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Humane Society Ripped Off

Derek Loveless was supposed to help a Kentucky humane society pay their bills, instead police say he used the group's money to pay his own.
Now, Shelby County Humane Society is out 28-thousand dollars.

Employees and board members say they trusted the wrong man.
"Sad & shocked. I never thought he'd do something to hurt them," said Lisa Lynch, an employee who worked alongside Loveless for more than a year.

Derek Loveless, also known as Jet Ridgeway, started volunteering at the Shelby County Humane Society in March of 2004 as part of a work release program after being convicted of DUI in northern Kentucky.
"The Humane Society is all about helping animals and giving second Chances," lynch said. "And we gave a second chance to a human being. It back-fired in our face."

Loveless developed the trust of humane Society board members and volunteered to be treasure and took over all the non-profit organization's money.
Lynch explained Loveless had a criminal background check before he was he became treasurer. "With the work release program, he Only had a DUI---which isn't good--- but nothing to do with stealing or finances." Lynch said like most others, she never thought any of this would happen.

Investigators say Loveless took as much as 28-thousand dollars in Humane Society funds through fraudulent charges. Some included purchases from Wal-Mart, Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Walgreens. With nearly 200 cats and dozens of dogs Lynch says it takes thousands of dollars a month too run the facility.

"These are innocent animals who needed what he took. And That's sad." Lynch continued "We are a no-kill facility. These animals, if they don't get adopted, will live here the rest of their lives."

Since the stolen funds were discovered employees have given up their pay. Lynch said it an effort to show donors their money gets to the animals no matter what.

"We went without before they did."

Lynch says like cats, the organization will land on their feet. Loveless is currently being held at the Jefferson County Detention Center on a 100-thousand dollar bond.
The Shelby County Humane Society now uses an accounting firm to track all expenses.


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