A recent theft of donation funds from a local animal rescue has left the organization feeling disheartened.
Shuswap Paws Rescue Society had a small can for collecting donations set up at the Sicamous Bosley’s/Pet Valu store. The can was stolen early in the evening of April 9, confirmed Sicamous RCMP Const. Ryan Guest.
Video footage of the theft was captured on security cameras and shared by Shuswap Paws volunteer Siobhan Rich.
Rich said this was the third theft this year of donations intended for the rescue. The previous thefts were not reported to the RCMP, said Guest.
He confirmed the RCMP is aware of the suspect and is forwarding a report to Crown counsel for theft under $5,000.
While a lot of the rescue’s fundraising is done online, Rich said the organization also relies on monetary donations gathered from public initiatives like at Pet Valu, and through bottle drives.
“One can is worth 10 cents,” said Rich. “We think there was about $50 in the jar, so that’s 500 bottles that we have to collect to replace. That’s a lot when you think about just one person trying to do that.”
Rich also said the average vet bill for an injured animal is around $750, and the rescue does spay and neuter operations for animals that come into their care, as well as to help elderly people and those who can’t care for their pets.
Shuswap Paws is non-profit and volunteer-funded, helping animals from Sicamous, Enderby, Malakwa, Sorrento, Chase and beyond. Rich said the rescue helps over 1,000 animals a year, and saw 351 animals in Sicamous alone in 2022.
As they enter into kitten season and prepare to spay, neuter and organize foster homes for anywhere from 100-200 kittens in the next two months, Rich said the rescue needs all the help it can get.
Donations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and bottle donations can be organized on the Shuswap Paws Facebook page.