Just a strange turn of events.

The Animal Rescue League opened a $7 million facility in Pembroke, five years ago. The expansive 9-acre property includes the league’s state-of-the-art shelter and a single-family house built for the league’s director of operations and his family, and an adjoining 60-acre nature sanctuary and dog walk.

But, now, the league has put the property up for sale

League officials have said the organization’s finances were hit hard by the market downturn in late 2001, which also affected its plans to build a similar state-of-the-art shelter in Ipswich. The league’s endowment lost an estimated $20 million between 2002 and 2006, league officials said, and if losses continued at that rate, the entire endowment could be depleted in 13 years.

But the league said the decision to close the Pembroke shelter is also tied to its change of strategy in providing animal welfare services. Under new leadership, the league is shifting its focus toward providing more mobile services, instead of brick-and-mortar facilities.

Hmmm. Something just doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t seem as though other not-for-profits have suffered any investment losses. Why has the Animal Rescue League?

What went wrong?

I think there’s more to this story. Well, let me just come out and say it. I wonder if there was any financial malfeasance going on.

The nonprofit’s president recently retired, after heading the league for more than 40 years.

Maybe he knows what’s going on?

More: In the end, shelter is a loss to all – By Emily Sweeney, The Boston Globe

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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