Hope For Paws
Rating: 3.8 stars 69 69 reviews
1801 Century Park E Ste 2101 % Audrey Spilker Los Angeles CA 90067 USA
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21 people found this review helpful
I give to several animal rescue/ rehabilitation groups ranging from Center for Biological Diversity (U.S.) to Animal Aid (India) to IAR (International Animal Rescue based in U.K. but right now strongest presence is in Indonesia doing incredible work helping rescue orphaned Orangutans). I used to try to assess if a charity was "donation worthy" based on ratings given out by organizations such as Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. However, the reality is that some groups simply do not meet the matrix that these watchdogs groups require to be rated (or more likely the rating systems used are so incredibly narrow and concentrate on very rigid criteria as is perfectly illustrated in peer review Stanford Social Innovation Review, "The Ratings Game," Summer of 2005, that many really great charities look terrible on paper and thus do not volunteer). As such, I go back to relying on what many people relied on for hundreds of years before charity watchdog groups existed; Worth of mouth.
Hope for Paws receives so much attention, almost all very very positive, that I find it very hard to believe that Eldad Hagar is running some kind of sham. The ONLY negative feedback that I have seen about the organization seems to be the repetition of the SAME "observation"(that is a very generous use of the word within the context of what they said about Mr. Hagar). The initial "report" came from a Facebook in 2013 page titled The Good, The Bad, and The Unforgivable of Animal Cruelty.
Then later that same year FreeNewsPos "reported" about "Many rumors have surrounded Eldad Hagar and his Hope for Paws rescue for the last few years now," which was just a regurgitation of the Facebook page The Good, The Bad, and The Unforgivable of Animal Cruelty which talked about "rumors" of Eldad receiving $15,000 in donations to rescue 100 dogs which it purport that were life "to die." The "news article" offers absolutely no support for its allegations making one of the first sentences about "many rumors" an accurate description of its own "article."
The only evidence offered was a reference to a court case July 7, 2010, in a lawsuit for nonpayment to Top Dog Resort for boarding fees, Hope for Paws lost. After researching this further I found out that that the complaint originates in what is known as the Palmdale Arizona Dogs. In 2010 Mr. Hagar and his former partner Sharon Gold discovered the gruesome site of over 100 dogs on a property in the desert where they were dying of hunger, of thirst, neglect...Hagar and Gold stepped up to help all of the dogs. A monumental task for such a fledgling organization (they had only been formed since the very end of 2008 according to Charity Navigator profile). They likely took on more than they could financially and logistically handle, thus the inability to pay Top Dog Resort for some of the rescued dogs brought to them. This "article" also report that Ms. Gold has since gone to jail for "embezzlement." I scoured everything I could about Ms. Gold but was not able to find the legal case. I was able to see, however, that whatever happened with Ms. Gold she is no longer involved with Hope for Paws and apparently has not been for some time. She may very well have embezzled money, I do not know as I could not find the court case or the ruling.
The opinion pieces written about the Palmdale Arizona Dogs and Ms. Gold would have kept me from donating had I not researched the issue further. The allegations of calling the founder of Hope for Paws a "fraud" all seem to be based upon that initial Facebook page that "reported" its impression of the Palmdale Arizona Dogs. The whole "article" is an opinion piece. What became more disturbing is when I dug even a little deeper and decided I should research the entity behind the strident attacks against Hope for Paws and found that the individual who has made some of the loudest attacks against Hope for Paws is herself under investigation for animal hoarding and cruelty. I had heard that there is an underbelly in the world of animal rescue and that rather than working together groups can find themselves at each others throats because they are in such desperate need of donations that some get to the point of feeling like the only way to survive another day is to undermine its "competition," and often times the groups struggling to survive will band together, so to speak in an attempt to take down a group, or groups , that are doing exceptionally well. I never ever believed that anyone involved with helping animals COULD EVER behave in such a way. I was so wrong.
What is nice to see though is that Hope for Paws has survived these attacks, at least so far they have. They continue to focus on their work. When I watch these videos I do not feel manipulated. This guy obviously loves these creatures. I read some posts where people state that they feel quality of the video and the music proves the point that Hope for Paws' focus is on getting money by enticing people through high quality video. Really? He takes video that are pretty darn close in "production value" to what I am able to capture on my phone. Then he attaches music to it before uploading to his site. So, let's get honest about THAT. I don't know of any 13 year old who cannot do the exact same thing with his or her smartphone and a desktop. The fact is that it is NOT how he captures these rescues on video it is HOW HE RESCUES these abandoned creatures that nobody else wants, that everyone else has ignored for weeks, months, years, that nobody else wants to crawl around in sewers or garbage dumps for, and that some people did not really have a problem with Mr. Hagar doing until his videos started to become popular.
The first wave of negative commenting came at the end of 2013. All of the commenting was based on opinions about Mr. Hagar and the Palmdale Arizona dogs rescue in 2010. People (other "rescue groups" maybe?) did not make public grievances against Hope for Paws until 3 years after the "problem." What seems most significant is that Hope for Paws did not begin receiving this criticism until after mainstream media began writing positive stories the organization and Mr. Hagar .
As far as donations are concerned, from what I have read Hope for Paws is a solid charity. It seems to have a built a really good network of fosters and rescues (which oddly its critics think is a bad thing. Perhaps they are not update with newer models that show that the traditional stand-alone brick and mortar "shelter" is not necessarily the best way. The most successful groups out there are networks of volunteers). What I also like is that Hope for Paws takes on the grooming and MEDICAL costs of the animals that it rescues, and if the handful of videos I have watched of the many sickly dogs living in deplorable conditions is any indication, those initial medical costs must seem overwhelming. Indeed, I did read an interview with Mr. Hagar and his wife and they had acknowledged that the medical costs are "astronomical." It does not seem quite fair to criticize Hope for Paws for not being a full service rescue group as they have never identified themselves as such. They are the first stage in the rescue process a stage that is often times the most expensive for dogs that are coming in physically ill.
I feel confident about donations I have given them. The one thing that I would not mind seeing would be a more specific breakdown of how much it spends on those initial emergency grooming and medical bills. I think showing those numbers would be very worthwhile and would be helpful in curbing the effects of what really is seeming more and more like baseless attacks and Mr. Hagar and his charity.
13 people found this review helpful
I signed up to give a monthly donation after seeing many videos of their rescues. I live in the UK, where the worlds biggest, most profitable animal charity, the RSPCA is based. The work hope for paws does puts them to absolute shame, their officers very rarely go out of their way to help injured and suffering animals and most would never spend time gaining an animals trust in order to rescue it. They'd just deem it dangerous and put it down. We have major problems with abandoned horses over here and the mo, and they're being left to starve as the worlds richest charity claims it has no funds to rescue them and house them. Ordinary people are what makes a difference and if you're not happy or convinced re hope for paws then get off your backsides and do something meaningful yourselves.
15 people found this review helpful
Animal rescues is a very heartbreaking, dirty and in a lot times can seem thankless. But the animals are always thankful and that's what really matters. Unfortunately, in order to continue with rescues the people who run Hope for Paws and all the rest have to rely on donations from "people". That's were everyone runs into trouble. There are always some people who are not happy unless they have something to complain about.
I have been reading other reviews and I find some of them to be of a selfish nature. But the one by Sally Hansen in July 2014 that was so negative, heck she wasn't even reviewing the right charity. She is complaining about an organization called Hope for Life not Hope for Paws. If you are going to give a negative review, do you think you could take the time to get it on the correct site. It showed you have negatively influenced a number of people against the Wrong organization. You have stolen money away from Hope for Paws and the animals they rescue because of your whining that they were rude to you. Again let me say you are complaining about the wrong organization. Well maybe the people at Hope for LIfe had reason not fawn all over you. I believe you said you were court ordered, so you weren't even there cause you cared about the animals. Get over yourself and quit being selfish. It is about helping animals, not about you. If you have to see and deal with the kind of suffering these people do day in and day out, you have to release it through humour that outsiders do not understand. Doctors, nurses, firefighters etc. all share this type of "humour" or they would go nuts.
The people wanting personal Thank Yous should stop & think. Consider the fact that these people are to busy to sit down & send out little thank you notes because they are to busy taking care of these poor animals. You contributed to Hope For Paws because you saw a video/videos that impressed you. So you can still be impressed because they are still out there helping animals not sitting in some office sending out little thank you notes.
16 people found this review helpful
I was going to donate, but I wanted to check the non-profit out first. I found this article and am very concerned about its accusations.
20 people found this review helpful
I donated two years ago on-line. When I received a request for money postcard by mail I was turned off. They seemed to be more of a video production team evoking people's emotions from animal suffrage and salvation then a genuine charity group. They are Hollywood based amateur animal care people, untrained with any degree pertaining to their line of work having talents in the area of video production focused on saving stray abandoned pets. The owner is great with dogs.
With that said, though the owner of Hope for Paws is extremely good with animals and video production, he receives millions of hits on several videos, some within a few days. They receive Google Ad revenue and on each video ask for a donation of $5.00 If just 2% of those who visited their videos gave a donation they'd be millionaires. Their overhead is low since they do not run a vet staff they contract out. They have few employees and many volunteers some of whom are provided publicity as Hollywood based models.
When you think about it, they act as if they're in need of donations yet they don't provide any information on how they are building themselves into a real charity such as the ASPCA, SOI Dog, and others who are the real deal having risen with a lot of hard work, not by virtue of video productions alone. When I note they use Hollywood models in their recent rescue videos who are seeking publicity and name recognition for their volunteerism I have a serious question mark about Hope for Paws.
In their 2012 revenue I find it hard to believe they only grossed approximately $650,000 while their overhead left them with only about $100,000 revenue. I question the truthfulness of their reporting taxes to the government in order to hide a tax burden. All they do is rescue cats and dogs, a couple per week, give them vet care, keep them at volunteer and their own homes and then adopt them out to the Hollywood community or anyone else they choose. They have a talented production team making these videos they receive thousands of dollars a week from Google Ad revenue while they make it seem they're desperate for cash. What are their ultimate goals and objectives? What other organizations do they work with to benefit the entire animal rescue community? I'd like to see their latest gross income figures for 2014 and question why they aren't up on this site as of yet before I ever donate again.
I'm sorry, when someone apparently wasn't satisfied with my $10 donation I took the post card I received asking for more money as a violation of my privacy. I donated on-line for their video, didn't expect the aggression. I strongly felt the attempt to be taken advantage of due to the emotionalism ascribed to these videos. The audacity of Hope for Paws to ask for more money as if they need it to exist when they're doing just fine with millions of hits per video all of the time within days! 2% of those people donate $5 and they're multi millionaires! I've read about HOP donors in comments of videos claiming they can barely afford to donate $5 per month they're committed too. Hope for Paws needs a reality check to be begging for money from people who barely make a living. In the meantime, HOP better be reporting their income accurately to the Feds. I'll be waiting for the latest figures.
After I wrote this review I did search under charity reviews and found this article:
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Stop plugging Hollywood models in its productions. Be honest about the amount of money the organisation brings in and cease and desist all request for money by mail. Network with other animal care providers such as SOI Dog Foundation in Thailand that saves dogs from being skinned alive and/or boiled alive for food in Thailand. Get out of the Hollywood bubble and work with other animal care organizations.
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12 people found this review helpful
The reviewers who are giving anything less than a four or five star are you sure your review is for "Hope for Paws Animal Rescue" run by Eldad Hagar? I am a monthly donor and I could not be more in awe of what that man and his assistants do. I do not expect a special thank you, my thank you is watching the videos of him saving the animals. I thank him for what he does.
14 people found this review helpful
We have donated to Hope for Paws for several years. I don't understand the person who wrote her grandson did not get a "thank you". I just sent in a donation on line and had a receipt from PayPal within moments, followed by a "thank you" email from Hope for Paws. Like others on this site we don't care if Eldan sends a more personal thank you...the online one is fine. We'd rather he and his wife spend their time and money rescuing dogs in need. Thank you, Hope for Paws, for all you do for these poor, abused animals. I only wish you would move up to the San Francisco Bay Area...we need you here, too.
11 people found this review helpful
Happy to see positive reviews for Hope for Paws.
The "1 Star" review by the grandparents of a boy who donated his birthday money & didn't receive a "thank you" bothered me, though. By giving, the boy knows he did a wonderful thing. If it is from the heart he doesn't need a written thank you.
It would be nice, but if those "thanks" don't come from the PEOPLE running the organization (they might be VERY busy!) why are you hurting the ANIMALS who benefit from these donations? The grandson sounds very mature & generous....not so much the grandparents.
16 people found this review helpful
I paid with PayPal and received a receipt within minutes via email. I'm not a man of faith. There has to be pressing circumstances that require me to go down that path. I doubt these people are complete scammers. In fact, I think there is a chance that these are extremely compassionate people, and considering what's at stake with these poor animals, I think it's worth the risk to invest in them. I don't care whether they acknowledge me or not. They probably receive thousands of donations every month. Imagine how much time running this show takes out of their lives.
18 people found this review helpful
Five Star in his cause but ONE STAR IN PUBLIC RELATIONS!!!!!!
He has lost future contributions from my family and friends.
A simple acknowledgment to my grandson for his most generous contribution of $645.00 would have been appreciated. This boy forfeited his birthday presents in lieu of money for “Hope for Paws”. The check was cashed within two weeks of its mailing in July. I sent a kind reminder in early August to send a simple thank you. September is just around the corner and still nothing, really!
ONE STAR and no more for this cause; too bad.