The operator of HEART, in Kirkwood, NY was arrested today and charged with animal cruelty.
I did a transport for this woman this summer, bringing her two dogs. Now I feel terrible, wondering what sort of fate was suffered by the animals I brought her. Most likely, I couldn't have foretold that anything was amiss. I checked her listing on Petfinders, she looked legit. http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/NY474.html
She was set up as a 501(c)(3) organization. Seemed appropriate and caring enough when I met her. The news report said she ran the organization out of her house, and "A number of dogs, cats and other animals were recently removed because conditions at the home caused illness and suffering among the animals. The Sheriff's Office has not said how many animals were in her care."
Can't help but feel that instead of helping these animals, I may have transported them from a bad situation to a worse one. She had told me that one of the dogs had been promptly adopted, soon after I brought them to her. Hope that was the truth. I'm not sure whether there's more I can -- or should -- be doing to verify the legitimacy of groups which are unknown to me. I suspect this may be a situation where she originally had good intentions, but got in over her head. Regardless, doesn't make me feel any better about possibly contributing to animal cruelty.