What is going on at Animal Heaven Animal Rescue? RTÉ Investigates has uncovered significant corporate governance problems and misleading fundraising at the charity, which is one of Ireland’s best known animal rescues.
While claiming to the public until recently to be a volunteer-run charity, AHAR has paid staff including its founder Suzanne Gibbons. Also, the charity’s bank account was until last month in the name of both Ms Gibbons and Animal Heaven Animal Rescue. RTÉ Investigates engaged a forensic accountant who said the account seemed to be almost a melange of a personal and a business account.
While there is no suggestion that charity money has been misappropriated, substantial cash withdrawals and limited receipting mean there was an overall lack of financial transparency.
The charity has also run some fundraising campaigns where it sought money from the public to rescue and transport animals when the animals had been purchased from dealers and were already on the grounds of the charity.
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