Woman at the center of shelter closure previously agreed to five-year ban

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Northland animal shelter was raided recently, but we started investigating Forever Friends Animal League of Kansas City months earlier. A FOX 4 viewer told us about neglected animals and that Debbie Sharts, who helps run the shelter, already had one shelter shutdown in another location.

One woman adopted a dog from Sharts and said her puppy was very sick. She said Myla was lethargic, and the vet diagnosed her with an intestinal infection. She spent well over $1,000 getting Myla back to being an healthy, happy energetic puppy.

We found that in 2012 the state sued Sharts forcing her to close a shelter she was running out her home in rural Clinton County. Investigators found 37 sick cats, and several dogs that had died from parvo-virus.

Sharts completely denies any animal was mistreated or neglected in Clinton County.

However, under that agreement Sharts agreed to give most of her animals away, pay an $8,000 fine, and neither own or operate an animal shelter for 5 years.

But it appears she opened another shelter in 7800 block on North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City soon afterwards.

According to the property owner, her name is on the lease, she applied for the commercial animal establishment permit, and up until August of this year, her name was listed on the Secretary of State's Web site as the shelter's registered agent.

Yet Sharts says she is not operating the shelter.

Sharts does have her supporters. Veterinarian Dr. Michael O'Brien has worked with Sharts for 6 years and has never seen anything of concern. He said he examined the pets seized from Forever Friends Animal League in Kansas City and didn't see anything you wouldn't see at other shelters. O'Brien claims Sharts is a truly caring person working to get animals out of bad situations and into good homes.

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  • Sharon

    I went to Forever Friends to see about adopting a dog the Sunday before this place was raided. The place stunk so bad with dogs standing on dirty newspapers that was obvious had not been changed for a long time! Dogs were shaking and hiding. The whole place was filthy! We waited for this lady to show up and while we waited there was a dog in a car out front. When she arrived I questioned her about the dog and she just said yeah I know and walked into the building. This place needed to be shutdown and Debbie Sharts needs to go to jail for animal neglect!

    • cher

      Show up? Why wasn’t she there? I heard she did things on line then met prospective so called adoptees. She didn’t want her shop open to the public view. She had to know they were on to her so she never was open.

  • Beth

    To the above commenter who thinks this is all hearsay, please simply google the animal “rescue” and look at what many many people and animals have gone through at the hands of this woman. She DOES have charges from her last hoarding and animal neglect issue in Clinton County. The state doesn’t just decide to fine someone $8000, confiscate animals from a supposed rescue, and ban the individual from running another shelter for five years without due cause. The state has very few enforcers, and most claims involving animal abuse/shelters go uninvestigated. Additionally, she supposedly treated critically ill animals at home using only special dietary changes per adopters. It is ironic that this “rescue” always magically had purebred puppy litters available for adoption all the time that had adoption fees of many hundreds of dollars. Doesn’t sound like your typical rescue operation!!

    • Sue

      She kept is secret that she set up once again after being shut down in Holt, Mo. One block south of us and we didn’t know. I am sad for the pups that didn’t make it, four with Parvo, one with an enlarged heart that had to be put down due to continuous convulsions and a heart defect. Purebred Yorkie??? Many others and not one of them with something. Kaye

  • ddjumpin'

    This place was not a rescue! She sells puppy mill dogs! If it were a shelter there would have adult dogs there. All the dogs seized were puppies and many of them were sick. She needs to surrender the animals so KCPP can get them into foster where they can properly socialized. This woman shouldn’t be allowed to own even one dog. She does not have their best interests at heart, she is doing this for profit!!

  • Tiffany Lanier

    I adopted from her a few yrs ago, our dog was wormy,full of fleas and ticks , took forever to get paperwork. And kept puking up her food acted lime she didnt get much to eat. This women is a disgrace!

  • Sue

    Interesting as was mentioned in these posts that so many of her dogs were litters of purebreds. Brussell’s Griffon? How often do we see this breed? One resembling a BG at her home. Was she breeding for profit? A litter of six German Shepherds? (all removed and all with upper respiratory infections and $800 each??) This woman was clearly breeding dogs and using a shelter business for donations for diets she often didn’t have for small breed pups. She is only a puppy mill. As an AH that has seen and taken care or lost these pups, we know what we saw. We saw the heartache of people who adopted from this person for anywhere from $400 and up. That is NOT the usual adoption fee at legal shelters. Shelters don’t often have litters of purebred dogs nor ask such a ridiculous adoption fee. We are for one so glad she was shut down. It was long overdue after many complaints. She didn’t even have a sign over her business. No one knew what it was until the sick pups started coming in. Why no sign, Susan? Kaye

  • Tina Scarpelli McGugan

    I’m disgusted and embarrassed to admit we adopted (bought) our puppy from FFAL last March. He was 8 weeks old and in foster care in Overland Park. He was not in the shelter facility. I guess I should be very grateful that he has always been healthy and he’s a great little guy, but I’m baffled why anyone would breed puppymill pups that are Aussie, Sheltie and Lab — which a breed DNA test showed him to be. It wasn’t until after we got Teddy that I realized FFAL only had puppies. There were not adult or senior dogs — only puppies. And the “adoption” fee was outrageous, especially considering FFAL was always out of the microchips the fee was supposed to cover, and their sole vet who would do the neutering was an hour’s drive from us, in Grain Valley.

    I got such an oogy feeling talking to Debbie about arranging for Ted’s neutering in August, I just said forget the money, and I had it done at our vet at Olathe Animal Hospital. Debbie told me I could send in the proof of the surgery and she’d refund $50, but I’m pretty sure that would have been a waste of time.

    I was foolish to assume Petfinder, where we saw Teddy’s listing, was screening the organizations that post on their site. It never occured to me we were dealing with a risky business like FFAL.

  • tammy

    I fostered for this despicable women and she is a horrible horrible person I know for a FACT she does not take care of her animals. In fact she doesn’t even feed her dogs and puppy’s for two days before adoption events so they will not use bathroom. I’m so glad she got in trouble wish she would of got prison time. If hell exists I hope to god she gets their, if the devil will even have her.

  • cher

    Already looked her up long ago and in Missour court system. She is raising dogs for profit. She is deep in the court sysem. She is charged with much more then five animal code vioations. You that support her, do you REALY think she was on the up and up? I think it was her life support to breed, buy and sell and not a puppy adoption. No sign on her business as she was told she can’t start it up again. She did. Using sick animals to support herself.

  • Lisa

    We adopted from them and the conditions were horrible. After they were raided I took my puppy into angel vets, they didn’t have good things to say about forever friends. So far my pup is okay. I hope this woman never is allowed to have animals again.

      • Geniece Kirtlink

        I realize my comment is nearly 4 yrs later but ever since i bought 2 puppies from Christina Tindle i have hoped that she would get shut down. She was selling several puppies, all puppies newly born, on a corner intersection in Liberty, Mo. I had trouble with her from day one. First of all she assured me the 2 I picked were from the same litter, and being so young, you couldn’t tell they weren’t until they got older. Which isn’t the problem, problem is she lies and takes advantage of people AND runs puppy mills for profit. The following day (Sunday) I took them to Petsmart to be checked & bathed. Both pups were full of fleas and they told me the one was blind in one eye. While they were there, I went over to the intersection at 152 & 291 and told her about it hoping to get some of my money back since she sold me a blind puppy. She became defensive saying they had been vaccinated, & treated for fleas & blah, blah. She charges an enormous amount to begin with, asking $350 per pup but since I bought 2 she gave them to me for $600. I did not know at the time she was a puppy mill. I told her she could follow me back to Petsmart & the vet there could tell her what he told me. I went in thinking she would come in once she arrived, but she sat in her car. When I came out with the pups she stated, “Petsmart is full of Parvo”. I showed her the blind pup & she moved her hand in front of its face & said it’s not blind. I said, naturally she will follow your hand because of the scent!”. At that point I was seriously thinking of canceling my check, she and her daughters, got irate and stood in front of my vehicle so I couldn’t leave, which I wasn’t going to anyway. I wanted to call my daughter for advice but couldn’t find my phone so went inside Petsmart to call from their phone. When the manager heard my story he said Christina Tindle was not allowed in their store due to some incident with her in the past. In the meantime she called the police & they said it was a personal matter between the 2 of us. She said she would take the pup back & refund my money. Well, #1 I couldn’t rely on her to do that and #2 my grandkids had already become attached to them so I kept them. I never saw her selling pups at that intersection again, but my daughter was talking some friends immediately after this and they both knew of her and told us she ran a puppy mill & was a despicable human being. The one girl my daughter spoke to said she even at one time had some dealings with her when Christina asked the friend to take care of all her pups and gave her some shoddy reason. In reality, Christina had gotten wind that enforcement was coming to check her for being a puppy mill. Being the upstanding citizen Christina was, she told authorities that “the friend” was the one who was a puppy mill & sent them to “the friend’s” house. That particular friend toldus she would be more than happy to tell what she knew about her. Problem is, I had no idea where she lived. Christina and her allies need to be shut down forever! She has a donation site that solicits money to help care for and find abused & rescued animals from abusive situations. https://www.youcaring.com/417outreach-vet-bills-493964 Are you kidding me? I don’t check email much but I will watch for a response. Thanks!

  • Summer Portillo

    I met her today at a house in Mission, KS. She showed me two puppies that were listed on adoptapet.com – I am horrified. I had no idea. Please someone put a stop to this. She is now using the name Golden Retriever Rescue Rangers. I feel so badly for those puppies. They were both shaking. I thought they wre nervous. Now I know and I am so upset.

    • Summer Portillo

      I’d like to correct myself. I did not meet the woman in the video but I did meet one of the women who managed the closed shelter. It was still sketchy. No background/vet checks or questions, only her word that the dogs were up to date on shots, no spaying, promise of refunded deposit later after spaying, etc. She seemed primarily focused on getting paid for the pets not placing them in the right home like many rescues. I hope it’s not representative of KC GRRR as a whole. I ended up not adopting through her. I worried that I may have gotten a very sick animal like in her days at FFAL.

      • Stacy Whiston

        I got my puppy Beckett in April of 2013 from Furever Friends from Debbie. Before getting Beckett, I got his brother Brody, who passed of Parvo about a week after getting him. I am so sad to hear that they may be operating under a different name. Shockingly enough, I’m looking for a brother for Beckett, and came across a pup at their new location. When I google their name, I came across this article again and Summer’s comment…and wanted to vomit. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

    • Drew

      Debbie Sharts is listing dogs on Petfinder.com under the name Golden Retriever Rescue Rangers still today! She refused to let me come see the puppy’s living conditions, only had her own records of vaccinations (no actual vet visit), suggested we meet at a QuikTrip to meet the dog, is listed in Raymore but said her Vet is in Savannah, MO, north of St. Joe. Too many red flags so I did some research and found this thread. Met her in person to confirm it is the same Debbie and it is. When I confronted her via Text, she has never responded. Clearly out for money and not the dog’s best interests!!!
      PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not buy or “adopt” a puppy from this lady. While you might be “saving” that dog, you are likely sentencing its mother to a horrible life of awful breeding conditions and enabling the cycle to continue!

      • Drew

        How convenient….I just went to Facebook and she has now blocked me from seeing / posting on her page. I could see it 3 nights ago before I confronted her for doing what she is doing!

      • Stacy

        My mom “rescued” a dog from Raymore Rescue Rangers (this lady) back in May. The lady seemed shady, also meeting us at a Quik Trip. My mom took the dog, a puppy Shih Tzu. Debbie didn’t ask for ANY information, which we thought was odd. She gave us shot records and that was it. The dog seemed really, really lethargic. We took him to the vet, luckily he was okay. 6 months down the road now and my mom goes to neuter him and the vet can’t find his testicles and wonders if he’s been neutered already. I come to the internet to find her number to call and ask and I stumbled upon this article. Glad we saved the dog but sad we gave her any $ or business.

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