Home Pets & Animals Review of Good Dog Rescue

Good Dog Rescue review: puppy bait and switch SCAM suspected

Author of the complaint
5:45 pm EST
Review updated:
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
Featured review
This review was chosen algorithmically as the most valued customer feedback. consistently posts an 8-10 week old golden puppy — healthy, happy, well behaved, trained and 'too good to be true', etc. — on 'Maddie', then 'Cody', now 'Dakota', three nearly identical puppies in nearly as many months. No matter how often I check or how fast my inquiry, the response is also always the same. '______ (the puppy) has an application nearing completion'.

I find this very suspect.
1) Healthy, happy, well behaved purebred puppies are not given up or away by breeders. And puppies are not separated from the mother before 7-8 weeks. This does not allow time for the puppy to be given up, adopted, abandoned, taken in by a rescue and already nearly adopted out!
2) In the rare case puppies do come up, it is usually because of an accidental litter. Yet, these puppies have no litter mates?
3) I have asked to be notified of and considered for new puppies meeting the description. Instead, the puppies come up and have several applications, or are nearing adoption as soon as posted and I am not notified?
4) The photos and descriptions are nearly identical, down to the tag and the person playing with them. Even the use of ALL CAPS to say 'AMAZING' or 'AWESOME' puppy.

Once on the site, there is no adoption fee listed (standard), puppies are all in the South? (there are no adoptable homes in the South) and the adoptions run out of Enfield, Connecticut. There are no abandoned dogs in New England? Adoptions need to be paid for and dogs accepted 'sight unseen'. There is no phone number on the website.

This has all the signs of a bait and switch. Puppies that are not even available at Good Dog Rescue and falsely posted in order to drive people to the site. It may sound like a harmless idea to drive people to a resuce site which purports to have good intentions, but if true:

a) it wastes people's time filling out applications
b) puts them on an emotional roller coaster of hope and disappointment.
c) makes them suspect of all rescues and Petfinder
d) frustrates them with the rescue process
e) potentially drives them away from ALL rescues and sites as they lose credibility and forces good people looking for a dog, who wanted to rescue one that IS real and available, to go to breeders or pet shops. instead, leaving the real dogs in rescues without homes.

Since, suspecting this, I have done research on them, and they in fact have several complaints against them. Please investigate. If my suspicions are correct, they doing a disservice to all animal

Thank you.

View 0 more photos

The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Add a comment
Jun 09, 2022 1:28 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I worked a clinic that Good Dog Rescue used. In the 2 years I was there they only brought in Golden puppies and when I asked how they got them all Majorie said the momma dog was a breeding dog that the breeder now longer wanted. So then I asked how did she aquire the puppies because I never saw any adults dogs. Marjorie yelled at me and told me to mind my own business. Something is definitely not right there.

Jul 28, 2022 12:55 am EDT
Replying to comment of KatyS79

I fostered for this scam outfit. You’re right to question them. If you cross Margo, she turns vicious and has minions who spread lies about you in the online animal rescue community.

May 18, 2013 9:04 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I wish I had checked out this and other similar websites before getting involved with Good Dog Rescue!
I too was sucked in by a picture of "Brandy", a Golden Retriever puppy on I was looking for a local rescue and this site indicated that they were in Longmeadow, MA. This was not true. They are in Tennessee. I e-mailed Good Dog Rescue and was very quickly contacted by phone by Mike who told me that 'Brandy' was with a foster mom and that he would e-mail me her number so that we could talk directly and I could learn more about "Brandy". I called the foster mom and had a great conversation with her. Here name is "Marjorie" (Marjorie Sydnor). I was convinced that this was a great pup and immediately e-mailed Mike to let him know I wanted to go forward with the adoption. The fee was $1350 which apparently was because this was a full breed golden with AKC papers and they could use the money to fund the other needs of their rescue operation.
Being a kind hearted person this seemed like a win-win situation. I was told that they got "Brandy' and her brother "Ben" from a local breeder who had a large litter and when the pups were two months all had been sold but these two so it was time to move them along and they were given to Good Dog Rescue. Really? REALLY? I should have seen the red flags about here.
At any rate I went ahead. filled out the application, complied with the "home visit" which was an assignment for me to take pictures of my house, and was almost immediately approved by the "administration" according to Mike. (I now do not believe there is an administration at all.) After approval I sent them the money through PayPal as requested and signed and sent the contract.
"Brandy" would be transported up North on May 25th, just two weeks away. During the course of the week I got more pictures of 'Brandy' and even a cute video of her foster mom taking her in to be spayed. Wow, these folks are good!
The next day I got another picture of "Brandy" after her spay resting with the foster's German Shepherd with the message that she was doing well after her spay. I thought something was odd when she was not wearing the traditional lampshade that is necessary after puppy surgery. Also she looked much larger than the day before. Interesting.
Now we were closing in on a week plus a couple of days till Brandy was to travel north so I though it was time I checked in with her vet to get a history and basically have a conversation about this adoption as I was taking it very seriously.
So I picked up the phone and called "Mike" and asked him for the phone number of the vet. Well everything went downhill from there.
Nice friendly "Mike" turned nasty, sarcastic and insulting towards me. Even as I patiently tried to explain that I was simply doing the prudent thing that any adoptive person would do. Mike became irate and told me he was canceling the adoption and that I would get my money back.
The good news? Yes I did get my money back.
The real story? I am not sure but I was upset enough to do an internet search to see if I could figure out just what was going on.
Here is what I found. Marjorie Sydnor, "Brandy"'s foster mom who was e-mailing me and sending me photos and videos is Mike's wife.
She is Marjorie (AKA Margo) Sydnor McHann. His name is Mike McHann.
"Brandy" (if there really is a "Brandy" ) was actually ...where?
I don't believe the pictures they were sending me were of the puppy that I was going to get. They apparently have an endless supply of purebred golden retriever puppies that appear on their site repeatedly with exactly the same description and look.
Conclusion? I wish I knew. It is possible that this husband/wife team actually do a lot of good rescue work, and if they do the let them be blessed for that.
It is also possible that they are supplementing their income by selling puppies from a puppy mill and representing that they are rescues.
What I do know is they are freaky to work with going from super sweet to nasty and not answering phone calls or e-mails in a matter of minutes.
My advice is to beware and look for a rescue that is truly local to you so you can meet the folks AND the dog in person. There is too much in this particular organization that smells funky and it's not the dogs.
Possibly it's too much brandy.

Nov 25, 2012 8:11 am EST

Here's proof Dakota exists. :)

View 0 more photos
Nov 25, 2012 8:00 am EST

I got a purebred golden retriever puppy with AKC papers named Dakota from Good Dog Rescue. He's very healthy and sweet and has given a new lease on life to my nine-year-old golden retriever who loves to play with him. I paid $1, 350 with the understanding that I was paying more for a desirable dog that would help them rescue dogs that no one wanted. I have a very good vet and my puppy is healthy and we love him. As far as I'm concerned, I'm quite happy with the puppy we got from Good Dog Rescue and there was no misrepresentation. -Jessica Benjamin, J.D.

Mar 10, 2012 10:05 am EST

I thought it was time for a comment from someone who actually adopted a dog from Good Dog Rescue instead of all the speculation that's written here by people who didn't adopt a dog from them.

In September, I submitted an adoption application to GDR for a purebred german shepherd puppy named Major. I went through the rather extensive adoption process, was approved for the adoption, paid my adoption fee and was so thrilled and excited awaiting the arrival of our new puppy in just 2 weeks time.

It was then that a friend of mine told me about the [redacted] accusing GDR of running a puppy scam. Well I got real scared at first and immediately I phoned my adoption coordinator Mike to tell him what I'd read on Ripoff. He calmly explained it was a bogus report but he did offer to cancel my adoption if I was uncomfortable.

I was really worried but after talking to my husband we decided to stay with the adoption because we had already fallen in love with "our puppy, " the kids were excited, and so we just decided to have some trust.

Major's arrival wasn't due for a couple of weeks and I think it was the longest 2 weeks of my life. But I think the rescue group tried to do a good job of reassuring me because Major's foster mom kept me updated with pictures and videos and information about his vet visits and so on.

Finally the big day came and it was better than I even anticipated. Our puppy Major came off the big transport bus that Saturday morning and it was amazing. I was crying, the kids were over the moon, it was just a wonderful first meeting.

We love our new puppy. He's everything they said he would be and more. And when I think that our family almost missed out on such a fantastic new family member because of what some people have speculated on Ripoff, well it makes me angry to think it could have cost me our puppy. So I have decided to come back here and tell my experience so that you can finally hear from someone who has really been there with GDR.

Oct 25, 2012 2:14 am EDT

My heart is breaking for the poor sickly golden retriever mix who was so cruelly abandoned on this god-forsaken highway in front of my house here in Arkansas. When I went out to get the paper Sunday morning, I found her sitting at the end of my driveway, nothing but a bag of bones. But she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and, weak as she was, managed a slight little tail wag. I tried to get her to come to the house with me but she couldn’t even walk, and my husband had to pick her up and carry her to the garage where I prepared a pile of blankets for her to lie on. She couldn’t have weighed more than 35 or 40 pounds and I could see that she was near death.

It was a Sunday and none of the vet clinics were open but I knew this dog needed help fast if she was going to be saved so I called Mike at Good Dog Rescue right away. I told him about the golden retriever and what terrible shape she was in and, after conferring with the GDR administrators, he called me right back and told me to take her to the Animal Emergency Clinic for treatment.

Once again, GDR came to the rescue, as I knew they would. You see, this stretch of highway has been a dumping ground for animals as long as I can remember. There are a few little houses here (including mine) and I guess heartless pet owners figure this is as good a place as any to dispose of their unwanted pets. Nobody else around here will respond to my pleas for these abandoned dogs, but GDR comes to the rescue everytime I call on them. Many of these dogs are old, sick, or injured but GDR takes them all, gets them healthy and finds wonderful families for them.

We named her Libby. She’s still not out of the woods but we are all hoping and praying that she will make it. The vet says that she has been starved and has the worst case of hookworms he has ever seen and that her internal organs were on the verge of shutting down. She had to have blood transfusions and she remains in intensive care but she’s getting the best treatment and we’ve been told that her chances are good.

I’m so grateful to Good Dog Rescue for what they are doing for Libby, because otherwise she wouldn’t have had a chance. It’s my hope and prayer that she’ll respond to care and rally and get well because then GDR will find her a good forever family up north that will love her and appreciate her and give her a wonderful life.

Jul 20, 2012 5:08 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

If this very nice lady paid the $1350 I'm sure she was charged, this organization took advantage of her kind heart and good intentions. As a former GSD breeder/exhibitor who only does rescue, I can state unequivocally that she was charged a price that a breeder might ask for. I, too, was looking for a GSD puppy to rescue, but realized that these people were either buying purebreds from puppy mills and re-selling them or breeding them and selling them as rescues.

This past April, I rescued a purebred GSD puppy from a Southern group called 57House Rescue. The fee was $275. plus a $125. transport fee. I picked up Jackson in New Jersey and brought him to his forever home on Long Island. I received a well-bred GSD puppy (his breeder could no longer care for the litter and gave them up) with outstanding temperament and a wonderful disposition. Now four months, he is a beautiful representative of the breed in every way.

I am very glad that Ms Atkins got the dog that she deserves; however, Good Dog Rescue exploited her kind heart by charging a fee that any reputable rescue group would be appalled at. I hope that the IRS is looking into the non-profit status of this group.

Jun 14, 2012 5:48 pm EDT

i absolutely agree with the volunteer from good dog rescue. i got a dog from GDR, and have been in touch with them for 4 years now. they are the most ethical and professional, caring and wonderful rescue, trying to do the absolute best for their dogs ! i have worked in rescue for 20 years, and i have found many to be as the complainer commented, but GDR is not one of those ! there should be more rescues like GDR, and less people like the uninformed complainer.

Feb 27, 2012 5:11 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

This is totally untrue. You have no idea what you're talking about. I am a volunteer for Good Dog Rescue in the south & completely understand where you're coming from. However, it is wrong. There are TOO MANY dogs in the south. Most people here do not spay and neuter their dogs, thus the over-abundance of homes occurs with the under-abundance of responsible pet owners. My family has personally fostered 25 dogs, all of which were described exactly as they were to potential adopters. Every dog that was adopted sight unseen to families in New England has been adopted to a loving home. All of my adopters have been very happy with their dogs. I think before you bash a rescue group that you don't even know anything about, why don't you talk to the people involved? Why don't you come see what we're dealing with before you put things on the Internet? There are many rescue groups in our area - I can't speak for all of them, but the ones I am associated with are totally on the up and up. Good Dog Rescue is one of them.

Aug 25, 2011 10:51 am EDT

UNTRUE. Most rescue groups get their own “stalker” if they’ve been around long enough and I guess Michael Arandt (aka George from Hoboken, sometimes Jim from NJ) is ours. A 29yo bachelor living in a NYC hi-rise apartment, Michael Arandt was denied a golden retriever puppy adoption in Feb 2011. Since then, he’s made it his mission to cyber-stalk Good Dog Rescue with his fantastical allegations of a "puppy bait and switch scam." Read his raging rants all over the internet then take a look at our website and decide for yourself.