Charitable pet-lovers, beware: Shelter warns of fake donation boxes in Riverside and Corona

By in Press Enterprise on February 14, 2018

By Stephen Ramirez

The Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center is warning the public to beware of scammers who have circulated fake donation boxes in Riverside and Corona, the director of the pet adoption agency said Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The fake boxes have been placed at local businesses and look similar to those provided by the Roberts Pet Adoption Center, formerly the Riverside Humane Society, said Katie Pickett, the agency’s director of development. The center was tipped off by an employee of a local tanning business.

“It’s really heartbreaking,” Pickett said in a phone interview. “We reach out with these donation boxes, and to get a call asking if this is ours? … It’s disheartening. They are taking advantage of people’s good nature. It looks bad on us.

“It’s just one of those things where it could impact our overall collection efforts,” Pickett added, “because people might be more apprehensive of (donating) to us.”

The Roberts Center was notified of the scam last week by an employee from The Tanning Spa in the Canyon Crest Shopping Center, a Roberts Center news release said. The employee said a woman driving a silver Toyota said she was from the Roberts Center and wanted to drop off a donation box. The woman told the employee that for a quarter, people can take a piece of candy and the proceeds would save lost pets.

The center’s box doesn’t ask for any amount and doesn’t include candy.

The fake box also has a note taped on it that says: “The owner of this unit has given $500 to a local animal support group and pays for a lost and found website. The website is provided as a public service. The goal is to help find missing pets and to find loving homes for unwanted pets.

“This is not a charity,” the note continued. “The […]    

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