Many of you have heard the news about the seizure of dogs from the home of Brightstar founder Ruth Urban. Many within the Brightstar organization have been concerned for some time that Ruth simply was taking on too much, too many dogs, and those dogs with the most "issues" and health concerns. Others in the organization saw Ruth as the ONLY person who would step up to help.
Regardless, the organization wishes to stress that Brightstar is FAR MORE than its one founder. And, there are too many people who have worked too hard to let the organization die. Under the circumstances, regardless of how the founder's case plays out, she will not be involved in rescue decisions in the forseeable future nor will dogs be placed with her.
Those who know Ruth also know how talented she is in handling some of the most difficult dogs and how much she has contributed to saving so many of these dogs. But it is time for others to take the helm, for the good of the dogs.
With this in mind, I'm attaching Brightstar's official news release. Rest assured that the remaining dogs in foster care are well cared for and the organization will work tirelessly to place them into good homes.
Please spread this posting far and wide.
President, Buffalo Humane
Advising Director, Brightstar Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Nancy Knab, Brightstar German Shepherd Rescue
Phone: (585) 334-4493
Rescue Group Reacts to Seizure of Dogs
Fairport, NY ó An area rescue group is still stunned by the removal, earlier this week, of a number of its rescued German Shepherd Dogs and the personal dogs of its founder, Ruth Urban, from her rural home in Newark, NY, just east of Rochester. Animal Control Officer Josh Muller, from the SPCA at Lollypop Farms, was reportedly acting on a complaint about the large number of dogs on the acreage. The site had been undergoing significant renovations, with the erection of large fenced run areas with kennels as well as renovations designed to provide improved inside shelter for many of its older and special-needs dogs. One of the dogs was undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer at the time of the seizure.
Brightstar German Shepherd Rescueís Board of Directors convened an emergency meeting Wednesday evening to address the unprecedented seizure. Their first action was to suspend Urban from her position as the organizationís President. The directors also voted to initiate an internal investigation into the matter and to review its policies. They also voted to cease taking in additional dogs temporarily, pending their review of the situation. All board members affirmed the organizationís mission to help those dogs most in need, the same dogs normally first euthanized in shelters and dog pounds. The Board also stressed that its priorities remained the welfare and protection of its rescued dogs, not its founder.
The sudden removal of the dogs from the founderís home without consulting with the larger organization remains unprecedented. Brightstar coordinators and volunteers could not understand why the dogs could not be moved to other locations within its foster care network. Instead, the dogs were transferred to one of two area shelters: Lollypop Farms or the Wayne County Humane Society.
For now, the Brightstar organization is asking that the public and other groups with whom it has worked to not jump to conclusions and to give the organization itself time to conduct its own investigation. The Board stresses that should there be demonstrable evidence that the conditions failed to meet acceptable standards of care, the organization would be the first to act against its founder.
Over the past decade, Brightstar German Shepherd Rescue has rescued and placed into loving homes hundreds of dogs that would otherwise have died from treatable medical conditions or were otherwise slated for euthanasia in shelters. Many adoptable Brightstar dogs remain in the larger foster care network outside of those longer-term dogs housed by the organizationís founder. Now, more than ever, Brightstar urges those looking to adopt a dog to consider one of its many dogs remaining throughout its larger foster care network. Adoptable dogs can be viewed on the groupís Petfinder site: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/NY357.html