William Shatner encourages emergency support for Shelby County H - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

William Shatner encourages emergency support for Shelby County Humane Society

William Shatner and his wife hope the community will step up to save the Shelby County Humane Society. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News) William Shatner and his wife hope the community will step up to save the Shelby County Humane Society. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
The SCHS hoped to expand with a new campus for animals, but they had to scrap the idea when their money went missing. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The SCHS hoped to expand with a new campus for animals, but they had to scrap the idea when their money went missing. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
If their money runs out in the next several weeks, they'll have to cease operations and try to place dozens of animals. (Source: WAVE 3 News) If their money runs out in the next several weeks, they'll have to cease operations and try to place dozens of animals. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Shelby County Humane Society (SCHS) and the animals in its care need donations in the wake of a financial crisis and internal investigation.

Hollywood icon William Shatner recently encouraged people to come to the organization's aid.

"The community -- the Louisville community -- needs to come together and help the (Shelby County) Humane Society come back to its feet," Shatner said. "And so, the horse community will help."

Shatner made the comments while competing at the Rock Creek Horse Show.

The SCHS collected $4,000 in donations during the show but much more is needed.

A prominent donor sued the former SCHS President, Mark Smith, accusing him of taking funds under false pretenses and misappropriating the money.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Shelby County Humane Society investigates possibly hundreds of thousands in missing funds

Smith denied the allegations. He resigned his position in March after being suspended by the SCHS Board in February.

The SCHS's attorney, Gregg Neal, said the organization launched an internal investigation and is waiting on the outcome of a forensic audit. The goal is to find out what happened to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, Neal said, and then determine what course of action to take.

The humane society currently has four to six weeks of funds left, Kate Henninger, the SCHS secretary treasurer, said.

When that money is gone, Henninger said the SCHS would have to discontinue operations at its spay and neuter clinic, cease intake of animals and work to place animals currently in its care -- including 100 cats.

Last year, the SCHS was pursuing ambitious expansion plans that included the development of a campus with facilities for dogs, cats and horses. Those plans have been scrapped.

"When we lost our endowment, we lost our dreams for the future," Henninger said. "The only thing we can plan is fundraising."

Henninger praised local businesses and individuals for recent donations of supplies and services, but a broader appeal to the public for support is ongoing.

More information is available on the Shelby County Humane Society website.

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