We were recently made aware of a fraud scheme using the name of the Roanoke Valley SPCA to steal money and merchandise from at least six area businesses. Susan Johnson who also uses the name Susan Wiltcher created false documents, a fake volunteer profile by the name of Julie Jackson and went so far as to forge our board president’s signature, while posing as a shelter volunteer. When she did not receive donations from one business, she shoplifted from them. Luckily, the business was familiar with our organization and reached out to us. Any businesses or individuals who suspect they may be a victim of this fraud scheme are encouraged to reach out to the Roanoke City Police Department at (540) 853-2212.

The Roanoke Valley SPCA does sometimes solicit items for fundraising events, so please check out our tips to spot a fraudulent solicitation.

  • Do NOT feel obligated to donate on the spot. Take time to verify the solicitor before donating. Donations can also be dropped off at the shelter, rather than being given directly to a solicitor.
  • Do NOT call numbers given to you by the solicitor to verify legitimacy.
  • DO call the shelter’s CEO, Denise Hayes, directly at: 540-339-9500 to verify legitimacy.
  • DO ask to see a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license from any solicitors.
  • DO look for an official Roanoke Valley SPCA nametag that every solicitor should be wearing.  
  • DO check out the shelter’s event listings to verify an event is legitimate: https://rvspca.org/events/list/
  • DO look for professional paperwork. Anyone soliciting for the Roanoke Valley SPCA will have a branded auction donation form, a request letter signed by Roanoke Valley SPCA CEO Denise Hayes, and the Roanoke Valley SPCA IRS determination letter with them.

We absolutely appreciate anyone willing to donate to our organization and are appalled that someone would go to these lengths to steal from our community and from pets in need.


Below are photos of Susan from security footage and examples of the fraudulent and forged documents used in this scheme. Please note that the first three documents are generic donation receipt forms that we believe Susan Johnson/Susan Wiltcher likely found online. Any items from the Roanoke Valley SPCA will be branded and professional in appearance. The fourth document was presented as information about the fake event. This document has multiple red flags. First, the Roanoke Valley SPCA wordmark is skewed. The document claims that an itemized list of donations can be found on our website, but then lists an email address instead of a website. The paperwork mentions to pick up your raffle tickets downtown, but never says where. The entire form is very unprofessional. Again, if you or someone you know believes that you have been a victim of this scheme, please reach out to the Roanoke City Police Department at (540) 853-2212.