Ante-ing Up for Animals

March 11, 2011 | By Margo Ann Sullivan | Category: Entertainment
Tags: heroes, adoption & rescue, entertainment, rescue ink

Rescue Ink fundraiser cuts a new deal for animals in need.

“Please help,” the message reads. “3 Dogs in 1 Wire Crate All Day, No Water. Another post advises “Cats are sealed up and trapped inside a building; they need help.”

SOS after SOS, all on behalf of abused animals, shouts for action from Long Island native Joe Panzarella’s Facebook page.

Panzarella is one of Rescue Ink’s founders. Better known to animal advocates as Joe Panz, he has gone on the record saying he’s out to save animals and stop cruelty. You can join his gang tonight at the “Casino Night” fundraiser and try to cut a new deal for some tortured and injured animals.

Rescue Ink has landed in the middle of some high-profile animal cruelty cases, thanks to their hotline and their personal fight against cruelty. Their website notes the members do not break the law, but they do try to intimidate.

And with their leather jackets, tattoos and motorcycles, they look like Hell’s Angels, more than Animal Angels.

But they have had an impact. For instance, Rescue Ink recently had a hand in stopping a Long Island mother, a case of child and animal abuse, according to the Times Beacon Record. The woman admitted to killing two pets in front of her children. Authorities later found 45 dogs buried in the backyard.

The Telegram has profiled their work and dubbed them “America’s unlikeliest animal rescue squad.” Their day jobs have included mortgage broker, celebrity bodyguard, personal trainer and martial arts expert. And even when they make a living on Main Street, as a dog groomer or mechanic, for example, they go by nicknames like “Scotty the Knife” and “Big John.”

The original members met at hot rod and motorcycle events and discovered they also shared a love of animals, according to published reports. They started with an animal cruelty hotline, and eventually recruited more members. Rescue Ink now has a foundation and also provides humane education to youngsters.

The website notes their members “are no angels” but credit society for giving them a second chance. They want to pay back by giving animals a second chance, too.

The charity event is set for 7:30 p.m. at Leonard’s of Great Neck on Long Island, according to Sarah Brown, Rescue Ink’s executive director. Brown did not provide specifics about the proceeds, but the website shows Rescue Ink supports an upstate New York shelter and helps animals in distress, such as Lucky.

Lucky, for example, needs medical help to mend some serious wounds, according to Joe Panz’s Facebook Wall. “He is full of buckshot and broken bones,” he writes, “but he is a tough guy that doesn’t let you see the pain he is in.”

WHAT: Casino Night, a night of dinner, music, dancing and gaming to benefit Rescue Ink.

WHEN: Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Leonard's of Great Neck, 555 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, New York

HOW: Go to www.rescueink.org and click on the PayPal link. You can also buy tickets by cell phone by texting ”ACE 60” to 27138.

DRESS CODE: No Jeans.

PRICE: $60 per person. Open bar. Ticket includes dinner and $100 of fun money for the games.

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