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Thief caught on camera stealing can drive donations from animal rescue group

Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 17:58:57-04

WALKER, MIch — A pet rescue group is hoping you can help them catch whoever stole hundreds of donated cans on Labor Day.

The thieves helped themselves to everything at the donation drop-off site in Walker.

“Kind of in disbelief that someone would steal from dogs and cats, “ said Pet Tales Rescue Volunteer Karla Cook.

Cook and employees at Grand Rapids Metaltek in Walker tell FOX 17 that cameras caught a person pull up to their side driveway and immediately start loading the bags of donates cans and bottles into their car.

Cook said, “They knew where they were going. They pulled right up and started emptying immediately.”

There were so many bags, the thief had to make three trips to round up allof the donations.

“This person must have known that Labor Day was their best opportunity to be here without somebody catching them,” Cook said.

Pet Tales is a volunteer rescue group, so they don’t have a building of their own, but there were signs posted on the bins outside Metaltek, letting people know where they could leave their donations.

Cook said, “We think it may have been upwards of $300.”

Since the organization had to cancel their usual fundraisers this year, they’ve been doing can drives.

“To date it’s been the largest fundraiser we’ve done this year,” Cook said.

Their efforts have earned them around $4,000 so far, but Cook wants the person on their surveillance cameras to know who they really stole from: the dogs and cats in their care.

Cats like Jasper, who live in the Metaltek office, often need hundreds of dollars in medical care before they can be adopted.

Cook said, “Our vaccinations only cost $15 each, a spay and neuter is under $50, so we could’ve saved a lot of animals for that.”

The group estimates that they’ll have about $95,000 in vet bills this year. They’ve already cared for more than 500 animals in 2020.

“We are looking at massive expenses and a difficulty to fund them and somebody just stole from them.”

Since posting the footage on Facebook Tuesday, dozens of people have commented and shared the post and promised to donate.

Cook said they’ve had a huge outpouring of support and that means a lot.

“It’s encouraging, it’s nice to know that people care and that people are just as upset as we are,” she said.

Cook understands a lot of people are struggling right now, but hopes they can catch whoever made their struggle even greater.

She said, “We do need it as well, so I just wish that they would reach out to different venues to get help instead of stealing from our organization.”

Pet Tales is still taking can and bottle donation, but if you’d like to give money, you can do so directly on their website.