each animal photo, microchip every animal and we provide thousands of dollars to veterinary care each year.
So, I say to you… “Look unto your own heart and do more. How many lives do you save in a year? Let me know so I can see the strength of your criticism.” I will await your answer…
P.O. Box 8662
Newport Beach , CA 92658
E-Mail Received 10-5-06
Hi. This is Michelle Parsons, I’ve been playing phone tag with you for the
last few days. Here is the exact situation with the cats.
My boyfriend’s family is low- income, living in rent-assisted apartments.
About six years ago, they bought a cat from a pet store. That’s Fluffy.
He’s six, a domestic longhair, and has been neutered. Then they bought or
received another cat, a domestic shorthair, named Boots. She was not, and
is not, altered, as they could never afford to spay her when she wasn’t in
heat. She is now 4-5 years old, and has had 4 litters of kittens, I
believe. The first two litters were given away or sold, but the last two
are still living at the apartment. There are three in the older litter;
One domestic longhair unaltered male named Poly, and two domestic
shorthair unaltered females, Missy and Sweat Pea (Sweat Pea may be a tabby-
gray on gray stripe). The older litter are about 8 mos old, and becoming
fully mature. The younger litter is about 8 weeks old, and there are 2
males and 2 females. Due to the family financial situation, none of the
cats are up-to-date on their shots. Also, due to the fact that Fluffy
likes to go outside, they do have fleas that will need to be taken care
of, especially on the older litter of kittens- I believe there may be some
scarring from it. However, they are all sweet, playful cats. Fluffy does
take time to adjust to new people and situations, and hides from those he
doesn’t know. Boots demands attention, occasionally loudly, though that
may fade once she has been spayed. Poly is loud, having learned from
hearing his mother while she was in heat. Missy is small, but a pretty
well-adjusted cat. Sweet Pea can be a bit aloof, and isn’t too fond of
heights or being picked up. The kittens are a little rowdy, but they hold
their tails erect, and they are bright-eyed and adventurous. They all
deserve better care than they’ve been getting, but they have been loved.
So far as I know, all of them are litter box trained- I haven’t seen any
problems for over a month from the new litter. There is lots of talk, TV,
crashing dishes, slamming doors, and loud music, so noise shouldn’t be a
problem. They’re used to a ten or eleven year old girl from the
neighborhood, who likes to pick them up, and they’ve been around a 2 year
old, albeit a quiet 2-year-old. They haven’t been exposed to dogs much.
Given all this information, can you still help them? Can they be placed
immediately, or what work needs to be done first? The family has been
trying to privately place the kittens, but they’re out of time- they’ve
been given one week to be cat-free, or they’ll be evicted. Please let me
know as soon as possible, either by email or by phone. Thank you.
PS- I also have an ad on “Craig’s List”, and a possible home for one of the
kittens. I have a few other phone calls out as well, and I will update you
if anything changes. Thank you again.
E-Mail Response 10-5-06 Founder To Michelle
Please do not give any kittens away. A “big” “BIG” “NO-NO”! as it destroys the work we do and it only creates another problem and suffering. “Free” animals most always meet the same demise as there mother. (Multiple litters)
It is hard to comprehend situations such as these. It is cheaper to get an animal spayed that support the care and to feed multiple litters. I am not even good at math and can figure the math. Besides the animals suffering with fleas it is uncomfortable for all in the house. We get call after call like this from people and it becomes quite disturbing after awhile. There seems to be solutions that people don’t reach for unless in a dire situation that then affects only the animal’s lives. There… I vented.
Congratulations on guiding them but please for the animal’s sake don’t allow the animals to become sex slaves on Craig’s list. I am tired of hearing about Craig’s list victims having multiple litters. People get them free selfishly and find an excuse to allow them to breed.
You know the older kittens could have reproduced already or be PG now.
Has the family gotten a letter from the landlord before? Eviction is first notified to correct the problem and doesn’t happen this fast. It takes 90 days. May I see the letter? May I speak with the landlord? They are usually quite reasonable with me in knowing that the problem will be handled humanely. Or it just too late and they will lose their space anyway?
It is a sad situation. Hope we can help. The tiny ones can be moving through our system quickly but the older kittens will move slowly as the public unfortunately over-looks the bigger ones. I will work with you as a “good citizen”. Why does the original cat have to go?
We will help with the customary vet stuff and get homes for all that are not hiders or runners. We’ll talk more again tomorrow. Thanks for filling me in. Again no deal if any kittens are missing. I won’t support the animal abuse on Craig’s list!
If people cannot afford a shelter cat / kitten that is already altered they should not have an animal as most often the animals pay the high costs with suffering that could have been simply avoided.
E-Mail Response 10-6-06 Michelle To Founder
Thank you so much for your prompt response. It should be no problem to put
off the one Craig’s List offer- I told her I can’t even get her photos until
Sunday. I will remove the add.
The math is difficult to comprehend for me as well, but I have never lived
a hand-to-mouth existence, and that is what this family has. I’ve given
them the animalnetwork ad for free spaying twice, but as they don’t have a
car, it’s not too surprising they haven’t done anything about it yet.
Their manager is not up to code on just about anything. In rent-assisted
apartments, it is customary for the landlord to make repairs; none of the
repairs requested in the last 19 years have been done, and the parents
were threatened with additional charges for those repairs, which they
could not afford. Thus, they have no written warning, only spoken threats
in which their landlord said if they didn’t get rid of all the cats, they
would be evicted- he stated he had enough evidence to evict them anyway,
and the only reason he was giving them a chance is because they’ve been
there so long. I am angry at the system, but at the same time unwilling to
challenge it for fear of its effects on the family. (Another technicality-
they are allowed one cat. In the past, this same manager allowed them two
with full knowledge.)
I understand the older “kittens” are technically almost mature, though
spraying and heat have not yet noticeably occurred- they’ve been separating
the male from the females, and none of the cats are allowed outside now.
As I said, I will keep the kittens together.
Thank you so much for your help- I wasn’t sure what else to do. Every
other shelter is full, or charges between 29 and 69 dollars per cat for a
voluntary surrender. I will talk to you tomorrow. This makes everyone’s
life happier, except maybe Fluffy- but we’ll figure something out for him,
I think. His family thinks he might get on well with an older person or
couple who wants a quiet cat.
TO HELP PLEASE CONTACT US!
Community Animal Network
Animal Network of Orange County
P.O. Box 8662
Newport Beach, CA 92658