PetRescue tests out the ethical limits of fundraising (xmas 2019 edition)

November 25, 2019

This morning PetRescue emailed their supporters their Christmas solicitation. It featured a professional photoshoot of a dog called Apollo.

Today there are over 7000 pets patiently waiting for their forever home. Can you help us be there for them? By giving a Christmas donation you will help give these pets a chance for someone just like Ally to find them and love them.

We hope many will find a new family over the festive season and be spoilt just like Apollo and for those who don’t, please give generously now so we can be there until they do.

PetRescue paid nothing towards the care of Apollo. They did not consult Pets Haven - the rescue group who cared for him - as to whether they were ok with them using him as a fundraising ambassador, with all funds being banked to PetRescue. PetRescue has never even met this dog, yet is using him in a national fundraiser for themselves.

As animal lovers, we all want to spoil our pets at Christmas. And with support from animal lovers like you, PetRescue can be here to support rescue groups and give homeless pets like Apollo a greater chance to find true love and happiness for Christmas.

This fundraiser - with no acknowledgement whatsoever of the rescue group who saved Apollo's life - continues to blur the lines between the work of rescue groups and the PetRescue brand.

The adopter in the story expressed her dismay online.

"I wanted to share my story because I was led to believe I was doing something to help rescues and the animals they save.... I didn’t know that PetRescue wouldn’t be acknowledging the rescue group in their story. I feel absolutely horrible that they’re taking money away from rescue groups and that I have helped that in some way." ~ Ally, Adopter

Tail Piece summed the situation up beautifully.

(PetRescue) did none of the work pulling this dog from the pound, temperament testing him, housing, feeding or exercising him. They had no role in worming him, defleaing him, vetting him, taking his photo, writing his blurb, reading his applications, organising his meetings or completing his paperwork. And if something went wrong with the adoption, it’s not PR who would be taking the dog back.

PR advertise available pets for adoption; that’s their role. Using an individual pet’s story, to raise funds for themselves, without reference to the rescue group who did all the work, is a bit like the staff of coming to my house for a free holiday, because I found the listing for it on their site.

It’s not the (new) owner’s fault; she thought she was doing a good thing to help rescue. It would have been super easy for PR to give the rescue group a shout-out. They’ve been criticised enough in the past for this kind of shady behaviour; they’re the ones who should know better.

Hundreds of bottles of out-of-date dog shampoo isn’t going to do rescues any good if they can’t afford to pay their vet bills.


Find this post interesting? Share it around.