As most of you know, we here at GoFraudMe are passionate about animal welfare (seriously, spay and neuter!). That’s why cases like this are particularly awful in our humble opinion, and deserve to be blasted from high atop the nearest roof.
Scammers and phony ‘rescuers’ often use animals to tug at heartstrings — whether it is an injured animal in their care or just stolen photos of someone else’s pet — and animal-loving donors are easily parted from their hard-earned money because who doesn’t want to help an animal?
Nicole Hulbig of Clarksville, TN is the perfect example of a fake ‘rescuer’ using animals for her own gain. She was charged with animal cruelty in 2014 after four dead dogs were found at a property she was renting, and charged with an additional 12 counts of cruelty after investigators found 37 bags of dog remains and 39 live dogs in poor condition at property owned by her mother.
Nicole is the founder of RRR Service Dogs, an organization which purported to rescue and train service dogs for disabled veterans and children. Again, who wouldn’t want to give generously to such a noble cause?
Well, people did. According to The Leaf-Chronicle, Hulbig recently pleaded guilty to theft of over $10,000 for using GoFundMe as her personal bank account:
On Friday, Hulbig pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge William Goodman to three years in prison, suspended to probation that will run concurrently with her other probation cases in Montgomery and Sumner counties, according to court records.
While more than 600 people donated to various GoFundMe accounts to raise money for the rescue animals from shelters and train them as service dogs, she will not have to repay those monies because no restitution was ordered.
Police say Hulbig collected over $92,000 in fundraising efforts from January 2013 to April 2014.