I first met Marilyn Williams of Pups Rescue last fall, 2011. She had been rescuing puppies from Stockton Animal Services for years, about 30-60 per month, and finding them new, loving homes. Often, she would take the puppies as soon as they came into the pound, and that way they would not be exposed to common shelter diseases to which they had no immunity. She’d foster them during their stray hold period, they’d be available if an owner claimed them, and if they were not claimed then her rescue would take custody.
Soon after Pat Claerbout came on board as Animal Services supervisor, she killed 971 animals that were cluttering up the pound. Marilyn objected, vocally. Then Claerbout implemented a new policy that “rescues could not be fosters,” unless the supervisor (Claerbout) granted an exemption. So it was a rule that Claerbout didn’t have to follow. And it was applied, perhaps exclusively, to Pups Rescue. A Stockton rescue was prevented from saving Stockton puppies from a pound that routinely killed them using the excuse that it was overcrowded.
It turns out that Marilyn and Pups Rescue were allowed to rescue sick and injured animals. If the animal was predicted to cost a lot to treat, then Pups Rescue could rescue it, but any dog that could fetch a high adoption fee would be transferred to the San Francisco SPCA or another of Stockton’s preferred rescue partners (read: those that turned a blind eye to the massive illegal killing). That was the case even if Pups Rescue was prepared to take custody immediately and free up shelter space, while the preferred rescue would use the Stockton pound for free boarding for a week or more while the pound killed hundreds of animals ostensibly for “space.”
Nonprofit rescues like Pups Rescue operate on a thin margin, and when they have to be prepared to treat parvovirus or a host of other highly contagious shelter diseases at any time, it’s a precarious existence. Most rescues will not speak out against illegal activity by the shelters they “pull” from, because if those shelters are engaged in illegal killing, then they don’t have the animals’ welfare at heart and they don’t care if animals die because they are retaliating against a whistleblower. So most rescues sacrifice the many to save the few. They are silent about massive killing in order to save those few they are allowed to rescue, and in order to continue operating and pulling from that shelter. That is business as usual.
It takes rare courage to risk your rescue’s existence in order to speak up against illegal killing, against corruption, and for the protection of the many, many animals that suffer and are killed by corrupt high-kill shelters like the Stockton pound.
Marilyn Williams of Pups Rescue is that rare, brave individual, and she’s risking the existence of her non-profit to stand up for the animals. Give her a hand, please. A round of applause, yes, but a helping hand as well. Please reward that courage and integrity by making a donation, and please let Marilyn know that you admire her courage, too.
For a limited time, make a donation and choose one of my photos as your gift. Make a donation to Pups Rescue, comment on the photo on Facebook or Flickr and we will make arrangements by email for me to send you the highest resolution version I have. You print and frame it however you’d like. Get some holiday shopping done and save lives at the same time!
On Facebook, choose from the photos in this album or any of my other photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1650661153355.94998.1441778927&type=1