THE CAWS AND EFFECT OF PennYs to the Paws!


Marion-Grant County Humane Society (MGCHS), per their 2011 NON-PROFIT tax return, took in almost $109273.00 in revenue.  Gross receipts of $26064.00 came from the Pennys for Paws Fundraiser with expenses of $1573.00 for cups to pan handle on Marion streets gathering money standing outside Wal-Mart and at intersections.  $60,652.00 was paid in salaries although all of the workers at MGCHS are volunteers and NONE of the board of directors supposedly took a dime.  $14,511.00 went towards the mortgage for the MGCHS building.  Who received the $60,000.00 salary?  Could it be Brenda Volmer?  Was the money transferred to her for- profit business, Picture Perfect? $76,711 in salaries, housing, membership fees and investment income left $32,562.00.  Subtract that from the income of the Pennys for Paws fundraiser and the remainder is $6498.00 as income from “adoptions.”

While visiting with Brenda Volmer, who is not only the President of MGCHS but also the owner of Picture Perfect, a discussion of volunteering at MGCHS occurred.  She said that all volunteers are welcome and they were in need of help with ideas.  She said that last year, 2011, they had an auction fundraiser that brought in $9000.00. A review of the MGCHS tax return showed one fundraiser for 2011,  Pennys for Paws.

There was $21463.00 in revenue from “program services including government fees and contracts.”  Under program services  in Part III of the 2011 tax return for MGCHS, their program services are defined as “animal control; education to citizens and school children; prevention of cruelty to animals”  Why did it cost $144,568.00 for their “program services?”  Since the “adoption” of a cat or dog is considered a donation, “adoptions” would not qualify as a program service.  If the purchase price of a puppy from the Marion Grant County Humane Society is $130.00, the Marion Grant County Humane Society sold only 50 dogs the entire year of 2011.

STAR FINANCIAL BANK was paid $61466.20 for ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL on 01-13-2012 by the Marion Indiana City Controller.  The MGCHS has a note payable to Star Financial Bank in the amount of $93,218.00.  Why was Star Financial paid over $61,000.00 for animal control? Brenda Volmer explained that MGCHS had nothing to do with Animal Control in Marion Indiana although the 2011 tax return read differently.  “Primary Exempt Purpose- Animal Control; Prevention of cruelty to animals.”   The Grant County website listed the MGCHS under Animal Control.  Click on the link on the Grant County website and it takes you straight to the MGCHS website.

Brenda was kind enough to explain that the MGCHS is a no-kill shelter although both Picture Perfect and MGCHS are overwhelmed with dogs being dropped off at her facilities.  She said that MGCHS does not euthanize although there was one incident where she took in a dog that had health issues.  Reviewing the 2011 MGCHS tax return, MGCHS spent $7818.00 to euthanize dogs.  At a standard rate of $16.00 to euthanize per dog,  MGCHS would have euthanized at least 488 animals.  Ms. Volmer also explained that the Wisconsin Humane Society was short of puppies to be taken and, therefore, MGCHS transported many dogs up to Wisconsin to find homes.  Are the dogs counted twice rescued?  Once at the original facility and then again at the facility the dogs were transported to with the intention of perpetuating the myth of pet overpopulation?

The Wisconsin Humane Society is part of The National Federation of Humane Societies (NFHS) appears to be a front group for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  On the NFHS tax return for 2010, Wayne Pacelle (President and CEO of HSUS) was listed as Director.  The Humane Society of the United States has promoted the campaign against “puppy mills,” a derogatory term used against all breeders.  The MGCHS is no different.  Click on their “Puppy Mill” link and you see the same wording the HSUS promotes.  Click on the “Puppy Mill” button and it takes you straight to the Humane Society of the United States.  Wayne Pacelle says “…every responsible breeder is a puppy mill….”

HSUS has asked the USDA to exempt shelters from the Animal Welfare Act regulations.  Would the reason be that they don’t want their associated facilities checked by USDA inspectors? Or maybe the USDA is turning a blind eye to HSUS associated facilities since they hired Sarah L. Conant, a HSUS lawyer that was hired by the USDA as the APHIS enforcement officer in charge of inspecting dog and cat kennels. Kennels that break APHIS regulations, like those shown in the video, would automatically be shut down and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars!  Where is Christie Vilsack’s husband, Tom Vilsack the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA),  when the dogs need him the most?  Maybe campaigning for his wife? Where is Christie Vilsack’s husband, Tom Vilsack the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA), when the dogs need him the most?  Maybe campaigning for his wife or just more
than happy to take his salary and give it as a donation to Christie Vilsack’s Congressional campaign who is supported by the HSUS and to hell with the animals?

On Feb 27 2012 per the press release by Matt Troutman of the Chronicle Tribune, the MGCHS received $6600.00 for outdoor kennels.  Brenda Volmer, President of the MGCHS said when receiving the grant from Community Foundation of Grant County “the current kennels are inadequate and the shelter has had issues with dogs digging out from under the kennels or getting into other kennels.  We’re [MGCHS] obviously not professional fence installers.  Now we have someone come up and professionally install kennels.” Volmer also said “the Moorehead family, which owns Moorehead Communications, has put up another 25 percent cover the cost of the fences and gravel.  Once they are built, she said the next goal is to build an awning to create shade in the summer.”  The logical conclusion here is that the dogs have been outside without shade during the very hot and humid summer months when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, an Animal Welfare Act VIOLATION.

A line item that seemed to be missing from the 2011 non-profit tax return was FEED.  How much of that $109,000.00 was spent on feeding and housing those cats and dogs?  There is an entry for “misc.” of $1908.00.  Mighty cheap for the 60 or more dogs that are housed at the MGCHS in conditions so terrible that the dogs were standing in urine and feces and eating their food off of the floor mixed in with the filth while someone was enjoying a nice steak on that $60,000.00 salary.

While all those dogs being held at the MGCHS are NOT given all their shots, Brenda Volmer, said that the dogs available at Picture Perfect were given all their shots!  At MGCHS, an inquiry on a small lap dog about his vaccinations revealed that he had not received his PARVO shots even though he was running free around the facility and was at least two years old.  One very sad but obvious fact was Picture Perfect was “cherry picking” the dogs out of the MGCHS that would most probably be sold while the bigger dogs, such as the Pitt Bull mixes, were left in putrid conditions at the MGCHS facility even though Picture Perfect had 2 empty dog cages on the day of the visit.  Every single dog that was videod were mixes, not purebred.

Ms. Volmer was very attentive to the conditions under which her dogs were kept at Picture Perfect.  The cages were immediately cleaned and all the animals had clean food and water.  There was no animal smell in the building and all the floors were kept pristine clean.  However, over at the MGCHS facility, conditions were the exact opposite.  All the floors had feces piled everywhere.  Dogs were free roaming and urinated on the floor where ever they liked.  One dog in particular had a recent cut on her leg.  The volunteers said that she had a fight with her kennel mates.  The cut was unattended.  Almost every regulation in the Animal Welfare Act was broken at the MGCHS facility.

What’s the incentive?  The dogs sold at Picture Perfect are higher in price even though the dogs came from the same place the dogs kept at MGCHS came from.  Strays!  The dogs are not spayed/neutered until a purchaser agrees to buy the dog at either facility.  A contract is required when purchasing a dog from Picture Perfect.  That contract is the same contract as the MGCHS contract with MGCHS name stamped on it.  Is Picture Perfect donating the space to MGCHS to sell, or their word “adopt”, strays or does Picture Perfect charge MGCHS?  Conflict of interest?  According to Schedule O on MGCHS tax return, “the organization did not, during the year, receive any funds, directly, or indirectly, to pay premiums on a personal benefit contract.”

Brenda says that she has been working with the Marion Indiana Councilmen to pass a Mandatory Spay/Neuter law.  According to her, Mandatory Spay/Neuter is the only way to stop unwanted litters.  This is more propaganda that the Humane Society of the United States uses to further their legislative agenda.  Pardon me, but if all dogs are spayed/neutered where will my next puppy come from?

There is one thing that the MGCHS and Brenda Volmer got correct.  Their theme for the fundraiser was dead on.  They give pennies to the paws! And keep the rest for themselves.

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1 Response to THE CAWS AND EFFECT OF PennYs to the Paws!

  1. Sarah Ertel says:

    I don’t know why you have chosen to target animals but you had better get a few things straight. First of all, I am a part owner of Picture Perfect and you are completely wrong in your “assessment” of my store. We only take “stray” animals when there is no other place for them to go, i.e. they bite, they are not thriving in the shelter environment, etc. We do not have the space to house large dogs for an extended period of time. All of our puppies/kittens are given vaccinations/worming. The shelter also has the same vaccinations/worming as the pet store and I know this because we help them buy the shots that they need. Second, the shelter is not run by volunteers, they have employees that are paid to take care of the animals. Obviously you are not aware of what it takes to take care of 50 plus dogs and 65 plus cats in one day so let me enlighten you. The shelter can only afford 2 kennel workers each shift to clean, feed and walk dogs. By the time they get through everyone it is time to start it all over again. It is a never ending job. Third, the Marion-Grant County Humane Society is a no kill shelter and has been since they moved into the building on Miller Avenue. They all work tirelessly to take care of the unwanted, abused and neglected animals in Grant County, not just Marion. No one that works or volunteers for that shelter has ever walked away with $60,000 and your ignorance of what they do and don’t do shows how inefficient your information is.
    As for Picture Perfect, I spend as much in vet bills for sick puppies and kittens as what I take in. You see, the lack of spaying/neutering causes unwanted litters that people cannot afford to take care of. When mothers die from calcium depletion (because owners cannot afford to take their dog to the vet) who do you think they call? This stuff is not free. The vet charges me for their services. Companies do not give me products for free to help raise these puppies. So don’t condemn me for using adoption fees or applications to help look after these animals. And by the way, my adoption contract does not have the humane societies name on it. One more thing you need to get straight. Stop trying to devalue and demoralize what they do. You should focus your rants on entities that are doing wrong, illegal or immoral things and not the ones who sacrifice day in and day out to help those that cannot help themselves.

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