The manager of the Nelson SPCA is “disheartened” after the donation box at their adoption centre was swiped last week.
Rob Andrew says they’ve narrowed the timeframe for the crime to a five-to-ten minute window between 6 and 6:30 p.m. last Friday.
The facility was closed, but a staff member was walking a dog and the alarm system was off.
“It’s possible the front door didn’t latch,” Andrew says. “They didn’t use any tools to get in that I could tell.”
He says the thief was “almost waiting for an opportunity” and must have known exactly what they were doing. The locked donation box was smashed open and discovered in the alley the following day.
Andrew estimates it contained $300 to $400, accumulated over a few months — which would otherwise have been used to look after animals.
“That could care for an old cat for a year if we had to keep one,” he says. “That could be four cat spay/neuters or two dog spay/neuters. It’s huge. We operate at a loss so every dollar is massive as far as our long-term viability.”
The SPCA receives no government funding and relies on donations to survive.
Police are investigating but found no useful fingerprints and have few leads.
While money has been stolen from the shelter before, Andrew says it was never in these circumstances.
“I hope whoever it was needed it. I’m sure it’s already been spent — I’m not holding out too much hope for getting the money back, but would like to know who did it.”
Andrew says he would hate to learn it was someone they’ve helped.
“It’s really disheartening, mostly. But being in this position I have the pleasure of seeing hundreds of things that warm my heart as well.”
Anyone with information on the theft can contact the Nelson Police Department at 250-354-3919 or the SPCA at 250-352-7178.
The adoption centre is in the Savoy Lanes building at 520C Falls Street.