Crime

Ex-director at Macon animal shelter accused of misusing donations

The former director of a nonprofit animal shelter in Macon has been accused of using “a large amount” of money donated to the shelter for what a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office report describes as “personal expenses” and “overseas trips.”

Ann Woolsey, of Monroe County, who identified herself as a volunteer at the Riverside Drive shelter known as Macon Purrs N Paws, filed a complaint at the sheriff’s office on Wednesday.

Investigators were expected to look into the matter in the coming days. The amount of money allegedly involved was not mentioned in the report.

Woolsey, in her complaint, contended that the shelter’s former director “was using Pay Pal (and) business checks for personal use,” the sheriff’s report said.

The report does not name the former director.

On Friday, though, Anne Brennaman, who is the shelter’s former director, said she still owns the place but that she relinquished her license in July because of personal health reasons.

“These charges are baseless,” Brennaman told The Telegraph. “My attorney has the documentation.”

Reached by phone, Woolsey declined to comment.

“From what I gather,” she said, “I’m really not allowed to discuss it because it’s ongoing.”

The sheriff’s report goes on to note that, according to Woolsey, the alleged improprieties were discovered when the former director stepped down and the shelter’s financial records were turned over.

Woolsey’s complaint also said that in April the shelter’s license was revoked by agriculture officials “due to code violations.”

But Mark Murrah, a manager at the Georgia Department of Agriculture, said no such action was taken, at least on a state level.

He said Brennaman did, in fact, give up her license recently and that the shelter, which is on Riverside near the north end of College Street, is currently not licensed.

He said a new group there is in the process of obtaining proper certification to resume animal adoptions.

Murrah said the state’s aim was to make sure animals kept there now are taken care of while shelter ownership issues are resolved.

Calls to the shelter on Friday were not returned.

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397 or follow him on Twitter@joekovacjr.

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