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Arizona pet rescue group faces foreclosure -- and an urgent need to re-home its needy animals

We've heard countless stories of animals suffering as a result of the economic downturn, but the story of an Arizona pet-rescue group racing against time to save the animals in its care while facing foreclosure just might be the most unsettling yet. Guest blogger Janet Kinosian has the scoop on Robin Hood Animal Rescue -- and what like-minded rescuers around the country are doing to help:

Honey Bear So I'm just this hour home from viewing Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," and I'm distraught from watching bankers and the monied elite evict hardworking Americans from their homes every 7.5 seconds in this country. I'm certainly in no mood to hear about the foreclosure of an animal rescue in Arizona.

Arizona residents Bob Spangler and partner Shellie Denne run Robin Hood Animal Rescue near Phoenix, Ariz. For the past five years they have struggled to save hundreds of sick, abandoned and abused animals and find them new, loving homes. This rescue apparently takes on the animals many other rescues bypass, like pit bulls and pit mixes, disabled animals and other pets deemed "undesirable" because they may be difficult to place in permanent homes.

Two banks will change all that within the month, as they have set eviction notices for two properties the couple own and where the rescued animals reside. Each of their homes is in foreclosure, with one to evict Oct. 20 and the other on Nov. 5. The rescued animals have nowhere to go.

"We gave our promise to these animals that we'd keep them safe and find them new homes but it looks like that promise is turning into a nightmare," says Spangler, who, along with Denne, lost his job earlier this year.  "We are desperate to find these innocent animals good homes, but time is clearly running out."

The rescue group's story has appeared on local TV news in Arizona several times, and people from Texas to Wisconsin have stepped up to adopt or foster some of the animals, though Denne says the rescue still has approximately six dozen to place. Time is quickly running out.

Rescuepup

One lucky dog, Tipper (above), a black Labrador-pit mix, found his way to Green Bay, Wis., where Kurt Peters saw his story on the local news. With dozens of people jumping in to transport him along the way, Tipper left Arizona on Oct. 3 and arrived at his new home on Oct. 13.  He made it out safely, but many others are left in limbo.

"We're working our hardest to protect our animals, but are running out of options," says Denne, who notes the couple are adamantly against having animal control take control of the rescues, since they believe most would be euthanized. "Even inside this personal crisis, we have to think of our animals; they're innocent and depend completely on us."

Robin Hood Animal Rescue's Petfinder listing shows all the group's dogs and cats still in need of new homes.  Anyone interested in helping with the effort to re-home these needy rescues is encouraged to call (623) 931-7499 or contact the group via its website.

-- Janet Kinosian

Janet has written freelance for the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Times Magazine and L.A. Times Syndicate for 18 years.  In addition to reporting, she's also a media consultant who can be reached at JanetKinosian.com.

Top photo: Honey Bear, a pit bull rescued by the Robin Hood group after being found wandering alone near a dog park.  (Honey Bear is available for adoption; learn more about her on her Petfinder page.)

Bottom photo: Tipper was taken by a kind Wisconsin man who saw the dog's story on the news.  Credit: Kurt Peters

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

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I adopted a wonderful feline friend from these folks in May 2009. Their animals really need help! They are, even at this point, more concerned about the animals than themselves. If any one in Cal. has family or friends in Phoenix looking to adopt a lifetime companion, please let them know about Robin Hood Animal Rescue.


BL Simonetti
Glendale AZ


This is heartbreaking. I hope those precious animals can find loving homes before it's too late. Although them closing means future animals in need won't be helped. It's just so sad no matter how you look at it.


If I had the money - I'd pay off their mortgage and prepay their electric bill for a few years. It would be such an honor to help animals in need.

Thank-you for sharing our story. We are still hoping for an angel aka Clarence who will come to our rescue and show us that it is a wonderful life. Maybe we are asking for too much... but for the fosters to be able to find loving homes, it isn't asking for too much at all. They deserve that and more. Shellie

This is just horrible, what an overwhelmingly sad story. I am spreading the word to try to help find these animals foster or permanent homes. My heart breaks for you Shellie and Bob - you have devoted your lives to make the world a better place for these animals and it is just wrong that there is no recourse for you and the rescue. We need people like you and rescue groups like yours, especially now.

This is heartbreaking! Doesn't anyone have money to help??

It's terrible here in Las Vegas where pets are behind left behind and dumped everywhere. I'm sure AZ is no different, and this group is doing fabulous work.

I hope someone can help. I'll be checking to see if they have a kitty I can adopt!

There are many people who could help in AZ and they have themselves listed in a book known as: THE ARIZONA REDBOOK. It is a book of Arizona's monetary elite--the well off, those with enough money for several homes, vacation homes, designer clothing, expensive cars--you name it, they have it.
THE FINANCIALLY CHALLENGED ARE NOT LISTED IN THIS THREE INCH ARIZONA BOOK.

Yes, some give to non-profits/the charity of their choices which is a win win situation for them as they gain a tax deduction, community relations, public relations and mingle with others like themselves who have money. They also serve as board members, then apply for the CEO, President of the said organization or have their spouses get the jobs, jobs which they do not financially need as they are wealthy. They could volunteer their time and knowledge instead of taking pay away from someone who needs it, but alas in Arizona the wealthy do not always play fair.

There are a plethora of WEALTHY people in Arizona who are in a position to help the Robin Hood Animal Rescue and hopefully someone will who is not looking for notoriety or public relations alignment but instead will DO THE RIGHT THING and give them some land as the land in Buckeye and Glendale is very inexpensive particularly in this rock bottom real estate market.

THERE IS NO NEED FOR THOSE POOR ANIMALS TO BE KILLED AS THERE ARE WEALTHY PEOPLE IN AZ WHO COULD HELP.

THERE IS THE PIPER FOUNDATION THAT HAS SO MUCH MONEY....MILLIONS AND MILLIONS THAT THEY WILL BE GIVING LONG AFTER MANY OF US ARE JUST A MEMORY.

TO NOT HELP THE ROBIN HOOD ANIMAL RESCUE IS A DISGRACE TO THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA, ANIMALS AND THOSE THAT WORK SO HARD TO MAKE ENDS MEET DURING THIS HORRIFIC ECONOMY.

Living in AZ we have read about the wealthy who have filed for bankruptcy, yet they are still mega wealthy.

How about Arizonan John McCain who could not even recall how many million dollar homes he owns? How about Fifer who went on to spend money at a cooking school? How about the Kommando radio personality? How about an ad agency that filed for bankruptcy this year but made 113 million in revenue in 2007? Where did all that money go? Maybe you Arizona RedBook wealthy cannot buy your extra Mercedes Benz or go on your multiple vacations or buy as many clothes as you normally do not need, but YOU COULD HELP RIGHT NOW TO PREVENT EMMINENT DEATH OF ANIMALS.

I am disheartened by the Arizona greed displayed by the Arizona wealthy. Yeah, your 401Ks may be down but at least you still have a 401K. You still have your homes and vacation homes. You can still put food on the table. You can still go out to nice restaurants. You do not have to decide between toilet paper and food. You still have so much and when you donate you get a tax deduction.

The Robin Hood Animal Rescue was trying to help those animals in need, those who do not have and yet there are so many in Arizona who clearly have much to much.

This is a very sad story and if I had the money I would help and it wouldn't be to get PR for myself.

EUTHENASIA IS DEATH AND THESE ANIMALS DO NOT DESERVE THAT.
THEY ARE HAPPY, SWEET AND ALIVE and have hurt no one.
PLEASE SOMEONE, HELP.
PLEASE.

Phoenix, AZ resident.


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