FURRY FUNDS: Donation Box Complaints

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Some Iowans are calling it misleading. Other says a donation box found at local stores and businesses could be a scam.

“It was just a little deceptive,” says Anna Woodcock.

Up until this last week, she had the donation box on her counter at Brown Dog Bakery in Ankeny. Woodcock thought her customers' spare change for the Animal Recovery Forum was supporting the Animal Rescue League.

“I don't want to use the word shady, but a little bit, just the way it was presented,” says Woodcock.

The ARL says the money from the ARF isn't going to them or any other shelter. If you read the fine print, it says the candy sales are going to the owner for his time and expense.

“I'm not necessarily calling this a scam. The whole thing is just so out there and not, not upfront enough that people aren't sure what it is,” says Tom Colvin, Executive Director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

The Better Business Bureau in Cedar Rapids is calling it a scam. Officials have received complaints about the Animal Recovery Forum across the country. BBB's in other states have issued scam warnings and given an "F" rating to the organization.

“I think that's particularly where the Better Business Bureau was putting our their concerns and alerts, the fact that it wasn't clear and upfront where the money was going,” says Colvin.

There was a number on the back of the donation box. Our message was not returned.


  • Sally

    what a jerk to prey on people’s love of animals! Thanks for brining this to our attention!

    The worst thing about dishonest charities is that it makes people wary to donate at all, which ends up costing honest organizations donations.

  • Troy Hendrickson

    I looked up the WHOIS records for their website, called the company listed as the registrant, an indian answered the phone, was very paranoid when i asked about the donation boxes, said the owner wasn’t there and hung up.

    Maybe the owner left the country with a van full of puppies?

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