Animal shelter fundraising effort burglarized

April 27, 2012 4:20:04 PM PDT
File this one under 'no good deed goes unpunished.' A Liberty County store Eyewitness News just featured two days ago that was preparing to hold a big fundraiser was robbed just hours after that story aired.

The Old Wells Store in Tarkington is still preparing for a county-wide garage sale to raise money to open an animal shelter. Most all of the items for sale are there for a reason -- to sell and make cash to put towards opening the animal shelter which everyone in this community says is desperately needed.

Just two days ago, the Old Wells Store had some big ticket items for sale, saddles were among them. But just two days later they're gone -- not purchased, but stolen. Also taken from the store was about $150 from a donation jar.

"They must be pretty desperate for some money to come in and take something that's from a non-profit, something that's going to help the animals in our community," said Ruth Stetson, Vice President of the North Liberty County Animal Shelter.

A back window on the building was broken out and that's where the burglars got in. None of the windows had burglar bars.

"Of course we boarded it up, to try to keep somebody else out, of course," Stetson said.

Stetson says since 2005 she has been the driving force behind raising money to actually open the shelter.

"I field anywhere from eight to 10, even a dozen phone calls a week, people calling with animals they want to donate or they have seen, or that have been dropped off on their property," Stetson said.

So far, enough money has been raised to purchase land, but today the land still sits empty. Volunteers with the animal shelter say they're just shocked that the people behind the break-in would be so petty.

"We're working so hard for every little bit, it seems like we just get a little bit at a time," volunteer Linda Ross said.

Ross said even with the financial set-back, they're not giving up. They will continue to raise money to make sure all animals have a place to call home.

"It affects the animal," she said. "It's less animals that we can help."

A lot of money is still needed to get the shelter up and running. They say they need at least $30,000. That's not including the money still owed for the land.

To donate, contact Ruth Stetson at 281-761-3469.

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