A battle between a new for-profit business and local non-profit businesses has begun.  The non-profits are saying this area business owner is deceiving the public.  Seven local non-profit animal shelters have been trying to work with a local business owner.

Ruth Thompson, Owner of the ANNA Shelter, tells us, “The IRS takes for-profit and non-profit businesses very seriously and very separately.”  In a lengthy Facebook post, the ANNA Shelter calls out business owner Dan Tupek.  He opened his business ‘Four Paws Animal Rescue Thrift Store’ in June.  

Tupek says his idea was, “Let’s open this store… and from the profits that we get after the insurances are paid, the utilities, the rent… that anything leftover we will donate to local animal shelters.”   He listed seven local non-profit animal shelters that would benefit on a flyer.  “We honestly didn’t know that we couldn’t use their names,” says Tupek.  

But, Thompson says many people have told her about donations they’ve made to the thrift store, I an effort to help the ANNA Shelter. “None of us have received a penny of any kind of a proceeds since this place has been open in May.”

Tupek says he has made material donations. “Off hand, the ANNA Shelter was a recipient of five large cases of blankets, bedding, things like that.”  He says an ANNA Shelter volunteer picked up the cases at his store, but the ANNA shelter says they never received anything. 

Tupek tells us, “The volunteer that came here and picked it up acknowledged it. When she got there, whether she said it came from us and that got to the top, I don’t know. I have no idea how their organization works.”

Tupek says he had good intentions, he just didn’t realize the legalities that go into partnering with a non-profit.  Thompson explains, “Each of us have solicitors that help the shelters out and we’ve all offered, like, ‘hey, we need to sit down, we need to work this out. If this going to be truly a co-venture, we need to this be correct, we need this to be legal.'” 

The ANNA Shelter says the best way to donate to any non-profit is by going through their websites, or better yet, directly to their locations.  Thompson says while many people do have good intentions, this is the third time someone has used the ANNA Shelter’s name to collect money and she never saw a penny of it.

If you would like to make a donation to the ANNA shelter, please click here.