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Updated: Unlicensed Animal Shelter Placed Lost and Stray Cranston Dogs

If you adopted a dog from Gina Brown-Parra or Ryan's Hope Rescue since Jan. 15, the state Department of Environmental Management is urging you to contact your vet immediately due to a possible fatal contagion.

Updated 7:11 p.m.: A man who adopted a puppy from Brown-Parr defended her today and said she is being villified by the media despite her efforts to save dogs "slated for death."

"We adopted a great, healthy, puppy from this lady," said Richard, who asked that his last name not be used.

"I do not want to lose my pup!"

Richard said the media "fails to mention that she would drive to West Virginia and save dogs that were slated for death" and "is making her out to be a horrible person."

"I couldn't be more happy with the puppy she blessed us with and hope the media does a little more homework before throwing this lady under the bus," he said.

A woman operating an unlicensed animal shelter is under investigation for allegedly placing dogs with families without a license and exposing more than 20 dogs to possible parvovirus, "a highly contagious and often fatal infection," the state Department of Environmental Management said today in a release.

The DEM's agriculture and law enforcement divisions received a report of an unlicensed shelter that held a dog adoption event at the Exeter Animal Shelter on Jan. 29. The event was unaffiliated with the town.

Investigators learned that Gina Brown-Parra, operator of Ryan's Hope Rescue, brought several dogs to the event that were offered for adoption at a price of about $300 per dog. Because she has never received a license to operate an animal shelter, she was issued a cease and desist order by DEM.

The DEM eventually learned that Brown-Parra placed as many as 20 dogs at the Jan. 29 event and some of them may have been picked up as strays in Providence, Cranston and Coventry. Several dogs still in her possession were turned over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Monday.

One of the dogs was allegedly picked up as a stray in South Providence and has since died from being infected with canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and often fatal infection.

If you adopted one of Brown-Parra's dogs, contact your vet right away, the DEM recommended, especially for any dogs showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, depression or fever.

If your dog is sick, contact the state vet, Scott Marshall, at 222-4700 x4503 so other parties can be notified of possible contact with an infected dog.

If you are missing a dog from the Providence, Cranston or Coventry areas, contact the city's animal control. The DEM is coordinating with local communities to determine if missing pets were adopted or fostered through Ryan's Hope Rescue.

Lisa Coons February 16, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I have one question..... I'm a ittle confused by the dates. If the event was on 1/29 and the incubation period for parvovirus is 14 days, why exactly did the DEM wait until 2/15 to release this information to the public? Wouldn't that mean that any animal that could have possibly been infected would have already been dead by the time they would have gotten the warning? Somehow that doesn't add up to me!
EG826 February 16, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I think this is a case of someone trying to do the right thing and just not knowing enough about the required paperwork and licenses (which can be pretty confusing). I don't think this person was going around stealing and selling animals...she was rescuing unwanted and abandoned animals from high-kill shelters and other bad situations and trying to find them good homes. $300 is a pretty reasonable adoption fee to have them fully vetted, etc. It is not highly unusual for a dog pulled from a shelter to have parvo, and it sounds like all her animals were well cared for. Everyone who worked directly with her seems to have positive things to say and she was involved with organized adoption events not shady, secretive dealings. I think she is truly an animal lover and needs to be educated not vilified so she can continue to do good work for animals but within the guidelines of the law. Frankly, RI requires so many licenses/taxes/etc, for things, in general (I am not familiar with the specific shelter laws), I think the state is the one just looking to make a buck off everyone else and they're mad this woman wasn't paying them to operate.
MW February 16, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I am addressing this issue because, once again the media fails to do their due diligence and research to give correct information. I have a dog from Ryan's Hope rescue for almost a year ago. I can attest to the fact that Gina who owns the RESCUE is very throrough in her care for the animals, we filled out an application, and we even had to interview with her and our dog, prior to placement to see if we were the right fit for the dog. It is really a shame that Gina and her RESCUE have to be run through the mud in the press for something she did not do. She is rescueiing animals here folks. Why dont they continue exposing all the corruption that goes on in this state, instead of harassing someone like Gina and her RESCUE to be embarassed in a public forum.
Corey February 16, 2012 at 07:37 PM
dont get me started with this state i get arrested for one thing got released on that charge and come home to all my belongings in there locked vault i dont understand how they can get away with that type of stuff and the sad part is they didnt even come for me they were at the place of the people i was renting from i paid to rent a room behind a locked door and i come home to that dont my name wasnt on the warrent only theres and i come home top my stuff gone and not the peoples they came for i got locked up for having pot so people know now how does that give them the right to take it get wat im saying people
Corey February 16, 2012 at 07:40 PM
belongings sorry for my poor spelling the stuff they took from me was stuff i bought and fixed and sold at a flea market remember the line " i bought it broke " well fixed lol anyways i fix computers laptops game systems and the stuff they took wasnt even my stuff it was the costumers products i was repairing so i gotta go thou a process of bull for something they had noi right doing just to get it back and after this happening im gonna be homeless in a week
Corey February 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
they trashed my room ruined priceless pictures of my daughter all the screws i had in place all skattered over the room idk im getting mad if anyone knows of this happening to them and went thou it and won can you refer me to your lawyer
Corey February 16, 2012 at 07:44 PM
sorry you have to go thou this gina i feel ya pain girl it sucks having it all taking away from you for doing good
Corey February 16, 2012 at 07:47 PM
or even trying to help clean up the cities with stray animals i rather see an animal go to a home other than get hit bye a car and if im correct woukdnt she post that she found an animal in the area were she got it i just wondering she even did if she did shes a good kind hearted person but its not right to do things without proper papers and lic. to run a company
Amanda Sajkowski February 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM
There are so many stray animals these days and their are more people out their than what others realise who abuse animals and treat them horribly when all the poor thing wants is to be loved and accepted by their owner. I think she was doing a great thing by helping these animals and sure things happens, animals get sick and die but at least they had a chance to have a home and a family again who could take care of them. I don't believe it's fair to be so harsh to someone who obviously has a tremendous heart. If anything she should be helped to becomed licensed or atleast given the oppurtunity to do things correctly if she wishes to do so. .. Gina, Keep your head up and just remember that as long as you know you meant well nothing else matters. People and the media may be trying to make you look like a bad person but, don't feed into it, stay positive and prove them wrong. Time heals all. I wish you the best of luck!
TRUTH BE TOLD February 17, 2012 at 01:30 AM
She is not a monster at all! She saved dogs from being put to death! Why is that a crime??!! Lisa is so right!! Something really is off! This parvo exposure happened 2-1/2 weeks ago! Gina contacted everyone immediately! Why did it take 2-1/2 weeks for the State to go public??!! If the dogs really did get exposed, they would either have started an epidemic by now, or be dead. No, she is not a crazed dogknapper sweeping the streets for any dog off a leash! No she did not sell dogs for $300! In fact, at that event, they were only fostered out... NO MONEY EXCHANGED! It is not free to spay, nueter, vaccinate, feed, and mend those dogs who are abused or neglected. When dogs were adopted, she did charge $300 adoption fee. Many other rescues also charge adoption fees. I've seen some for $400! I also have adopted from Ryan's Hope and went to the event on January 29 in the hopes of adopting a second dog, and I was told specifically that she could not adopt any dogs out. Because she knew me, she let me foster a dog. NO MONEY WAS EXCHANGED!!! This is infuriating. This is a true modern day witch hunt.
Keri February 17, 2012 at 04:33 AM
As far as I can see, this is a silly issue of bureaucracy. Someone got pissed off when they saw Gina's "Meet and Greet" event, and "reported" her for not be a "licensed" shelter. Incidentally, at that same time she was obviously trying to save a sick dog from being put to death, and it was too late- the dog has advanced Parvo and died. So now they are harping on that one sad outcome and causing hysteria. All the other dogs that were "seized" from her home are all healthy and in good condition. Ryan's Hope Rescue is a registered 501( c)(3) non-profit rescue organization run out of a woman's home, from the kindness of her own heart. She saves dogs from peril and gets them healthy and adoptable. She gives them HOPE. The accusations that she "steals" dogs are laughable, as is the idea of her neglecting any animal. That's ridiculous. She has probably given more dogs happy endings in forever homes than any of the "shelters" ever have. How could she ever AFFORD to feed, spay, and buy supplies for the dogs she saves without charging an adoption fee? Does anyone know how much dogs cost? They act as if she was robbing people. - Just stupid. Also, anyone's dog could contract Parvo or even worse canine diseases by a visit to a dog park, or a pet store, if they come in contact with droppings of an infected dog. The media has completely turned Gina into a villian. It's a disgusting distortion of information and has snowballed out of control.
rick macedo February 22, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I got a dog from ryans hope over a year ago she's been a great dog' and when I adopted her she came with all paper work from the vet who treated her thanks gina for a wonderful pet!' Rick & mary
rod May 23, 2012 at 09:31 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-cheeked_Parakeet hi i have lost my puppy bird he looks like this exactly. please help me find him my phone number is 4012861433 thanks
rod May 23, 2012 at 09:32 PM
12 seconds ago http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-cheeked_Parakeet hi i have lost my puppy bird he looks like this exactly. please help me find him my phone number is 4012861433 thanks will reward who will find him with 300$ please help me i have lost him in cranston Birch street Cranston, RI 02920, Stati Uniti
Jenny March 05, 2013 at 07:44 PM
I got my dog there and he is the BEST dog in the world. She matched us perfectly with the right dog. I don't care that she didn't have a licence, she did a good job and I would never give my dog Bowser up. I hope all these posts help because it is a great thing she is doing and she goes above and beyond to find homes for these animals where other people put you through the ringer and then decide you are not right.
DDAZip April 28, 2013 at 05:21 PM
My question is are they doing it illegally? Is this some kind of black market for dogs and have they since gotten a license to adopt dogs to people? If youve ever watched an episode of hoarders they think they are doing the right thing too.

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