Anonymous Donor Saves Local Animal Shelter from $14,000 Tax Debt

Two dogs in an animal shelter waiting to be adopted

Attorney Matthew Wurstner of Burnett Legal Group was representing the ‘Paws R Us’ animal shelter in Omaha for a tax-related conflict when an anonymous Good Samaritan changed everything. While Attorney Wurstner was arguing before the Sarpy County Board of Equalization to try to get $14,000 in unpaid taxes waived, a woman – who asked to remain anonymous – stood up from the group of others awaiting their time before the board and announced she would happily pay the tax debt and any legal fees related to the case. You can imagine the surprise in the air when a total stranger made such a generous donation so suddenly and when it seemed the board was digging in its heels.

From all of us at Burnett Legal Group, thank you to the anonymous Good Samaritan for showing such kindness to an amazing local animal shelter! You have not only changed the lives of the ‘Paws R Us’ team, but you have also saved potentially hundreds of stray and abandoned cats who would not have found a home had the shelter shuttered.

Details About the ‘Paws R Us’ Tax Debt Case

The owner of ‘Paws R Us’ was frustrated to find that her animal shelter owed $14,000 in taxes because she missed the filing deadline of a single form. Five years ago, she was injured in a propane pool heater explosion accident. During her recovery from this accident, she fell behind on tax documents that needed to be filled out each year. When she forgot to finish one form on time last year, the animal shelter she helped run was the one that took the hit.

After almost an hour of arguing with the Sarpy County Board of Equalization, Attorney Matthew Wurstner was interrupted by the anonymous Good Samaritan, who announced she would pay in cash to settle the tax debt and legal fees. In what can only be described as an unexpected day, Matthew met with the donor after the County Board meeting, where the stranger handed him enough cash to cover the tax debt and legal fees, just as she had promised. The donor was comfortable handing it over to Matthew because he has a “trustworthy face,” which we agree.

Currently, the money is locked away in a trustee account until the case concludes. The Sarpy County commissioner and Matthew are researching to see if the tax bill can be appealed and the debt waived. If so, then the anonymous donor said the money should instead be used on “hay and pet food” for the shelter.

This case has a special place in Matthew’s heart, as he is an animal-lover and owner of two rescued pets. Matthew adopted one of his two cats, Louis, after finding him as a stray near the Burnett Legal Group office. His other cat Betty was adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society after being found as a stray.

It’s all like something out of a movie, but it’s a reality made possible by one woman’s kindness and generosity. Again, on behalf of our team and everyone who loves the ‘Paws R Us’ animal shelter, thank you!

To learn more about Burnett Legal Group in Omaha and the legal services we offer, feel free to fill out an online contact form at any time.