Maryland, USA: Slack Approach to Regulating Cat Rescue Leads to Chaotic Situation
If you want to start a cat rescue shelter in Maryland, USA, there is no evaluation process. You simply fill in a form. No one checks your history and whether you have a track record in the cat rescue business which might warn the authorities that you are unsuited to the task of running a cat shelter. Further, no one checks whether you are running your cat rescue properly.
If you make a mess of running your cat shelter to the detriment of the cats the only way the authorities learn about it is when other people hear about it and report the matter to the authorities.
This can lead to cat welfare concerns on a large scale. It also means that people who wish to help unwanted cats at cat rescues are exposed to donating to shelters where the cats are badly treated and where the conditions and facilities are wholly inappropriate. Note: be cautious about donating online to cat rescue. Try and contact people who know the shelter and ask questions.
It also means that when animal control have to pick up the pieces they can be swamped with a large number of unwanted cats and the heavy cost of veterinary treatment.
All of the above problems and issues are reflected in the case of Michelle Ingrodi who ran Charm City Animal Rescue.
Recently, Ingrodi has been charged with 97 counts of animal cruelty. All her cats was seized and are currently residing at the Allegany County Animal Shelter.
Ingrodi was allowed to restart cat rescue even though in 2014, 35 cats were seized from her rescue organisation which at that time operated from Baltimore.
That history should have prevented her from restarting an operation in Cumberland. At one time she was collecting almost $8000 per month in donations because she is a good networker and she had a Facebook site which attracted a lot of people who wanted to donate money.
The were a lot of good people visiting Facebook who wanted to help. Ingrodi is the sort of person who is good at eliciting (conning) money from good animal advocates and cat lovers.
The Allegany County Animal Shelter are struggling to deal with a hundred cats which they cannot rehome because they have to hold onto the cats until the criminal case against Ingrodi has been completed.
I don’t think you could have a more messy cat rescue situation than the one described above. And the victims are? The cats of course. They appear to be all housed in quite small cages at the county animal shelter were they have been for the last two months. I don’t know how long the criminal case will take but it may be many more months. Oh, and I believe Ongrodi is still working in cat rescue.
The source of the story is ABC2 news.
My experience is all animal rescues are poorly monitored and unless they get caught red handed can look legit for decades.
The worst case of horse abuse I have ever seen was the two so called horse rescues that I was asked to help come and handle and load the animals. They were actually networking with other rescues to get the sickest , lamest , oldest horses to use them as fundraising. None of the money was used for food let alone vet care. Both were very secretive and never wanted visitors. There are lots of warning signs. I’ve gotten very cynical in the last few years.
This bat crazy evil con artist tried to get me launder her fundraised money through the nonprofit I worked for back in 2011. She lived in a deplorable filthy apartment with sick cats everywhere. When I called her out on it, she continued to harass me, my family and my co-workers for years. Everyone thought I was wrong because as you said “butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth”. She knew how to network and was one of the best cons I’d ever met. I’m relieved to finally be validated but oh, at what cost to innocent animals. She’s a menace to society.
Thank you very much Darlene for adding to this page. I always like to hear from people who have had first-hand experiences of these matters. It is a tragedy for the cats. And it is very unpleasant to be conned when you want to try and do good and help animals. It really undermines the way one looks at the world when your good nature is abused.