Rescue Ink Goes Public


Everything is a situation. Every animal abuse, every dime spent on medical care and every second spent on their choppers, roaming the streets of New York. For this burly pack of tattooed men known as Rescue Ink, the mission is simple – get the animal out of harm’s way.

Solving the situation is not so much a mantra as it is a lifestyle at Rescue Ink, a non-profit animal rescue organization, which operates through public donations. Their daily routine consists of meeting at the clubhouse in the morning, going over pet abuse cases (the organization wrestles with 200 to 300 help requests per day) and deciding on the most heinous case to address in person. Several cups of coffee later, a plan is hatched to execute the rescue mission.

“It’s coordinated chaos,” G, Rescue Ink’s seeming pack leader, chuckles.

At 40 years of age, married, with two kids and a dog, George “G” Perry comes off as somewhat of a jaded animal rights crusader. He’s been exposed to the grotesque world, where frail dogs are tied up to trees and domestic cats are shot with gun pellets. He’s sick of it, as are his six buddies that comprise Rescue Ink, so they are taking matters into their own hands “by any means necessary within the means of the law.”


George “G” Perry

“You don’t send the Boy Scout if there are bad guys,” Perry declares with his heavy Brooklyn accent. “We never said we were angels. We’re just there to help, and we’re on your side.”

It’s the detail, the red tape, the legal jargon, the minute inefficiencies that motivate him to confront pet owners who have difficulties providing their companions with proper care. Along with their most intimidating member Anthony “Big Ant” Rossano, who measures 6’1” at 320 pounds with sleeved tattoos, Joe Panz and the rest of the brawny crew, Rescue Ink isn’t paralyzed like larger organizations such as the ASPCA, SPCA or Animal Control, when it comes to getting their hands dirty. They go straight to the root of the problem, uninvited, and nip at the source until they can agree on a mutual agreement to get the endangered animal(s) in safe harbor.

Unorthodox? Certainly. But the pack of guys is nimble on their Harleys and could care less about being sued, so they put themselves on the line instead, even if it means digging into their own pockets.

“Going from place to place, it’s costing us gas, it’s costing us time,” Perry says. “And then, once we get the animal out of the situation, we have to get him evaluated, we have to find him some shelter. He might need medical evaluation. And if he can’t pass the evaluation, we have to put him in our sanctuary – that’s costing us anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 a dog. Do the math.”

Anthony “Big Ant” Rossano

Anthony “Big Ant” Rossano

“You gotta remember, with this economy, when there’s money problems, the first one that suffers is the animal,” Rossano chimes in.

Now, with backing from the National Geographic Channel as they record their every move on camera for the new show Rescue Ink Unleashed, the crew hopes to tap into a larger pool of public donations to fund their on-going efforts.

“With the economic times being the way they are, everybody’s crying for help,” Panz admits, “so we’re just spread very thin, trying to help everybody out.

“We get money to pool out of our pocket to get gas. We pool our money to eat. We go to rescue some horses and we’ve got to come up with $500, but you know, who’s got $20? Who’s got $7? Who’s got $100? We come up with the money and then we’re like, ‘I can’t believe we just spent our gas money. How are we gonna get home?’”

Rossano, Panz and Perry recollect themselves. They don’t want to dwell on the fact that they are financially strapped. They care about public image. They don’t want to be known as the “most famous broke guys” with floating IOUs, not because they care about how they’re individually perceived but rather, because they don’t want Rescue Ink losing credibility over this. They’re passionate about saving lives and don’t want to tarnish their objective.

It’s one thing to say that the premise of their show and their mission is to provide another civil service draped in tats and muscles a la “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” but there lurks an underlying major influence that propels these men – most of them fathers themselves – to point the limelight at another prominent issue.

“It all starts with the animals because people tend to abuse things that can’t speak or nobody can find out about it,” Pantz emphasizes. “They’re the ones that get it first.

Joe Panz

Joe Panz

“The bad thing is you’ve got all this abuse out there and the kids see this. They see the animal abuse in the home and it desensitizes them. When they get desensitized and they see somebody beating on a dog, or killing a cat or doing something like that, it desensitizes them enough that the next time they have an argument in the schoolyard, they tend to try to emulate whoever did that to the animal. It’s a bad progression and these are the things that we’re trying to stop. Abuse is abuse in any form.  It’s still abuse.”

If the juxtaposition of tough, scary-looking, inked, biker dudes speaking out about child welfare and animal cruelty seems slightly daunting, if not out of kilter, that’s because it is. It’s what makes them so intriguing and it’s precisely why they help animals.

“An animal doesn’t care if you have money, if you have tattoos, what you look like, what kind of car you drive,” Perry says. “He’s just lookin’ at you, like ‘Thank God, somebody showed up.’ Getting that animal out of a bad situation and putting him somewhere where somebody’s gonna care for him, what else could you ask for?”


Read a review of National Geographic Channel’s new show Rescue Ink Unleashed.

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