This is a reply to a part of the allegations made against HOVAR by Jacquie Peters which can be seen as a comment under URGENT APPEAL below.
For those of you who have seen the latest list of allegations made by Jacquie Peters against the HOVAR committee. Many of the things in there have been dealt with on previous blog releases. BUT as our integrity is being questioned we would like to answer the following points
- Proper accounting not being kept.
- Accounts and papers not being shown to members.
- Monies passed through private bank accounts.
- Tax records not submitted.
- No proper record of membership.
- No proper records of adoption fees.
- Committee deciding to take excess dogs to the police or Cereco. (Cereco is not a sanctuary as stated on the HOVAR web page.)
- Although supporting the committee as secretary I vowed no dog would ever go to Cereco from me. This goes against everything animal rescue me means.
Proper accounting not being kept.
Every cent we ever received can be and is accounted for. Anyone who wishes to sit down with us and look through them is welcome. It may take days but can be done.
We have done it before but let us explain how we have dealt with the money from day one. We have never operated a system where all monies coming in and going out went through the treasurer. accounts covering all the monies do go to the treasurer.
Colin has always dealt with most of the day to day monies coming in through the shop, donations or whatever. He has kept his own records of 'ins and outs'. At the end of every month his accounts are sent to John for perusal and filing. This has always meant bills are paid on time etc. John does take holidays and is not always available to go to the bank. This system has always worked well. When Jacquie began homing dogs and taking donations she began the same system so that she did not have to come to the treasurer seeking money for food etc but had in effect her own float to add to and dip into as required. Again these accounts were submitted regularly to John so he had the full accounts. Anyone who has ever given money to Jacquie or Colin can look at the 'ins and outs' and find it accounted for. When we have had events then either John has paid the money direct to the bank or with smaller amounts it has been given to Colin to put in his 'ins and outs' so there would be enough to pay the monthly bills.
Accounts and papers not being shown to members
The accounts have always been made available at the AGM for anyone wishing to see them.
Monies passed through private bank accounts
This is the most serious and regrettable allegation. As we have explained previously, when we opened the HOVAR account five years ago it was properly dealt with by the bank. The account was set up so two persons had to sign before any moneys could be taken from the account etc. However for convenience (of the bank I think) the HOVAR account was cross referenced with John Shauls personal account as he held an account at that bank. This just meant they sent him HOVAR statements at his home etc along with his own account matters. The president also received monthly bank statements to his home address addressed to Hondon Valley Animal Rescue. It always was and is the case that no one person can take money from the account.
Tax records not submitted.
The tax business has been well discussed. Only the shop is taxable for IVA. We now pay IVA. Some charities do and some don't. It is a gray area according to the legal people but we do now pay and submit quarterly returns. Interesting to note if we had paid it from day one we would have been out of business by now. We never set out to avoid tax but conflicting professional advice caused us problems.
No proper list of members.
It is true that in our early years this was a neglected area. However when Jacquie took on the secretary's role two years ago she had regular contact with members and took care of this matter. I have asked her to supply me with the current members lists but as yet with no response.
No proper record of adoption fees
There never was 'an adoption fee'. Anyone adopting a dog was asked for a donation. This has varied over the years from nil to 200€. Up until Jacquie took over the homing of the dogs all adoption donations were dealt with as any other money and entered in the 'ins and outs' list. Since Jacquie took over homing the dogs some considerable time ago she has hopefully entered all the monies given to her in her own 'ins and outs' accounts which the committee agreed she could do. So as far as I am aware every donation given for a dog is accounted for so I don't know why that allegation is there.
Remarks re Cereco
The four good people who set up HOVAR six years ago did it mainly to stop dogs going to Cereco. This place is the one contracted by the Hondon Valley villages to collect their stray dogs.. We have managed to do what we set out to do. The only exceptions have been about five dogs that had chips and at that time we were advised that Cereco would reunite them with the owners as the phone numbers were no longer contactable.. We don't do that now. The local police now assist us directly in such cases.
find Jacquie's remarks regarding this a little strange. Several months ago she stated she could take no more dogs. She started telling callers who rang to take the dog to Elda. We told her this could not be done as Elda could not, and would not, take them. After discussions both in and out of committee it was reluctantly agreed that when she said she could take no more dogs the caller had to be told to call the local police who would arrange the dogs removal. None of us including Jacquie were in any doubt where they would be taken. We had no choice if we had no places and no more fosterers.
For Jacquie now to imply that she was not part of that decision is wrong and to seek to say in effect it was nothing to with her is also wrong.