Wildcat sanctuary loses donors over allegations of financial misuse

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The state's only certified refuge for large wildcats may be in a world of financial trouble following an internal investigation that accuses its leader of misusing funds.

The Star Tribune reports at least 100 donors have suspended their contributions to The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minn. and are calling for the removal of Founder and Executive Director Tammy Quist Thies.

The refuge, which cares for rescued 100 wildcats, is funded solely by private donations.

An internal investigation this summer by the Minneapolis law firm Dorsey and Whitney alleges donor money was spent to pay for Thies’ husband’s skydiving lessons, remodeling at her house, personal meals and groceries and food for her personal pets, the newspaper reported.

The allegations fueled complaints from donors and volunteers who've contributed lots of dollars and hours to the sanctuary.

Sanctuary board President Gail Plewacki denies the law firm's claims and told the newspaper a second audit in September, which Plewacki says can't be shared publicly by law, found no wrongdoing.

Thies was removed from the top job following Dorsey and Whitney's report, but was reinstated by the board two weeks ago. She hasn't been charged with a crime, the Star Tribune said.

On Thursday's Give to the Max Day, donors contributed more than $33,000 to The Wildcat Sanctuary, placing in the top 10 for the largest amounts given to Minnesota's medium-sized nonprofits.

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.

Related