Group Asks for Public’s Help to Save Abused Animals
If you were driving down Covert Avenue last week, you may have noticed a pack of Harley Davidson motorcycles parked quietly in front of Jo-Mar Dog & Cat Grooming. Inside the Floral Park storefront, several members of Rescue Ink, an army of tattooed, motorcycle-riding street guys who save animals who are being abused, were manning operations and fielding calls for the day’s rescues.
With walls bearing the name Rescue Ink in graffiti, the group spoke to the Floral Park Dispatch about their work and plans for the future. The leader of the pack was the outspoken Joe Panz, a founding member of the group. “We’re an in-your-face approach to animal abuse and neglect. We do whatever is necessary within the means of the law,” Joe said. “We don’t break the law, we bend it. You can’t protect animals when you are in a jail cell,” Joe added.
Rescue Ink is comprised of other founding members Big Ant, who is well-known in the bike community and Johnny O, a former bodyguard. Then there are the volunteer recruits: Steve D., a dog trainer for 18 years is known to resemble ‘the Fonz.’ Big John, a mechanic, keeps all the Rescue Ink vehicles in top performance and on time. Alley Cat is from Philly, who was in the National Guard, always helps the group with cat issues. Eric B. runs the Group’s Almost Home Sanctuary and rehabilitates all the rescued animals upstate to get them ready for adoption. Jordan is a full contact fighter and fireman and Scott the Knife is owner of Jo-Mar.
The group faces many issues in animal abuse but says dog fighting is among the most disturbing ones. “We rescue all over the place. We go out of the country when needed. We go wherever our funds take us. It doesn’t matter if it’s in California or Germany. We go wherever we are needed. We advocate for better laws.” They also visit schools to teach children about animal abuse at an early age. “A lot of times kids are exposed to dog fighting situations or abuse to animals and that desensitizes them. Once you desensitize a kid, you no longer have a pushing or a fistfight in a schoolyard. It’ll go to a stabbing or a shooting cause they are so desensitized; it’s a shame,” Joe said.
Joe warned that 100 percent of serial killers, pedophiles or rapists all started off abusing animals at one time or another. “What they do is they practice on these animals. An animal can’t talk…they practice on these animals. What happens is they feel comfortable enough or they can’t get that high anymore for abusing animals and they move on to something else,” Joe added.
When somebody sees abuse, they go to the website, rescueink.com and they can send an email about their complaint. Joe says they use their street smarts to assess each case. “Every single case is important to us but we choose the most heinous cases first,” he said. Dog fighting, killing animals, beating up spouses are often addressed immediately. They use police and private investigators and they work with them. They will give them pertinent information such as where they work, what car they drive and if they have weapons.
A volunteer organization, Rescue Ink needs donations to keep going and offers assistance 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. “Without the public’s help, Rescue Ink can’t run. Rescue Ink runs on donations. We get anywhere from, the lowest day was 200 calls and emails to now almost 1,000 emails a day. We are eight to 10 guys at any particular time. It’s very stressful, it’s very dangerous. That’s just the way life is. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” Joe said. “At the end of the day nobody even says ‘thank you,’ but we are here to make the world a better place for our kids and our kids’ kids.”
Rescue Ink will be appearing at the 16th annual Covert Avenue Street Fair on Oct.16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you would like to donate or for more information, visit www.rescueink.org; or visit www.covertavechamber.com.