State audit finds ‘numerous problems’ at Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office says it is revealing a list of weaknesses and deficiencies in the operations at the Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter.

Investigators say they discovered a cash shortage of nearly $10,000 as of June 2, 2017. The shortage they said was due to missing adoption fees, rescue fees that were collected and sent to the Friends of the Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter group, fees tor shots and microchips that were given to the Friends group, money donated to the shelter was also, according to investigators, deposited to the Friends group bank account.

The comptroller’s office says it has also noted 14 separate operations deficiencies in the audit.

According to a news release:
These problems include several accounting and money handling weaknesses, as well as questionable practices such as allowing pet owners to temporarily surrender their pets and then adopt them back after they’ve taken advantage of the shelter’s low cost spay and neuter fees and free vaccines. These problems include several accounting and money handling weaknesses, as well as questionable practices such as allowing pet owners to temporarily surrender their pets and then adopt them back after they’ve taken advantage of the shelter’s low cost spay and neuter fees and free vaccines.”

The state recommends the shelter corrects each of the identified problems.

Comptroller investigators have also reviewed their findings with the district attorney general for the 1st Judicial District.

“Policies and procedures are critical to the operation of any well-run government organization,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “This shelter was operating without any written policies addressing its financial operations. When this failure exists, employees have no guidance.”

Click on the following link to view the report.

Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter Investigation (.pdf)

 

 

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