By Paula Fleming, BBBMarlborough, MA - June 25, 2012 -
Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about Help Save One
, a group based in Rhode Island that rescues dogs from southern kill shelters. Help Save One has not registered with the IRS for their 501(c)(3) letter stating they are a nonprofit since they began business in 2008.
Marissa Stracaluzi, Help Save One's principal owner, retreives animals from high kill shelters and transports them back to Rhode Island to put into adoption or foster homes. According to the Rhode Island NBC 10 I-Team, "she has left a trail of outraged animal adopters, broken laws, [and] diseased animals [are] being brought into Rhode Island."
Stracaluzi was caught in 2008 by Rhode Island authorities for "improperly transporting fifteen dogs from North Carolina" to Rhode Island. Many of the dogs about to be adopted out were sick and had worms.
Help Save One also brings dogs from the south to Connecticut; but before these animals can be adopted they must be examined by a Connecticut veterinarian within 48 hours of entering the state. Anyone importing animals must be licensed with the state and according to Connecticut authorities, Help Save One is not licensed.
According to NBC 10's I-Team, Stracaluzi has taken money from unsuspecting consumers without ever delivering their agreed upon dog. Help Save One is not an Accredited Business with BBB and the complaints received about them range from delivery issues to problems with service.
"When looking to adopt your family pet, be sure to do ample research into which breeder, shelter or organization you'll be adopting from," says Paula Fleming, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the local Better Business Bureau. "Don't let photos of animals on websites sway you into sending money to someone you haven't met. Most likely, it will be a scam and you'll never get that furry new friend."
BBB offers the following tips when pursuing animal adoption:
• Always meet your furry companion.
Never buy a dog your haven't met or seen in person. A responsible breeder or shelter will be happy to let your family visit your future pet.
• Always pick up your new pet.
Never meet your soon to be best friend at a random location. Make sure you are picking it up at a shelter or reputable foster home.
• Always check references.
Be sure to do your research and get references from family, friends and veterinarians. You can always check out a business with BBB at bbb.org/search
• Never send money orders.
Once you send a money order you cannot trace it or get it back. Know the guarantees made by the rescue group and if you will lose a deposit or application fee if you choose not to go through with the adoption.
a reputable shelter or breeder will always take your pet back. Stay away from places that have a no return policy.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/charity