Questions on whether shelters should do background checks on rescues arise after 2 banned from NC shelter

Once again there’s turmoil in the cat advocacy world, this time coming out of North Carolina. The whole situation brings into question as to whether shelters should do background checks on the rescues who pull cats from them. I’ll be as brief as possible, but will list several links following this article so the readers can get more of an idea of the big picture.

Rescue cats
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The cats are: Odie, Sammi, Savanah, Smokey and Chance. “If purfect purbaby and the awesome group of people hadn’t saved them my babies wouldn’t be here. Thank you for helping me fill my empty nest and heart!” This is one positive comment from a customer of Purfect Purbaby who have been charged and banned – see below.

On January 16 the Salisbury Post reported two of the rescues who pull from Rowan County were banned on December 31, 2015. County Manager Aaron Church confirmed to the Salisbury Post that Jennifer Frasier, owner of Purfect Purbaby Rescue and her father Craig Gordon, owner of Carolina Sanctuary and Rescue have been banned from Rowan County Animal Shelter in Salisbury.

The ban comes following the arrest of Frasier and Gordon when nearby Iredell County Animal Services brought charges against them for animal abandonment on December 19 stemming from a November incident where more than a dozen cats were left on the side of Short Dog Drive in Statesville. Frasier was charged and booked into the jail on $1,000 bond after being arrested by Salisbury Police Department officers. The Salisbury Post stated at least five of the cats were in Frasier’s possession before being abandoned.

Now for the battle: are Frasier and Gordon guilty? According to Frasier, she had only pulled the cats for another rescue to take possession of them and they were no longer in her care at the time they went missing. Frasier has been advised by her attorney not to speak on the matter. The court date is scheduled for February 1 and Jennifer says she has information that will clear her. One of her supporters (Cindy) says it best as follows:

“Since this trashing has started, we have not only lost Jen but many other rescuers. And why? Because of anonymous calls to the shelters and now they will not let ANYONE rescue. The good rescue world in NC has crumbled because of a few rubber necking gossiping trashing nosy people in Florida and California that get their rocks off on gossip. Not one of these people have ever made an effort to visit the adoption center. So now the cats wait for the dreaded day that they get the needle. Many already have and more will die tomorrow.”

Frasier herself stated in a blog comment

“First of all why would I believe it and care for leg amputation, eye removals, full vaccinations and spay/neuter if my intention was not to make sure that that animal got to a home or place where it can be properly cared for…why would I waste my time which usually added to about 16 hours a day back and forth to Concord and all over the state and others transporting cats, if I did not care about their well being???”

On the other hand, there are a lot of cat advocates who have been asking legitimate questions of where the cats she rescued ended up. A head count of all cats pulled over the past year are so have been requested and not provided. Advocates want to know where each cat ended up, what rescue a cat was passed off to and if a cat has died there should be vet receipts with information on what happened to the cat.

Cat rescue vandalised

“Purfect Purbaby Rescue Adoption Center” vandalised. This is being investigated.

Unfortunately, Frasier recently reported a break-in at the adoption center in Salisbury, where none of the cats were harmed but records were stolen and the building vandalized (see photo above). Photos of the damage, as well as successful adoption stories, can be found on this Facebook page.

The issue of whether background checks needs addressing regarding rescues, since it’s been learned Frasier and Gordon both have criminal records. Manager Church, however, stated the criminal charges are only part of the reason for the ban. Church went on to add the shelter doesn’t conduct background checks on people adopting animals, but believes it may be a necessary policy change for rescues who pull from the shelter.

All we know to date is Salisbury PD Detective Benfield is assigned to the Breaking and Entering case. We also know Dr Norris, who is head of the NC Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare is heading up a related investigation. Iredell County Animal Control is also involved since the original complaints came out of their shelter.

This case should make for an interesting discussion. Those who support Frasier wonder how cat advocates can have her charged and convicted before she’s made even the first plea in court. Others worry about a fate worse than death to the cats she saved from death row. Regardless of how this case ends, it will be yet another blemish on cat rescues, who can’t fight lies and rumors yet don’t provide simple information on the cats they save.

Please feel free to comment on any of this. Just don’t spread rumors that can’t be proven at this time. We have to leave that for the courts to decide. It’s sad, but the Team Frasier supporters are right in assessing more cats will likely die without Frasier there to save them.

Sources: 1 & 2


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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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27 Responses

  1. Truth says:

    http://m.salisburypost.com/2016/04/19/frasier-cleared-of-charges/

    NO ONE SHARES when CHARGES ARE DROPPED!!! ISN’T THAT ODD…

    THEY ONLY SPREAD LIES

    • Michael Broad says:

      The article was Posted on January 17, 2016 and the newspaper article you link to is dated April 19, 2016 so it seems that the author did not have this information at the time. So why are you so angry and nasty in your comment?

      • Truth says:

        I dont think i was Nasty. And when I was refering to the Spreading of Lies. I was Not refering to the Author but Rather those commenting on this Post.
        All of these People commenting knew of the New article. Of that you can be sure. But theyre not interested in Truth, they only Care of Sew discord and hatefulness

    • Michael Broad says:

      We can’t keep track of all developments. It is impossible. If you had pleasantly notified me I’d have acted and written another article. I’ll probably do so anyway but please try and be more polite.

  2. Jadi Russell says:

    The people that set Jen up are the very same people that trashed her, these are the same people that are in Florida that broke into her adoption center, they stole her files so that she could not PROVE WHERE the cats she adopted out and or fostered out went. I mean are these not the same people that where screaming about WHERE DID THE CATS YOU PULLED GO JEN??
    Yes they where the VERY same.
    I feel this “Cindy” says it best …..

    The good rescue world in NC has crumbled because of a few rubber necking gossiping trashing nosy people in Florida and California that get their rocks off on gossip.

  3. Dee (Florida) says:

    This should have been ongoing long ago – not only rescue groups but shelters and shelter workers.
    It should be the jobs of investigative reporters to keep check, but they’re so whipped scared that they can only wimp out and write in generality.
    We, who haven’t demanded this, need to be ashamed.

  4. Gail / Boston, USA says:

    Sorry to be so long-winded, but part of the W.I.S.P. law is that all info of a sensitive nature must be redacted totally on documents after its use has been exhausted. Applications, like rental apps with S.S.#s and bank act #s, must be totally redacted once the credit check is complete. We cannot divulge the credit score to a landlord – only tell them the person is either credit worthy or not. If the LL wants more info, they must pull the report themselves. We cannot even print out the report. Anything printed must then be shredded if it’s no longer needed. To scoff at these rules in the law could lead to thousands and thousands of dollars in fines, jail time and being permanently banned from whatever industry you’re currently working. Serious stuff.

  5. Gail / Boston, USA says:

    BTW, all of our paper records are archived under lock and key and are destroyed after a period of time; however, everything is backed up electronically in more than one place.

    We also check up on where our animals end up. Part of the adoption agreement contract is that we reserve the right to confiscate the animal should we find out any part of the agreement is breached, i.e.: declaw, letting the animals outside (this is a city with tons of danger), lack of vet care, especially current rabies inoculation, neglect, etc. Adopters must also be at least 21 years old and we don’t allow college kids to adopt at all (for obvious reasons), plus being near Salem, MA (home of the “witches”) we don’t adopt black cats around Halloween unless we know the adopter. Nothing is perfect, but we try.

  6. Gail / Boston, USA says:

    I haven’t followed this story, so my comments do not necessarily pertain to the people involved. I can, however, comment on background checks. Here in Massachusetts, we have what is called the W.I.S.P. law (Written Information System Procedure). What that means is that anyone who handles sensitive information (social security numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth, etc.) is required, by law, to safeguard that info at all costs. We cannot make copies of drivers licensed nor write down that info on paper to be used at a later date. This info has to be kept under lock and key (in a file cabinet for example), computer systems must be encrypted, papers cannot be left out in the open, even to use the loo – they must be secured. Desks must be locked, etc.

    This law has been in effect for at least 10 years here, and initially was created for the banking industry. Over time, it expanded to all businesses, agencies, and people who handle sensitive data. Auditors may come in at any time to inspect, unannounced, and if anything is awry, there are huge fines and penalties (including jail time) if convicted.

    That being said, my very own shelter was unaware of this law until I made it known to them. I brought in a copy of the law and what it entails to the shelter manager and it was brought up at their monthly Board of Directors meeting. Not surprising, a lot of system changes ensued. Being in the real estate industry by day, we are always up-to-date with the latest restrictions and laws and the shelter was very grateful to have the info shared with them.

    Our volunteers do require background checks before they join the shelter. Our adopters get background checks (although not as vigorous). Adopters have a 2/page application and it is checked out, including references, vet info, employment verification and home verification (rent vs ownership). I cannot go into more detail because it is proprietary to the shelter. Suffice to say, if a potential adopter refuses to complete the application, we cannot allow the adoption to go forward. I don’t know if that helps this conversation or not, but I hope it sheds some light on the seriousness of the issue at hand.

  7. Brian I says:

    I encourage everyone who donated to keep electronic records of your donation and forward to the appropriate parties if the charges stick; this will potentially help provide proof of financial fraud. It could also help to shut down fraudulent paypal accounts, amazon donation accounts, etc. if these rescues have indeed used funds inappropriately and/or dumped defenseless animals.

    • Kerry says:

      I agree with you Brian!!!! This fraud via PayPal and other sites has got to stop. New legislation is needed for these sites to have to report income over i.e. $600…. scammers get free money off the backs of generous pledgers including those on fixed incomes. It’s not right or fair!

  8. Kerry says:

    Unfortunately, I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg for animals being “rescued” for the sake of the money/pledges being posted on their posts. We need a new system to save them. FB can be a good source of information and it can bring out the worst in people – people who “rescue” animals for the money. Some fosters are begged to take an animal with no prior application, no home check, and when they get the cat, the cat has not been seen by a vet. Sometimes the foster is stuck paying for the vet bills because the so-called “rescue” (scam) does not back up the foster. This Jen Fraiser could have avoided a lot of this speculation if she had just produced the records. Reform of 501c3 reporting requirements and agency oversight are needed. Many wonder why so many of Ms. Frazier’s family and friends all have 501c3s such as Ashley Gordon, Derek’s wife; Regina Rene Cooper Rowland (Funny Farm Kitties); Lora Cheek Wilson, Deana Craig and Jen’s Father (Carolina Sanctuary – now blank page on FB), etc. etc. etc. what is going on there?????? I think it’s happening all over the USA. Let’s hope it all comes out. Most importantly, I hope all the kitties she has saved are safe, happy, warm, healthy, etc.

  9. Caroline says:

    Yes, Jen is innocent until proven guilty but murderers go free everyday. It seems that people have been following her for quite a while and asking her a valid question that she will not answer. Why would someone not answer this unless they are hiding something. And yes the break in after the records we’re asked for again just sounds like something that was done on the inside. And Derek Gordon, your sister may have been an animal lover all her life and have been a good person in front of you, but no one knows what anyway is doing behind closed doors. Have you gone with her to see where the cats are going? I am very much against euthanasia of anything but with the overpopulation that has happened with cats and dogs unfortunately euthanasia is inevitable unless spay and neuter laws are mandatory. I would rather an animal be sent to heaven quickly than die a painful death trying to find food, and shelter in the cold winter.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks for sharing Caroline.

      • Caroline says:

        Anytime! Thank you for allowing us too. And because we are speaking about cats being dumped outside I need to tell everyone that it is so cold outside right now, my cat is sitting in front of the heater in our sun room. I worry so much about those poor cats being stuck outside in the cold without food or shelter. If you guys can do one thing for me. Just remind people to bring there pets inside during winter months. Thank you!

  10. Elisa says:

    Michael can you change the article to my name? You put Jo’s on it by mistake ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Elisa says:

    VERY good points. I do know of shelters running background checks on employees but not suree about volunteers.

  12. kitty says:

    I am not very familiar with this case, so I’ll not comment on it, but I want to comment on background checks. I think background checks on rescues make sense, since rescues are like non-profits, so presumably they are registered, and have some history you can check. But I think if you start doing personal checks on people you’ll lose a lot of potential adopters who have nothing to hide, but who are like me would be very reluctant to give a shelter their private information like their social security number (in the US) or date of birth without very good information about the security of the data and the ability to get compensation in case of identity theft. First name and last name aren’t enough as there usually more than one person there. You may be able to get some information from name-address combination, but since people addresses change, the only way for a real background check would require social security number (in the US). Are shelters ready to spend money on security for their computer systems to safe guard private information of potential adopters? Do they have money to pay the liability if they are accused of negligence when/if the data gets stolen? A potential class action like what businesses face? Do shelters do the background checks on all volunteers to make sure they aren’t going to steal someone’s private information and resell it? Can they track all volunteers who has ever worked there?
    You may say that people give this information to landlords, but when you do it, you know the person’s name and address or at least the address of the property. You are also only giving it to one person, and the landlord doesn’t have to manage a large number of this type of data. A shelter will have to. Once a shelter gets access to social security numbers of multiple people, the shelter will have to be legally responsible for safeguarding this data.

  13. terri wolfe says:

    The rescue Jen Frasier pulled for was none other than her fathers Craig Gordon Carolina Sanctuary and Rescue , The last thing posted on Carolina Sanctuary and Rescue facebook pg was a attempt at damage control, and taking responsibility. Overnight the Carolina Sanctuary and Rescue facebook pg vanished, wiped out. Craig Gorden was arrested and charged with animal abandonment , he is not affiliated with Jen Frasiers Purfect Purbaby Rescue , yet he was charged and booked, go figure.
    As far as the great break in ask yourself one question, why would anyone steal a record book, what gain would a thief have by stealing a used record book. Now ask yourself this question what will Jen Frasier gain by having the record book “stolen”? She is hoping the IRS and other State and Federal Officials will buy her story of the “break in” and theft , although no damage was done other than a little paint damage which can be fixed with minimal effort and at no cost if they saved leftover paint. And a little door damage which appears to have existing rot which should have been repaired regardless of any “break in”. Real vandals bust holes in walls, break windows, destroy toilets , things that are costly to repair , and they steal more than a “record” book. How convenient, what perfect timing.
    A average legit shelter places between two and three hundred cats per year, Jen Frasier pulled around 2000 from Rowen alone , and that is not including the other shelters she has collected pledge money paid in good faith for vetting and care for helpless sick kitties, Pledges range from average of 130 up to over 300 dollars per cat, do the math, and she has been living pretty well not to have a real job although every cent of pledge money is required by law to be used for the particular cat, Why did she continue to pull when she was begging for food , litter, and cash to support the ones she already was supposed to have in her possession.
    If you pledge on a cat you owe it to the cat to request vet receipts and updates be posted until the cat is permanently adopted or euth.
    If you send supplies , food, litter, ect . to a rescue ,request the bar code be blacked out with permanent marker before shipping or pick up. Rescue has turned into a lucrative business for many , way to many.
    PENALTIES,
    Penalties apply to responsible persons of a tax-exempt organization who fail to provide the documents as
    required. A penalty of $20 per day may apply for as long as the failure continues. A $10,000 maximum penalty
    applies to a failure to provide an information return; no maximum penalty applies to application requests.
    Transparency,
    Public charities are encouraged to adopt and monitor procedures to ensure that
    information about their mission, activities, finance and governance is made publicly
    available. Go to http://www.irs.gov/eo for more information about governance.
    Governing Body,
    An active and engaged board is important to the success of a public charity and
    compliance with the tax law. A governing board should be composed of persons
    who are informed and active in overseeing a charityโ€™s operations and finances. To
    guard against insider transactions that could result in misuse of charitable assets,
    the governing board should include independent members and should not be
    dominated by employees or others who are not independent because of business
    or family relationships.
    but all is not lost, there is still hope for Purfect Purbaby Rescue to produce new record books, how? the receipts and bank statements, and dont forget paypal account,
    Public charities must keep records for federal tax purposes for as long as they
    may be needed to document evidence of compliance with provisions of the Code.
    Generally, this means the organization must keep records that support an item
    of income or deduction on a return until the statute of limitations for that return
    runs. The statute of limitations has run when the organization can no longer amend
    its return and the IRS can no longer assess additional tax. Generally, the statute
    of limitations runs three years after the date the return is due or filed, whichever
    is later. An organization may be required to retain records longer for other legal
    purposes, including state or local tax purposes.

    • Jadi Russell says:

      Wolf, REAL vandals do not make NOISE during a break in, so they are not going to break toilets, walls, etc …because they dont want to get caught being there by PD.
      Also the “records” where stolen by the people that where trashing Jen all over facebook screaming at her to PROVE WHERE all those cats went, well hard to prove WHERE they all went if the “Records” where all stolen right???

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