Even before wild animals were running around loose in Muskingum County this week, a man was running around loose in Columbus, soliciting funds for a charity that helps homeless domestic animals.

He’s not legit.

“Our shelter doesn’t have anyone going door to door asking for donations,” said Meg Long, who is on the board and is a volunteer coordinator for Clintonville-based Pets Without Parents.

A white man in his 20s has been doing that since at least as far back as Sept. 29, in not only Clintonville but also Worthington and the Sawmill area, according to Long.

“We don’t really know who he is,” she said. “We’ve turned it over to the police and we’ve made a report on it. He’s even cashed checks payable to the shelter.

“We just want to get the word out because people think they’re helping us and we’re not getting those funds.”

In addition to asking for donations, the man is also seeking to sell coupon books, Long added.

Pets Without Parents is a no-kill, all-breed shelter for dogs and cats that was founded in June 2001. The shelter is located at 629 Oakland Park Ave.

Donations that will actually reach the nonprofit organization may be made securely over the website, petswithoutparents.net/.