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Monday, Jun 20, 2011County: Washington
Disposition: Not Charged
Case Images: 1 files available
Person of Interest: Brenay Randolph
A woman accused of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars running a fake animal rescue is now facing legal action from the Oregon Attorney General.
Brenay Randolph of Hillsboro ran an organization called Tiny Paws Puppy Rescue. She told people she was trying to find new homes for dogs seized from puppy mills. In the process, she convinced people to pay her hundreds of dollars per dog in the name of charity.
She claimed the puppies came from counties that had seized them, but every county she listed online denied supplying Randolph with any rescued dogs.
KATU first confronted Randolph about the alleged scam in the fall of 2010. At the time she claimed she had just taken over Tiny Paws and knew nothing about the allegations it was a scam.
After that story aired, the Oregon Attorney General's office started its own investigation.
"The organization was completely out of line with the law," said Oregon Attorney General John Kroger. "They were not a real charity, they were not legally allowed to solicit donations, they were not allowed to promise people tax deductibility and the representation about where the animals were coming from was false."
To avoid a criminal trial, court records show Randolph agreed to never run Tiny Paws again or run any sort of charity in Oregon.
If she violates those conditions, Randolph could face a penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation.
>> Read the court documents
By her own account, Randolph sold nearly 200 animals through Tiny Paws at up to $400 a piece. Some of those animals came down with potentially deadly diseases.
Joshua Reynolds' dog Moxie was one of the Tiny Paws puppies. But shortly after getting Moxie, the dog became very ill from the parvo virus. His vet bill was $2,400.
Reynolds might have a legitimate claim to get his money back from Randolph, but it would be very difficult to collect.
"The problem with this case, like in many of these cases, is that there are no assets to seize," Kroger said. That means Randolph has spent all the money she got from running Tiny Paws.
Randolph could also be charged criminally, but Kroger said of the 14,000 charities in Oregon, the state only has two full-time lawyers ,plus one part-time lawyer, to police them all.
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