My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Sacramento SPCA, Sacramento, CA, USA
This shelter is committing fraud……raising $ under false pretenses. Also they have committed theft of property. Read below for the story.
Two weeks ago in the city of Folsom, California (Folsom Prison Blues), a mistake was made. Some city cops and city animal control officers entered the agricultural zoned area which is surrounded by the city, and without prior notification or a warrant seized two 4H kids rabbit projects. These two kids also showed rabbits under the ARBA (the rabbit equivalent to the rabbit club) and frequently won.
What happened is the authorities did not classify the rabbits as livestock. Rabbits were specifically mentioned in the ag zone code’s language as livestock. Instead police deemed them as pets. They were seized as a pet hoarder situation, which can be done with no court order and no due process.
The children did have 250 rabbits, which to a non rabbit hobbiest would appear to be pretty excessive. It even seemed excessive to me, and I show and raise rabbits too, but I have a pretty small operation. But then I did a count of what was in my nestboxes, and I realized my 3 does had produced 21 twelve week old rabbits that are to be butchered this weekend, and 22 rabbits that were just born the other week. Rabbits do multiply.
The other thing animal control claimed is the animals were kept in unsanitary conditions. I don’t know what animal control saw, but I saw video of the rabbits after the seizure. Some rabbits were larger meat breed rabbits that looked pretty healthy and plump. But I also saw some smaller ‘fancy’ breed rabbits. These rabbits were a high maintenance long haired breed that were impeccably groomed with a clean coat of fur. Clean unmatted fur does not occur with long haired dust mops that had been living in their own filth. Remember these children show their rabbits frequently and win. Could you win a beauty pageant if you were unhealthy, hair matted and full of feces, had bad hygiene, and weren’t in tip top shape?
So the rabbits were seized and impounded in the Sacramento SPCA animal shelter. Who promptly went on TV, social media, and to the newspapers begging for donations because they just had 250 rabbits dumped on them from a hoarding case and neglect case & needed supplies. But that is partially how shelters are funded…..a big disaster, free TV coverage, tugs at heartstrings, and the donations pour in. Now this is where the story becomes interesting.
An animal shelter works just like a car impoundment lot. It is contracted by the city, and they don’t care if you are innocent or guilty or why they have your property. In ongoing investigations they will not release your property without a release statement by the cops, and will not release your property until you pay their lot fees.
So the Sacramento SPCA has the legal right to charge the owners of the rabbits boarding as the police investigates. Yes I did go onto their facebook site and politely asked how much they were charging. I got blocked. Well there is a reason for them not wanting to answer that question on social media. In this case with 250 rabbits, each being charged boarding, the bill is around $6,000 per day.
Folsom animal control started to work some with the owners of the rabbits. A fellow rabbit breeder volunteered to foster the animals for free for the duration of the investigation. Animal control and the police visited the breeders facilities, agreed and told the SPCA to release the animals to the foster care.
But the SPCA refused to release the animals. They said they needed payment first of $42,000 for 7 days of boarding and if payment wasn’t made $6000 per day would keep accruing. My opinion on this is this is nothing about the care and welfare of the animals. It does not cost $6000 a day to board rabbits. This is strictly a punitive fee, because you are assumed guilty of some wrong doing, regardless what the courts ruled. It is also a great way for the SPCA to fill their general fund coffers. Even if you are proven innocent in court, the SPCA legally can put liens on your house, force you into bankruptcy, basically destroy you.
This particular shelter, SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), had also partnered up with an organization called the House Rabbit Society. They are essentially the PETA for rabbits, extreme animal right activists. I actually tell people who get a pet rabbit from me to read their site regarding litter box training, but everything else needed to be 100% ignored. They are so full of love for rabbits, that I consider them mental. Plus they are overflowing with misinformation.
The House Rabbit Society are the consultants helping the SPCA care for the rabbits, and they were actually more damaging that good. They rejected wire bottom cages that allowed pee & poo to fall through, and had the rabbits in newspaper lined cages which likely became quickly became soggy messes because rabbits pee and poo a lot. They begged for donations of produce so the rabbits could have a proper diet of greens, but the rabbits weren’t use to that food and likely instead got GI issues. And rabbits stress easily, reports of stressed does killing and not caring for their young surfaced.
After the city of Folsom told the SPCA to release the rabbits to the foster care, the SPCA posted on social media asking for even MORE public donations, and stated they would never release the rabbits to unsuitable housing conditions. Reading in between the lines my assumption is they had rejected the foster care situations for two reasons, it was another rabbit hobbiest / breeder which the House Rabbit Society detests. Second why would the shelter give up their golden goose egg? They legally can collect $6000 a day till the bill is paid PLUS ask the public for donations. Third they get to financially destroy a person by increasing their boarding bill. Basically, the rabbits Folsom animal control had turned over to SPCA to board UNDER contract, they refused, and now the rabbits are the SPCAs hostage. Another phrase for this is theft of property.
Maybe you don’t 100% agree with people raising their own non-factory farmed meat (we call it ethical meat), or showing animals, or breeding animals. But what is occurring is an over reach of the law. Yes animals should be removed from cruel conditions….but not unless harm is imminent…due process needs to be followed. Someone’s lives and financial well being has been utterly destroyed by over zealous authorities that didn’t read the zoning laws and assumed all rabbits were for pets and not eating. Now animal activists have hold of their property (possession is 99% of the law), screwed over some 4H kids, and now the animal right activists have the legal right to utterly destroy the family who own these rabbits despite what a court ruling may say in the future.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Revoke their nonprofit status. They are asking for donations under false pretenses. Also criminal charges should be filed against them for the above fraud and theft of property.