Retail Rescue is easy to explain and you as a pet owner have probably already seen a Retail Rescue advertisement. Whether they were advertising puppies or dogs they saved from a “puppy mill” , a “go fund me” page asking for donations, or classifieds ads for the dogs that they are trying to sell. This is Retail Rescue at its finest. Painting a picture of “rescuing” or “saving” these “poor” dogs/puppies from “filthy” breeders or “puppy mills”. All the while the unassuming consumer, i.e YOU, fall hook line and sinker into their trap, and then in return spew their mantra of “Adopt, Don’t Shop”. Meanwhile that’s exactly what you’re doing. Your shopping!
If you are wondering why I said sell instead of adopt, its because Retail Rescue is a typical buy and resell business. They are the middleman between a breeder and a pet owner, they buy from a breeder and resell to a pet owner. The only difference is they claim the dog was rescued.
How do they do this? It’s very simple, instead of opening up a LLC or S corporation they will open a 501(c)3 non profit corporation. They simply need 3 board members and only 2 can be related. The retail rescue will fill out the paper work, mission statement and pay the corporation filing fee. No different than setting up a business on legal zoom.
Then the retail rescue will set up a Facebook page, an email, and maybe even buy a prepaid phone. Now this Retail Rescue is ready to start advertising, but they need dogs and puppies, because well, thats their product no different than a regulated pet store. Only there is a big difference between regulations for a pet shop and retail rescue.
This is where retail rescue turns into a complete scam. The retail rescue “volunteers” will go to dog auctions, which are in Missouri, and buy pure bred, designer mixed breed adult dogs that are originally meant to be sold to another breeder for breeding stock. If they find a bitch that’s pregnant, bids will go up to 3 to 4 thousand dollars because retail rescue knows they can get 600-800 per puppy plus another 500 for the mom. Thats a nice pay day for a non regulated business out of someones garage or basement. Once they buy a few or sometimes dozens of professionally bred puppies and dogs they take them back. Take photos and write sad captions and even make up stories about how they were saved from “puppy mills”. They post these images and stories on their Facebook page. which will then be shared by all of their other retail rescue buddies. They set up a “go fund me” page to collect donations for the expense of going to get the dogs and bringing them back, as well as care until they find their forever home. All while spreading lies about how the breeder didn’t care for them properly, that they came from “puppy mills”, that breeders only care about money, yada yada yada.
Once the dogs and puppies are sold and the “go fund me” page is drained, The retail rescue will count their non taxable income, on their unregulated business. Yes this is a business don’t be fooled. Once all the money is accounted for they repeat the same process over and over. Buying and reselling dogs and puppies labeled as rescues, all the while bashing breeders. Retail Rescue is a scam. Don’t be fooled by the fake sob stories that are created.