Sullivan County Humane Society treasurer indicted
CLAREMONT — The former treasurer of the Sullivan County Humane Society has been indicted on charges she embezzled funds from the non-profit earlier.
Danyle M. Morse, 38, of Woonsocket Avenue is set to be arraigned on the charges in Sullivan County Superior Court on Monday.
Sullivan County Humane Society president Cheryl Bromley said she and the other members of the non-profit board are working to regain the trust of the community by working with a Lebanon-based accounting firm to evaluate the Humane Society’s accounts and to put into place safe-guards to prevent such problems in the future.
“We are a nonprofit that survives solely on fundraising and donations,” Bromley said.
Allen Damren, former SAU 6 assistant superintendent, has stepped into Morse’s board seat and as the shelter’s new treasurer, Bromley said.
He and his wife became shelter volunteers in October when he retired, he said.
Damren said the allegations are shocking and embarrassing, but he would encourage community members to continue to donate to the non-profit and to come in and speak to the volunteers if they have any questions or concerns.
“This embezzlement is an aberration,” Damren said. “When Cheryl called me and basically said ‘I think we have a problem’ it was terribly shocking. I think it was very disappointing and upsetting to a lot of people and it was heartbreaking.”
In the past year the Sullivan County Humane Society has done so much good, he said. Spaying and neutering more than 850 cats and reducing the stray population through adoptions.
“The community has the need,” Damren said.
The Humane Society had been inactive for many years when Bromley stepped in as president in 2011. Around the same time Morse became a board member. In August of 2012 the Humane Society reopened a shelter for cats and Morse became the treasurer of the shelter. Like most people that work for the Sullivan County Humane Society, Morse was a volunteer, Bromley said. The non-profit has only one employee, who works on a part-time basis.
Morse left in November when it was discovered that she had taken out two large withdraws from the Humane Society’s bank account over the past year, Bromley said.
Morse was indicted by the Sullivan County Superior Court grand jury Dec. 18 on the charge of theft by unauthorized taking.
The charge alleges she withdrew $7,200 from a Bank of New Hampshire money market account belonging to the Sullivan County Humane Society, court records say.
“We obviously feel awful that this happened and that people made donations to the shelter for the animals,” Bromley said. “We work really hard that all of our donations and fundraisings go to the animals so it was heart-breaking to find out this was going on.”
The board is working to come up with fundraising ideas to recoup the lost funds, Bromley said. Morse has not repaid or offered to repay any of the money, she said.
“She hasn’t made any attempt to return any money,” Bromley said.
The charge against Morse carries the penalty of seven and half to fifteen years in prison and a fine of $4,000.
An indictment is not an indication of guilt, but rather a ruling by a grand jury that prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward with charges.