Joplin, MO - A kangaroo breeder/dealer is starting up a pseudo-sanctuary called Exotic Animal Rescue of Missouri. The owner of the facility, Tim Bender, had baby kangaroos offered for sale on exoticanimalsforsale.net just two months ago.
Bender is currently bottle feeding baby kangaroos that he took from their mothers pouches, and he's using them for kangaroo petting opportunities, as a way to attract people to his garage sale. When we asked Bender where the baby kangaroos were rescued from and where their parents were, he refused to give a straight answer. He then edited his garage sale advertisement to remove the part about baby kangaroos.
Bender claims Exotic Animal Rescue of Missouri is a nonprofit, but no nonprofit exists under that name, according to the Internal Revenue Service. There is also no facility licensed by the USDA under that name.
Here are some tips on spotting a scam-tuary:
If you see baby exotic animals at a purported “rescue” that are not with their mothers, ask yourself where their mother is. These baby exotic animals are not being orphaned by their mothers, they are being taken from their mothers.
If the “rescue” facility is offering interactions with baby or adult exotic animals, ask yourself why. How do these interactions benefit the animals? Could they actually harm the animals?
If the facility is breeding exotic animals, can they really call themselves a rescue? Breeding the animals for a lifetime of captivity is not rescuing them. No true sanctuary breeds animals because that is contributing to their own problem of overpopulation and homeless animals.
If the facility is offering animals for sale, then they should not call themselves a rescue. That is a business.
Look up the nonprofits you wish to support on the USDA and IRS websites and look at their tax returns. You can gather a lot of information about a facility based on this information.
These pseudo-sanctuaries are popping up all over because it is so easy to scam the public for donations when you’re holding a cute, cuddly baby exotic animal. But we need to be smarter than these animal exploiters and shut them down by not donating. We need to hit them where it hurts: In their wallet. Please only donate to TRUE sanctuaries.
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