A CHARITY which helps rehome dogs has lost more than £200,000 in an alleged fraud.
Police have arrested two people on suspicion of fraud and theft in connection with K9 Crusaders based in Bissoe.
Officers are keen to stress that the charity has been an innocent victim in the case.
One of those affected was Liz May from Truro who adopted a dog with her boyfriend last year.
She thought she was getting the dog from K9 Crusaders and that the £150 she handed over would go to the charity.
However when her boyfriend posted a photo of the dog on the K9 Crusaders Facebook page the charity got in touch saying that the dog had never been at their kennels.
It appears that the fraudster had rehomed dogs which were placed in temporary foster homes.
Liz said: “I was just shocked when I discovered that my money had not gone to the charity at all.”
K9 Crusaders posted a statement on its website warning that a woman was not associated with the charity and had no authorisation to act on behalf of the charity.
“This to notify all suppliers that the person known as Kate David is no longer the treasurer of K9 Crusaders Dog Welfare. She has no authorisation to speak or act on behalf of K9 Crusaders, or to represent K9 Crusaders or to transact any business on behalf of K9 Crusaders.
Please address all queries to K9 Crusaders Dog Welfare, Hollybush Farm, Bissoe, TR4 8TF or call the kennels on 01872 560232 (answerphone available 24/7)
And in a statement posted on its Facebook page police said: “At this time the police would like to assure supporters of K9 Crusaders that any future donations to the charity will be safe. The charity has been the victim of crime which has not only affected its reputation, but has been disruptive to the process of caring for the dogs it seeks to protect. Police are also aware that there have been discussions on social media concerning this matter. We would ask that any comments, which could be regarded as defamatory, are stopped.”
It is understood that the person responsible may have also been involved with other animal welfare charities in Cornwall and elsewhere in the UK.
K9 Crusaders has invited people to donate money or items which will help with the running of the kennels and the dogs it cares for.
If you can help go to www.caninecrusaders.co.uk or call 01872 560232.
A 52-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man were arrested on December 4, on suspicion of theft and fraud. They have been bailed until February 2015 while investigations continue.
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