Tattooed bikers confront abusive pet owners to rescue abusive animals
The United States has laws to protect animals from abuse - but, as we all know by now, they don't always work. Tragically, every day, thousands of creatures are left to suffer at the hands of sadistic humans who have little or no regard for animal life.
However, there is one unlikely group which tends to be more persuasive than the law. Animal abusers don't always respond to government rules, but they do listen to a group of burly bikers named Rescue Ink.
The animal welfare organisation is made by of heavily tattoed motorcycle riders who travel around 'convincing' violent or cruel pet owners to give up their neglected animals.
While their methods of persuasion always remain within the realms of the law, their somewhat intimidating looks, and in-your-face tactics and bulging muscles do help in coaxing abusers to relinquish their animals. Weirdly enough, most of the time Rescue Ink get their own way.
"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,” explained member Anthony Rossano (aka Big Ant) to People in 2009. "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."
Rescue Ink, based in Long Island, New York, started in 2007 as a legal, non-profit organization before launching into the mainstream.
Nowadays, the animal lovers get calls for help on a daily basis and have experienced almost every horrendous animal-related situation you could imagine. This includes dog fighting organisers, a perpetrator who tried to poison homeless cats near his home, and even a serial cat killer from out of state. If they come across non-animal-abuse-related criminals, they say they don’t get involved; they call the police.
In 2009, the group - comprised of street guys, military personnel, police officers, private investigators and lawyers - even combated animal cruelty in their own reality television program called Rescue Ink Unleashed, which aired on National Geographic channel.
But their activities aren't limited to tracking down abusers. The team is also committed to helping the community to learn about animal abuse and the harm that it does. Furthermore, they assist pet owners when they find themselves in tough situations, for instance pitching in to buy groceries for households with no food in the kitchen, or building a doghouse if needed.
Joe Panz, the group’s founder, told Guideposts in an interview in 2011 that they try their best to keep loving owners with their animals, stating that a pet is a family member and shouldn’t be taken away without just cause.
You might think of the team as shining examples of how people in society should behave - but they insist that they simply adore animals, and that's all there is to it.
"Some people like to think of us as superheroes," the Rescue Ink website states. "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."
We think every animal lover will join us when we say: thank you for the work you do, Rescue Ink!