Over the past several weeks, Facebook users have voted for their favourite charities in the Chase Community Giving program, which will distribute $5 million to the 196 charities that receive the most votes. Ashley Owen Hill, the co-founder of Pet Pardons, and founder of Lucky Dog Rescue in Meridian, Mississippi, is currently in 5th place with 24,049 votes, and in position to win a $100,000 prize.
However, several independent investigations are now casting doubt upon the validity of these votes. A week ago, DogsInDanger.com, a charity that helps save the lives of dogs scheduled to die in shelters, reported that they had monitored the voting patterns for many other charities, including Lucky Dog Rescue. Their conclusion?
Five million dollars is a lot of money for needy charities and some are resorting to vote rigging, stealing millions from the neediest people. … After monitoring voting patterns of many of their competitors, DogsInDanger.com executives found clear examples of vote tampering. Large percentage[s] of votes were coming from seemingly fake accounts with no activity or content outside of voting to receive the cash prizes. According to Facebook’s own estimates, over 83 million Facebook accounts are fake … In order to authenticate their findings, DogsInDanger.com conducted an undercover investigation and spoke with several technology firms that claimed to have enabled other organizations to successfully rig online competitions. These companies offered to sell DogsInDanger thousands of votes in the Chase Giving contest for just pennies per vote. Using this fake Facebook network, it is possible to win the top $250,000 prize with just about a thousand dollars invested in buying votes.
We have noticed that many Lucky Dog Rescue voters are not Americans, and do not speak English. Posts asking for votes on the Pet Pardons Facebook page have lately been inundated by comments in Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and Turkish, which is obviously highly suspicious for an English-only site, with (normally) only English comments.
A short list of accounts we have flagged includes: adriana.ausilio, agustina.fernandez.121772, AlesgaMarmoleria, andrea.vegakuri, annegrethe.t.carlsen, beluu.luuiis, blanquita.fina, Caaariiitooo.O.H, cesar.fragoso.39, cminfante78, david.valencia99, deciimeaguustinitha.delbajo, enzo.rojasprudencio, estefania.garcia.92798072, ezgi.umut.doruk, facundo.romero.355, fernando.cimadom, francisco.aceves.315, gaby.dominguez.5477, giseellestefany.caceresportilla, gustavo.lajas, isabelcristina.gomez.3, jaquelin.rodriguez.716, javier.soprano.3, jezabel.pliegoleana, JHONMARTINEZQ, joel.vargas.3517, jose.pintoseguel, joseadrian.gguzman, jovanna.rapeta, julianandres.corderoordonez, lala.robles.9, lenoonmackarneyy, leslyguadalupe.cidestrella, maria.colaco.9, mariaeugeniamaciel22, MariahVG, mariaisabel.contrerassanches, marianna.alcantar, mariateresa.ardoncalix1, matias.barraza.165, meluu.romeritaa, miguel.romeroprado, mily.chamorro.1, moises.ramirezcamarillo, nash1009, omarjhovanni.hernandezrodriguez, patricia.castro.372, rachel.quintana.39, rainbowyoga, ramonero.cetera, raoul.cooper.7, richimulticolor, rocco.ianniruberto, samantha.esquitinhernandez, scholiodigisis.karras, sheyla.montesnavarro, tandannateniaqueser, unapatita.amiga, valecade.cantinero, wanda.gomez.9085, and ykeepaza.
This activity has been reported to Chase Community Giving management, along with a list of known and suspected sock puppet accounts owned by Ashley Owen Hill’s associate, Jeromie Williams, who has written about cheating in the program.
The DogsInDanger.com press release concludes:
“It is despicable that other organizations would resort to vote rigging and stealing funds from honest, deserving charities that play by the rules. When charities steal from each other, how much lower can our society go?” said Alex Aliksanyan, Founder and President of DogsInDanger.com.
DogsInDanger and other reputable charities for causes like children’s cancer, the homeless, etc. are being overwhelmed by the cheaters, unable to compete. Charities are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars which are critical to their activities. Unscrupulous cheaters are stealing these much-needed funds under Chase and Facebook’s noses.
DogsInDanger.com is a free service for shelters and adopters, allowing people to search for dogs in urgent need. In the economic climate of the past two years, funding for DogsInDanger.com has decreased substantially. Winning funds in competitions like Chase Community Giving is instrumental to their continued operations.
Given that cheating would represent a significant violation of the program rules, we have asked Chase to reconsider the eligibility of Lucky Dog Rescue. We would also like to note, for the record, that we are not affiliated with any of the other charities in the competition.
However, like DogsInDanger.com, we would like to see the funding go to reputable, legitimate charities, not cheaters and deception artists. As I have pointed out before, it’s not hard to guess which category Ashley Owen Hill falls into. It seems to us she spends much of her time making disgusting videos, and writing heart-wrenching but fictional stories on her blog (literally all of which beg for donations).
Then, I paid the $400 vet bill I wasn’t quite prepared for, helped Delilah into the car, and drove her home. This weekend, Delilah has required around-the-clock care from me. She’s very weak, very sick, and very needy right now. Seeing her like this… well… it’s beyond heartwrenching.
Initially… upon return, she wouldn’t eat at all. But soon, I learned that “people food” was enough to entice her.
So… instead of dog food, she’s been sharing people food with me. Actually… it’s more accurate to say that I’ve simply been giving her all of my own food, and taking none for myself, which has honestly made me insanely happy. She needs it… much more than I do right now.
In other words, DONATE NOW or she might starve!!! Again, sorry, I just don’t believe her.
As the The Pet Advocates Network has pointed out, there is no transparency at the “Lucky Dog” rescue. No disclosure of financial records, or veterinary records, or adoption records, or anything else. And no website, just a blog, with a call for donations. That’s it.
And the fact that neither she nor Chris Hoar have ever responded to our many questions about Jeromie Williams, his death threats, his many scams, and his embezzlement from legitimate animal rescuers just raises more questions.
We hope that they will all be answered before Chase gives Lucky Dog Rescue a nickel.