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October 15, 2015

N.Y. State Shutters Pet Hospice Supported by Celebrities

New York State officials have closed an upstate shelter for ill and injured dogs and cats, accusing its owner of multimillion-dollar mismanagement, reports the Associated Press. The group had won televised kudos from Oprah Winfrey.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Susan Marino, owner of the Angel's Gate animal hospice, steered $3.1 million raised from 2007 to 2012 into personal expenses and failed to file required financial reports.

Mr. Schneiderman's office filed suit in 2012 seeking to shut down the charity in rural Delhi, N.Y. A state Supreme Court judge ordered the dissolution last month and permanently barred Ms. Marino — who had been convicted of animal cruelty following investigations of the hospice by animal-rights groups — from taking in rescue pets.

Angel's Gate received a flood of contributions after being featured on Ms. Winfrey's show in 2008. The charity was also touted by TV hosts Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart and won an award from the ASPCA. Mr. Schneiderman said money remaining after the 98-acre Angel's Gate property is sold and creditors paid will go to another animal-welfare charity. Ms. Marino could not be reached for comment.