Ohio Horse Rescue Operator is Subject of Lawsuit

The owner of an Ohio horse rescue is accused of misappropriating almost $50,000 in funds, as well as of failing to register the charity with the state.

Kate Hanson, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said Frog Pond Farm Draft Horses and Rescue was incorporated in Cambridge, Ohio, as a horse rescue in March 2004. According to the incorporation, the organization allegedly bought or otherwise rescued horses from slaughter situations, took care of the animals, and provided horse adoptions, Hanson said. The organization also allegedly solicited money from contributors, saying donations would be used to rescue horses, Hanson said.

DeWine filed a complaint on Feb. 12 in the Guernsey County Court of Common Pleas alleging that Frog Pond Farm owner Lisa Gordon violated Ohio's Charitable Organizations Act, the Ohio Charitable Trust Act, and common law by using the organization’s back account as if it were her own, Hanson said. The lawsuit alleges that Gordon misappropriated nearly $50,000 between 2011 and 2013, and that Gordon failed to register with the Ohio Attorney General's Office from 2004 to 2012. According to the complaint, the lawsuit seeks to recover revenue used for personal purposes and to distribute and charity's assets to another horse rescue charity.

In a written statement, Gordon declined to "comment at this time due to the pending case."

In a written statement, DeWine said those who operate horse rescues as charitable organization must fulfill their legal responsibilities: "We simply cannot allow those who run charities to use the charity's bank account as their own personal bank account, or to fail in their duties to properly run the organization.”

The case remains pending.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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