November 27th, 2013 | by ALEX TOMCHAK SCOTT News | Posted In: Business, Cops and Courts

Animal Miracle Foundation Agrees to Close

Pet adoption nonprofit settles to end state investigation.

lede_puppy_3902IMAGE: Amaren Colosi
The pet holidays are looking bleak for the Animal Miracle Foundation.

The Portland animal rescue nonprofit agreed Friday to shut down in order to end a state Department of Justice investigation into its business.

A state investigation into the Animal Miracle Foundation led to the agreement, filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The Justice Department began investigating the organization in May, looking into allegations that the organization made misleading requests for donations and mishandled its money.

The charity, based in the Bethany Village shopping center in Northwest Portland, said it raised money for animals in distress. The company website also shows the organization invented 17 "pet holidays"—including National Cat Day, International Dog Day, and National Dress Up Your Pet Day—to promote pet adoption.

In May, KATU reported allegations that AMF had asked for donations to help abused animals, then not turned the money over to the organizations that were overseeing their care. KATU's report says one allegation involved the organization asking for money to help a dog that had already died.

The state’s agreement with AMF and its founder, Colleen Paige, ends the investigation but does not require that the company or Paige admit to any wrongdoing.

The agreement, obtained by WW, also requires Paige to close the organization's website and forbids her from starting or running any charities for at least five years. During that period, she will not be allowed to solicit charitable donations of any kind.

Department of Justice spokesperson Michael C. Kron says Paige cooperated with the state investigation.

"The Department never made any formal allegations against Ms. Paige and/or Animal Miracle Network," Kron tells WW.

Animal Miracle Foundation changed its name to Animal Miracle Network in July “to better accommodate our programs and lessen public confusion about our tenet,” according to the website. The agreement with the Justice Department uses the name “Animal Miracle Foundation.”

Paige and her lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
 
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