Today, staff at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth were shocked to find three of their donation boxes were seriously damaged overnight by thieves who made off with donations from members of the public.
The theft occurred in the early hours of Tuesday 3rd January 2012 and has left the three donation boxes reduced to rubble. In their attempts to access the donations, the thieves ripped the stone donkeys from the top of the boxes and smashed the supporting brickwork. Based on previous year’s donations, staff estimate that the donations boxes contained up to £150 donated by visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend to support the charity’s work.
Dean Hancock, Visitors’ Centre manager, says: “We are completely shocked, both at this dreadful act of theft and the mindless vandalism that accompanied it. These thieves have not only taken the donations but the destructive methods they used to attack the donation boxes will cost hundreds of pounds to put right. Our visitors donate their hard-earned funds to support our work and we are appalled that this has happened. We appeal for anyone who knows anything about this crime to contact the police.”
As the charity is open 365 days a year and does not charge admission fees, it is reliant on the donations of supporters and visitors to carry on its work, in the UK, providing sanctuary to rescued donkeys and riding therapy for children with additional needs and internationally with working donkeys in some of the poorest regions of the world.