Leader of Pet Rescue Accused of Stealing Funds

The storm-damaged shelter reopened last August after renovations.

Elizabeth Katherine Bauer, the former president of P.U.P. Laguna (Protecting Unwanted Pets), was arrested last week for suspicion of embezzling nearly $72,000 from the pet rescue’s accounts, police said today.

Bauer, 40, of Mammoth Lakes, served as president of the mostly volunteer organization from 2006-2011, and was taken into custody in Laguna Beach last week, according to police Lt. Jason Kravetz.

After Bauer resigned in March, the new president noted several bank account irregularities and made repeated requests of Bauer for an explanation, but was instead provided with excuses, he said.

The same day a crime report was filed, an investigator surprised Bauer when she arrived at the animal shelter for a meeting, Kravetz said.

After an interview, the investigator arrested Bauer after determining she allegedly had embezzled nearly $72,000 from P.U.P. Laguna accounts, Kravetz said.

Bauer is alleged to have used the money to pay rent on a Dana Point home, purchase ski lift tickets in Mammoth and to make repairs on her Mammoth Lakes property.

Bauer was booked for embezzlement and grand theft in the city jail and posted bail later that evening.  She is due in court for arraignment on July 5.

Kravetz declined to provide further details.

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