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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Class Calls Friends of Animals Anything But

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The Friends of Animals Foundation sought donations for an abandoned pets shelter that keeps animals in terrible conditions, a class of donors claim in court.

Lead plaintiff Jeanne Perlman claims in Superior Court that the animal shelter did not use the donated money and allowed its staff to "viciously" abuse animals and deprive them of proper veterinary care and shelter.

The foundation blocked adoptions for eligible applicants "resulting in long term incarceration of animals under poor conditions, in some cases for a decade or more," the complaint states.

Co-defendant foundation directors Laurie Jones, Diane Palkovic, Shera Falk, Sandy McMahon and Joyce McDaniel are accused in the lawsuit of "act(ing) maliciously, vindictively, spitefully, or otherwise inappropriately, in order to satiate petty personal vendettas, all to the determent of the animals in their care."

The Friends of Animals Foundation website, checked this morning, states that foundation's 2336 S. Sepulveda Blvd. location is closed.

"Thank you for your generous and loyal support over the past 30 years," a message on the website states. "Because of our donors and volunteers, countless dogs and cats have been saved and adopted into loving forever homes."

Perlman claims the defendants got "substantial revenues" from donors for years. She seeks an accounting to determine how much the shelter owes to donors.

Plaintiff Siobhan Flynn claims the foundation broke a promise to pay her $40 a week to foster a dog, "Penelope," and pay for the dog's veterinary bills and food.

"In exchange, Flynn agreed to provide a loving, permanent home for Penelope, a senior dog, who otherwise had not been adoptable," the complaint states.

Perlman seeks class certification, disgorgement of donations, restitution, an injunction and damages for false advertising, unfair competition, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

She is represented by David Casselman with Wasserman, Comden, Casselman & Esensten of Tarzana.

The Friends of Animals Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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