Thousands of dollars stolen from the Muskegon Humane Society

The shelter filed a police report and is now asking for volunteer help and financial donations.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Staff at the Muskegon Humane Society are in shock after nearly $10,000 disappeared from their bank account after a check was stolen and altered.

“I kept saying it had to be a mistake,” executive director Alexis Robertson said. “There’s no way anyone is doing this to us.”

Robertson pays the shelter’s monthly bills through an online service.

“So the checks are cut directly from the bank and mailed to our payees,” she says.

Last week, she made an $80 payment to a local disposal company. When she looked at the bank statement a few days later, the check had not only been cashed, but badly altered.

“We went from an $80 disposal fee to a $9,980 disposal fee,” says Robertson.

This money is part of the shelter’s budget to feed and care for the more than 100 animals currently housed there. And in an already slow year for donations, that impact could be overwhelming.

“Knowing how much work goes into collecting that amount of money and seeing it disappear without a trace is devastating,” Robertson says.

To counter the loss, the humanitarian society is now asking for all possible help, be it financial donations or voluntary work.

“We need adopters, foster homes, donors,” Robertson says. “If you’re interested in volunteering or helping with fundraisers or things like that, I mean, that’s where our need really lies.”

Robertson says she hopes spreading the word will help others avoid this same type of theft.

“I absolutely want to make sure people know what they have in their account and where their money is going,” she says.

Robertson says she filed a police report as soon as she discovered the missing money. She spoke with Muskegon police on Monday morning and was told the report was being processed.

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Jennifer R. Strohm