Regulator sanctions Kerry-based animal charity for non-compliance with regulations

The Charities Regulatory Authority has sanctioned a Kerry-based animal charity for non-compliance with regulations.

Animal Heaven Animal Rescue was the subject of an RTÉ Investigates report on television last night; it uncovered significant corporate governance problems and misleading fundraising at the charity.

The Charities Regulatory Authority says AHAR has contravened aspects of the Charities Act 2009; the charity says it’s working with the regulator.

The Charities Regulator says concerns were raised with their office in relation to Castleisland-based Animal Heaven Animal Rescue, and following an initial assessment, they sought information from the charity regarding compliance with the Charities Acts; they then conducted a site visit.

The regulator identified a number of issues regarding governance and financial management, specifically the failure to maintain proper books of account.

The charity trustees must now take immediate steps to ensure proper books are maintained, and procedures are introduced.

Failure to comply will result in the Charities Regulator prosecuting AHAR and possibly temporarily removing them from the Register of Charities; the charity has a number of weeks to comply.

In a Facebook statement, AHAR says they’ve been actively working with the Charities Regulator since last April in relation to compliance, and said they’ve already identified failings with committee paperwork in the past, but this has been addressed since 2016.

AHAR has failed to respond to requests from Radio Kerry for comment.