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Citizens Against Animal Cruelty & Exploitation


In September 2000 Memphis, a terribly neglected 5-year-old English Bulldog, was rescued. Before he could be removed from his home, the owner gave Memphis to a man who misrepresented himself. The man said that his adoption agreement had been approved, when it had not. The man admitted he had no intention of keeping Memphis, but refused to return him.

From October 10 - December 3 dedicated online animal rescuers and activists helped search for Memphis - tracking him across New Jersey state. Through relentless investigation we were able to track him through three homes. December 3 Memphis was reclaimed from the third home. Memphis's story proves that with persistence, help from caring people, and investigative know-how anyone can find a lost or stolen animal via the Internet.

Below you will learn quick and easy steps to better improve adoption contracts for rescued animals, identify & find a person by telephone number or e-mail, and other techniques for tracking down someone who has taken an animal.

No matter how careful rescuers are, sometimes we are duped by crafty individuals with ulterior motives for adopting an animal. Often an animal is wrongfully placed in the hands of a stranger by someone other than ourselves. A perfect example is a prospective adopter who visits your rescued animal at a kennel. The kennel manager, eager to be rid of the free-loading animal, allows the person to take the animal although no thorough screening or adoption contract was performed. You may have nothing more than a first name and telephone number of the individual. Below is a list of things that you can do in order to find the person and reclaim the animal:

1. Always check references before releasing the animal to adopter! The man who took Memphis gave false references.

2. Money does not guarantee compassion. This intelligent statement was made by an animal rights advocate named Terry Fritzges during the Memphis search. The man who took Memphis was financially secure, which did influence how he was screened. Obviously the fact that the man had money did nothing positive for Memphis.

3. The prospective adopting family has taken your rescued animal without proper consent. All you have is a name and e-mail address; Visit the ISP of the e-mail address (the name that appears after the @ sign). You may be able to look up the name and address under 'People Search.' You can contact the ISP manager via e-mail to request the identity and contact information of the person owning the e-mail address.ADOPTION CONTRACTS SHOULD INCLUDE THE ADOPTER'S E-MAIL ADDRESS. A person will change their telephone number to avoid you, give you a fake address, but rarely will they provide a fake e-mail address or change an e-mail address. Even if they do, the ISP can give you the new e-mail address.

4. The prospective adopting family has taken your rescue animal without proper consent. All you have is a first name and telephone number. Dial '00' on your telephone. This is the AT&T Double-O info. Tell the operator that the phone number keeps showing up on your Caller ID, but you don't recognize it. Ask for the indentity of the person owning the phone number. If the operator gives you only a name, ask what town. Then say something like, "Do they live on 102 Main Street?" The operator will then give you the street address. You can also visit or Don't sign up. Just use the services listed to the left to do a similar search.

5. You have only a post office box address for the person. Visit the post office for the town. Ask the postmaster for the identity of the boxholder. You will have to fill out a request for information form and likely show ID. The postmaster will give you the person's full name and physical address.

4. The prospective adopting family has taken your rescued animal without proper consent. All you have is a e-mail address or telephone number, no name, but want to confirm the dog is with the person. First, contact the person as yourself. If the person ignores you or refuses to give information, wait a day or two. Create an anonymous e-mail address at yahoo! or, or have a friend call. DO NOT use your real name and information. Tell them that a friend mentioned they have a pit bull (or whatever animal) for sale, or adoption, and you're interested. Ask that they contact you. The person is usually so curious that they'll reply. You can then proceed as you judge best to learn the whereabouts of the animal.

6. You have the name and address of the person who you believe has the animal, but it's far away and you can't get there quickly. Search for rescue groups online that are in the area. Many rescuers are willing to check out a residence for you, if it is close to where they live or work, to confirm that the animal is there. Don't bother to ask the police or SPCA for help. They won't help you.

7. The person who took the animal will not give you the animal's location. Tell the individual that the animal has a serious medical condition requiring veterinary supervision and that you'd like to at least mail the veterinarian records to the new veterinarian. Usually a person will give you the veterinarian clinic address. Through the clinic you can then learn the identity and information of who is keeping the animal. The office staff at vet clinics are more than willing to help. They usually give you all the information without hesitation.

8. The individual will not cooperate, return the animal, or tell you the animal's location. Be polite, always. Threats of legal or criminal trouble should be reserved only if nothing else works. Tell the person that you have obtained the services of an attorney (even if you haven't) and explain the legal ramifications if they do not provide information. If this does not work, assure the person that if information is not provided, every animal rights activist and rescuer in the state will hold a rally on their doorstep, which will draw media attention and embarrass their entire family. This usually works, but if it doesn't you can also threaten to call the police. (Realize that the police will not come unless there is proof the animal has been stolen or abused. Even if an adoption contract has been signed and broken, it is a Civil Matter that must be resolved in the courts).

It remains a mystery why the man wanted to adopt Memphis with no intention of keeping him, lied continuously about Memphis's whereabouts and would not cooperate. There are degenerate people in the world who wreck havoc on others for no apparent reason. There were disappointments, set-backs and dead-ends throughout the search for Memphis, but nearly two months later there was a happy ending. Don't give up in your search.

Here's a list of overland transport resources to assist in your rescue efforts::California Rescue Railroad:


Dalmatian Overland Transport Service (DOTS):


Meezer Express: (siamese cats)

Pet Rescue Transport:

SPOTS 'n' Pals Overland Transport Service(SPOTS):

Canine Underground Railroad:

Jet Set Dogs, Lee Wheeler, e-mail:

Rescue transport bulletin board: You can post rescue transport needs and/or volunteer to help transport a dog.

Rolling Rescue: A group of volunteer truckers who transport dogs along with their cargo.

New Jersey Rescue, Foster & Transport:


Plight of Circus Animals

Help Farm Animals

Become A Vegetarian!

The Fur Industry

Stop Animal Experimentation

About Citizens Against Animal Cruelty & Exploitation

Bulletin Board

The Truth About Hunting

Animal Rights Links

What Is An Animal Rights Activist?

New York Cruelty To Animal Statutes