We have a huge jeer for the supposed dog “rescuer” from Alabama, previously charged with animal cruelty, who was arrested in Connecticut last weekend after police caught her hauling a trailer loaded with nearly 30 dogs who had no ventilation. 

We’re outraged that despite a previous animal cruelty conviction, her state still let her operate her abusive shelter and traffic dogs to northern states and we believe this case illustrates a much larger problem of breeders masquerading as rescuers. 

The Connecticut Post reports Deanalyn Reing, 49, who is already on probation for animal cruelty in Alabama, had the dogs in crates stacked up on top of each other and had traveled from New York to Rhode Island and was on her way to New Jersey before being pulled over. The police reported it was 96 degrees in the truck, the dogs (one of which is pictured) were visibly distressed and they were transported to a local animal hospital. 

Reing is the owner of Southern Dogs Rescue…a shady and poorly managed non-profit which makes its money off of shipping dogs from southern states to adoption organizations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Maryland. 

Reing was also found guilty on five accounts of animal cruelty in February after Lee County Animal Control reported her for neglecting and abusing dogs she was keeping at her home. According to a local newspaper, the dogs weighed approximately half of what they were supposed to weigh and one of the dogs died shortly after arriving because it did not respond to the treatment. Four of the dogs were also “euthanized because they were acting too violently toward other dogs in order to get food.” 

Recognizing an illegitimate rescue group is becoming more and more difficult as increasing numbers of people are seeking to adopt a dog instead of purchase one from a breeder. Check out some of our warning signs below to help you identify which rescue organizations are trustworthy and which you should be wary of. 

Before adopting a dog from a rescue organization, be sure to ask everyone involved in the rescue these questions…

1. Do they network animals locally?

2. Can a local rescue group vouch for them?

3. If they are getting dogs from farther away, why are they not helping animals in their home state?  

4. If they are a non-profit, there is certain financial information they must share with you about how they are running their rescue organization. Are they hesitant to do so?

5. Do they follow-up with new owners once a dog is adopted out? One warning sign is if the group does not post or share follow-up photos and stories besides ones taken outside the shelter or from the day of the adoption.