A charitable foundation this week sued a German shepherd rescue organization and its founder, alleging much of the $5 million donated to help care for and provide adoption services at a Westwood facility was misused.
The Ronald and Catherine Gershman Foundation filed the breach-of-contract suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles Inc. and founder Robin Jampol.
The suit seeks damages that include the restitution of funds not used by WGSR and Jampol to rescue, care for and provide adoption and community education services for the animals.
Jampol said she was not surprised by the lawsuit. She said her organization has had a difficult year, in part because the Gershman Foundation stopped its funding. The lack of money forced WGSR to move from the Westwood facility in December to another location downtown, she said.
Jampol said that despite the legal setback, her organization will continue its work while it fights the Gershman Foundation suit with the help of attorneys who have said they will help without charging for their services.
According to the suit, the Gershman Foundation donated money to WGSR from 2008 until this year in the hope Jampol could develop it "from an unstable charity which boarded dogs in appalling conditions" into a safe, modern one that could become "a significant force for animal welfare."
Much of the money donated was for the $17,000-per-month lease of the Westwood care facility and the establishment within it of a fully equipped veterinarian hospital, the suit states.
The Gershman foundation hoped that WGSR could eventually be developed into a self-sustaining organization, according to the suit.
However, Jampol "took in unvetted dogs, jeopardizing WGSR's reputation and damaging its long-term ability to place dogs for adoption," the suit states.
Jampol also did not takes steps to improve management and fundraising within the group, the suit states.
WGSR's failure to follow the follow promises made by Jampol to the foundation forced the charity to stop its funding despite the donation of more than five times the amount contemplated under the grant agreement, according to the suit.