Charity boss Simon Price nicked as £450,000 goes walkies from Birmingham Dog Home's coffers

AN animal charity boss has been arrested after £450,000 of donations were stolen.

Simon Price, 52, chief executive of Birmingham Dogs Home, was seized by police on Friday.

Trustees are believed to have confronted him in September about the missing cash, much of it left by dog lovers in their wills.

Sources said suspicions were raised after Mr Price spent “at least £75,000” on his wedding to co-worker Alayna Warner, 37.

A friend said: “It was no expense spared.”

Mr Price is alleged to have flown to Spain soon after.

He is thought to have been arrested at Birmingham International Airport on his return to Britain.

One source said: “He threw an extravagant wedding which left people asking, ‘How did he afford this?’

“The amount apparently totals £450,000.

“The board of trustees approached him and asked where it had gone.

“He walked out, went home, left Alayna a note and flew to Barcelona.”

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Moonlight flit … Price is alleged to have left Alayna a note before flying to Barcelona

BDH, founded in 1892, had £2.7million in donations and legacies last year — including one gift of £1million alone.

The charity helped re-home 3,356 dogs last year as Mr Price was hailed “the real hero” for overseeing a move to a new £5.5million site near Solihull.

West Midlands Police confirmed a man aged 52, from Solihull, had been arrested and bailed on suspicion of theft.

BDH’s chairman of trustees John Wheatley said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened.

“I am hopeful that we can recover the funds.”

The Charity Commission said it will decide on any “appropriate regulatory action”.

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