Foundation Alleges Dog Rescue Shelter Misused Millions

A breach-of-contract suit is filed against the Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles Inc. and founder Robin Jampol.

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.

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M Flynn MD January 05, 2013 at 03:14 AM
What a gutless, egomaniacal worm Gershman was, strutting around the over-built and financially top-heavy Pontius facility. HE did this and HE did that...what rot. Gershman indeed made a fine bequest but then reneged on it when he couldn't be Top Dog, primarily because he had no clue to the nuances of the rescue networks established long before he paraded forth. His bean-counter mentality has wrecked other organizations (automobiles, health care) that are 1 part dollars and cents but also 1 part love and giving heart-felt effort. Should a drawn-out legal proceeding lead to German Shepherds being put down unnecessarily, I can only hope the Foundation reaps a viral whirlwind of negative publicity. Or maybe I'll manufacture "Gershman Bags" to pick up our dog's poo...now there's a fund-raising slam dunk!
Toy Otahater January 05, 2013 at 04:30 AM
I visited, and adopted a German Shepherd from, the dumpy facility that Westside German Shepherd Resuce had in downtown Los Angeles. It was a dump, but they did wonderful work rescuing so many dogs; accomplishing so much with so little. Then this great benefactor came in and decided to take over; The new facility was beautiful; but when I visited and was told that now the provcess was for the rescue to select which dog would be appropriate for me, I went to Orange County and adopted a German Shepherd there... Since there was a parting of the ways I adopted another German Shepherd from Wesiside, back to the way adoptions should be... He was very generous, but set them up to fail, animal rescues all over the country operate on a tiny budget, and do wonderful work. Now the arrogant ass wants to destroy everything, like a spoiled child he didn't get his way.... Gershman should go to hell....
Vicki Bouchillon January 05, 2013 at 02:58 PM
It's a shame that an organization that has done so much for the dogs of California is subject to another round of disappointment from this foundation. Shame on them. I hope whatever rescue group they decide to "help" again takes a good hard look at their history.
Jeanne Tripicchio January 05, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Who in god's name screws a rescue? I meant sues but screws is more accurate !
Eli Weisman January 05, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Our experience with WSGSR has been good - we have volunteered and fostered many dogs for them this year. We loved their amazing Pontius facility and their dedicated staff for all that they do for the dogs. That said, it seems that this fellow donated a ton of money to build out an idealistic and perhaps unsustainable business model - certainly one that he was unwilling to participate in for the long-haul and one that the rescue was unable to carry forward after he pulled out. Fine - take your toys and go home if things aren't going the way that you want them. However, to then sue the rescue which is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers and foster families and based in a small rented downtown facility is deplorable. What on earth could he expect to get? Some equipment he donated in the first place? To what end? How will this help the dogs? It appears his intentions are clear - shut down the rescue, get revenge, destroy the founder financially, and permanently ruin a good group that has saved thousands of dog's lives.
Hang t Vuong January 06, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Animal rescue is not a money making business venture, the Gershman Foundation considered themselves a charitable foundation, and yet they expected to make money off homeless, sick and unwanted dogs rescued from high kill shelters. Their law suit only hurts those whom they profess to help, the dogs. It's sickening to see this happening to a reputable and dedicated German Shepherd rescue and its founder, Robin Jampol.
M Flynn MD January 08, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Ron Gershman is wealthy, lives off of a trust fund of his father's (per "King of Cons" by Aaron Tonken), and was named a Deadbeat Dad in an Aug 1997 LA Times article. Now he's a Deadbeat Donor and is most likely filing suit to buffer against his reneging on the remaining $2.75 mil (2010 numbers) from the promised grant to WGSR.
Krista Douglass February 07, 2013 at 09:09 PM
The Gershman foundation moved the WGSR from downtown to the Westside to this newly remodeled absolutely beautiful facility. But shortly thereafter they pulled the funding and left the charity (that only wants to save abandoned/ abused dogs), high and dry with no way to pay that huge mortgage. The Gershman foundation set up the Westside Shepherd Rescue to fail. Shame on Gershman! I dont know how he sleeps at night!!!
Vilma Sujodolsky March 18, 2013 at 05:38 PM
I visited the Pontius facility after it opened and I met the Gershmans. I also know some of the volunteers who've worked with Westside for years. I've volunteered at other German Shepherd rescues, too. Any one who is involved with dog rescues knows there's never enough money. The vet bills alone, usually for unexpected ailments, drains the majority of funds available. All non-profit rescues suffer financially. As for the facility being a "dump," in many cases it's because of money issues but the dedicated volunteers keep the place clean, the animals fed, and happy. But to come in, offer financial help, and then pull the rug out from the rescue like the Gershmans did should be a crime. I know that Westside was scrambling trying to find places for their 70 to 90 dogs at the time the Gershmans pulled their funding. They even claim that Westside "gutted" the Pontius facility when they "abandoned" the facility. First of all, they had to move because they didn't have the money to pay for the facility after the Gershmans pulled out. Secondly, they had every right to take the equipment and items inside the facility which were donated to them. If you donate something, it becomes the property of the recipient to be done with as they please. The Gershmans should be ashamed of themselves. I hope not only that they lose the case, but that they have to pay Westside money for the fiasco they caused. Good luck to Westside!!!!
Don Yates March 22, 2013 at 07:41 PM
We have adopted two German Shepherds. One from Burbank and the second from Westside last year. The Westside people and especially Robin helped us select the perfect dog for us. Not only did we get a great fried (Kodak) but came to appreciate the wonderful work they do. These people are in it for the dogs not the money. We have donated, attended fund raisers and even helped them move after the Gershman creeps pulled the rug out from under this great organization. Westside has my highest recommendation and support. The Gershman people need to live up to the commitment they made and quit trying to destroy this wonderful organization.
Dr Linda M Stone March 23, 2013 at 12:44 AM
I have known Robin Jampol and Westside for over 12 years. I have adopted two wonderful German shepherds from them and Robin helped me to adopt a third beautiful German shepherd from another rescue that was reluctant to adopt to someone living out-of-state. I have volunteered from long-distance and made many financial donations over the years. Westside is the absolutely best rescue I have ever encountered. Robin and her volunteers are absolute miracle workers. I don't know the Gershman people, but cannot imagine how anyone could try to bring legal action against Westside or Robin. I certainly hope that Westside's lawyers are able to force the Gershman people to get lost or--even better--be made to honor their original financial commitment AND then get lost.
Ralf Korbner March 23, 2013 at 06:45 AM
I found Westside, when they were in their luxurious facility. I had never seen a shelter such as that. It was so cool, so clean, so LA, so full of love for the dogs, but I learned quickly about dark clouds on the horizon for the dogs and the organization. We adopted an older Shepherd then. Based on that experience Westside, Robin Jampol, the staff and volunteers do God's work, or shall I say a good Shepherd's work? The entire adoption process demonstrated the care for the canine-adoptee. Nothing appeared to be too difficult or take too much time to ensure that the transition to his new home would be a successful and smooth one. It was obvious that this was a labor of love. Some of us sometimes forget: it is about the dogs, the dogs, the dogs, not us. I know Westside will be okay. Too many people care. And to those with money and power (same thing), who can and often do good: Use your special ability to assist less fortunate ones intelligently, compassionately and humbly. If not, the natural cyle of life could provide justice, as some people found out on July 14, 1789.
Woody McShepherd April 03, 2013 at 05:19 PM
"" Who in god's name screws a rescue? I meant sues but screws is more accurate ! "" The answer to your question is ---> ROBIN JAMPOL & her son, now former Winston&Strawn employee. Woody McShepherd
Aaron April 21, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Ron Gershman inherited his money from his father who is as evil as he is. Before Ron Gershman's father died he was broke and his medical licenses was taken way and he was unable to practice at certain prestigious hospitals because his behavior was so disgraceful. If you ever meet him you will see the materialistic, miserable and angry man that he is....
Aaron April 21, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Ron Gershman is an angry dude... He had his medical license taken away from his awful behaviors. He was flat broke until his father passed away.
Woody McShepherd October 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/McGruff.jpg Hey Ron, They either LV ya or H8T ya. From the posts here I'd say you've got more LVr's than H8Tr's. BFAS certainly knows a good thing when they see it! NKLA. Keep up the good work. U & the Mrs. are one of the few who PTMWTMis, and back it up by doing the right thing!!!! When you've got H8Tr's, you've got others showin' THEIR jealous envy. Sorta like . . Mud Ducks envious of The Ugly Ducking. U KNOW what the UGLY DUCKLING turns into right? ---> GLINDA BE the righteous swan. And lead by example! Woody McShepherd, w/admiration, "DO YO THANG HONEY!!!", Aretha Franklin
LMDuke December 25, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Mr. Gershman and his wife should be absolutely ashamed. This rescue started as a small group of dedicated people that was quickly met with an overwhelming demand. They have taken in dogs broken beyond belief - physically and mentally and have found them homes. This seems to me to be about ego - not rescuing dogs, which has been Robin's passion from the beginning. She and her volunteers have saved thousands of animals. What an abuse of the court system. I hope the WS attorneys get this nasty business thrown out of court asap and God bless them for contributing their skills to such a worthy organization.


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