Judge sides with AG; Grants injunction for Colorado Humane Society

Chris Rizo Dec. 16, 2008, 12:42pm

John Suthers (R)

DENVER (Legal Newsline)-Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Tuesday that his office has secured a court order that will give a receiver control of the embattled Colorado Humane Society.

Suthers had filed a lawsuit seeking a management change at the Colorado Humane Society for not filing financial statements and killing animals after claiming to be a "no kill" facility.

The Arapahoe County judge's order removed Mary Warren, Robert Warren, and Stephenie L. Gardner from their management roles and bars them from any control of the shelter's assets.

"My number one priority when we filed this case was to appoint new management for the Colorado Humane Society as soon as was legally possible," Suthers said in a statement. "This court order will help to protect this important shelter space while the receiver works to reestablish the charity's good name."

The 27-page complaint Suthers filed in Arapahoe County District Court alleged that Warren was approving euthanasia for large dogs that were taking up too much space, or were unlikely to be adopted.

"I have taken decisive action today that I believe is necessary to preserve an important charitable institution whose history dates back to 1881," Suthers said, announcing his lawsuit.

The attorney general also said because the shelter was not registered under the Charitable Solicitations Act, it was not eligible to raise money. Court papers say the family raised nearly $3 million in donations.

The three defendants are accused by the attorney general's office of running the animal shelter as a family business rather than as a charitable organization.

"We are pleased that the Colorado Humane Society will continue to function while the case against its former management proceeds," Suthers said Tuesday. "This is a good result for Colorado, for the animals in the care of CHS, and most importantly, for public trust in our charitable institutions."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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