So a new video has just been posted by the whistler blower and this video will really turn your stomach. Interviews by two women that have witnessed the horror and suffering that has been allowed to go on for so long inside the Animal Aid NO KILL shelter in Oakland Park Florida… There are more and more stories that are starting to surface exposing the horrible truth behind this shelter… This is a crude reminder that not everything is as it appears… follow the stories and video here..
Follow me as I expose the ugly truth about Animal-Aid Inc , a no-kill shelter in Oakland Park Florida! Watch the video on YouTube! watch
Recently the video in the link above went viral among the animal rescue community in Florida. A long time volunteer turned whistle blower against the shelter was a volunteer and has South Florida buzzing about what she is now exposing. I reached out to this whistler blower to get her story so that it can be shared in the public eye where it belongs. Anyone that collects donations in the name of an animal needs to be held accountable. This shelter has been around for 17 years and it is one of the oldest and largest so called “no- kill” shelters in South Florida. I will be posting her story and the stories of many others as this unfolds.
Here is what the whistle blower had to say:
“I have been a volunteer at Animal Aid Inc, located in Oakland Park Florida for several years. My volunteer duties were deep cleaning the dog kennels, doing laundry, bathing the dogs, cleaning the walk around yard, helping with adoptions, feeding and giving medication. Pretty much everything and anything. Since inception, I have never question the way the owner runs her shelter, although I disagreed with many of her beliefs and practices. But no matter what, I was there to help the animals. So week after week I went in and did what needed to get done. I choose this shelter to volunteer at because they have been around for almost 18 years. They are one of the only few non kill shelters that also have their own in house veterinarian. I can’t tell you the hundreds of dogs I have seen come and go from the shelter. Sick ones, healthy ones, young ones and old ones. dogs and cats.
From time to time the volunteers would end up quitting over issues like not being able to give dogs canned food. Or the owner yelling at us for giving more then a single towel for the dogs to sleep on. But time and time again we would always return because of the dogs. I saw things that at the time I should have paid more attention too, like when a really sick dog came in the shelter and then two days later the dog was gone and the owner would tell me the dog was in foster care. Or big dogs that were there for weeks and months never getting adopted and then one week multiple big dogs were gone and the owner said all had just gotten adopted. I never suspected any wrong doing so I believed what was told and never once thought any differently.
But soon that would all change. Since the day I started the owner would pull sick and injured dogs from the county but these dogs were far and few between the healthy dogs. The staff did not mind because we had the time to properly care for these sick and injured. But then something changed. Toward the end of 2017 the staff noticed that more and more sick dogs were coming in and less and less healthy dogs. Now I do not know how most shelters are run, but at this on the dogs all come from county shelters. Most, if not all of the dogs will have been spayed or neutered from the county. They would also have been vaccinated and given a micro chip. So the only thing we would need to do is give it a bath and the dog was ready to be adopted. Only in a rare case if the dog was injured or sick, the county could not spay or neuter. So you can imagine that if you are getting a dog from the county, other then a small processing fee, all of your cost are paid for. So when you turn around and adopt out that dog for $300-$400, you have a huge profit.
People do not mind paying that fee because they think the cost they paid goes toward the services the dog just received. Surgery, shots and micro chip. Plus many believe they are doing a good deed by helping out a non kill shelter and supporting the dogs there. Now don’t get me wrong, there are dogs that are sick and injured and the shelter would have to pay for those dogs to get better, That is of course if you are paying to get those dogs better. It was not until just recently I discovered the cold hard truth about the shelter I was affiliated with.
The scary part is that if I had not stumbled onto this, it would still be going on today. But here is the back story. In 2007 Tamera Gibson DeMello opened a 3 acre property in Naples Florida to relocate feral cats. I have no doubt when it was first open it was nice but over the years she let the property deteriorate. Over the last few years the Sanctuary started to take in domesticated cats. If someone came into the shelter and could no longer care for their cat, for a fee of $500 your cat could spend the rest of its life at this sanctuary. For many years while I was at Animal Aid there were many people that paid to send their cat to this sanctuary. I never personally went there but saw a beautiful video on her website advertising this place. I thought it was a great idea, a place for cats to get the proper medical attentions, love and care till the end. Even at the shelter we had a cat room that housed up to 80 cats. The owner would periodically send some of the long term resident cats to the sanctuary as well.
It wasn’t until the hurricane in August 2017, that I suspected things were not all as she said. I insisted on helping her go to the sanctuary to remove the cats and other farm animals to get them out of harms way with a category 5 hurricane coming. Tamera refused and said that they would be ok withstanding a cat 5 hurricane. I kept telling her there was time to go and get them but she refused. The next day she said there was lots of structural damage but not one loss of life. I was not sure how that was possible as the sanctuary took a direct hit. But I did not question it any further. A week later she posted a video trying to seek donations to fix the place up. It was at this time I saw the condition of the sanctuary. Not because of the down trees but I saw it was nothing more then a vacant piece of land. Totally unfit for any type of animal. Two weeks late another video popped up on her website showing this beautiful sanctuary with brand new feeding stations and shelters and fat happy cats running around.
I commented to another staff member how great the sanctuary looks and the owner told me she got some donations that allowed her to fix the place up.
Then the real nightmare begins. There was this big blow up with the dog volunteers and the owner. It was over the owner bringing in so many sick and injured dogs and not giving them the proper medical attention and care. It became so much that the volunteers could not keep up with the care and these dogs suffered. So the two main dog volunteers quit. The following week I went into the shelter and there were so many dogs crammed into kennel, four dogs to each kennel. Almost all of the kennels had poop and pee, their were roaches in the water bowls and the laundry was piled high to the ceiling with roaches coming out of the laundry, this place was disgusting. But the worst part was when I saw this black shepherd that had blood all over his kennel. He had blood pouring from his nose and not the owner or her adoption person even notice. I was furious. I was tired of seeing these sick dogs and injured dogs being neglected and not getting the necessary medical treatment. There were dogs just laying in their cages could not even move. There were no volunteers anymore giving medication and caring for these poor dogs. There were no more volunteers helping out with the adoptions and keeping the kennels clean. I told the owner she cannot continue like this, the dogs were suffering.
Her reply back was that she did not need any of us and she would find new, better volunteers. The next day I received a text that she no longer needs me to volunteer. But I had already decided after seeing the condition of these dogs, that I was going to put a stop to this. To allow these poor dogs to suffer in pain. I knew the owner was up to no good and I was not going to let her continue to let dogs suffer. I knew that greed and money were the only things driving her now. She lost the compassion and kindness for the animals that she once had. She no longer looked at these dogs as the sweet loving, innocent beings they are but only at their dollar value.
The next day I decided to drive to the Cat Sanctuary to see for myself what this place was. To my horror, I discovered the truth. That for years she was sending these cats to their death. It was not a cat sanctuary but a DEATH CAMP for cats. I posted the video to facebook and You tube to let everyone know the truth. That if you paid her $500 dollars, this was the place your cat went too. There have been hundreds of cats delivered to this place and there was but a handful remaining. The caretaker told me she complained over a year ago that Panthers were jumping over the fence killing the cats. She told me that the owner refuses to give her medication or wet food and many are old and need it. She told me the owner refuses to fix the place up or spend any money on the place. I was mortified as I have known many cats that were sent there. It broke my heart to know that an owner of a so called no kill shelter would send cats to a place that she knew would be killed. It is not only tragic for these poor cats, but many had HIV, which is a form of aids in felines. It does not kill the cats right away but it is very deadly to panthers. So this owner not only is responsible for hundreds of cats deaths but now possibly killing panthers as well. You only have to see my video to see how horrible this place is. The owner tried to say it was all caused by the hurricane, which I did not disagree that some of the down trees were but not the property in general and beside, the hurricane was 8 months ago. There is no excuse for this massacre of these innocent cats. Her only motivation now is GREED”
This once volunteer and now whistler blower told me there are many more serious issues that she has witnessed and wants to expose as well, all ranging from animal neglect, cruelty, possible fraud and much more. As this story unfolds, I will be reaching out to other volunteers and paid staff workers to hear what they want to say as well…
It should be noted that as of the airing of this video, the Cat Sanctuary has been closed down by local officials….
The caretaker of the sanctuary has written her own blogspot to get the truth out. This is not her whole story but only bits and pieces of what she wrote. To read her whole story you can link over to view it here.
“So we had all the fencing, we were just a few days away from keeping the cats safe and Tamera pulled the plug. Every time I brought a cat to Tammy for medical attention she put it down, even if all they had was a small URI. I had a small heart attack brought on by the stress of finding dead cats. It’s hard to lose one pet but try waking up one morning and 3, 4 or 5 of your pets are dead. Killed by panthers. This happened almost daily. I told her that I was sick again and that it was mold related and that she should help with my medical bills since she did nothing about it. She never answered me but on my next payday, told me that she could no longer afford to pay me. So great. It’s your fault I’m sick, I can’t afford my prescriptions as it is because I’m buying your cats food and now you’re not even going to pay me at all. She told me she still wanted me to work and live there. She wanted me to only work 1 hr a day. I told her that it took longer than an hours to feed the animals, no less clean up after then and cut the grass. She told me not to cut the grass anymore. I started working from home for my son. And when Tammy found out, she called and had the internet shut off. I said to her, ‘you want me out, I want to leave but you stopped paying me and then you shut off the internet that I had been paying myself so I can’t work from home, to make money so I can move out.’ Doesn’t make sense. Oh well, too bad she tells me. She doesn’t want to have internet at the house. So now I have no money coming in. No money for canned food, no money for my prescriptions for a medical issue caused by her etc.. I told her that I was going to have to take her to court then and sue her for back pay (since I was still working and caring for the animals) and for my medical bills. 2 days later the I got a letter saying that the eviction process has started. So she can tell everyone that she was trying to get me out since Sept but that is a lie. She wanted me to work here for free because she knew that I loved the cats and she knew I would stay here because of them. I asked Tammy if I could have at least until April 1st to move out, to give me time to save up 1st, last and security. She never answered me but I got served a 5 day notice a little over a week ago. I had 5 days to reply to get a day in court. I did reply and I go to court tomorrow.
I spoke with Tammy in person on 2/20 when I went to pick up dry food. She told me that she had bought a mobile home in Davie for her father’s caretaker. She told me that I could move in there and help fix it up. Then driving home she text me and told me she changed her mind. But while I was there she told me that all of her workers and volunteers quit. She told me that they quit because she made rules. Told them that they couldn’t give extra blankets to the dogs or give them canned food and treats and that they didn’t like the new rules so they all quit. That sometimes it’s better to start fresh. Now I knew some of the workers over there and they wouldn’t quit because they couldn’t give a dog an extra blanket.
Then she showed me the deeds to all of the property that Tammy had bought in the last year. $380,000 cash, for a warehouse, $45,000 for that mobile home for her father’s caretaker to live after he passes away, the $36,000 for another piece of property over here in Naples. All the while she was telling me that she couldn’t afford a new fence for the cats. Over 100 cats have died, that didn’t need to die but did because she’d rather pad her own pockets with cash. Cats that I loved with all my heart suffered a horrible death because she wanted money. It wasn’t about rescue and saving the animals to her, it was about money.This property was never sold. She is still the cruel owner. But it her lie did show everyone the kind of person she really is. DAS stopped believing her lie and shut her down. She is no longer allowed to own cats in Collier county. Her permit expired in Nov when she refused to allow the inspector to inspect it.
What upsets me the most, is I don’t care where she got all the money. I don’t care if she embezzled it, who she got it from etc.. What upsets me the most is that she HAD the money to fix the fence since the first panther attack and she did NOTHING! She knew cats were dying and she did NOTHING! She let them die to make room for new cats that she charged people $500 to bring here. Christmas 2016 we had 146 cats here. I know this because I named them all, I made or bought each of them a toy for Xmas. The day before yesterday we only had about 20 left. I came home from work yesterday to find half of them missing. A panther must have been by. Some were hiding and came out later on. But 3 were still missing tonight when I fed them. Tammy said that she would send her mother back out on Sat to get the remaining cats but sadly there won’t be any left.
Tammy can tell people that it was because I wasn’t taking care of the cats and that’s why they’re dying but it has nothing do to with my care. The cats are dying because panthers are killing them. Their blood is on her hands.I am now being evicted and only have a few days to move. I do have a good job but I just started. I don’t have time to save 1st last and sec. I also have a mini horse that I bought for my granddaughter that I need to find boarding for.
Tammy owes my over $5000 in back pay and money I spend out of my own pocket to buy canned food and supplies for the cats. She refuses to pay me and I will have to take her to small claims court, which I will do but it won’t come in time to help me. Someone told me to start a Gofundme so I have. Besides having to move and finding a place for my horse, I also have to replace all of my possessions because of the mold. It’s like starting over. My main concern is finding a place for myself and my personal animals. I can always get furniture and other things. Here is the link to the Gofundme page. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you
It is hard to imagine a non profit that solely relies on donations, reported in 2016 that their total revenue was $905,491,000. But yet she could not spend a few thousand dollars to keep these cats safe… Keep checking back as there will be more to come as it unfolds…