Rescue organisations often use the rescue of a cat or dog as a means to promote their organisation. They show what I call “before and after” photographs. The before photograph is how the cat looked when she was rescued. The after photograph shows how she looks so many months later after the organisation has administered medication together with excellent treatment and caretaking.
These photographs are often very powerful because the public can see a tangible difference between a very ill cat barely hanging on to life and one who is well looked after and content. This encourages people to donate.
In this instance I’m going to make the claim that this animal rescue organisation has used two different cats in their promotional material. The cat’s name is Rose. The organisation is the Soi Dog Foundation.
The foundation says that Rose was found near their shelter one morning. She was lying in a rice field crying feebly; barely audible. As you can see from the photograph before she was rescued she had a terrible skin condition – a powerful but disturbing photo. She looks awful with masses of crusty scabs. She had no appetite.
The founder of the Soi Dog Foundation, John Dalley, describes her transformation as a miracle (it is more a fraud!). Over the coming weeks he describes how she receive medical treatment and joy returned to her life. I have also published a picture of Rose during her treatment. This photograph shows very nicely the conformation of her head. You can see that she has a long muzzle somewhat like an Oriental shorthair purebred cat. She also has a ticked tabby coat with almost no markings.
However, the picture of Rose when she had fully recovered shows a very different looking cat. Her head is much rounder. It is much more like a standard British tabby cat. It is certainly not the head, in terms of shape, of the cat covered in nasty scabs. In addition the photograph of the recovered cat shows a tabby coat which is different to the one of the rescued cat. There is no doubt of that in my mind. The rescued cat has a tabby coat but as mentioned it is more a ticked tabby coat with very few markings, whereas the other cat has tabby markings especially on her legs but also on the side of her face.
Therefore, I have concluded that two cats had been used in the promotional material. If I’m correct, and I am almost certain that I am, this is misleading the public. I understand the motivation to do it but nonetheless it is still a misrepresentation. In addition I am surprised that Mr John Dalley thought that he could get away with it because, to be honest, it is obvious that two cats were used in these “before and after” photographs.
If a person donated to the organisation under these conditions and then change their mind they would have a perfect right to ask for their money back. Such a misrepresentation, done fraudulently, fatally undermines any contract or gift.