The previous reviews are quite old, dating from a time when the owner had suffered a mortgage foreclosure and had run out of funds. Did Penelope Wagner bring too many dogs home from the KILL-SHELTERS? Probably. I can say that she did so with the best intentions and at great personal expense. And you LOSE money on dog rescues after paying pull fees, transportation fees, veterinary expenses and food and medication costs.
She didn't rescue these dogs to keep them but with the thousands of dogs abandoned during the financial crises she was overwhelmed. She needed at least one other person to handle the adoptions and she needed to let some of these purebred dogs be put to death. (The life expectancy of surrendered animals at some of the shelters, especially down south, is as little as two days. A stray can expect to live five to seven days after being brought in.)
The $9,200 she paid to MADACC to get the dogs back was also a hardship following the foreclosure. Why did she pay it? – A reviewer on Yelp said it best: "As a volunteer at MADACC I have seen too many injustices there. This is one of the most inhumane, horrid, uncaring, disgusting places I have ever seen. . . . DO NOT TAKE ANIMALS THERE! They just KILL them!"
In 2010, Penelope Wagner was underfunded, overwhelmed, and had too big of a heart. It was just too much for one person to handle.
It would be a good idea to visit her First Friends Animal Rescue Inc webpage and Facebook page to get the true picture.
YOU CAN HELP BY ADOPTING A RESCUED ANIMAL RATHER THAN BUYING FROM PUPPY MILLS AND THE PET STORES THAT TRAFFIC THEIR ANIMALS. Do a search for "puppy mills" on the internet and look at some of the horrible examples of poor conditions and abuse. Then look for the stat sheets for some of the "Animal Control" facilities. The run of the mill AC might kill half of the animals that come in – they just don't have room for all of them! Some of the smaller town shelters don't even adopt out the strays – a zero chance for those dogs.
Please read Michele Boggs's post at https://www.facebook.com/faithfulexpression/posts/10154522545384890
Please SUPPORT Rescue operations and your LOCAL Humane Society as they get NO money from the As-seen-on-TV national fund-raising entities. . . . Please VOLUNTEER at a local shelter.
Please ADOPT. . . . Please adopt OLDER animals – they are a delight to have. Many of them were surrendered due to an owner's death or illness or for financial reasons and were perfectly good pets.
Please research the breed you are considering to see if it matches your expectations.
Please TALK OTHERS OUT OF BUYING PUPPIES so they don't turn around and get rid of them because they are an inconvenience. A puppy will require hours of socialization, training and exercise each day.
You can find suitable animals at you local Humane Society or online at:
Review from Guidestar
Penelope (Penny) Wagner: President/ Founder First Friends Animal Rescue (FFARI) was running an illegal kennel in Milwaukee WI from out of her home. Keeping in excess of 20 dogs in her basement in addition to the 30 plus dogs that she was keeping in crates in an unheated store front in the middle a below zero Wisconsin WInter. These 30 dogs were found living in a several inch deep layer of their own waste and confiscated by local animal control. Unfortunately local authorities did not bring crimial animal abuse charges against her and she was charged only with misdemeanors of animal neglect. Animal control had no choice but to release the confiscated dogs to her. She had moved to another location where she and her dogs had caused noise propblems for her neighbors once again and her dogs were allegedly kept in an unventilated shed in the middle of Summer. She has now move again to the Delavan Wisconsin area. It will only be a matter of time until she causes problems there.
Review from Guidestar
Nothing nice to say about this 'rescue' organization. Nothing. It appears that animals were at one time seized from this 'rescuer' because of neglect. Reputable rescue organizations are never in trouble with the law and always operate legally. First Friends website tells of a wonderful rescue organization; however, their actions tell a much different story. Alleged Neglect...
Review from Guidestar