By Mekialaya White

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – In Scott Cromer’s 10 years working at Lifeline Puppy Rescue, he’s poured a lot of time and passion into helping raise money for the organization. The rescue obtains most of its funds from its largest yearly fundraiser in the form of a firefighter and puppy calendar.

(credit: CBS)

“We spend countless hours. Many volunteered hours putting this together, a whole community effort putting this together,” said Cromer. “It’s something we budget every year to try to pull funds from to help with the shelter, the puppies. If something comes up with an emergency medical issue we can help with that.”

But on Monday, he made a discovery about their fundraising efforts that he described to CBS4’s Mekialaya White as disheartening.

“I was shocked, to be honest with you. I really was shocked,” said Cromer. “We were searching Amazon, and we saw these other fake calendars pop up. It took us back for a moment. We had to do a double take. Like were we in an alternate reality to see these different calendars pop up with our images and saying that it benefits us, and putting out a poor quality product on top of that.”

The fraudulent calendars feature photos the shelter has used in past years, and the scammers are selling them for profit.

(credit: CBS)

“I would imagine they did this last year or the summer and were just waiting for the right opportunity to strike. I don’t want to take it personally, but it’s hard not to. Not only are we losing sales and being able to save puppies, but they’re stealing.”

Cromer says every calendar sold saves one puppy from a high-kill shelter that they partner with across the Rocky Mountain Region. This year, the nonprofit is expecting to take in 1,800 dogs, with the help of the calendar funds.

“When this is being taken advantage of, that really hurts the rescue,” added Cromer. “I just can’t understand why someone would do this.”

Cromer says the legitimate calendars also have a special seal on the bottom right corner.

Mekialaya White