Rescue Ink is a non-profit animal rights protection organization that originated from a group of volunteers in New York. The team consists of bikers, ex-bodybuilders, powerlifting champions, former military personnel, police detectives, and lawyers. The team was at its peak of activity from 2008 to 2014.
“Some people like to think of us as superheroes. The truth is, we are super animal lovers (and protectors). Through the years, and through many caseloads, obstacles, and downright challenges, we remain strong and dedicated to our mission.”
Rescue Ink cooperated with the police and public organizations. They did all they could within the boundaries of the law to protect animals from abuse. Their work depended fully on donations.
Tom Hardy wearing a Rescue Ink T-shirt
The team received about 1,000 to 3,000 messages per day via e-mail alone from different people all around the world and about 250 calls per day.
During the years of their activity, they saved a lot of dogs, cats, horses, chickens, pigs, and fish. And once, they even saved a 5-ft boa constrictor.
In an interview for The New York Times, the bikers said that they were in very different situations: some people sold purebred dogs just because they needed money for drugs, other people organized dog fights, and some even tried to poison a group of homeless cats not far from their house. Once, they had a report about a serial cat killer from Pennsylvania.
And here is something important you should know: the team only investigated the cases of animal abuse: if they managed to find a criminal, Rescue Ink contacted the police. If an animal owner didn’t take good care of the pet, the bikers would build a dog house or help in some other way.
With their work, the bikers proved that all of them have big, kind hearts. One of the participants of Rescue Ink spent 1.5 weeks carrying a small kitten with him everywhere because he needed to feed him every few hours. Another biker once got into a pond near a sewer in order to save a duck.
The Rescue Ink participants spent years teaching adults and children to make them realize that animal abuse is wrong and dangerous.
Most of the time, abusers are people who have similar features: they are insecure, impulsive and ruthless because they have problems at home or in their relationships.
Bikers believe that animal abuse is just the first step for such people. Later, because they feel like they can’t be punished, they become more secure and they can abuse someone else like a child, a woman, or an elderly person. This is why it is so important to prevent all cases of animal abuse.
Sometimes, bikers had to save pets whose owners died and nobody else cared about them. In such cases, the bikers contacted shelters and took the animals there on their own. At some point, they set up their own shelter but it was damaged during a hurricane.
The 2 photos below were taken near the shelter and you can watch a video about the shelter here.
Some animals needed rehabilitation. For example, some owners played with a small puppy and stopped taking care of it when he grew up. The poor dog was forced to sleep outside in any weather until the guys from Rescue Ink convinced the owners to give the dog away.
Some dogs are exploited for breeding and are sold as expensive purebred puppies. In this case, people contacted Rescue Ink when they heard strange sounds or sensed strange smells but never saw a dog walking or noticed that a dog was hungry and exhausted.
The bikers visited such owners and talked to them. If the owner didn’t want to agree, they called the police. Most of the time, animals were rescued.
Rescue Ink is adopting a dog named Lola.
In an interview with People, the team explained that their appearance is a huge advantage when it comes to negotiating with cruel owners.
They could approach an abuser much closer than the police could. Their intimidating look was their way to help the animals that really needed it.
“Let’s just say an official goes to an abuser’s house, he pulls up in a cop car and, immediately the abuser knows the cop’s limitations, he has certain boundaries. But when we pull up, they don’t know what we’re going to do, they don’t know what we’re capable of doing. So it helps out big time.”
The team members changed several times: some people left and some people joined. Here are some of the participants:
1. Batso Maccharoli is the powerlifting record-holder in Connecticut, US. He is one of the most recognizable members of the team. In the 2009 picture, he is 76 years old. Now, it’s 2019, and he still has an active lifestyle.
2. Mikey Ink is a bodybuilding champion and vegetarian.
3. Anthony “Big Ant” Rossano is a man who is 6’1″ tall and who weighs 324 lb. He is definitely a person who can convince someone with just his appearance. The pit bulls, cats, and rabbits he saved live in his house.
4. Joe Panz is one of the founders and the leader of Rescue Ink.
There is a book about every little and big accomplishment that Rescue Ink has made. It’s called Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck, and a Few Turtles.
The National Geographic channel made a whole reality show called, Rescue Ink Unleashed. These 2 photos are of the guests getting temporary tattoos when the show was released.
Every year, about 10,000 dogs die as a result of illegally organized fights. Every day, there are reports of animal abuse and it’s not just direct physical abuse but also indifference of owners to the animal’s needs. Such organizations like Rescue Ink give hope for building a happier world.
What is the situation with animal rights and protection in your city? Have you ever met owners who should give their pets away in order not to harm them?