'Rescue Ink' is an offbeat keeper for NatGeo
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Like the part where five large men with tattoos chase chickens through the bushes and backyards of Queens.
"Rescue Ink" may not be the best TV series of the year. But it's easily the most unexpected, and in its own way, it's got a lot of charm.
Rescue Ink is a city organization that tends to animals that are either in distress or distressing someone else.
National Geographic follows its eight soldiers on a half-dozen calls, illustrating the scope of what they do and the patience with which they do it.
When a disabled veteran in a Bronx housing project has been beaten by drug dealers and will have to spend some time in the hospital, he worries that his three dogs have no one to feed them.
He calls Rescue Ink, which goes to his apartment and coaxes out three hungry pit bulls, one by one, ensuring that they are fed and cared for until the man is released.
Some of the stories have that kind of feel-good aura, though not all. When Rescue Ink suspects a man is shooting feral cats in his backyard, they can't prove it and the police tell them they can't investigate without further evidence.
A lot of their missions are relatively routine in the pet-rescue business - extricating animals from abusive situations, finding placements, relocating dangerous exotic pets to better places. But the more routine the job, in a way, the more interesting the idea that these particular guys are doing it - because, not to put too fine a point on it, this is a crowd you'd expect to see on "Sons of Anarchy," not saving puppies.
They're big, they're gruff, they have enough tattoos to cover Bensonhurst. They have nicknames like "Batso" and "Big Ant."
They don't talk much about why they do this, so in most cases the viewer is left to just assume their hearts are in the right places. We don't need any further explanation, though it's probably a safe bet that some of their stories are unusual and perhaps will emerge in future weeks.
We do know they have a sense of humor, or else we wouldn't see them chasing those chickens around Queens.