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Animal Shelter Loses Charity Status

11 April 2018 at 5:20 pm
Wendy Williams
A Victorian animal shelter has had its charity status revoked amid claims of serious misconduct.

Wendy Williams | 11 April 2018 at 5:20 pm


Animal Shelter Loses Charity Status
11 April 2018 at 5:20 pm

A Victorian animal shelter has had its charity status revoked amid claims of serious misconduct.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) announced on Wednesday it had revoked the charity status of Pets Haven Foundation Limited, also known as Pet’s Haven Animal Shelter.

According to its website Pets Haven Foundation’s goal is to educate the community about responsible pet ownership and provide rehabilitation for abused or neglected animals in order to responsibly re-house them back into the community.

ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns said the animal shelter had been involved in serious misconduct.

“Pets Haven Foundation has abused their position as a trusted charity in the community,” Johns said.

“Revocation is the most serious action we can take when a charity has been mismanaged.

“In most cases we are able to resolve issues with charities without reaching this stage. However, in this instance, we have been left with no choice but to revoke Pets Haven Foundation’s charity status.”

The ACNC is prevented from disclosing further details about the case due to secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act.

However in a post on Facebook, Pets Haven Foundation said the issues related mostly to the infancy stages of their establishment dated back to 2012.

“We are confident that the current processes will satisfy the requirements of ACNC in regards to maintaining public trust and confidence,” they said.

They said they would be appealing the decision.

“Pets Haven Foundation respects and acknowledges the decision of ACNC and we strongly believe that ACNC has a key role to play in supporting the charity sector in terms of guidance, without overburdening any charity with record keeping requirements,” they said.

“Pets Haven has complied fully with financial record keeping requirement by ACNC and diligently submitted audited Annual Information Statement annually.

“Pets Haven is appealing the decision by ACNC and we are willing to submit ourselves to any reasonable voluntary undertaking with ACNC to address any concerns raised by ACNC.”

The foundation was also keen to reassure its supporters it would continue its efforts in animal rescue and rehoming.

“We are confident that our current governance processes will put us in a positive light with ACNC and our charity status will be reinstated on that merit,” they said.

“We ask that you please continue to support us in good faith in animal rescue, re-habitation, and rehoming. Your support is critical to our efforts to rescuing animals.”

The organisation has 60 days to object to the ACNC’s revocation decision, which is dated 9 April 2018 with the effective date backdated to 3 December 2012.

Organisations that have their charity status revoked by the ACNC cannot access Commonwealth charity tax concessions, including Deductible Gift Recipient status and Income Tax Exemption.

Johns said the ACNC’s approach to regulating charities began with education and support to help charities to comply with their obligations.

“When we take regulatory action, we carefully consider both the necessity of the action and the risks to involved parties, and ensure the action that we take is proportionate,” Johns said.

Members of the public can report their concerns about charities online or by calling 13 ACNC (13 22 62).

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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