Thieves’ Donkey Sanctuary charity cash raid

BREAKING NEWS: Criminals leave trail of destruction at Sidmouth venue

THIEVES stole �150 of charity cash and left a trail of destruction at Sidmouth’s Donkey Sanctuary when they struck in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, January 3).

Criminals ripped stone donkeys from the top of collection boxes and smashed supporting brickwork to access cash.

Staff at the Weston sanctuary said it will cost hundreds of pounds to fix the damage.

Dean Hancock, visitors’ centre manager, told the Herald: “We are completely shocked, both at this dreadful act of theft, and the mindless vandalism that accompanied it.

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“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.”

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Bosses at the Weston sanctuary estimated that, based on the previous year’s donations, the boxes contained up to �150 donated by visitors over the New Year bank holiday weekend.

The Donkey Sanctuary is open 365 days a year and doesn’t charge admission fees. The cause is reliant on the donations of its supporters and visitors.

Stolen funds would have helped the charity to continue to provide sanctuary to rescued animals, riding therapy for children with special needs, and international work with donkeys in some of the poorest regions of the world.

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