Advocate on behalf of animal welfare issues within Indianapolis and surrounding communities.
MovetoACT enables you, now more than ever; to have a voice in the way the Humane Society of Indianapolis manages the financial contributions you provide for the welfare of animals of our community. The Humane Society of Indianapolis receives the lion's share of animal welfare donations and public recognition from our community. It is time the HSI becomes accountable for all that has been entrusted to them.
On March 2nd:
MtA filed an Objection to the Mary Crume “Statement of Accounts” with the Marion County Probate Court.
Q. What is an “Objection?”
A. When an SOA is filed, the public (with limitations) has a right to Object within 15 days of filing. Benevolent Public Trusts, by their very nature, are open to closer scrutiny than private trusts. However, facts can be easily obscured over time.
Q. What is a “Statement of Accounts”?
A. A Statement of Accounts (SOA) provides mandated information, as defined by the legislature, which must be submitted by the trustees to the Probate Court when certain conditions exist. Examples of what’s listed in the SOA:
An itemized schedule of income received and dispersed, distributed, or otherwise disposed of during the period.
The balance remaining in the account.
Q. Why did mtA file?
A. In our continuing efforts to bring transparency to HSI, we filed the Objection to ensure that additional facts surrounding their finances are brought into the public domain. Sadly, when one studies the court record, there is a long history of preventing the benevolent intentions of Mary Crume from ever being achieved. We hope to carry on the legacy of Otto Ray and many others to remain ever vigilant.
Also on March 2nd
MtA initiated the “Down to the Bone” Petition Drive:
Objective of this Drive:
Collect a large number of signatures from concerned citizens in our community to make it clear to the Humane Society of Indianapolis that there is a large local contingency expecting significant changes from them.
Specifically, this initiative will give Indianapolis area residents the opportunity to create (re-establish) a Humane Society that truly represents the priorities of the animal welfare community, is a responsible steward of animal welfare dollars, and again becomes nationally recognized as a genuine advocate for all animals.
If you would like to sign the petition or become a “signature captain” to acquire signatures for the drive, please let us know.
There are 3 steps to this drive leading to one GIANT leap for the animals
Step1: Remove Ineffective and Irresponsible HSI Board Members.
Remove any current Humane Society of Indianapolis board member who served during the 2000-2002 period when $8M in assets was lost.
These Board Members never:
Publicly apologized for allowing HSI funds to be used for personal expenses.
Publicly apologized for running multimillion-dollar deficits while blaming the stock market and negative media coverage.
Took a public stand on any local animal welfare issues.
Step 2: Select new Board Members by March 30th, 2004
MtA is accepting applications from community members to be on the mtA slate for the board of the Humane Society of Indianapolis. If you, or someone you know, is willing to "step up to the plate" and agree to the "Down to the Bone" objective …we want to hear from you!
Please submit your personal resume by explaining your background in animal welfare and/or your business skills to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Move to ACT, Inc., P.O. Box 68658, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0658
A slate of candidates representing animal welfare advocacy, city government, philanthropy, and fiscal management will be created. The candidate list will be posted on mtA web site and/or emailed by this date. At the time of selection by mtA, all candidates will sign a pledge making the “Objective” (above) their mandate from the community.
Step 3: Humane Society Public Hearing (Press Conference?) by April 15th, 2004
- Acknowledgement of petition drive results by Humane Society officials.
- Announcement of removal of old board members by Humane Society officials
- Acceptance by Humane Society officials of new candidates selected by mtA.
Giant Leap: Elect new Board Members in May 2004 at Annual Meeting
Q. And A.
Below are frequently asked questions and the answers. If you or someone you know has a question about movetoACT please feel free to send it our way.
Q: Does mtA want to start a new Humane Society?
A: No. There is no need to do this. mtA wants the existing humane society to survive, but in order to do so it needs to be directed by people who have the priority of serving the animals and managing donor dollars responsibly. This needs to occur immediately.
“Martha Boden, executive director of the Humane Society of Indianapolis, confirmed that the HSI could close by spring of 2005 due to finances” (NUVO – January 14, 2004). (http://www.nuvo.net/archive/2004/01/14/a_challenge_to_the_humane_society)
Q. Are non-profits obliged to provide their financial records?
A. Non-profits are required to make available their 990 tax returns. Audited financial statements are not required to be made available, but it is a good idea if you are asking people to donate their money to your organization, especially if your board leadership (who previously approved the use of the agency credit card for personal expenses by the director) still has over site of the treasury.
Q. Can mtA, or anyone, make demands for information from a non-profit agency?
A. Anyone can make “demands” but MtA is not “demanding” nor has never used the word “demand.” MtA seeks action on the part of HSI to restore the kind of performance in which the community can trust the organization. This is stated on the home page of mtA, www.old.movetoact.org.
Q. Has HSI already responded to any of the issues your campaign has bought up (as listed on the mtA home page)?
Action to issue 1:
Ongoing public disclosure of audited financial statements and other relevant HSI financial documents.
Because of the meeting that mtA had with HSI board officials on February 25th, HSI now states on their website that their audited financial statements are available upon request.
This, however, does not reflect management of trusts, endowments and/or other assets.
Action to issue 2:
HSI has stated but never verified that all monies spent by prior HSI staff on personal items have been repaid.
At the February meeting mtA had with HSI officials we learned that this documentation does not exist, contrary to what the public was told during news conferences at the time the issue came to the media’s attention..
Action to issue3:
Current board acknowledges poor governance.
Public disclosure and detailed accounting of all losses.
Resignation of all board members serving during this period, (2000-2002 when $8M in assets were lost).
HSI Officials said at the meeting with mtA on Feb. 25th, “This is not going to happen.”
Q. Is the current board responsible for the money loss?
A. If Board members who were present from 2000-2002 aren’t responsible, who is? Why would an agency promote its treasurer during the period of credit card abuse and asset loss to the position of board president? MtA asks if you feel this to be responsible behavior? Does this invite a donor’s trust?
What is disconcerting is that this agency has the same board members soliciting donations and bequests from the community NOW who were present on the board during the loss of more than $8M from its treasury from 2000-2002. Why would we want this agency to continued to be managed by individuals with this kind of track record? Permitting this perpetuation betrays the animals for which the agency is supposed to be serving!
Q. What if someone demanded to see the accounting records of our nonprofit organization?
A. As stated above, a nonprofit is not required to provide any more than the 990 tax return. However, in an era where obfuscation and malfeasance are the norm in many segments of the private sector, the public sector should strive to be above reproach. Many “non-profit” board members come from the private sector. Disclosures beyond the 990’s, if necessary, should be readily disclosed for the public to make informed decisions. Vigilance, in whatever forms it takes, to ensure this occurs should be encouraged by the non-profit in question. If they do not, we would ask, why not? What do they have to hide?
Q. Will mtA sell or use the petition signature list for solicitation or mailings?
Remember, 13,000+ animals will flood onto our city streets and into the central Indiana animal rescue system resulting in increased animal suffering and an increased kill rate in our community unless HSI wasting is halted and accountability is brought to the table. The goal of mtA is to prevent this from happening by providing the agency with leadership and direction. Please join us and Act now.
Thanks to everyone for moving to ACT! Please continue with your efforts to help bring the Humane Society of Indianapolis back to the agency we know the animals and community of donors can trust.
Warren and Karen Estridge Patitz
Cofounders of MovetoACT