An aerial fight has erupted between a Manhattan animal rescue and a former employee who claims the group left vulnerable puppies to suffer.
Waldo’s Rescue Pen founder Emily Dyson has reportedly raised critically ill animals, and several have died under her watch, sources said.
In one case, four puppies died together from the highly contagious but treatable canine parvovirus, said former employee and board member Michaela Mele.
âShe said she treated them in any way she could. They’ve never seen a vet, âMele insisted.
Dyson called the puppy’s parvo death “heartbreaking” and said she had contacted a veterinarian, noting that “the dogs’ symptoms were not consistent with parvo.”
To have the tragedy “thrown in my face publicly while suggesting it was somehow deliberate on Waldo’s part is just depraved,” she said.
Mele also claimed that “when the dogs died I know she packed them in bags and put them in a dumpster”. Mele’s former roommate said she heard Dyson describe putting a dead puppy “in a dumpster,” the roommate, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Post.
Dyson has denied throwing dead dogs in the trash, calling the charge “blatantly false and defamatory” – and noting that the animals she works to save are among the worst off.
Mele, who is no longer at Waldo, described an operation carried out primarily at Dyson’s apartment in Lower Manhattan, where sick dogs would not always have received vet care, but adopters could be charged up to 550 $, typical of many rescue groups.
Like many other small animal rescues, Waldo’s periodically brings dogs from the Southern states – where warmer weather and a lack of spay and neuter laws mean more stray dogs – all the way to the Big Apple.
The Post met her last month in the South Street Seaport, where she and volunteers encountered a van filled to the roof with caged dogs early on a Saturday.
There have been at least five complaints filed with the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) against Waldo, according to records obtained by The Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
âWhere does the money go if she uses shady transportation, doesn’t give supplies to foster families, doesn’t pay for proper veterinary care? I’ll tell you where it’s going, his pockets, âalleged a whistleblower, whose identity has been redacted, in a July 24 complaint.
Dyson said she was unaware of the complaints and believes they were made by people seeking to harass her.
Waldo’s is registered with the state. But a representative from DAM, Jola Szubielski, told The Post that while the law requires rescues to register, “it does not give the department the power to inspect like it does with pet dealers. company”.
Lauren Nute, 30, volunteered to welcome Bleecker, a poodle covered in trash, only to find her problems went way beyond that.
The puppy was “extremely riddled” with heartworms, had an ear infection and needed dental treatment, said Nute, who said Dyson never provided any medical documents for the pooch. When she took Bleecker to her own vet, Nute claims Dyson blew up and took the dog back.
Dyson said dogs sometimes arrive dirty because they are rescued from “horrible conditions” and need to be cleaned by foster families because Waldo’s relies on the help of volunteers. She pointed out that she paid the bill for Bleeker’s vet and that she personally took care of the dog after that, after which he was “adopted into a wonderful loving home” and is now “thriving. “. She said she took the dog because Nute had become “difficult and uncompromising.” Nute later complained to the state.
Another foster family said their Waldo’s puppy “was clearly very sick” and died just two weeks after taking him in.
Isabella, 22, who declined to give her last name, said she needed the financial support of the rescue to bring Hansel, a 7-year-old poodle, to the vet.
âMy concerns were repeatedly played down and although they eventually tried to help by offering antibiotics, it was too late,â she told The Post.
âI think the people at Waldo really care about what they’re doing, but are ill-equipped to handle a lot of situations,â she said. “The people to the rescue seemed shocked and promised that they would meet to reassess things, but I don’t think I will ever recover from the sight of his corpse in my hallway.”
Dyson said she was unaware of the severity of Hansel’s disease and blamed Mele, who was watching the foster dog.
NYC’s taxpayer-funded Animal Care Centers no longer work with Waldo’s, said spokeswoman Katy Hansen, who declined to explain why.
Dyson criticized ACC for canceling its partnership with her, which she said came “without any warning, notice or reason whatsoever.”
Mele said Dyson was careless after a horrific incident, in which Mele was severely maimed by a Waldo rescue dog named Titan.
Attack on Titan, a pit bull with “known behavioral issues,” left Mele with 30 stitches, “severe” scars, as well as pain and numbness to date, Mele said.
Mele, who admitted Dyson paid his emergency bill, said she didn’t blame the dog and was heartbroken when he had to be shot.
“You’re not going to get the workers’ money back, are you?” Dyson reportedly asked when Mele returned from the ER.
Dyson denied the allegations to The Post, calling Mele a “bitter and disgruntled employee who blindly seethes with retaliation,” whom she had recently fired for leaving the state.