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Dartmouth SPCA thanks community for 'absolutely beautiful' support following break-in

Someone stole food and pet beds from a storage shed just before Christmas
(stock photo)

The Dartmouth SPCA has been overwhelmed by the support it has received in the wake of a theft at its shelter.

The organization's development and communications officer, Taylor Huestis, said someone broke into a storage shed just before Christmas.

When staff arrived one day, instead of pet food and beds, they found nothing but some scattered kibble on the floor.

"It's hard to say exactly how much was stolen because it was a mixture of food we had purchased ourselves, and bags, cases, cans and pet beds that had been donated from the community for our shelter pets," she told CityNews Halifax. "But it was absolutely devastating and our stomachs just sank."

Last week the SPCA announced the break-in on social media, and since then, it has been overwhelmed by the response from donors locally, and around the world.

"It's been absolutely beautiful," Huestis said. "We don't receive any government funding, so supplies like food and bedding, that's entirely covered by donations, but because of the generosity of the community, our shelves are completely full, which means lots of hungry bellies are full too."

"We know it's been an emotional time for everyone, and we're just so overwhelmed in a good way that animal lovers took this sad situation and turned it into such a beautiful and powerful movement."

Since the theft, Huestis said the group has beefed up its security system, but staff didn't file a police report.

"We looked at this as an act that was likely done out of desperation," she explained. "We know we can help more animals by taking a more supportive approach and developing relationships than we ever could by trying to punish or even shame them."

Any pet owners who find themselves in a situation where they are struggling to support their animal can contact the SPCA for help.

"We know many are embarrassed to ask for support or they might be unaware of what resources exist to help them, but we do have a free pet pantry for families in crisis who can't afford pet food or litter," Huestis said. "We're always here to help."


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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