Hollywood’s favorite animal welfare activist Marc Ching has been accused by named vets and pet rescue workers of exaggerating dogs’ injuries to raise more money for his shelter.
Ching, who runs the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation in Sherman Oaks, California, allegedly made several false claims including that rescued dogs had been saved from the meat trade when they were actually injured in road accidents, according to a bombshell report from the Los Angeles Times.
In another alleged incident, Ching claimed an animal that went on to become a poster dog for his firm and had an animal rights bill named after it was sodomized but vets examinations found no evidence of such an assault.
Under Californian law, charities are banned from engaging in deceptive fundraising practices.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and its attorney Russell Selmont for comment.
Hollywood’s favorite animal welfare activist Marc Ching has been accused by named vets and pet rescue workers of exaggerating dogs’ injuries to raise more money for his shelter
Sedna Moseley, who became the foster owner of a rescue pit bull mix named Riley in 2017, told the Times Ching claimed in a Facebook post for the charity that as well as having his face burned with acid and being abandoned by a San Bernardino school, the dog had been sodomized.
‘He was burned with acid. Sodimized. Jaw shattered and broken in separate places,’ reads the Facebook post from August 2017.
The story achieved national attention and led to the introduction of animal cruelty bill ‘Riley’s Law’ supported by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian.
Moseley, who worked as a veterinarian technician at Loma Linda Animal Hospital at the time, said examinations by two separate vets showed the sodomy claims to be false.
One of the vets, Natalia Soto, from Studio City, told the Times she had examined Riley and told the charity the sodomy claims were incorrect but it continued to push the story on social media.
‘I told them I never found any evidence that that happened,’ she said.
Medical records for the puppy, who died from injuries related to its abuse in January, also show no mention of rectal trauma, according to the Times.
Ching claimed Riley (above) – who went on to become a poster dog for his firm and had an animal rights bill named after him – was sodomized but vet examinations found no evidence of such an assault
Sedna Moseley, who became the foster owner of Riley in 2017, said ‘he used my dog to make money’
‘Marc didn’t need to make up anything extra – the truth was more than horrifying,’ Moseley told the Times.
‘He used my dog to make money.’
Both Moseley and Lydia Savala, the owner of local rescue charity Poochmatch who first took the dog to the hospital for treatment before Ching stepped in, claimed Ching told them the violent abuse was the result of a gang initiation.
Ching’s lawyer Selmont told the Times the charity had been told of the sodomy by the owner of a local animal rights group who handed Riley to the shelter.
The woman, who has not been identified, told the outlet she was told the dog had suffered rectal trauma by a vet but could not recall the name of the vet or veterinary hospital.
Selmont also said Soto had examined the ‘many days or weeks’ after the dog was rescued meaning Riley’s injuries had healed.
Medical records seen by the Times show the examination was eight days after Riley’s rescue.
The charity has also been accused of falsely claiming in a 2016 social media post that eight dogs rescued from Thailand were saved from the meat trade and that one had its limbs cut off in a slaughterhouse.
John Dalley, head of Thailand-based Soi Dog Foundation which gave Animal Hope and Wellness the animals, told the Times he had told Ching none of the animals were from the meat trade.
He said Ching was given a history of each animal with most having been injured in road traffic accidents.
The charity has also been accused of falsely claiming in a 2016 social media post that eight dogs rescued from Thailand were saved from the meat trade and that one had its limbs cut off in a slaughterhouse
The Facebook post still online shows Ching posing with eight dog cages in an airport (above) writing alongside it: ‘To hope, and to healing. We are coming home. #MarcChing and eight #DogsFromTheMeatTrade’
The Facebook post still online shows Ching posing with eight dog cages in an airport writing alongside it: ‘To hope, and to healing. We are coming home. #MarcChing and eight #DogsFromTheMeatTrade.’
The charity’s attorney told the Times the claim about the animal with its limbs cut off was ‘an unfortunate but honest mistake’ by the charity’s former executive director Valarie Ianniello.
Ianniello, who has previously filed a complaint to the California attorney general claiming the charity was making misleading claims in soliciting donations, told The Times she wrote the social media post based on what Ching told her.
The ex top charity exec claimed she came to realize many of Ching’s stories about the rescue dogs were ‘created’.
She recalled one allegedly false tale of a puppy that had been raped with a beer bottle.
Selmont told the Times the charity had been given the information from a group that handed the dog to the shelter and that the group has since maintained the details are true.
Ching has made a name for himself as an animal crusader after claiming he was attacked and had the barrel of a machine-gun put in his mouth in a series of dog rescue missions across countries including China, South Korea and Indonesia.
Ching has made a name for himself as an animal crusader after claiming he had the barrel of a machine-gun put in his mouth in a series of dog rescue missions across countries including China, South Korea and Indonesia. Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation above
He enlisted several Hollywood stars for campaigns including a 2016 campaign appeal featuring Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix and Minnie Driver to stop China’s dog meat trade.
A separate investigation by the Times reported that Indonesia butchers featured in the video were paid by Ching to hang a dog and burn it alive for the footage.
It also raised questions about $350,000 spent by the charity on trips to different countries.
Ching has denied the allegations and a statement on the foundation’s website says that the board carried out an internal review which found ‘no evidence of financial wrongdoing and no evidence of Marc paying for torture that would otherwise not occur’.
The latest claims come three months after Los Angeles prosecutors charged Ching with seven counts, including practicing veterinary medicine without a license and false advertising, over allegations he convinced pet owners to give their animals products from his store the Petstaurant instead of prescribed treatments from vets.
Ching is due to appear in court on the charges in March.
This came after he reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in July after he was accused of making false or deceptive claims that some of his products could treat COVID-19 and cancer.