Adopt A Lab of Muncie Indiana was raided last Thursday**. And, for the second time in two years, officials found what they called “poor conditions” at the rescue shelter. Muncie Animal Care and Services workers removed 63 dogs from what they deemed unsafe living conditions.
Adopt A Lab, also known as AAL, calls itself a “rescue organization”. But some question the intentions of Lee and Patty Strayer who ran the shelter, wondering if AAL may really just be an online pet store. It appears the latter may be closer to the truth.
Adopt A Lab markets their pets online and many dogs are “adopted” by out of town adopters. AAL claims to have re-homed 7000 pets since it was incorporated in December of 2003.
Although AAL took in homeless dogs from shelters, it now appears the Strayers also purchased dogs from a Missouri puppy seller. A facebook photo of an invoice dated 5/09/12 appeared to show Conrad’s Cuddly Canines sold puppies to Help Fido, Inc. The receipt shows Help Fido’s address as 3515 S. Walnut in Muncie, Indiana- the same address Adopt A Lab uses.
An article on www.adoptalab.org stated that Help Fido is the not for profit organization that runs Adopt A Lab. It appears that Help Fido, Inc and Adopt A Lab are, in fact, one in the same. And on Adopt A Lab’s website one can see “Morkie” puppies offered “for adoption”. AAL they also had a facebook page and website called “Operation Little Dog” to promote small breed puppies.
It is possible that a reseller might want to be called a “rescue” in Indiana. Calling a business a “rescue” could be ruse to skirt the law and avoid oversight by state inspectors. Breeders and pet stores are regulated in Indiana. Rescue organizations are not licensed by the state. And one might speculate that perhaps homeless dogs from shelters helped fill a demand. Profits from “adoption fees” for shelter dogs might be lucrative, since shelters dogs are usually vaccinated and altered prior to being transported to an out of state rescue.
That AAL was an online pet shop is, of course, speculation. Supporters of the Strayers and Adopt A Lab volunteers vehemently defend AAL claiming AAL is a legitimate rescue shelter. They say Lee and Patty are good people who helped lots of dogs and simply “got in over ther heads”.
Note: Adopt A Lab was not charged with any crime in 2010 nor are they being charged with a crime in response to the latest raid. Lee and Patty Strayer voluntarily gave the dogs to Muncie Animal Care and Services in exchange for a promise that they would not be cited for conditions at the shelter. At this writing, it is unknown if they have dogs at other locations or if they will continue to operate.
**see Adopt A Lab in Muncie, Indiana raided – 63 dogs found living in squalor