Beware! Scam animal “rescue” groups are everywhere, and sometimes their veils are thick. Case in point: reports of the story of Katreena Lynn Martin. Last week, while carrying out surveillance, officials saw Katreena and her husband, Wayne Milo Martin, load up a van with dogs from the Atascosa County Animal Control shelter in western Texas. The couple then drove roughly 150 miles away into Kimble County, where dogs have reportedly been dumped monthly since July.
Woman arrested in Junction/Sonora dog dumping case. https://t.co/2weIlzcK9l
— Standard-Times (@gosanangelo) October 3, 2019
Three hours later, a Texas game warden spotted the van exiting I-10 in Sutton County, where it apparently disappeared from sight. The game warden followed the van’s path and discovered four dogs abandoned on the side of the road.
A few hours later, back in Kimble County, deputies stopped the van—discovering Katreena, Wayne, and lots of empty dog crates.
Katreena—who apparently told authorities that she’d delivered the dogs to a nearby rescue organization but couldn’t provide any documents or details about the delivery—was arrested on October 2 on suspicion of cruelty to animals and abandonment.
Wayne was also charged, according to reports.
Two in custody after dumping more than 120 dogs on Texas highway #AnimalCruelty #Breaking #KimbleCounty https://t.co/M1xWZB3oSb pic.twitter.com/FaCzUPdehr
— Texas Breaking News (@TexasBreaking) October 5, 2019
Officials suspect that Katreena—who appears to have worked closely with Atascosa County Animal Control for years—has dumped more than 120 dogs in western Texas. She also reportedly told deputies that she’d transported “thousands of dogs” to rescue facilities around the U.S. in the past—begging the question Were all those dogs abandoned, too?
“We are shocked at these unfolding events,” Atascosa County Animal Control said in a comment posted on Facebook.
According to GoSanAngelo.com, Katreena was nabbed only after folks recognized the abandoned dogs as ones from the Atascosa County Animal Control shelter, matching photos from news reports about the dog-dumping case with ones previously shared online by the shelter.
We applaud local authorities for pursuing the Martins and urge the district attorney to throw the book at the couple.
This is not an isolated incident.
Almost daily, we hear about “rescue” and “foster” operations that claim to save animals from euthanasia but severely neglect those same animals—sometimes fatally. Some of these “rescue” groups prey on donors, begging and pleading for financial aid from well-meaning people who have no idea what they’re really funding. Some scammers even obtain animals from shelters and then sell them to turn a profit, as the Martins are alleged to have done.
Make sure you aren’t funding or backing a “slow-kill” nightmare for animals.
Rather than donating to these scams, kind people should instead support only professionally run open-admission shelters that accept all animals in need. Responsible open-admission shelters also screen potential adopters and transfer partners, including “rescue” groups—a step that could have curbed or even prevented the western Texas dog-dumping tragedy.
Fixing Animal Homelessness
Open-admission shelters never turn away hard cases, and they provide animals with a painless end when necessary, instead of hoarding animals or dumping them on the side of the road to suffer. Click below to do more to help us stop the homeless-animal crisis at its source.