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Tag: unchained

Montana reservation conducting month-long “round-up” of stray dogs

Bison can roam free on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation in Montana.

Dogs aren’t so lucky.

The reservation’s Fish & Wildlife office began a “dog round-up” on July 25, capturing dogs that aren’t chained, kenneled or leashed and impounding them.

At least they say they are impounding them. Rescue organizations are actually bearing that responsibility, since the reservation doesn’t have an animal shelter.

RezQ Dogs, a non-profit shelter in Dodson, has brought in 19 dogs from the reservation and is attempting to find them new homes, according to its co-founder, Jim Wilke.

“Making the animals pay, killing the animals, it’s not the answer,” said Wilke. “Enforcing the laws, passing better laws is…whether it’s this community or anywhere in the United States, you’re not going to solve it by creating a cycle of death.”

Now at full capacity, Wilke says he’s turning to other rescue shelters and rescues across Montana, including in Kalispell, Helena, and Missoula, for help.

Tribal officials announced the round up last month and put up posters stating that any dog not chained or kenneled will be impounded immediately.

According to Wilke, the reservation has no shelter, and at least one tribal council member has said the dogs would be killed.

“To stand by and do nothing…it’s just sad,” said Wilke. “These animals. Death for no reason. Most of these animals have done nothing wrong but be born.”

Stray dogs are a problem on the reservation, and often band together in packs.

“When you have a bunch of stray animals, it doesn’t matter, they can be the nicest animals in the world, the entire mentality changes when they pack up. You can see it in all animals, even people,” said Wilke.

But, he says, the dogs he has taken in have been docile.

“They’re wonderful animals,” he told KRTV in Great Falls.”They’ll get good homes. You would think we got a lot of feral animals but everybody that’s met them, they’re just amazed by how nice they are.”

The dog round-up is scheduled to end on August 20.

If the Guardians of Rescue look familiar …

If some of the bulging biceps, shaved heads and never-ending tattoos you see on Animal Planet’s new series, “The Guardians,” look familiar, that may be because they are.

The Guardians, when it comes to both personnel and concept, is a reincarnation of Rescue Ink, the National Geographic Channel program that featured burly and biker-esque “heroes” rescuing dogs in need.

Rescue Ink, the rescue group on which the old reality show was based, underwent a splintering about six years back. Its website remains in existence, but, on TV, it exists only in reruns.

misseriGuardians of Rescue, put together by former Rescue Ink co-founder Robert Misseri, formed not long after that, and now it’s the focus of a six-episode Animal Planet series. It premiered last month, and airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m.

As was the case with Rescue Ink, its members seek out the most heart-wrenching of animal abuse and neglect cases, and do whatever it takes to correct the situation, making sure the cameras don’t miss a second of it.

As with Rescue Ink, some of the tales they tell seem to get a little embellishment — in the name of dramatic license, or, to take a cynical view, evoke more financial support from viewers.

In the video above, for example, the Guardians of Rescue say the Long Island dog they are so dramatically freeing of its chains, is being freed for the first time in 15 years.

Once released, he doesn’t behave too much like a dog that spent 15 years on a chain; instead he trots up and happily greets those who are watching.

Still, this being reality TV, we have to take their word for it.

“The poor dog had spent his whole life attached to a heavy chain,” Misseri told the New York Post.

The dog, a Lab-chow mix named Bear, is now at Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station, waiting to be adopted.

According to a New York Post feature earlier this month on the group — one that strangely makes no reference to its roots in Rescue Ink — the Guardians of Rescue is a slightly more diverse collection of animal lovers.

“The Long Island-based group counts ex-military personnel, retired police detectives, carpenters, electricians and even former convicts among their unpaid volunteer ranks,” the Post reported.

Rescue Ink’s members spawned a TV show, a book, and some criminal charges.

Member John Orlandini, who ran the Long Island shelter they took over, was charged with grand larceny and accused of personally profiting from public donations. In 2014, though, a grand jury decided there wasn’t enough evidence to go to trial.

rescueinkRescue Ink’s popular TV show brought them large numbers of fans and followers, but there were a few doubters as well.

Some of those questioned whether the group was more focused on achieving fame and fortune than rescuing dogs.

A lot of those concerns show up on this Facebook page, created to inform the public that the group — even though people are continuing donating to it — is no longer in existence.

The group fractured in 2010, with about half of its members leaving, including Misseri.

“(Rescue Ink) was an organization I started,” Misseri told a blogger for Newsday. “I was against doing a TV show at the time, but there was another guy who was the face of the show and it got to his head. I refused to go on and subsequently National Geographic shut it down…”

Clearly, he had no objections to a TV show this time around.

Animal Planet is billing the show this way:

“Though they may be an eclectic team – ex-military personnel, retired police detectives, former FBI investigators, carpenters, electricians and even former convicts and gang members – they unite in their passion and dedication for animal advocacy. With this group, first impressions are not always what they seem. When an animal is in need, their tough facade washes away and clients see their true love and compassion come forth.”

Let’s hope, this time around, the pack of tough guys with hearts of gold stay out of trouble, keep the hype and exaggeration to a minimum, cool it on the self-promotion and portray what they do with some honesty.