In an abandoned Texas home, at least 14 dogs were found dead after a self-professed animal “rescuer” left town for eight months, according to reports. Carly Jo Underwood, a former board member of a so-called animal “rescue” doing business as Dust Bowl Animal Rescue, reportedly left the dogs without food or water, many of them locked inside cages. At least some of them resorted to eating others before they died from starvation.

“The stench of the smell was terribly strong. … Then you get to looking, lord, there’s carcasses in there. It’s just fur and bones, and the doors are locked, it was very sad.”

—Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter

‘No-Kill’ Policies Slowly Killing Animals

Unfortunately, animals suffering in so-called “no-kill” shelters or at self-professed animal “rescue” groups is common. Last month, authorities in Maryville, Tennessee, seized seven dogs, two cats, and a python from the home of a self-professed animal “rescuer” who had abandoned them. Six dead dogs and three dead cats were also removed, some of whom were found trapped in cages.

Last year, more than 600 dogs, cats, horses, and other animals were rescued from a so-called “no-kill” shelter in North Carolina. Dozens of dead animals were found on the property. The surviving ones had no veterinary care and suffered from illnesses and severe injuries, including open wounds. ?

Recently, peta2 learned that a “rescue” in Connecticut kept animals inside small, filthy cages in a garage. They suffered from urinary tract infections, wounds, and urine-scorched skin from being forced to lie in their own waste. And a former volunteer described a Texas “rescue” as an “animal concentration camp,” where animals experienced “slow painful death[s] of starvation or dehydration.”

According to experts, “rescues” like these can make up 25 percent of the 6,000 or so hoarding cases reported every year! And that’s just in the U.S.

This is Lilly. She died at Caboodle Ranch, Inc., which was a self-proclaimed “cat rescue sanctuary” in Madison County, Florida, that boasted that it gave cats “everything they will ever need to live a happy healthy life.” But PETA  found that the “ranch” was essentially a one-person operation and that the approximately 700 cats at the “no kill” facility lived in filthy, crowded conditions and suffered from chronic neglect.

What You Can Do to Help

Make sure you aren’t supporting a “slow-kill” nightmare for animals. Instead, support only professionally run, open-admission shelters that accept all animals in need—rather than turning some away—and that provide them with a painless end when necessary, instead of hoarding them or letting them suffer.

If you know of a “rescuer” who might be hoarding, neglecting, or abusing animals, please don’t wait to report the individual or group to authorities. Call us if you need help—every minute counts.

Sign this petition to help us end animal homelessness!