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March 22, 2013
A few months ago, my family and I decided to get a second Boston Terrier to give our two year BT a friend and we thought it would be best to help save a rescue dog. My wife spent the next two months looking for a Boston Terrier rescue. I have two children (7 and 9), so it was important to find a dog that would be a good fit for our family. After much research, my wife found a two year old Boston Terrier at Molly's Place in Mechanicsburg, PA. One look at her picture and we fell in love and decided to put down a deposit and began making plans for the 6 hour drive from Buffalo to meet her. We were told that she had recently had a C-section and she would need to be spayed before we could adopt her. After about two weeks, the dog was ready to be picked up.
We made the trip and arrived at Molly's Place on Sunday March 10, 2013. We entered the building and the main area you walk into is the "free roaming area". This is where the dogs are able to "socialize" with each other and the customers as well. We were told that the dog was getting a bath and it would be a little while. I was a bit perplexed by this because she was just spayed that Thursday. We have had dogs spayed in the past and the vet has always stressed "No baths for 10 to 14 days". I didn't want to jump to any conclusions, so I figure it was just a sponge bath. As we were waiting in the middle of the "free roaming" area with numerous dogs in a rather small area, my two small children had the distinct opportunity to see one dog attempt to mate with one of the other dogs (note that these dogs are not spayed or neutered until they are adopted UGHHHH). I was still trying to be positive, especially after driving over 6 hours and my kids were super excited to meet the new member of our family. The "mating" incident was followed by a Pit Bull mix violently attacking a MUCH smaller dog and literally had it by the throat until two workers were able to get the small dog out of the jaws of the Pit Bull mix. The small dog was immediately taken out of view of the customers. This all took place within a few feet of my wife and children. My positive attitude was quickly diminishing but I could not leave without at least meeting the dog we drove so far to see.
After all of this, our dog was brought out for us to meet. The first thing that we noticed was that she had a belly band on which the owner of the rescue informed us that her incision was a little red from her licking at it and the belly band was to prevent further licking. They set her down in the "free roaming area" for us to meet her. Immediately, there were numerous dogs all around us so we asked one of the workers if there were a more private place to see her (also I did not want her near all of these other dogs since she was still recovering from her spay). The only private place out of that rather large building (see Molly's Place website for a pic of the building) was the bathroom. I actually thought I was having a nightmare at this point. But by this time, we had already fallen in love with this dog. We completed the adoption process and paid $550 for the dog. A bit high, but I figured it's helping out a charity and not too bad for a healthy, vet checked purebred Boston.
Well keep reading because this is where the REAL nightmare begins. On the drive back to Buffalo, Lucy (this is name picked out by my kids for the dog) sat on my wife's lap the entire ride and seemed a bit "under the weather". We figured she was still feeling the effects of the spay. Before leaving Molly's Place, I asked if she needed any pain medication and was told that she did not. Upon arriving home, we introduced her to our Boston and got her settled in. It was at this point we removed the belly band to check on her incision. It looked terrible! My wife took the next day off of work and rushed her to our vet (who was appalled at the dog's condition). She was diagnosed with an infection and was given antibiotics and pain medication which she was in desperate need of. Then, on Thursday March 14, we noticed that she was bleeding from her vulva. We again rushed her to the vet and were told that she has an internal infection and was given another round of antibiotics. The antibiotics were not effective and on Monday March 18 (only about a week after getting her from Molly's) she had to undergo EMERGENCY EXPLORATORY SURGERY in which the vet found much internal scarring that was adhering to some of her internal organs as well as a significant amount of necrotic (dead) tissue on the remaining portion of the uterus. This poor dog was a mess inside! It is now known that the owner of Molly's knew of this scarring and never told us about it nor attempted to fix it. You would think that the vet who performed the spay would have addressed this situation while performing the operation. We thought we were buying a healthy, vet checked dog.
We have now spent over $1300.00 on this dog within the first week of having her. She is still not out of the woods yet because there are other possible health issues that could come up because of all of her internal scarring.
As of writing this (3-22-13), Lucy is doing much better, she is eating, drinking, and even acting like a playful Boston once in a while. We totally love her and are glad that we rescued her. It is pretty sad that we had to rescue a rescue FROM a rescue (say that three times fast).
Now onto the owners of Molly's response - the nightmare continues. We informed her of the first infection on Tuesday (two days after getting the dog) and then of the internal infection later that week. Her response was that the dog was perfectly fine when she left her rescue and she had video to prove it. I guess that a video of a dog is more of an accurate diagnostic tool than a certified vet exam. She stated that there was no visual sign of infection in her incision when she left the rescue. This swollen purple, puss oozing condition suddenly developed on our ride home. I do regret not taking that belly band off to inspect the incision before we left the rescue, but hindsight is 20/20. Additionally, she knew of all of the internal scarring and never informed us of this potentially life threatening situation. I have E-mails to prove this also.
After numerous E-mails, the owner did offer to take the dog back and refund our money but this was not an option. Lucy was now part of our family and my children would have been devastated and heartbroken. Additionally, how humane would it be to return this poor dog to the situation that she came from. We simply requested a refund of our adoption fee (or at least some of it) to help cover the mounting vet bills. She refused.
I am quite sure this post will be deleted very quickly, but be assured I will repost it over and over again. I am also sure one of her "employees" will write a response saying that she did everything she could to resolve this situation. It will state that we were uncooperative and that we went over the dog with a "fine tooth comb" before adopting her and this situation is somehow our fault.
I typically would never complain about a "charity" but if I can save just one family from experiencing the nightmare that my family has been through then writing this was worth it. My poor kids ask me everyday when they get off the bus "Is Lucy still alive". I would encourage rescuing a dog, but just go to your local SPCA or find an honest, reputable rescue that will stand behind the health of the pets they are selling. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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1 person found this review helpful
February 26, 2013
1 person found this review helpful
Having worked in two veternarians offices, one with a larger boarding kennel as well as volunteered at the local humane society for at least two years and having supported/volunteered and numerous spay/neuter/animal welfare groups I have a wide background knowledge of how these venues function and what are priorities and concerns.
I applied for a paid kennel position and was hired. The first warning sign was that upon showing up on my first day, no one had any appropriate 'work' paperwork for me to fill out (W-4) so that in fact, I did not get paid as I should have since nothing was filed even though I reminded my supervisor and the 'director' about getting it done the first and second days I worked there.
The next issue became that there was no one individual who was a trainer to make sure I knew what policies, procedures, safety issues and such were told to me and reenforced over my initial first week of work. As time went on, I began to question the 'rhyme and lack of reason' for how dogs are moved about in cages, how free roaming dogs were interacting and if they became agressive, how they should be dealt with and several dogs (one with a multiple 'bite history' that could not be approached by new staff/volunteers due to 'issues'.) One dog, Curly, is one that has a long bite history, a pinch bite where he got my butt as I was walking through a door and the second, where it was an unprovoked bite to my leg, drawing blood and now having a scar from that bite. The staff person (and so called senior of the day) was immediately told, esp since she saw the bite take place. No report was filled out that I was part of and not sure if she told the Director. The next day when I came back to work after completing my day with an 'in house' bandaid and a seeping wound, no one asked how I was. Sadly, I learned from another worker that he had been bitten by this same dog at least once and later in the week learned this same dog had bitten another worker, a regular seasoned worker. In Pennsylvania, any dog bite is a serious issue.... the FACT that as of 2/25/13, this dog is STILL listed for adoption on their website. This is a tragedy waiting to happen!!
I have witnessed several people who had driven from Maryland or at least two hours drive time to pick up an animal only to be told it was sick or they could not take the pet home. Several puppies who had been adopted were now in quarantine but no details as to what exactly was wrong with them was given to the adopters. One puppy died. This group claims to be about rescue, but I question how they run their organization. There seems to be no Board of Directors that one can take complaints to as a non-profit should normally have, the woman who is Director is argumentative, belittling and down-right uncaring about staff or how business is run (the hiring paperwork). I am now waiting to be paid for the last two days I worked . I pity the dogs & cats who are there and hope many get adopted but some who are unsocialized, nasty and unpredictable, need to be euthanized for the public's sake.
The woman whose estate built her dream would be heartbroken to see how her dream has become a nightmare. I only hope the PA Dept of Dog Law will do the right thing and shut this place down or if there is a Board of Directors, they find a new front-woman/man to salvage this entity before its 'sued' out of existence. (Mary Cummins, here's a place you need to defame--)
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December 20, 2012
3 people found this review helpful
My personal experience with Molly’s Place was negative. In addition, I do not support Molly’s Place Rescue due to the documented history of PA state inspection violations since 2006 that involve the well-being of animals and other offenses.
I decided to write a detailed, fact-based review on Molly’s Place to help resolve any confusion due to online disputes, and to help people make an informed choice to support the organization or not.
The word “rescue” often has automatic positive associations, but I like to be sure of details surrounding any non-profit organization I consider supporting financially. After reading online reviews, at first it was hard to know what to believe. Molly’s Place has a nice website and has adopted many animals. There are both good and bad comments, along with comments that workers at Molly’s Place Rescue rally to see that the negative reviews are taken down or explained away. A general response to negative reviews about Molly’s Place has been to say “…then come in and see for yourself what a great place it is!”. It’s easy to walk into a rescue filled with cuddly animals and fall in love in a few minutes. You stay for under an hour, and it’s a wonderful experience. You may take home a new furry friend, but the rest of the animals may be there for quite some time. A reasonable overview of what goes on the rest of the time can be understood through public records. After viewing facts about Molly’s Place and through personal experiences, I do not support the rescue and it deserves 1 star for many reasons.
The State of Pennsylvania has ended the guess work by posting official kennel inspection records that can’t be taken down by employees of Molly’s Place. The facts clearly tell a sad story for animals. There have been many warnings and citations issued for years because of kennel code violations, 8 in 2011 alone. Inspection reports state violations on dog run space, enclosure space, maintenance, housekeeping, the physical condition of animals, and more.
There’s no doubt running a rescue is a hard job, but there is no excuse for this number of violations. Due to their extensive history of violations since 2006 and despite the fact that they have not had serious violations in 2012 there is reason for concern. From what I understand, it is under the same management now it was throughout years of violations. It’s reasonable to expect that a business may at times get a negative online review from a difficult individual, but inspection violations that are this frequent over the course of years are alarming.
Claims that the history of kennel violations were minor issues do not coincide with state inspection reports. A state veterinarian had to be present at inspections multiple times, and vet checks were ordered for numerous dogs. It is not logical that a state inspection agency would call for 8 inspections in 2011 alone due to small violations. The extreme number of inspections conducted within the course of one year demonstrates that authorities had serious concerns about this business.
If I have concerns about a business I will at times call the local police department. Police officers are often happy to provide information when they are passionate in a positive or negative manner about a business, or when they are aware of a business that has a history of problems. They are protected by First Amendment rights to offer their opinion as long as it’s not the details of a criminal case. Often, it seems they consider it a public service to keep people informed and I appreciate that. You may want to consider giving the local police department of Mechanicsburg, PA and Hampden Township, PA a call to hear what they have to say about Molly’s Place.
I also read alarming comments about criminal activity by reviewers, which was a little hard to believe. Then, I saw the articles online about a dog theft incident that happened at Molly’s Place involving the current Director. The charges were related to removing a microchip from a dog. The criminal charges were staunchly defended by reviewers with statements such as she was just trying to do the right thing and help a mistreated dog. But, that is not what the owners of that dog said, and the information is also available online. I wouldn’t have thought much about it had discussions of the theft not been accompanied by other online reviews where other people discuss being ripped off in some manner and say that Molly’s Place is about the money, not caring for the animals.
Supporters of Molly’s Place have stated “…the charges were completely dropped and not reduced”. Sounds good, right?
Through researching public sources it became clear that in PA a guilty plea and criminal conviction can be removed from the records if the guilty individual participates in a state-run program as part of their arrangement. But, information regarding how the conviction was removed from the record remains to reveal the real story when the facts are placed in front of a judge. I discovered that someone may claim they had a case dismissed and technically it may be true. However, if that case took place in PA there may be more to the story.
Regarding the 6 dockets available online at the Pennsylvania UJS website, it’s claimed they were not for unsanitary conditions. Yet, when I view the public records online for dockets, I see repeated charges listed as “Fail to Keep Kennel in Sanitary and Humane Condition”. Despite the charges eventually being dropped, I’m confident the arresting officers from the Dog Law Enforcement Agency had a valid reason to bring this matter to the attention of the PA authorities. I have a hard time believing they were repeatedly pestering the court system about Molly’s Place Rescue over a few inches of enclosure space, as people affiliated with the business have stated.
A medical topic worthy of attention is early spay and neuter. It has been stated in a review by a supporter of Molly’s Place that “the only health issue that has been scientifically linked to early spay/neuter is a marginal increase in urinary incontinence in females. This condition is easily treatable through medication”. That information is false.
Studies have proven early neutering of male dogs is known to significantly increase the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in medium/large dogs. If you are interested in this topic, an excellent article available online is “Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs” by Laura Sanborn. While there are both negatives and positives related to early spay and neuter, please remember the time frame that is typically debated is from 8 weeks on at the earliest. Facts are that Molly’s Rescue has spayed and neutered puppies under 6 weeks of age.
Molly’s Place presents information about the high number of animals they adopt out. But, where do the dogs come from?
It’s possible the mixed-breed dog you are paying over $500-$600 for was taken for free or low cost from an out-of-state rescue in VA or neighboring states and transported there. Regularly, Molly’s Place run transports to pick up dogs from out-of-state locations to resell. It is a state requirement that they keep the information regarding incoming animals on file. You can check on a particular animal of interest by asking for records of how they obtained the animal…except for the fact that at times they’ve been written up for not having clear records available for dogs transported in.
What’s the problem if they are saving lives? A quote from Molly’s Place on the website Nonprofit Resource Network states “We also partner with out-of-state shelters and rescue groups who are overcrowded or have limited resources to bring animals slated for death to the safety of our adoption center”. Meanwhile, the Mechanicsburg/Harrisburg area has such severe problems with stray overpopulation that dogs can legally be shot by a private citizen if they merely appear sick or injured. Does Molly’s Place help all strays, or do they help strays that they believe will lead to profit? They are saving lives of out-of-state animals because they can profit from those animals, they are doing it at the expense of animals in their own area, and they are doing it while fully aware of the problems in their own locality.
On July 14, 2011, inspection reports show “It was recommended to the kennel owner to temporarily discontinue taking in new dogs, puppies or adults, to provide her with more space and options to come into compliance with the regulations and the statute”. As local struggles with overpopulation have come to a head, transports from out of state have continued.
Rescues often respond to questions about their high fees by stating the long list of health care needs they provide for the animal before they can be adopted. Obviously, there is no need to pay for these services included in an adoption fee if an animal has already had vaccines, or were spayed/neutered etc. before they arrived at the business. It seems worthwhile to inquire about this as well. There can be many claims of why their high fees are necessary, but nothing can explain away the reasons behind the unacceptable conditions the animals were subjected to.
My husband and I are former volunteers of the Twin County Humane Society based in Galax, VA. In October 2012, my husband and I were asked to take in a pregnant dog and we helped with the birth of five puppies. We raised them with the trust and assumption they would be headed to a shelter without a long history of violations. Our belief was we would be helping the mother dog and her puppies, as well as helping to make Christmas special for a family or individual when they adopted a healthy, well-socialized puppy for a moderate cost typically charged by rescues across the nation (around $110-$150). The puppies were transported to Molly’s Place. We wish we knew more about the problems with this rescue before they were sent there.
We want the families who adopted the Husky puppies Kodiak, Polar, Bear, Grizzly, and Panda and their mother Starr in December 2012 to know we feel high adoption fees are unfortunate. Had we known about Molly’s Place we would not have been willing participants. It is legal to charge a very high price for a mixed-breed puppy, but we feel it is wrong from an ethical perspective, especially for a federally tax-sheltered non-profit organization. It compromises the essence of what an animal rescue should be, and compromises the goodwill of people who wish to adopt a rescued animal rather than go to a breeder.
For example, when I look at public state inspection records from in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011, I see that inspectors raised issues about the size of dog enclosure spaces. I want to know why a rescue claiming great concern for animals who asks an enormous adoption fee has taken so long for this issue to be resolved. A lot of excuses can be made about why Molly’s Place Rescue didn’t take care of these issues, but the fact remains that the animals were subjected to these conditions.
When I began to voice my concern about Molly’s Place, the reaction I received from parties involved in the transports from Virginia and from the Director of Molly’s Place made clear this was a situation worthy of closer inspection and confirmed some of the negative reviews about erratic behavior and rudeness. Luckily, I have it documented. The reactions clued me into the fact there was a lot more to this story, especially when I was told I “don’t want to go this route” by voicing my concerns. As I understand it from reviews, others have had similar run around.
Thank you to all of the people who took the time to review Molly’s Place, especially the gentleman who said “you can keep taking my post down and I’ll keep posting it”. I feel the same way. I’m happy to provide evidence to prove these comments are based in facts and that I’ve portrayed the history of violations in an accurate light. I consider it a public service regarding the welfare of animals to provide the documentation behind the facts to ensure my review remains online to serve the public, unlike some of the other negative reviews which have been removed for various reasons. Any one of you can easily find the information regarding PA state inspection records, court records, as well as information on the mechanisms of the Pennsylvania legal system.
Is everyone who leaves a negative review about Molly’s Place crazy? Or, are there justified reasons why people are so vocal about what is happening there? It’s likely my comments will be ripped apart as have all other negative reviews, so rather than engage in nonsense why not go to public sources of information and decide for yourself?
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