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Update: “Fake” Animal Rescuer in New Jersey Sentenced

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  • DRCTBD@aol.com
    Update: “Fake” Animal Rescuer in New Jersey Sentenced For years, New Jersey resident Patricia Edmondson had been advertising animal placement services
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 17, 2003

      Update: “Fake” Animal Rescuer in New Jersey Sentenced

      For years, New Jersey resident Patricia Edmondson had been advertising animal placement services called Save-a-Pet and the Pit Bull Rescue League in various print publications in New Jersey. For a fee of $100 to $250, Edmondson promised to find responsible, loving homes for companion animals. Edmondson knew exactly what to say; she told people surrendering animals to her that her operation was a “no-kill shelter” run out of her home, with a big barn and a yard where animals comfortably stayed before being adopted into “rural homes.” She also promised that prospective homes would be thoroughly and carefully screened and that animals would be held for 30 days to ensure that prospective adopters were certain they were ready for the commitment, and she provided what appeared to be credible references—including an employee of the Passaic County SPCA and a local veterinarian—to people wishing to place companion animals. The disturbing allegations of what truly became of the animals who crossed Edmondson’s path, however, paint a very different and alarming picture.

      According to prosecutors, the caretakers of 18 dogs and cats paid Edmondson a total of $2,065 for taking in their companions, but the animals disappeared without a trace. The caretakers believe that their beloved companion animals were sold to research laboratories or used in dog-fighting rings. In September 2000, Allison Madden surrendered her pit bull, Hammy, to Edmondson but changed her mind the following day and called Save-a-Pet to get Hammy back home. Edmondson reportedly told Madden that Hammy had already been placed and hung up on Madden when asked what happened to the thorough screening process and 30-day holding period. Madden and Elmwood Park police officers didn’t find Hammy when they arrived at Edmondson’s residence that evening. Instead, they found four pit bulls confined to urine- and feces-soiled cages stored in a filthy, boarded-up garage. Reports indicate that these dogs were scarred and suffering from various wounds and that they were being deprived of food, water, and veterinary care. In November 2000, Patricia Edmondson was found guilty and fined for improperly confining the four pit bulls.

      Allison Madden’s story is one of many, and while prosecutors were only able to locate 18 of Edmondson’s human victims, we believe that hundreds of people and many more animals suffered as a result of Trish Edmondson’s false promises. We are told that one woman who gave up her animals to Edmondson did so because she’d been diagnosed with a debilitating illness and that another was forced to give up the 10-year-old family dog after being left homeless by a house fire. Every victim was promised that the animal relinquished would be cared for and adopted into a loving, permanent home.

      Thanks to the human victims’ persistence and hard work, Patricia Edmondson was charged with theft by deception, a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and five years’ imprisonment.

      In October 2002, Trish Edmondson was found guilty of theft by deception. She was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay restitution to the human victims. 

      If you are forced to give up your companion animal, please surrender him or her to a humanely run animal shelter or a carefully screened home. Click here for information on finding an appropriate animal shelter and click here for guidelines for thoroughly screening potential adopters.

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