Attorney General John Suthers said the group collected $3 million in illegal donations, The Denver Post reported. The lawsuit seeks either a custodian for the Humane Society until its management is replaced, or the transfer of its assets to another organization.
"We want the shelter to remain open," Nate Strauch, a spokesman for Suthers, said. "We're just trying to remove the management."
The group falsely claimed to have a no-kill policy, saying that only 8 percent of the animals in its shelter were euthanized, while actually killing up to 29 percent, the lawsuit claims. Managers also mishandled funds, including paying employees with checks against insufficient funds, the state alleges.
Mary Warren, the group's director, her husband, Robert Warren, who serves as development director, and her daughter, Stephenie Gardner, director of operations, allegedly ignored the Charitable Solicitations Act, failing to register with the state for the past three years.