Scam preys on animal lovers in Durham

A dog up for adoption at APS in Durham. (WTVD/Caitlin Knute )

A dog up for adoption at APS in Durham. (WTVD/Caitlin Knute )

DURHAM, N.C. — A scam in Durham is apparently preying upon animal lovers in the name of the Animal Protection Society,¬†according to WTVD-TV.

Now the organization is putting out the word to residents to prevent them from being taken advantage of, and to make sure that they’re getting the dollars they so desperately need.

Like many shelters, the Animal Protection Society of Durham is often at or near capacity. That’s why Executive Director Shafonda Davis says donations are so crucial.

“We work around the clock, 24 hours a day all year long just to raise the funds it takes to give our animals a really good existence,” Davis said.

It’s money that pays for everything from basic operational costs to treats and toys. But, earlier this week people who thought they were helping the rescued animals were actually duped by a scam artist. Davis says she found out about it when she got a call from one of the victims. “They were walking their dog in Duke Park, and someone approached them looking very professional, with the letter, and offering free dog treats with every donation.”

After receiving several similar reports, the APS posted a notice on its website showing a copy of the fake letter people were being given. Davis says she also alerted the Durham Sheriff’s Office. While she waits for them to investigate, she has this advice, “Make sure whenever you give a donation that you write your check to the animal protection society of Durham. In this situation, the person was asking for money and asking for the checks to be written out to him.”

And that is something Davis says the APS would never do. If you’re interested in donating, you can always mail checks to the shelter or stop by in person, or go through their website: http://www.apsofdurham.org/.

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