A lawsuit alleges that a $1 million animal shelter in Edgefield County, S.C., has been converted to a for-profit grooming business.
The complaint, filed in November and amended this week, targets All God’s Creatures Inc., the rural community’s first permanent animal shelter. A fundraiser for the shelter on Hardy Road in 2007 featured wildlife expert and Tonight Show regular Jack Hanna.
The suit is brought by Frances Weber, who alleges that founder and registered agent Denise Holcomb has worked outside the governing board’s approval and refused to accept abused and abandoned animals.
Instead, the suit says, Holcomb is operating a grooming and kennel business at All God’s Creatures. Weber’s stake in the shelter is the more than $1 million in real estate and trust funds she says she transferred to the shelter.
The suit alleges breach of contract, in part because Weber claims she was not notified when cats were euthanized, which was part of the agreement. It accuses Holcomb of converting portions of the trust funds for her personal use and claims she plans to leave the state and “take AGC and all of its assets with her to another state.”
The suit asks a judge to issue an injunction to keep the shelter from moving out of Edgefield County and Holcomb from transferring assets, engaging in detrimental actions and violating the terms of the agreement.
For her part, Holcomb has answered the allegations with a motion to dismiss the suit. The motion filed Jan. 5 says that Weber has failed to support the allegations with facts. For instance, while plaintiff alleges animals would suffer “irreparable harm” if they were moved out of the county, Weber doesn’t specify what that harm would be, the motion states.