Spice, a five-year-old cat, is one of several animals that were at the Port Alberni SPCA over the holidays when thieves broke into the facility and stole a safe with $700 in donations. Spice is available for adoption. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Thieves steal Christmas donations from Port Alberni SPCA

Staff was forced to move animals to deal with building damage

Some Christmas grinches have stolen hundreds of dollars in donations meant for the Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA branch.

Thieves broke into the SPCA in Port Alberni in the early hours of Dec. 30, breaking windows and doors before stealing a safe containing $700 in donations designated to help abused and homeless animals in the community.

“There was significant damage to an exterior window, two interior windows and an interior door,” said Kaley Pugh, manager at the Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA.

Pugh said she couldn’t believe someone would target a charity, especially the SPCA.

“It was quite disheartening to think someone would break into the shelter and steal money that was meant to help animals,” she said. “The thing that was most upsetting for us was the donation money that was in the safe. We’re super lucky we have fantastic support from our community.

“Thankfully, no animals were harmed during the break-in. The animals were all in their enclosures. There was a fair bit of glass in cages that were near the windows but we’re fortunate the animals weren’t harmed.”

The two dogs, five cats and two kittens had to be transported to Parksville SPCA while the building was being cleaned up and secured, but the animals have since been returned to Port Alberni.

Pugh said although the SPCA is insured, there will be expenses incurred for repairs as a result of the B&E. Even though they have a security system and the police were contacted right away, they have stepped up their security measures, she said. This is something the BC SPCA was looking at doing province wide.

Pugh is hoping people will continue to donate to the SPCA. “Those funds were urgently needed to provide shelter, veterinary care and rehabilitation for our community’s most vulnerable and at-risk animals.”

Animal adoption hours are 1–4 p.m. Monday to Saturday. More information can be found online at www.spca.bc.ca and search for the Alberni-Clayoquot branch.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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