Someone stole $1,000 from a metro-east animal shelter Friday night, which included donations as well as cash that was supposed to be used for its annual trivia night this weekend. Now police are trying to track down suspects.
Partners for Pets said it reported the theft to Madison County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. The shelter said it appeared that someone gained entry after cutting the screen to a window in their cat room. Capt. Mike Dixon said the sheriff’s office was investigating the case, but that no arrests have been made.
Lisa McCormick, the nonprofit’s director and founder, said someone took from a cash box start-up and prize money that was supposed to be used for its trivia night, which is scheduled for Saturday at the Moose Lodge in Edwardsville. McCormick said the box also contained donations made to the shelter.
The director said she believes the burglary happened Friday night, but said the shelter did not realize the money was gone until Monday morning. The screen that had been cut was put back in place, McCormick said. She said she was thankful that none of the cats were hurt during the break-in.
“This is so aggravating because we struggle so hard for what we have here,” McCormick said
Amanda Tackett agreed. Tackett, a volunteer for the nonprofit, described the theft as “disturbing” and “discouraging.”
“We are absolutely stunned that someone would steal from these defenseless animals and the people trying to save their lives,” Tackett said in a news release.
In response to the burglary, the shelter said it launched an online fundraising effort “to install a security system to protect the animals at Partners for Pets.” It set a $25,000 goal. So far, since the YouCaring page was set up, the shelter has raised more than $8,200 from 54 donors.
The nonprofit said it is in the process of moving into a new animal shelter in St. Jacob from its location just outside of Troy. It said it rescues about 1,500 animals per year. The trivia night raises funds to help pay for the new shelter and for medical bills, which the director said range between $15,000 to $25,000 a month.
McCormick said she is offering a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the theft.
Anyone with information pertaining to the case is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 618-692-4433 or the anonymous tip line at 618-296-3000.