Georgia Animal Rescue & Defence Inc,  Joy Bohannon,  Love to Live,  Show me the money

GARD’s 2018 NJ Animal Sales Net Profit >$917,697/yr

Hat Tip Rescue Watch

GARD, Love to Live and many other so-called animal welfare groups are making a pile of money obtaining dogs/puppies and cats/kittens in “the south” (never actually defined) and selling those animals in “the north” (again, never defined.) According to GARD’s IRS 990s they’ve brought in $975,140 cumulative between 2014 and 2018 and a hefty chunk of that comes from the sale of transported animals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York State.  

A Vermont news site has let the cat out of the bag:

Gimme Shelter: How the Pandemic Affects Interstate Animal Transports to Vermont

“Our partners right now are chomping at the bit,” she added, referring to their source shelters down South. “They have animals, and we have huge demand. And here we are, sitting with a limited supply.”

Nearly all of Vermont’s nine humane societies rely on interstate transport animals as revenue streams. For HSCC, the state’s largest, adoption fees from mostly out-of-state rescues account for 25 percent of the organization’s $1.2 million budget. Humane societies and non-brick-and-mortar shelters elsewhere in the state, which have smaller populations and fewer strays, are even more reliant on transport animals. They’re “feeling the hurt more than we are,” Cameron added.

Someone explain to me how Vermont’s humane societies’ reliance on the movement and sale of animals is acceptable in terms of animal welfare. I don’t get it. Continuing:

In source communities, the tendency to transport only the animals deemed highly adoptable — notably, kittens, puppies and smaller dog breeds — can exacerbate preexisting income disparities by leaving behind less-desirable animals that have significant behavioral or health problems, which are more difficult and expensive to care for.

Wait, where have I seen that pattern before? Oh yeah, that’s GARD’s entire business model.

And for some organizations, Rogers added, adoption fees become the sole purpose of interstate transports, creating a revenue stream they rely on for their survival. That dependence, he said, “can sometimes create this perverse incentive to engage in transport on a high volume that’s more about sustaining the organization and its local relevance than it is about addressing the larger issues of animal welfare.”

Money is GARD’s only incentive. Joy Bohannon has never had a paying job that I’ve been able to locate. She makes her living off animals she obtains through means both legitimate and illegitimate and sells in at least four states.

I ran a back-of-the-envelope analysis of GARD’s profit off of “transport fees” way back in July but my initial number of animals moved was far too low. I now know that two transports of 20 dogs each go to New Jersey weekly so I was off by 300%.

The parameters:

$160 “transport fee”/animal, 40 animals/week for 50 weeks of the year = $320,000 annual gross transport income, does NOT include sale price, aka “adoption” fees

787 miles one way from Pembroke GA to Ringoes NJ, 1,574 miles round trip/ 157,400 miles annually (Mapquest, I-95 route)

Driving the NV2500 HD 2018: mpg ranges 13.3 in 2017 to 11.6 in 2018, so let’s divide difference for 12.45mpg

Gas prices in 2018 GA: $2.70, NJ $2.89 so use the greater for $367.37 fuel/round trip,  $36,537 annual,_2018

Operation costs: no vans listed so let’s use the mid-size SUV values.

Mid-size SUV 12.43¢ per mile for 157,400 miles = $19,564

Paid drivers: pro truck drivers get 28-50¢ per mile but GARD’s drivers aren’t CDL holders so we’ll use 28¢. I have no evidence that GARD pays their drivers at all, much less 28¢/mile but let’s use it anyway.

$0.28 x 157,400 = $36,202

Per diem: again no evidence GARD pays per diem but let’s say they pay $100/trip, $10,000 annual


Total Costs: $102,303
Net profit: $320,000 – $102,303 = $217,697

Remember, this profit applies only to the $160 “transport fees” for the twice weekly 20-dog shipment to New Jersey. “Transport fees” to Pennsylvania, New York State and Georgia, price tags aka “adoption fees” and Facebook “donations” are not included.

Let’s add the sale price of $350/animal to the New Jersey equation (side note: who in their right mind pays that kind of money for a mixed breed dog or cat?) Gross profit: $1,020,000. Expenses are the same so annual net profit for New Jersey sales alone is $917,697/yr.

This is why I seriously doubt GARD’s 990s.

Little wonder Joy Bohannon is scrambling to keep her scheme afloat. She can live very comfortably in rural Georgia with plenty left over to invest bringing in that kind of money.


  • Matthew

    They’re reliant on the animals. THEY’RE RELIANT ON THE ANIMALS. Absolutely amazing. Seems to me that if I was in the rescue business my aim would be to reduce or eliminate the unwanted per population. Thus, the lack of animals would be considered a victory, no? Isn’t that what I’m striving for?

    Apparently not, and therein lies the fault in this model. These organizations (see: the people that they employ and upon which they make a living) NEED the animals. No animals equals no income, regardless of how legitimate their practices are.

    So, these rescues are actually incentivized to do the exact opposite of their mission statement.

    • Casey

      You’d think the decreased population of unwanted animals would be considered a sign of success provided the goal is actually an unwanted animal population of zero. I’m learning fast that that isn’t the goal for a number of so-called “rescues.”

      The incentives are geared toward tons of fraud and I’m finding fraudulent activity by the bucketful. When I ran the above numbers I knew approximately what the result would be but I was still shocked. Over a million dollars a year on this one aspect of GARD’s activities. WOW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *