An animal rescue accused of soliciting donations illegally

Live 5 investigation

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

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I will add to this page when the Live 5 News report has been aired. This is a leader to notify people who are interested. My thanks to a colleague for telling me about this.


The story concerns Suzie’s Zoo Sanctuary for Special Needs Kitties in St. Stephen, South Carolina which is about 150 miles southeast of Columbia. This is a non-profit cat rescue owned and run by Suzanne Melton which was suspended by the authorities of South Carolina. We don’t know why but it meant that she could not ask for donations. She is accused of asking for donations.

In defence Suzanne said that she is planning to visit Columbia to ‘correct the paperwork’ with the objective of removing the suspension.

She says that she is still receiving the regular donations. She gets them without fundraising which keeps her within the law. Despite that The Live 5 WCSC report of Feb 24 tells us that she is being taking to court for soliciting donations (fundraising).

That in a nutshell is the measure of the problem facing this cat rescue. We are a bit short on detail. I am not very happy with the Live 5 report.

Suzie is managing to run the rescue which has a maximum of 100 cats and there are currently 88 at the rescue. It costs around $2,200 per month to run according to Suzanne.

In an interesting twist to the story, the Live 5 WCSC’s report does in fact fundraise for the charity because in an interview with Suzanne she said:

We’ve got bills for food and expanding the habitat and getting new things to replace the old things. These guys [the cats] need a lot. We still take donations and my regular donors are helping out. They’re still tax deductible. They’re still legal. I just cannot fundraise.

Indirectly that is fundraising but it is legal I guess because it is not deliberate.

In the news before

This rescue has been in the news (indirectly) before:

$10,165 crowdfunding money raised for cats of rescuer killed in car accident misappropriated by son and husband

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