Gemma was adopted from the pound (Shoalhaven City Council) back in May.
Her owner, delighted with her new cat, posted lots of lovely pictures on social media.
Her owner tagged PetRescue and they saw an opportunity to claim this cat as their own. Of course they did. PetRescue was no doubt sizing her up as a great brand ambassador for their next fundraiser; a cute cat, with an owner who knows her way around a social media campaign, featuring lovely photos and adopted from a pound (so no pesky rescue group to complain about the stolen story). It was a match made in heaven.
No wonder they were keen to snaffle her as a #HappyTail. PetRescue interviewed her owner for an article for their website;
But then disaster. A comment on PetRescue's #HappyTail post...
Literally the day before PetRescue claimed her as their own, Gemma's owners had started a GoFundMe page to try and raise money for her vet bills due to unexpected illness...
While she was a healthy cat, with a fun story, PetRescue was keen as toast to have her 'on the team'... now how do they feel about Gemma?
To date - a month on - Gemma's new owners have raised $155 of the $2,000+ they needed to help Gemma.
PetRescue have used special needs pets for fundraisers, never passing on the money to those pets. They've used stories of pets they've never met to fundraise for themselves. They've run a desexing fundraising campaign where no pets got desexed. They've created a program which bypasses rescue entirely, in favour of selling pets direct to the public. And they've used these programs to pay themselves over a million dollars in wages every year while giving none to rescue groups.
And as this story shows, while they're happy to use pets for fundraisers...
When it really comes down to it... when owners really genuinely need help with their rescue animals... PetRescue is no where to be found.
Gemma is a PetRescue ambassador - they made that choice. If she hadn't gotten sick, chances are we'd have seen her in a Christmas solicitation where PetRescue proclaimed loudly that they saved her life, and that they're just as important to her journey as anyone else involved in the process.
Now Gemma is sick, PetRescue should step up an honour their relationship by covering these vet expenses for her owners.
Anything less is just fake rescue.