Your grandma was right: it’s unwise to judge a book by its cover!
Such is the lesson of Rescue Ink, a gang of seemingly motley bikers and bodybuilders who spend their free time rescuing animals in need. Covered in tattoos and clad in leather, most members resemble “Sons of Anarchy” extras, but instead of beefing with Mayans, their main nemeses are animal abusers.
Long Island’s Anti-Animal Abuse Enforcers
Called Rescue Ink — a shoutout to their love of tattoos — the Long Island-based group formed in 2008 with the stated goal of stomping out animal cruelty. Self-described “animal lovers,” members unabashedly use their gruff appearances to intimidate perpetrators and rescue countless dogs, cats, horses, pigs, poultry, rodents, fish, and reptiles!
They may look like dangerous outlaws, but members always operate within legal confines. “Let’s just say an official…pulls up in a cop car and immediately the abuser knows the cop’s limitations; he has certain boundaries,” explained a spokesperson for the group. “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.”
The team receive around 1,000 – 3,000 messages per day over e-mail alone from different people all around the world and about 250 calls per day. During their many years of activity, they have saved a lot of dogs, cats, horses, chickens, pigs, fish once even a 5-ft boa constrictor.
In an interview for The New York Times, the bikers said that the situations are always different: ‘some people sold purebred dogs just because they needed money for drugs, other people organized dog fights, and some even tried to poison a group of homeless cats not far from their house. Once, they had a report about a serial cat killer from Pennsylvania.’
Something important to know is that they only investigate cases for animal abuse: if they managed to find a criminal, Rescue Ink would contact the police. If an animal owner didn’t take good care of the pet, they would build a dog house or help in some other way.
Watch a trailer for their show on Nat Geo:
Rescue Ink: An Animal Rescue Club with a Cult Following
Over the years, Rescue Ink has amassed a cult following, including Hollywood frontman Tom Hardy who’s been seen sporting Rescue Ink merch.
To catch up with the crew, check out the National Geographic Channel’s “Rescue Ink Unleashed,” a reality show documenting the group’s activities.