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Post date: November 19 2014

A.G. Schneiderman Shuts Down Unregistered Animal Shelter In Oneida County

Organization Solicited Funds While Misleading Donors, Helped Few Animals

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced that his office received an order of the Supreme Court, Oneida County, to permanently shut down and dissolve Lucky Dog Rescue of Mohawk Valley, Inc. The group illegally raised funds from the public as a dog rescue shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected dogs. 

The Attorney General brought the proceeding to dissolve Lucky Dog Rescue and to enjoin the group, its registered agent Jan Miller, and others acting on the group’s behalf from the solicitation, receipt and use of donated funds, and for an accounting of any and all funds received, for restitution and repayment of funds received by Lucky Dog Rescue, and for the corporation’s dissolution. Records reviewed during the course of the investigation revealed that thousands of dollars had been received from the public with few animals benefiting.

“Unregistered organizations that take advantage of the charitable spirit of New Yorkers do a disservice to the causes they claim to support,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Those who donate to charitable organizations should have every confidence that their money is going towards its intended purpose, and our office will hold people accountable when they betray the trust of donors and the communities they serve.”

The proceeding was based on the organization’s persistent and active solicitation of charitable contributions from the public while having failed to register as a charitable agency with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The group also failed to file the necessary annual reports and financial audits with the Attorney General's Office. The group was in violation of New York's Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, Estates, Powers & Trusts Law, and Executive Law. The organization also lacked IRS 501-c-3 status. In its fundraising solicitations, the organization improperly advised those donating their donations were tax deductible. A restitution hearing will be scheduled by the court.

Consumers can check out Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Pennies for Charity website to find out how charitable donations are used. Users can search for the name of a charitable organization and see the gross receipts of the charity, the net amount going towards charitable purposes, and the percent being retained for the charity. The database is accessible online here.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General James Williams in the Utica Regional Office and Investigator Joseph Kelly, with support from Executive Attorney General for Regional Offices Marty Mack.

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