Monday, December 25, 2006

SF SPCA uses Funds for Housing Animals to House the Group's Insiders - San Francisco's Dog Blog

Of the many disappointing aspects of our dog's lives in San Francisco, perhaps nothing is more disappointing than the SF SPCA. The seemingly venerable institution has brought discredit to the humane movement in many ways, from its politicized views of dog behavior to its uncanny ability to alienate animal welfare groups from the Marin Humane Society to Golden Gate Audubon Society.

But it isn't only the SF SPCA's politics that puts the group in San Francisco Dog Blog's dog house. It's also the group's financial management. Perhaps the most egregious example of its financial schenanegans is the sweetheart deal the SF SPCA has historically given to its presidents.

For example, a review of the SF SPCA's tax records show that in his last years as the SF SPCA's President, Ed Sayers received over $200,000 in salary and benefits. An extraordinary amount for the leader of any non-profit group.

But the compensation package didn't end there: the SF SPCA also gave Mr. Sayers a $400,000 interest-only loan from the group's non-profit funds so Mr. Sayers could buy a house. That's nearly half-a-million dollars that the SF SPCA spent on housing the agency's insiders, rather than on San Francisco's homeless cats and dogs.

Shortly after this loan was disclosed on the SF SPCA's IRS forms, Mr. Sayers abruptly left the organization and paid the balance of the loan back. It isn't clear if his departure is related to this insider loan; presumably the SF SPCA didn't realize the loan failed the smell test and didn't send Sayers packing on this ground alone.

Which raises an interesting question: what will the SF SPCA do with your donation now that it is searching for a new president? Just a few weeks ago, the SF SPCA apparently fired Daniel Crain, the group's most recent president, for undisclosed reasons. The sudden firing, just days before Mr. Crain was to deliver an address at the national feral cat summit hosted in San Francisco, was really a wipe out: there isn't a reference to Mr. Crain left on the SF SPCA's website.

So the group is in the market for a new president. Will it keep spending your donations on housing its insiders, or will it wisen up and spend the money where we thought it was going, to house homeless cats and dogs?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. Daniel Crain sort of got out while he could. He is a criminal the way he ran the SPCA and corrupted others. I hope he pays dearly for everything he has done.