GENOA – An Illinois Attorney General’s Office official said they received a response from The Barn on Baseline after inquiring about the group’s state registration status.
Eileen Boyce, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said the state office recently learned from a local activist that the animal shelter was operating and fundraising as normal, but hasn’t been registered with the state after the group failed to file complete annual reports for 1993. As a result, she said, the office sent The Barn on Baseline a letter July 20 to inquire about their state filing status and received a response from the shelter Monday.
Boyce said it’s not that out of the ordinary for charities in the state to not know that they might not be properly registered with the state, and the state frequently deals with charities not giving the correct information to do so. Bottom line, she said, the state office just wants to solve the registration issue.
“We want to get that in compliance with the law and have them registered with our office,” Boyce said.
Boyce said the next steps include reviewing what The Barn on Baseline sent the attorney general’s office and determining appropriate action from there.
Sycamore resident Drew Alexander has been leading a group of people protesting conditions at the animal shelter after he and his girlfriend, Katy Schertz of Sycamore, adopted a sick chihuahua named Bert on June 15. Bert’s Brigade, the group led by Alexander that is advocating for the chihuahua, recently protested The Barn on Baseline not being a registered charity with the state of Illinois and not being able to accept donations.
Roberta Shoaf, president of the volunteer group DeKalb County Animal Welfare League that runs The Barn on Baseline, said via email that no one at the agency was aware that a report from 1993 had not been filed. She said no one else still is around from that time.
Shoaf said via email that the group immediately responded to the attorney general’s office once they received the letter.
“I find it interesting that Mr. Alexander went to the attorney general instead of bringing it to me,” Shoaf said via email.
Shoaf did not return a request for follow-up comment via phone call from the Daily Chronicle.
Boyce said people who are considering donating to charities in Illinois can properly vet organizations’ legitimacy through the attorney general’s public database. She said it’s important for residents to have access to that information and for it to be accurate.
“We want to be sure that all of the charities across the state are up to date with that,” Boyce said.