Flintshire sanctuary 'taking in animals' despite probe

Image source, BBC
Image caption,
A BBC programme exposed animals being kept in poor conditions at the sanctuary

A Flintshire animal sanctuary which is being investigated by the Charity Commission is still taking in animals, its founder has said.

Sheila Stewart said Capricorn Animal Rescue in Padeswood, near Mold, is fully cooperating with the inquiry.

Capricorn's bank accounts were frozen by the charity watchdog in February as part of the probe into claims of financial mismanagement.

The Charity Commission said it does not comment on ongoing inquiries.

Ms Stewart said two new trustees were appointed at the organisation's annual general meeting on Sunday and the charity was still able to make payments with the agreement of an investigator.

"We are taking care of animals. We haven't stopped doing what we do," she said.

"Bills are being paid and everyone's being paid. It's just a longer process."

The commission began looking into the administration of the charity by trustees after a visit found "clear and on-going serious regulatory issues".

These included inadequate financial controls, failure to safeguard and properly account for the charity's assets, and potential unauthorised trustee benefit.

"We want the investigation to clear the charity and that's why we're working with them," Ms Stewart added.

The sanctuary was the subject of a BBC Wales Week in Week Out programme which exposed animals being kept in poor conditions.

The watchdog said it was aware of concerns from members of the public about the welfare of animals in its care but that did not fall within its remit.

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