Important Update: Motion to Dismiss Filed in “Fake” Animal
Rescuer Case in New Jersey—Your Help Needed Desperately
For years, New Jersey resident Patricia Edmondson had been
advertising animal placement services called Save-a-Pet and the Pit Bull Rescue League in various print publications in New Jersey. For a fee of $100 to $250, Edmondson promised to find responsible, loving homes for companion animals
. Edmondson knew exactly what to say; she told people surrendering animals to her that her operation was a "no-kill shelter" run out of her home, with a big barn and a yard where animals comfortably stayed before being adopted into "rural homes." She also promised that prospective homes would be thoroughly and carefully screened and that animals would be held for 30 days to ensure that prospective adopters were certain they were ready for the commitment, and she provided what appeared to be credible references—including an employee of the Passaic County SPCA and a local veterinarian—to people wishing to place companion
animals. The disturbing allegations of what truly became of the animals who crossed Edmondson’s path, however, paint a very different and alarming picture.
According to prosecutors, the caretakers of 18 dogs and cats paid Edmondson a total of $2,065 for taking in their companions, but the
animals disappeared without a trace. The caretakers believe that their beloved companion animals were sold to research laboratories or used in dog-fighting rings. In September 2000, Allison Madden surrendered her pit bull, Hammy, to Edmondson but changed her mind the following day and called Save-a-Pet to get Hammy back home. Edmondson reportedly told Madden that Hammy had already been placed and hung up on Madden when asked what happened to the thorough screening process and 30-day holding period. Madden and Elmwood Park police officers didn’t find Hammy when they arrived at Edmondson’s residence that evening. Instead, they found four pit bulls confined to urine- and feces-soiled cages stored in a filthy, boarded-up garage. Reports indicate that these dogs were scarred and suffering from various wounds and that they were being deprived of food,
water, and veterinary care
. In November 2000, Patricia Edmondson was
found guilty and fined for improperly confining the four pit bulls.
Allison Madden’s story is one of many, and while prosecutors were
only able to locate 18 of Edmondson’s human victims, we believe that
hundreds of people and many more animals suffered as a result of Trish Edmondson’s false promises. We are told that one woman who gave her animals up to Edmondson did so because she’d been diagnosed with a debilitating illness and that another was forced to give up the 10-year-old family dog after being left homeless by a house fire. Every victim was promised that the animal relinquished would be cared for and adopted into a loving, permanent home.
Thanks to the human victims’ persistence and hard work, Patricia Edmondson is currently on trial for theft by deception. Theft by deception is a felony in New Jersey and is punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and five years imprisonment. However, on March 12, 2002, Edmondson’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the defendant, at which time we are told he referred to Edmondson’s animal victims—given to her by trusting people under false pretenses—as "obnoxious" and "bad dogs" and implied that the people conned by Edmondson should have known better than to believe her promises. The human victims have reason to believe that the presiding judge is inclined to grant the motion; he gave the prosecutor handling the case only two weeks to prepare and argue against the dismissal of all charges.
Polite, sensible letters are desperately needed to convey to
Judge Meehan that Patricia Edmondson’s crimes cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. If the allegations against Edmondson are true, she is responsible for tremendous animal and human suffering and must be prosecuted and sentenced accordingly. Please write as soon as possible to:
The Honorable William Meehan
Superior Court of New Jersey
Bergen County Justice Center
10 Main St.
Hackensack, NJ 07601
It has been reported to our office that Patricia Edmondson is
currently operating a similar "animal rescue" operation in Pennsylvania. Patricia Edmondson also allegedly goes by the names Patricia/Trish Elrod, Patricia/Trish Smith, and Deanna Goodrich. She may not be working alone. Please urge anyone who may wish to place an animal never to give an animal away without conducting a thorough screening procedure and home visit.