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

Community comes forward to help Port Alberni SPCA

Thieves targeted the animal shelter, stealing donations meant to help animals in care

The Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA branch has received an outpouring of support after they revealed some Christmas grinches stole hundreds of dollars in donations during a break-in on last month.

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

“There has been quite an outpouring of support from the community,” said Kaley Pugh, manager at the Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA. “We’ve actually had quite a few quite generous people step forward,” including someone who indicated they would like to replace the whole amount stolen.

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

READ MORE: Thieves were busy in Port Alberni over Christmas holidays

“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 grateful people 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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