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In Our Hands Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: In our hands rescue, inc. Was formed to serve the needs of the community by rescuing shelter animals, strays, others and to help ameliorate pet overpopulation by adhering to strict spay and neuter guidelines, and to place rescued aminals into permanent approved homes.

Programs: Veterinary and animal hospital fees

boarding, training, grooming and transportation

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6 Mary323

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for the wonderful rescue dogs that you transported from Missouri and were adopted by us in New York. Each dog was accurately described, well cared for in their journey and absolutely saved from GAS KILL shelters. Without your organization, these dogs would not have had a chance. Two were very elderly, although full of life, and were saved from death row. We will always be grateful to you Jennifer, for your time, selfless caring and genuine wish to save dogs and cats. God Bless You! Dr. Mary Rose Paster

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The only "rescue" that lets a pregnant dog put multiple unpaid fosters in the hospital just so they could sell the puppies for >$500 each and then has the mother summarily executed after the puppies are sold. If the dog was just being protective of her puppies and you cared about her, then why kill her AFTER the puppies are sold? You put humans in the hospital and have dogs killed as a policy just to make a buck and call yourselves a rescue for chrissakes? The question of whether they are a rescue or a puppy mill is unfair to the mills. What puppy mill puts human beings in the hospital and endangers their lives without so much as asking if they're okay and kills dogs just to save a few dollars? It's not a question of whether it is a rescue or a puppy mill. It's a question of how many humans and dogs need to be hurt before enough greed is enough.

3 Lin C.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

IOH”R” is clearly a puppy mill in disguise and needs to be audited by the IRS.

No rescue charges $1500 adoption fee and only has doodle puppies available. Plus, they ask for this fee in cash and PayPal only. Very sketchy! Read all the negative reviews below. They scam you (e.g. give you fake medical records, promise that the dog is healthy but you end up with thousands of dollar medical bills, etc.), take your money, and are incredibly rude. My application was approved last fall and today came across a dog I wanted to “adopt” but read somewhere that they don’t trust this org and to read the negative reviews. And here I am. Saving myself (and hopefully whoever reads this) from being scammed.

Adopt a dog from a real rescue like Muddy Paws or True North Rescue - places where I’ll be looking.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I would pay $1500 to euthanize you rip off puppy mill breeders and sellers. You don't give a crap about the dogs. J

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience fostering (and then adopting) from In Our Hands Rescue. This was my first time fostering and Jennifer answered all my concerns via text promptly. She was available every-step of the way and I could tell genuinely cared about the dogs well being. We ended up falling in love and wanting to adopt our foster dog.

Jennifer was professional and checked my references, she also told me we did not have to pay any fee until the dogs GI troubles from stress cleared up which made me feel like they really value the health of their dogs! I even met with Jennifer at her day job one day to pick-up something she recommended to calm stomachs.

I really am not sure why there are negative reviews. I do not know what people are expecting but these dogs are literally coming straight from rescue situations. Yes, our dog needed a bath and had a mild ear infection - but other than that our vet said she was in great health. She came with all of her shots and medical records and they are even spaying her for free!

Jennifer runs this organization ON TOP of another job because saving dogs is her passion! This takes a lot of dedication and I think the work they are doing is really admirable. I really could not say enough good things about the experience I had. We love our new addition so much!

1 Eric Michael L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have done quite a bit of research before finding In Our Hands Rescue, and we could not be more thankful to have found them!
We attended the event in Park Slope in June, and they had it absolutely together. They were absolutely on top of things, and they were at least 200 people at this event. Anyway, we didn’t necessarily intend on leaving with a new family member, but that’s exactly what happened, and we could not be happier. They have been incredible as far as communication, and Ollie, our 18 week old Bernadoodle is simply a wonderful fit for our family. Don’t let some of those negative reviews for you folks, I think that when you deal in such a high volume, and have so many people to please, naturally they’re going to be some that for some reason or another, you won’t. I focused on all of the positive reviews before making the decision, and now we are thrilled to add one more positive review to the list.

19

Client Served

Rating: 1

In Our Hands Rescue is an opaque, greedy, disorganized "rescue" organization who clearly does not have the animals they sell in their best interest.

For full disclosure, I went to a rescue event without knowing much about the organization, or that animal rescue groups in general are not regulated. I fell in love with my pup, which I paid an exorbitant fee for without being told where the funds where going and/or what they were being used for. Because IOH did not prepare enough foster families, most of the puppies (presumably from mills in Ohio) were going to be boarded. There were over 30 puppies at the event, none of which had fosters. I decided to foster my pup's sister who was sharing her crate, and was sent home with no paperwork for the foster or any funds to support fostering the dog.

The rescue would not disclose where they got the dogs, why the fee was so large, or whether or not they were supporting puppy mills.

I'm so lucky to have such a sweet dog, but if I had done proper research beforehand, I'd be very hesitant to give this group money. I fully support dogs being rescued from negative dog mill or dog auction situations should it not promote the breeders to sell further.

It seems like this group many have started off with positive intentions, but it's clear they've been greedy without concern for the dogs they're bringing to NYC without homes or fosters. Like someone else on this thread mentioned, they really need to be audited by the IRS.

26

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I started following them on Instagram. A comments thread started by another follower asked where they get their dogs and how much they charge. They did not answer , but another comment stated that they charge $1500 for adoptions. They buy their dogs from puppy mills when the puppy mills deem the dogs unsaleable for whatever reason. This "rescue" buys the dogs for a low price, transports them to NYC and sells them for $1500. Their reviews on google.com very negative. There is no transparency. They should definitely be investigated by the IRS.

Review from Guidestar

16 Rachel Ann Michelle E.

Client Served

Rating: 1

I had filled out an application for a dog they had listed on Petfinder, and the next day they emailed me to say I was accepted and allowed to adopt. However, the dog had been adopted. I asked about his sister and whether she'd be at the event, and was told she had a cough and the foster was thinking about adopting. I saw a third dog and they told me he'd be at the event.
I asked about the process, and was told it was first come first served and I could take him home right then and adoption papers would be sent by email. They took cashiers checks and three kinds of app payments and said the fee was something like $450. I started hearing alarm bells and read some reviews on this site.
I then wrote to them saying I wouldn't be coming to any events and voicing my concerns regarding the payment method, the history of undiagnosed/undisclosed health problems and the reviews I'd read. The email I received back was two words: 'No prob'.
I've been going through a more thorough adoption process with another New York shelter; a very intense application form, a phone interview, recommendations and I'm waiting on my home visit. The adoption fee is $350. This place is in it for the money.

18

Client Served

Rating: 1

I discovered this post after Googling IOHR, intending to leave a negative post myself. I'm so grateful to you for documenting your ordeal, though of course my heart breaks for you and for Willy. We fostered a pup through IOHR, and unfortunately didn't do much research as we had previously fostered dogs with other NY shelters and had lovely experiences. We should have done our research. The negligence, disorganization, and utter disregard for our poor house guest was appalling. I won't delve into the many, many hiccups along the way and will instead focus on the worst of it all. The dog came with no identification papers and just a band around his neck that said 'Schnauzer #3'. We were told he was thoroughly vetted, however it was immediately clear that if he'd been examined at all, it was certainly not by a vet! He slept the first 36 hours in our home. He would not eat or drink, he was completely bald and emaciated. I'll pause to say that this was not IOHR'S fault, as he was rescued from a horrific hoarding situation. But I wasn't told anything about the care he'd require. I sobbed watching him struggle to lift his head and we held him wrapped in blankets to warm his hairless skinny body. Thankfully, my mother is a veterinarian and I consulted her constantly about what to do. We desperately rubbed chicken soup and water on his gums, praying that he'd live through the night. The poor dog excreted blood constantly. My mother told us that he absolutely must be taken to a vet as soon as possible, he needed Medical care that we couldn't provide. I of course relayed every bit of this information to my contact at the rescue and implored them to give me the information for the vet; we were willing to travel anywhere for him! Time and time again I was told that he just needed to rest. Unfortunately, I am a teacher and my husband was out of work at the time, so the trip to an expensive NYC vet would have meant no groceries--plus IOHR claimed they would pay for veterinary visits if we would go to their vet. I finally sent a scathing message, begging them to help us keep this dog alive. Jennifer finally responded and said they would give him dewormer and we'd have to go pick it up from one of the volunteers. We did, and the pup seemed to improve a little. Dewormer is very easy to give and should have been administered immediately--like they'd told us they'd done before handing him off to us. I'm happy to report that he found a wonderful home with the kindest couple and he has been steadily improving under their vigilant care. We still shudder to think of what would have happened to him if he'd landed with a well meaning foster who hadn't been fortunate enough to have a veterinarian in the family or prior experience caring for sick animals as I do. The negligence and greed of an organization that claims to protect animals is astounding, and downright evil.

17

Client Served

Rating: 1

I was approved for adoption. I went to an adoption event where they listed labrapoodles, goldenpoodles and different breeds of mixed poodles. When I arrived I was told that the there were still some large breed puppies available. I asked how much the adoption fee was for the puppies and they told me $1500. As I was looking around i saw a standard poodle. When asked about her I was told she was a breeder dog and that she gave birth to some of the puppies. Again I asked how much she would be and I was told $1500. Also I was informed that all they accepted was cash or Paypal. This standard poodle was a mess. Dirty, not well taken care of, she was walking funny and she needed vet care. Didn't know if she had shots or not. The excuse they gave me was that she was transported in a crate and stiff. This poor dog needed care. I was willing to adopt her and take her to the vet. I figured between vet care and grooming it would cost me $1000-$1500.. I am writing because I have adopted from the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League, and Sean Casey Animal Rescue. When I adopted from them, the dog and cat had shots, medical care, micro-chipped and spayed for a fraction of the cost. I approximate that there were about 20 - 25 puppies/dogs being adopted. That means at the minimum they made $30,000 for the day. In my opinion, this organization is a "not-for profit" but I think the way they portray themselves is not a realistic picture. People would be better off adopting from organizations that cares about the welfare of a pet and not money.

24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Not a great nonprofit. Any nonprofit org. that asks for cash or money order is sketchy. Hiding a paper trail!!?? They take random dogs for free and sell them for a huge profit. They don't care who they sell them to as far as I'm concerned. They don't care what dog they sell. They lied to me about so many things it's not even worth writing here. They take NO responsibility. Best to find a reputable org by reading honest reviews every where you can FIRST!

11 Joann Cobuzzi K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I will give them at least one star for at least trying to save some pups. However, the process is not very adopter friendly. They are non-responsive to calls, texts, and emails the majority of the time. If they do respond, it is via a text and not a personal conversation. As a first time adopter, I had many questions. I attempted to adopt from them 2 separate times. The first time they were totally non-responsive after I had submitted an application and was told "someone" would be contacting me that day. I NEVER WAS CONTACTED- either way as a yes or no.
I discovered through the process they purchase doodles from mills and charge fees ($1500)- that are NOT LISTED on their website. And, I would have to neuter the dogs, whereas most reputable organizations already do that. This rescue group is no better than a puppy store. They get your hopes up to adopt but then send an email/text saying it's first come first serve at their Saturday adoption events.
Adding a new member (and we wanted to adopt 2 pups!) is a very personal and important process and they hide behind texts and standard response emails. You would think they would want to get it right for these dogs. Eventually, when I pressed (and basically pleaded) for a phone conversation I was dismissed and told to "go adopt elsewhere". Sounds like this is run by a team who are conditioned to be non-emotional through the use of technology. They need to reevaluate how this organization is run as evident by other reviews and their low rating.

16

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Go to the CACC, or the Humane Society or the ASPCA. This organization seems awful.

I found a cat that this organization took from the Center for Animal Care and Control. They put a microchip in the cat, but never put the owner's info on it. When I called the organization, the woman told me they have no records.

This is incredibly irresponsible. All of their reviews are abysmal, don't encourage people making money off misfortune and pain.

20 Kaye M.2

Client Served

Rating: 1

Horrible! Rude and unprofessional!! Needs to be shut down!!! Should have their 501c3 status revoked ASAP!!!!

Review from Guidestar

20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

No reference or home checks and was able to get a puppy two hours after emailing an application. The puppy's breed was inaccurate and there are so many reviews about bad health that it's worrying. Adopters were lied to and am afraid this "rescue" is a scam funneling puppy mill dogs to unsuspecting people based on sob stories that can't be verified. There are so many dogs in need in NYC that it's strange they need to ship in dogs, but clearly this is a money-making scheme with no care for the animals' best interests.

25

Client Served

Rating: 1

A complete for profit of Jennifer aka Jen and her 7 children at the expense of sad animals
It should be called a puppy mill
Jennifer - Jen hides you will never meet her she uses volunteers to run this scam operation
They need to be shut down
ADOPT FROM A REPUTABLE PLACE LIKE NORTH SHORE ASPCA ACC NOT THIS CON ARTIST

Review from Guidestar

12

Client Served

Rating: 2

I adopted a kitten, who immediately got very sick (not IOH fault) the minute he got home. He had bad ear-mites which we hadn't noticed, and a bad upper respiratory infection. We dealt with this, then again when they resurfaced. We had been told that the org would be in touch when it was time to neuter him, but they weren't. I reached out four times and they didn't answer - finally just called the number. Was instructed to text - and got an immediate reply. Without knowing who I was, I was told that they had responded to my communication (!), and that I had to contact another person to find out about neuter and spay services. I did, and that person seemed to want me to get me off the phone. No appointments available at wherever they send you, so maybe sometime next month, maybe not. But definitely far out in Queens early in the morning and late in the afternoon. The woman said she'd get back to me. From meeting the people who run things (though the other volunteers were friendly), to getting no response for nearly two months on a simple question, to finally getting rude and just not competent responses, I'm skeptical about the basic functioning of this organization and can't recommend it. I'm not sure why they treat people so poorly (it just seems extra). I can only imagine if I had actually had an issue that caused me to seriously engage with them.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 1

This "rescue" is anything but and should be avoided at all costs. Go to the ASPCA or any of the plethora of other reputable rescues if you want to adopt a dog. Jennifer the owner is incredibly rude, and does not provide the dogs with desperately needs medical care.

We fostered a pregnant dog who then gave birth to her puppies in our care. The mom dog had extremely foul smelling pure liquid diarrhea from the moment we got her through the entire time we had her, over 1.5 months. She lost a considerable amount of weight because of the constant diarrhea, along with becoming more and more dehydrated. No matter how much premium food or bland rice we fed her she kept losing weight (rapidly becoming emaciated), and towards the end her stool was consistently coming out as liquid and completely undigested food pieces. Sorry to be graphic but the extent of the issue was terrible. Because of her health issues she was also defecating in our house several times daily, even when taken out every couple of hours, because she could only hold it when she needed to go. Our vet thought from a conversation that she had giardia and possibly coccidiosis, both of which are highly contagious and can be deadly to puppies. We informed both the foster coordinator and the rescue owner Jennifer many times of the health issues the dog was having, and nothing was done. The foster coordinator said she would mail us wormer in case it was worms, but that never arrived. They refused to have the dog seen by a vet, have a stool sample tested, or do anything at all.

Finally when two of the puppies became lethargic at 4 weeks old I insisted they all be taken to a vet. Jennifer called me and said I needed to bring the dogs to the foster coordinator's house the next morning and that they would be taken to a vet and then I could pick them back up. I dropped them off at about 8:00am and waited for the call to come pick them up. At 5:00pm I was just wondering when they would be ready so I called the foster coordinator. No answer, no response. At about 8:00pm I called again. No answer. Almost immediately I received a text from the coordinator saying that the puppies would not be returning and that they needed ongoing medical care that another foster would give them. I called for more information, no answer.

Remember, these were 4 week old small breed puppies. After being told the puppies were not coming back to us I looked at IOHR Facebook page and at 9:00am that day (one hour after I dropped them off and before the time of the supposed vet visit) they had posted that they needed immediate fosters for "6 week old puppies" with pictures of the puppies I was fostering. They claimed the puppies were eating solid food and healthy, neither which was true. They never went to the vet and they split them up and sent them to several foster homes without their mom, thus weaning them suddenly at 4 weeks old (small breed puppies should nurse until at least 8 - 10 weeks). I saw pictures the various fosters posted only days later of the puppies as too. The puppies were NOT old enough to be weaned and had only had mushy solid food ONE TIME.

While I had them the puppies were never wormed (they should have been wormed at 2 and 4 weeks old, that is standard when raising puppies and wormer is not expensive), or seen by a vet.

Also, the mom dog was not socialized at all like they said. They said she was friendly, good with other dogs, and housebroken. It turns out they didn't know anything about her personality or housebreaking status, and they had just said that to get her into a foster home. The coordinator was distracted and frazzled when we were picking her up and threw her at us without any information, and wouldn't give us any documentation of vaccines, not even Rabies (we live in a Rabies prone area). She was cowering under a kitchen table when we picked her up at the foster coordinator's house and we were told she'd been under there since she had arrived the day before. She immediately had water diarrhea and cowered under a blanket on our lap on the way home. At home it became clear IOHR had lied. She did not tolerate being touched and would try to run away and if she couldn't she would cower and shake if you stood up near her. She was also not at all housebroken, was terrified of dogs, and bit my husband (breaking skin) when he was not interacting with her. I'm experienced with rescue dogs so was able to handle it, and eventually got her housebroken (until the severe diarrhea caused her to lose all bowel control), more socialized, and less fearful. We were experienced enough to handle her, but if we weren't it would have been dangerous for the dog and us.

This "rescue" is a puppy selling business. They focus on puppies and small “pocket” dogs from the south because they get more money for them than they would for the thousands of adult large breed dogs in NYC kill shelters.

23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My friend fostered a small black lab from In Our Hands Rescue last year. We met them at unleashed pet store in East Village. The puppy did not seem well, was listless and tired. They told us it was tired from the drive from Georgia. We tried to feed the little guy but he wouldn't eat and didn't have energy. Within 24 hours we called the organization to tell them the puppy was not well. They said don't worry and agreed to meet us the next day, Monday morning at Penn Station. The puppy died later that day, had pneumonia. Heartbreaking.

30

Client Served

Rating: 1

After reading the previous reviews here it is incredibly helpful to see we are not alone in the problems we are dealing with with this organization. I want to share my story as well so people looking for a dog/cat can be informed of how In Our Hands operates. I hope they will choose another route and go to a different shelter or organization that cares more for their animals.

My fiancee and I were looking to add another dog to our household and decided to try fostering first from In Our Hands rescue after finding them on instagram. After we were approved to foster we offered to take in a large Saluki mix named Apollo coming over from Dubai (he actually came over with Ben who is mentioned in the review below) in June. We had to meet at a location in Brooklyn to pick him up immediately after he landed from his flight. As we know they are a smaller organization we did not expect much when picking him up but after we arrived, I realized the person I had been in contact with to set everything up was not even present. We were a little confused as some strangers that did not run the organization just handed us the dog without checking any ID or giving us any paperwork etc. I was told to just text the person I had been talking to a picture to confirm I had the dog.

After about a week as he seemed to be fitting in well with our family (my household consists of myself, my fiancee, a 9 year old American Eskimo, a 4 year old Beagle/Lab mix, and a small cat) and since we had been told he was very calm and sweet, was good with people, children, all other dogs, cats, was up to date with all vaccinations, had no previous health problems and was currently healthy/recently vet checked we decided to adopt him. Despite showing some signs of leash aggression (which we informed the rescue of immediately), we agreed that if this was his only issue, it was something that we could work with. We consulted a dog trainer about this who confirmed it was common and workable. After paying the adoption fee ($720 which we were told was due to him coming over from Dubai but we are now noticing they seem to just charge whatever they feel like) and discussing what we noticed in person and going over his information again, we took Apollo to our vet and signed him up for a health plan. It was then that we learned that he was underweight and suffering from a severe ear infection on both ears. We were concerned as we were told he arrived to NY in good health and were not liable for taking on any medical care as fosters so he was not immediately treated until we chose to adopt him. We got him the proper treatment and his condition was quickly alleviated. This was when we first saw the changes in his temperament.

Apollo was previously very friendly with everyone that he met. He was very good with our dogs and cat. He was so great with me and my fiancée and we became attached quickly. He was generally a couch potato and pretty calm inside the house. Unfortunately as he became healthy and more comfortable in our home we started noticing signs of fear/aggression towards certain strangers and he became very dominant and rough with our other pets. He lunged at our vet at his follow up appointment as well as two of our friends who were visiting that he hadn't met previously. Finally he attacked our 25 lb. American Eskimo who is older and not able to easily defend himself. He was injured badly and needed vet care. For reference Apollo is kitchen counter height and weighs 50 lbs. Our dogs have been very on edge since then and have stopped getting along at all. We have to keep Apollo separated to avoid any further altercations. Our vet advised us of his concerns for our other dogs safety due to their size in comparison to his and suggested the environment and his better health could be effecting his behaviors more. We quickly made the realization that we were provided false information regarding his temperament and health. Had we been provided accurate information in advance we would not have considered adopting him.

We quickly reached out to In Our Hands to express our concerns with Apollo after each incident. We were concerned since what we were experiencing was so drastically different than what we were told about him. We wanted to request assistance in returning the dog. Due to the circumstances we did not believe he was in the right household and should be placed somewhere without other small pets/children. We were contractually obligated to return the dog to them if we could not keep him. After some back and forth and us needing to provide proof of what was happening, they finally agreed to take him back in late August. They let us know it would be to euthanize him if we can't keep him as they can't look for a new home for him and will not have his behaviors looked at or provide any additional training for him due to lack of resources. To this day they still have not met the dog or assessed him personally.

This was such heartbreaking news to us and we feel is something that should be considered only as the very last resort for severe issues. We were also shocked as their website claims they are a no-kill organization. We could not believe that a no-kill organization would want to put down a dog as their first option in this situation. Due to our disagreements over his future they have given us permission to try to rehome him ourselves or find another organization willing to work with him first. We ended up talking more with our trusted local shelters regarding this for advice. The general consensus was that the best place for him would be a sanctuary and that normally under these circumstances the rescue would be responsible for arranging that. We then did not hear from In Our Hands for 2 weeks. We were unable to locate a sanctuary that had room for him so we reached back out to them to see if they had come up with anything. They again proposed that we take him to be euthanized and they would reimburse us for it but if we could continue to keep him for an unspecified amount of time they might be able to place him somewhere in Georgia (that was all the info we could get). We stated that as mentioned - we would not put him down due to our personal views but also that we could not keep due to the safety of our other pets without a firm date and sooner rather than later. We further asked if they would pay to have him boarded while they wait to have him moved or if we could drop him back off for them to figure out another place to hold him in. They refused both proposals.

We had been experiencing rude, insulting, and unprofessional comments from Jennifer and her team throughout this entire experience. They did not care what had happened to our dog that was bit and seemed to not even believe us without receiving photos. They did not seem to be taking the situation seriously and we often felt as if we were working harder to rehome him and caring more for his welfare than they were. They did not believe they needed to assume any responsibility for this and blew us off many times. When they did answer us it was always noted that they were not obligated to help us with anything. After we asked for money to assist with boarding him though is when Jennifer took things completely out of control. She not only refused to speak face to face or even on the phone with us, it often took us up to 4 follow up emails to even get a response from her. She refused to take the dog back and threw insults at us trying to guilt us into continuing to keep a dangerous dog in our home so that they did not have to deal with. She was alleging that we were trying to abandon the dog because we told her it was an unsafe environment for him to stay with us and thought boarding was a safer option. She alleged that we gave him a death sentence despite her being the one who proposed to euthanize him, while we put ourselves at risk to look for a better option. She also suggested that instead of boarding him that we can decide to euthanize him "with our own hands at the vet or a high-kill shelter" (verbatim quote from her email). She then threatened to publicly shame us.

This has been such a shocking experience for us as animal lovers with all adopted pets that previously came from abused and neglected homes. We were embarrassed enough to have to give a dog back but ultimately decided that safety of our other pets took priority. They made sure to prey on that and try to make us feel as if we caused him to be this way and made us feel trapped within our own home by not taking him back. They made us feel guilty and stupid for being so honest and transparent about what we were dealing with but we could not bear to withhold any information in case it caused another adopter to be in danger. To see an organization not do their due diligence to provide accurate information about an animal up for adoption and to not take the time to properly assess medical conditions and behavior is appalling and completely negligent. Please beware of this organization, they are no better than a puppy mill. They are more concerned with their image on social media and pulling in excessively high profits from adoption fees than the safety and welfare of these animals.

13

Donor

Rating: 1

This organization, In Our Hands Rescue, censors comments and feedback from their paying contributors', pet adopters, and the general public, even comments reflecting genuine concern for the animals they "rescue". They take zero feedback or constructive criticism from contributors, the general public, or previous adopters, should they consider it "negative" which they interpret to mean anything they don't want to hear; essentially missing the point of the expressed concern and what should be their #1 priority: the welfare of the animals. It is very much like a person who shuts down and cannot hear any feedback whatsoever because they think they are being personally attacked, when in reality you are expressing genuine concern and stating the facts and obvious consequences of their actions.

I expressed concern when they posted a photo of a dog, Bailey, they said had acted out because he was separated from his brother, Ben. I was not the only person to express this concern. Worried for this dog, having years of experience with traumatized and neglected dogs rescued from cultures unkind towards animals and volunteering abroad with various shelters, I did my due diligence and found the post with his backstory: He was found in Dubai with his brother, one of them (not sure why they don't say which) was tied to a trash can and the other refused to leave his brother's side. This is a clear indication they are a bonded pair and the kind of devotion that exists between them. Now, having rescued dogs from abroad myself, I know the flight alone is an incredibly traumatic experience for dogs. Nevermind for dogs coming from already traumatic circumstances of mistreatment, neglect, possible abandonment and abuse. Traumatized dogs are particularly sensitive and scared, making them more prone to further trauma if not handled with great care and sensitivity. When they arrive, they need to be made to feel comfortable and as safe as possible, until they become at least somewhat acclimated. Separating a dog from the one being that makes him feel safe is the worst thing you could do and only results in further trauma.

On their request for a foster on Facebook and Instagram, nowhere do they seek a foster for them as a pair. Nowhere do they mention they are a bonded pair devoted to each other. Nowhere do they state they hope to find a home for them together. This is careless, at best, and incredibly irresponsible and insensitive to the emotional needs of the dogs.

This kind of self-righteousness and censorship is not a good sign and is not reflective of a healthy and functional non-profit organization. Just read the response they make to any negative review on any review medium (Yelp or greatnonprofits.org), where they attempt to invalidate their critics instead of directly addressing the concerns expressed. A lot of the negative reviewers voice the same issues which include but are not limited to: a negative attitude of the head of the organization and her staff, carelessness with the animals, carelessness with animals' records, poor vetting, and incredibly poor customer service. One review even said they had threatened to sue if the review was not removed which, again, shows you what kind of organization this is: one that takes zero criticism, where contributors, adopters and the public are not heard, and one that becomes defensive attacking those that have provided any kind of feedback whatsoever. As you can see, they threatened me from making any further comments on their photos and deleted all of my original and subsequent comments.

A healthy organization with legitimate customer service that genuinely cares about what they do and the contributors that make what they do possible, which you can see from countless other companies or organizations (readily apparent on yelp or otherwise) take the public's, their adopters and/or contributors' feedback into consideration and are continually seeking ways to improve and upgrade their standards of service and performance, instead of blocking it out entirely and seeking to silence anyone who says something they don't like. Particularly when the nature of the organization is supposed to be on helping animals, and helping animals and people connect. This type of silencing any critics is more like a dictatorship, which is just bad business.

12

Client Served

Rating: 1

I attended an adoption event wanting to meet two dogs in particular listed on the website. When I first called, I was told that any dog listed on the website was still available and that the website was updated constantly. When I arrived, I was told that one of the dogs still on the site and physically there at the event had already been adopted even though the person who had adopted him wasn't there yet. I was a bit disappointed and let them know that he was still on the website. I met a small pitt mix there and fell in love with her, but she was over 25lbs (my weight restriction). A day later I told them I was in contact with my landlord and waiting on her response to make sure it was okay to adopt her. I received the okay from my landlord that day and called Jennifer back to let her know, but got no response. That same day I emailed her and received no response. I called again the following day, texted as per recording instructions and called again and left a voicemail. The next day I called again with no answer. The following morning I emailed again stating that no one had responded to me in days and received an email back stating that the dog had already been adopted while again, she was and still is on the website. I'm highly disappointed and upset because had someone gotten back to me she might have still been available.

I should also mention that the event itself was a bit of craziness. Myself, another man there to adopt, and a dog, were the ones keeping a couple of the dogs from fighting and pulling two dogs off of another female from trying to mount her. The staff didn't do much of anything and their volunteers didn't seem to know the proper way to handle dogs or even be able to discern which dog was the aggressor. I'm simply disappointed all around. I would look to another organization to adopt.

26

Client Served

Rating: 1

My girlfriend and I adopted a 5 year-old dog at an event on 4/1. Jennifer helped us with the logistics and was VERY clear that the dog had had puppies and needed to be spade. Long story short, we pick up the dog from the OR today and we're told that the dog had been spade previously and they had anesthetized the dog and made the incision before they realized this.

Absolutely unbelievable to me. Jennifer - next time try this phrase: "we are not sure whether or not this dog has been spade, you will need to check with your local vet". See how that is a bit different then saying - "Here's the number to call to set up the appointment to get her spade"? Okay, good.

Never again with these idiots. Don't even take the risk, the ASPCA or any other legitimate adoption group will handle medical needs of the pet before releasing them. The dog is amazing, it is sad that she had to be put through this situation because of the stupidity of their staff.

29

Client Served

Rating: 1

We adopted a puppy from them a few weeks ago. We are now trying to get a vaccination record that is signed by a Vet so our dog doesn't have to be revaccinated. We have called Jennifer (the person listed as the owner) and sent several emails. When we got her on the phone, she was pretty nasty but I am still hoping she will help us out. Her suggestion is to use her recommended vet and other vendors. There is something about her that is not on the up and up. She took $500 cash from me and didn't give me a receipt or anything. I appreciate what they are doing but it does feel like this is more of a "for profit" company than a charity.

If we don't hear from her with the paperwork we need, I am going to call the better business bureau...any other suggestions?

20

Client Served

Rating: 2

I am currently fostering a dog from In Our Hands. First of all, the dog was described to me as a "lab mix" when she is clearly a pit bull mix, but that's fine as she is wonderful and well-natured. When I first came to the event to meet the dog and take her home, they basically just handed her to me and told me good bye. All I got sent with was the dog and her leash. They never checked ID or verified that I had submitted the online application. As this is my first time fostering, I had many questions about her vaccination history, what the next steps were to get her adopted, etc. I was given a quick answer of 'up-to-date' on vaccinations and to check the website for future adoption events. When I asked if I could have a copy of her vaccination records I was told "no" because this was a privilege only of the adopter. I have had this dog for nearly a month in my home, around my family, and around other neighborhood dogs and it makes me very nervous that I can't even see her vaccination records. The dog was also spayed while I was fostering her and again, I was given one choice of date to have this done and basically no information. Luckily everything is going alright so far. The actual dog is absolutely wonderful and while I respect what this organization is trying to do by saving these animals, they really need to get the business side of their effort in order. All dogs vaccination records need to be up-to-date and accessible. And any foster/adoption families should be checked out first. I'm thankful to them for saving these animals but also very worried about the lack of care they are taking with fostering/adopting them out.

9

Client Served

Rating: 4

I went to meet a Pomeranian and was second approved to adopt. They advised to show up anyway at their event saying that sometimes approved potential adopters don't show. When I showed the Pomeranian had already been taken -- they encouraged me to look at the other small dogs but I wasn't interested in these other small breeds. BUT. Then there was an incredibly beautiful elegant dog that totally blindsided me. My husband came to meet us -- and like me he immediately fell in love with her too. They say that dogs choose their owners, you can't tell from a picture of a certain dog - what's it's going to be like in real life, because a picture isn't real life. I had an expectation of getting a small dog, I went in there to pick up a Pomeranian and I came out with a Blue Heeler!! LOL. And I don't regret my decision for one second. We have the best ever in every single way, so for this I am grateful to IOHR. However, I also agree with the reason given for the lower ratings here because: they knew nothing about the dog and they also lied about her age saying she was nearly a year when she was actually only 7 months. Even when I emailed after and said the paperwork said she was 7 months Rachael said she was sure she was beset a year (I'd said I wanted a dog around a year or older) so I believe they will tell you what you want to hear in order to get the dogs adopted. Also, it felt like they made up the price on the spot -- we were planning on spending $200 max and she was just over $500.00. Which is INSANE for a rescue -- I understand this is not tax deductible when other charitable dog adoption organizations fees are --- so I don't know what to make if this. My phone had died though and they let me use their phone to call and talk to the recent foster mother so that was amazing. She'd only had her for a week though, and as these dogs had travelled from the South they must have known our dog was one that gets very car sick -- but this information was not provided and we discovered it after. In a cab. But, to my shame I got out and didn't tell the cab driver. Noones perfect.

Review from Guidestar

30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization needs to be stopped. She is all about money. The lies she tells to get animals adopted is unfair to the dog and unfair to the unsuspecting family or person. No complete check of the dog. My dog was placed for adoption with her. I warned her that the dog wasn't house broke, had bad nerves, didn't handle small kids or dogs well. Could be dangerous to them. The dog would also go after cats. Would destroy the house if left alone. I rescued her and sadly couldn't afford the expense of proper training. With food aggression starting I knew it was time to do something or the poor dog would be miserable. When this organization took they advertised her as this problem free sweet house broken puppy. The complete opposite in fact she's a little over a year old. Don't use these people. The ASPCA doesn't even charge $400/500 for a dog. At the most $125 and it will be completely checked over

Comments ( 1 )

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inourhandsrescue 09/23/2015

Hi there - Would you mind reaching out to us and letting us know which dog you are talking about? You can email us at [email protected] In all honesty, we never would have agreed to take a place a dog who had all of those issues. We are very realistic about who we can place, and while we take as many hard cases as we can handle, this sounds like a dog we would not have been able to handle. We are also very upfront with our adopters about any potential behavioral (or medical) issues, because we do take our dogs back if adoptions don't work out, and we don't want them just bouncing back and forth. We want them to be set up for success, and that only comes with honesty. I'm just curious if you might be thinking of the wrong group. Please reach out, I would like to hear from you. Rachael Rescue Coordinator

28 berthamd

Client Served

Rating: 1

Do not adopt from these people. Jennifer is a liar and will say anything to get a dog adopted. I asked for a beagle mix no more than 30 pounds and ended up with an 85 pound hound mix,. Despite paying 400 dollars the dog was very sick, not microchipped or neutered and had not been vetted in foster care. More importantly she let me walk away with the puppy at 7 weeks knowing nothing av
Bout me. No home visit, no references. I have spent thousands of dollars bringing this dog back to health and training a huge dog to live in Manhattan.
This organization needs to be shut down!!! There are so many good, honest rescue groups and In Our Hands are just a bunch of lying, fanatics hellbent on getting dogs out of kill shelters but into God knows where as an alternative

Comments ( 1 )

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inourhandsrescue 09/23/2015

Hi Berthamd, Thank you for your review. I would like to point out that in rescue, we never know breeds for sure. If you would like to have a "beagle mix no more than 30 pounds," then you need to go to a breeder. If you want to rescue an animal, you understand that there is some push and pull and you need to leave wiggle room. We very clearly state in our contract that we do not guarantee breed or size. If you are unhappy with your pup, we do take our dogs back as we like to ensure that they are always placed into good homes. I don't appreciate the lies you are spreading - we reference check EVERY application that comes in. We deny something like 2-3 applications for each one we accept. We are very careful about where the dogs go. I would be happy to have a conversation with you anytime and prove to you that I am not a lying fanatic. Rescue is a very hard world to work in, and I wish you would consider just how hard it is for us before you write review like this that are only going to hurt the animals in the end. Rachael Rescue Coordinator

Previous Stories
29

Client Served

Rating: 1

My story is similar to the others. I had just put my 16 year old pug to sleep and went to a Petco adoption event where In Our Hands Rescue had a litter of puppies and some baby pits. Again, I had emailed Jennifer the day before to see what dogs she was bringing. When I got there, grief-struck and irrational from having had to put my dog to sleep 5 days prior, I expressed concern about adopting so soon. I also asked why there was no home visit or references taken. I was told"You wrote you're a doctor so you must be OK."
I could have been using dogs for vivesection for all Jennifer cared. I paid 400 dollars and was told the 7 week puppy was a beagle-lab mix, no more than 30-40lbs as they had seen the mother.He is currently 10 months old and 70 pounds and a German shepherd-coonhound mix
I was told he had his first set of shots and was dewormed. No sooner had I gotten him home he started scratching furiously and had horrible diarrhea. Long story short-2000 dollars later he was diagnosed hookworm, giardia, scabies which went undiagnosed by two vets and then severe behaviour issues. He bit me very badly repeatedly and when I called her she said I could return him but no refund, no other dog. I had to pay for microchip, neutering, animal behaviourists, etc. Puck is a wonderful dog now because he hit the Jackpot. I could afford to hire people for him, pay huge vet bills. DO NOT ADOPT FROM THESE PEOPLE!She does not check the dogs out and as someone wrote she is the equivalent of a puppy mill rescuer. She took advantage of my grief and unstable condition, lied to me about how "easy" raising a puppy would be and basically was unscrupulous and unethical. With so many reputable rescue groups around, this one needs to be closed. I assumed that Petco had vetted her which is why I even adopted from her.Shame on Petco and shame on you Jennifer! She should be shut down and I am filing a complaint with the city.

Comments ( 2 )

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inourhandsrescue 11/16/2014

Readers please note that this review is from a woman who adopted in February. We have made many changes to our organization since then, including never adopting an animal out without a reference check or multiple checks. We do vet our animals thoroughly, although if they come from the south as many of our animals do, sometimes they have other issues that arise after they are adopted (particularly if they are adopted right away as this 7 week old must have been), and we always tell people that health is not guaranteed because there is just no way to know of other issues that might come up. In terms of the breed, again we always tell adopters that the breed is a guess, unless we knew the mother. The puppies we adopt out are usually puppies that were abandoned down south, and we know very little about their history (they do see a vet and are given all of the medical treatment they need and all of the shots they can have for their ages). If anyone is concerned about our ethics, please feel free to contact us through our website - www.inourhandsrescue.org. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions, and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the adoption process.

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inourhandsrescue 11/16/2014

Readers please note that this review is from a woman who adopted in February. We have made many changes to our organization since then, including never adopting an animal out without a reference check or multiple checks. We do vet our animals thoroughly, although if they come from the south as many of our animals do, sometimes they have other issues that arise after they are adopted (particularly if they are adopted right away as this 7 week old must have been), and we always tell people that health is not guaranteed because there is just no way to know of other issues that might come up. In terms of the breed, again we always tell adopters that the breed is a guess, unless we knew the mother. The puppies we adopt out are usually puppies that were abandoned down south, and we know very little about their history (they do see a vet and are given all of the medical treatment they need and all of the shots they can have for their ages). If anyone is concerned about our ethics, please feel free to contact us through our website - www.inourhandsrescue.org. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions, and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the adoption process.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been looking to adopt a dog for months. When considering adopting from a few other New York shelters, we had negative experiences--including out of date available pets pages and poor, slow communication.

Not so with In Our Hands! They immediately reviewed our application, and once approved, we were able to meet and adopt our desired dog within a day! Our vet says that our new pup is one of the most healthy ones he's seen, which he credited to the great care his foster family must have given him through In Our Hands.

I recommend them to anyone who wants to adopt a new furry family member! We love In Our Hands!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted a puppy a month ago from In Our Hands Rescue. Having rescued dogs before (young and old), the application and approval process was quick and went seemlessly. The puppy was 6 weeks old and had been rescued by IOHR from a high kill shelter in
Georgia with her 6 siblings and mother.
I commend then for saving these animals, especially at great distances from NY. It takes a lot of dedication and organization to do this as well as have foster families, and adoption sites lined up to take them when they arrive.
As with any shelter rescue, there may be common issues such as kennel cough, parasites, etc. and as a responsible pet owner, you should visit a vet when you get them, to get them off to a healthy start. All these things are very easy to treat.
IOHR was quick to respond to emails and kindly sent us photos of our puppy's mom so we could get a better sense of what she looked like.
We are grateful that organizations such as theirs exist! And IOHR seems to have a knack at saving sweet dogs from terrible situations. All of the adult dogs had amazing personalities, and the puppies of course irresistible.

2 Sarah222

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband & I adopted our precous Sadie Mae from IOHR this past August - and it was a wonderful experience.
Our application was processed quickly, our references & vet contacted and we were approved for adoption.
Everyone who we were in contact during the process, Jennifer, Rachel & the foster mom Molly were all professional, and extremely helpful and accommodating.
We had originally planned to go into the city to an adoption fair on a Saturday & meet Sadie - but at the last minute, we decided to go in on Friday evening. We contacted Molly & arranged to meet her at her apartment to meet Sadie - it was love at first sight!
Sadie came to us healthy and with full medical records.
I would strongly recommend IOHR to anyone looking to adopt - you won't regreat it for a second.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've had dogs all my life, from breeders & the streets & you never know what you're getting either way. No one can ever guarantee any animals health or temperament. But at IOHR the entire team is committed to matching the correct animal with the correct keeper. Thank you IOHR! We love our new baby! My husband and I adopted a 2 year old chiweenie from IOHR and the entire experience has been amazing. It started over the weekend at a mobile adoption event where we met the volunteers and fosters. I admire and thank all people who foster and open their homes and hearts to animals so they can properly be matched with their forever families. Foster parent Steven was informative and advised us of habits, schedule, temperament, and personality of our new girl, and she fits into our life and pack perfectly. She loves her sister Daisy (dog) and brother Beast (cat). We're so happy with the experience and look forward to all being together forever. I recommend everyone open their homes & hearts and rescue an animal from IOHR!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering as a foster for at least 5 years, all volunteer, no pay!! The payment is the satisfaction when they get that special home. I absolutely love doing this. I have been involved with 3 other rescues who drove me crazy by keeping their dogs at my house for a month or more. Jennifer and IN OUR HANDS RESCUE, does not do that. They care about their dogs. ♡♡♡♡

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've fostered 8 dogs for IOHR and will be fostering more dogs for them as long as possible. They do an excellent job finding homes for high-need dogs from kill shelters (usually in the South). They have been super supportive addressing the diverse needs of the puppies and dogs and are well-organized with their adoption events.

My own dog is from IOHR (she was my first foster) and I can't imagine life without her.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started helping out IOHR as a foster and only ever had positive experiences with the rescue and the people who work with it. I recently just adopted a dog from them and I couldn't be happier. They went over all her medical down to the last detail and gave me advice on trainers and vet care. Whenever I have had questions they have always been extremely helpful. As a foster, I have been around a lot of the adoption events and I've watched what happens at them. I witness Jennifer and her helpers making reference calls and vet checks and taking the care needed to ensure that the dog or cat is going to go to a good home.

I had tried fostering with other rescues and my experience was never as wonderful as it has been with IOHR. Other rescues take weeks to get back to you, whereas IOHR has dedicated volunteers trying to do everything in their power to find animals in need great places to live.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have both fostered and adopted from In Our Hands Rescue and so have had a good chance to see how the organization is run. Jennifer dedicates her life to helping abandoned animals (and does it for NO PAY) - she is basically a saint. She has no outside funding and so ultimately adoption fees (which are pretty standard for city-area rescues) need to go to recoup the costs of medical and transport for the puppies. I couldn't be more impressed!!

Hundreds of dogs and cats every year are saved and brought to loving homes in the tri-state area by the organization. I see updates from prior adopters on their Facebook page all the time with success stories of people who have adopted from them. Of course the organization isn't perfect but they do an amazing job with the resources they have and ultimately if they weren't doing what they do, these animals would have no where else to turn.

megslp88

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family adopted our amazing little Sampson from Jen and the wonderful volunteers at In Our Hands Rescue in December 2010. They were so helpful and supportive throughout the whole process. We adopted our poodle Daisy from them about six months later and then highly recommended them to our cousin (among others!). They adopted their dog Ajax just a few months later. We're so blessed to have 3 loving, wonderful dogs in our family thanks to this rescue. The work they do is amazing. Thank you for all that you do!

13

Client Served

Rating: 1

NEVER TRUST THIS COMPANY. they gave me medicine and said it was post-surgery pain meds when really it was antibiotics b/c she had a UTI. The dog bit me and my roommate so i called to see what i should do. They said to bring it to an apt in the bronx...after the hour and 30min subway ride i called and the lady refused to come meet me to pick her up so i said i was going to bring her to the police station b/c i did not feel safe and she threatened to sue me saying i would be abandoning her...i said i dont feel safe giving her back to you guys because of how you have handled this situation and they said if i did not return the dog they would sue me...I do not even have words. If only they cared about the pets and not money.

Comments ( 2 )

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inourhandsrescue 11/16/2014

As usual, the negative reviews never tell the full story. Julie was told before adopting that the dog had been abused and was skittish, so she should give her space and let her settle in on her own terms. When she called to tell us the dog had nipped her, she also told us that they had been trying to pet her and put an outfit on her, which was the exact opposite of what we had told her to do. We offered her advice and told her our trainer was available to her. She was adamant about bringing the dog back and did not want to give her a chance. We asked her to bring the dog to the foster's home in the Bronx, as the adoption even was over and we do not have physical shelter. There may have been some miscommunication about how to get to the location, but the foster was in constant contact with Julie and explained that she couldn't come meet her because she was home with her five children under the age of 11. Julie threatened to leave the dog at a police station and we explained that would be considered abandoning her and would be a violation of our adoption contract. After a long conversation with Julie in which she stated she was "just going to resell the dog" herself, we got her to agree on a time to let us pick the dog up. This is a dog who came to us weighing 7 pounds when she should have weighed 14, and was filthy and matted and scared. Two months later, she now weighs 12 pounds, has been groomed, and is sweet and loving to the people she trusts. We care about our animals more than anything and were not about to let someone who threatened to dump her at a police station keep her under any circumstances. We did send the dog with antibiotics, for a possible UTI as a complication from her spay surgery. Julie was informed of this during a conversation we had with her at the adoption event before she decided to adopt.

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inourhandsrescue 11/16/2014

As usual, the negative reviews never tell the full story. Julie was told before adopting that the dog had been abused and was skittish, so she should give her space and let her settle in on her own terms. When she called to tell us the dog had nipped her, she also told us that they had been trying to pet her and put an outfit on her, which was the exact opposite of what we had told her to do. We offered her advice and told her our trainer was available to her. She was adamant about bringing the dog back and did not want to give her a chance. We asked her to bring the dog to the foster's home in the Bronx, as the adoption even was over and we do not have physical shelter. There may have been some miscommunication about how to get to the location, but the foster was in constant contact with Julie and explained that she couldn't come meet her because she was home with her five children under the age of 11. Julie threatened to leave the dog at a police station and we explained that would be considered abandoning her and would be a violation of our adoption contract. After a long conversation with Julie in which she stated she was "just going to resell the dog" herself, we got her to agree on a time to let us pick the dog up. This is a dog who came to us weighing 7 pounds when she should have weighed 14, and was filthy and matted and scared. Two months later, she now weighs 12 pounds, has been groomed, and is sweet and loving to the people she trusts. We care about our animals more than anything and were not about to let someone who threatened to dump her at a police station keep her under any circumstances. We did send the dog with antibiotics, for a possible UTI as a complication from her spay surgery. Julie was informed of this during a conversation we had with her at the adoption event before she decided to adopt.

17

Client Served

Rating: 1

I adopted a dog from them for $300 that they had in their care for over a month and a half. The dog had Giardia, which is from drinking water infected with feces. The dog was infested with fleas, which led to horrible dermatitis and tapeworms. The dog did not have a rabies vaccine and was not spayed or chipped.

I asked them if they would be able to help me with the cost of some of her vet bills. They said no and that I could return the dog to them without a refund.

On top of this, they are claiming that I need to have her spayed 2 weeks after the adoption. I went to an ASPCA mobile unit to have it done ( I waited hours!). They wanted to have me sign for liability since the dog had Giardia and may have been dehydrated. The vet said she couldn't guarantee how the dog would be after the surgery. That scared me so I put it off. I told what the vet said after receiving several sassy emails from them. It has been 1 month later and I have received 2 phone calls and a text from them in 20 minutes. They have emailed me threatening to take the dog from me if I don't provide a proof of spay.

This company should not be a 501c3 non profit. They are basically a puppy mill. They take advantage of people trying to do the right thing.

34

Client Served

Rating: 1

A few weeks ago after much thought and a lengthy search, I adopted a five year old terrier, Chester, from In Our Hands Rescue. A few days prior I had filled out the online application and was immediately contacted about adopting him. While I knew I was obviously a qualified pet owner, In Our Hands did not check any of my references or with my landlord to confirm that my building was a suitable, pet-friendly apartment. This should be a standard, first step in an adoption process for any reputable animal rescue or shelter.

I inquired with both Chester’s foster mom Susan, as well as Jenifer, the owner of the rescue, about Chester’s medical history and former living situations and was informed that he was perfectly healthy, except for a “minor case” of separation anxiety. I was told when left alone he whimpered a bit, but didn’t cause too much of a problem otherwise – no barking, destruction, or the more severe symptoms attached to separation anxiety. I knew Chester would be in a good home now, where he would only occasionally be left alone for a maximum of two or three hours, as my roommate works from home.

I signed the paperwork and Jenifer made sure to confirm that the $300 donation was non-refundable and that they “make no claims as to the temperament, health or mental disposition of any animal put up for adoption.” This seems very odd for a rescue that wants to a great best outcome for the pets they supposedly care for. For an adopted pet to be placed in the best home, a new owner must be informed of a pet’s full background story – any traumas, relocations, medical issues, and problems with training. The fact that they legally absolve themselves from telling potential adopters a pet’s background is deplorable.

When I returned home I found that one of the pages of paperwork from Chester’s vet visits included his former owner’s name and number. I called her up out of curiosity to see exactly why she had given up Chester and to find out a bit more about him directly. Kate enlightened me on the full picture of Chester’s severe separation anxiety and how, after 15 months of training, vet visits, and even anxiety medication, she had no choice but to give him up as her attempts were ineffective. Clearly he was not meant for city/apartment life and really needed the support of someone who would never leave his side.

She returned him to the rescue begging them that he needs to be put in a home where he would have 24 hour support possibly with other dogs or children as there seemed to be no cure for his problems, which include loud barking when left alone, destruction of property, depression, and severe attachment issues. She also included many of Chester’s supplies (food, leash, dog bed, etc) for his new owner, as well as full records of his attempted training and medication for his new owner. In Our Hands Rescue conveniently did not include any of these materials or supplies when I adopted Chester, even after asking specifically.

I soon saw first-hand how bad Chester’s anxiety was. Even after leaving for only short periods of time (five or ten minutes) Chester would begin to bark loudly. Not only did my neighbors justifiably report me to my management company for noise complaints, but also to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection because of his non-stop barking when we were out of the apartment. In addition, Chester began repeatedly breaking into garbage, urinating in the house, and other destructive behavior. While Chester is a calm, affectionate and loving dog when people were around, he clearly could not be left alone at all.

When I finally made the decision to return Chester to the rescue, Jennifer tried to dissuade me instantly. Both Susan and Jennifer curtly told that I would have to wait an indiscriminate amount of time for a new foster home to open up. Only after following up several times did Jennifer agree to have him taken back to Susan’s home. There was a clear lack of communication as Susan claimed she would have immediately taken Chester back if she knew of the situation. Even after returning Chester, Jennifer refused to acknowledge that I previously told them about his behavioral issues.

Jenifer’s decision to proceed with an adoption for a dog that needed such intense care was severely irresponsible. While noble in theory, In Our Hands Rescue is clearly failing to provide an adequate service to pets that truly need care and compassion. Instead they are filtering dogs in and out of homes, causing even more pain and trauma for animals, many of which are already maladjusted and confused.

I am so sorry that my $300 went to supporting a rescue that hastily flips dogs into new homes without proper research or compassion. Clearly Jennifer is not qualified to be running this operation. I am writing this letter as I do not want to see any more animals or potential owners inflict the hardship, heartbreak, and monetary loss that the ordeal put both me and Chester’s former owner into.