A Hutt Valley animal shelter was stripped of building materials over the weekend, with the owner losing thousands of dollars worth of equipment meant for building dog shelters.
Animal charity Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) is building 21 shelters for rescue dogs that were previously housed in a stable.
It’s the second time the charity has been robbed in three months, but this time all the security cameras have also been stolen.
Police told 1News they are investigating, while a 43-year-old man is due to appear in Porirua District Court on April 28 in connection with a January 24 burglary.
HUHA CEO Carolyn Press-McKenzie told 1News that two generators were stolen Sunday night, along with all of the company’s nails, screws and 14 sheets of plywood.
“It’s only 4×4 access and it’s really off the beaten track so they had to know where they were going.
“We probably lost around $5,000 worth of building materials each time. The impact isn’t just about the money – we’ve been working so hard and trying for so long to put it all together. It’s been such a community effort, so many people participated and being able to replace these items is going to take a long time.
“It directly affects the lives of the animals we are trying to help.”
Press-McKenzie slept in a horse cart on Monday night to watch the property.
“It’s a similar storyline to the first burglary, so it’s hard to say if they’re related.
“There is such a need for the services we provide and this has been a national effort and it is disappointing that the actions of a few can have such a severe impact on so many people.”
The HUHA Trust has purchased 157 acres of land in the Haywards Hills and is in the process of building a veterinary clinic, cattery, dog sanctuary, training room and animal rehabilitation enclosures.
“If we can’t replace these goods, it will block everything.”
All stolen wood has the OUTPOST lettering on the outside and is therefore easily recognizable.
Press-McKenzie said a box of nine puppies was dropped off at the shelter Monday night.
“A member of the public had found them in a park in Wainuiomata, so the animals are coming in droves and fast right now.”
HUHA employs 17 people, some of them part-time, as well as 80 volunteers.
The charity has set up a Givealittle page for the rebuilding of the animal shelter.
Anyone with information about the theft can call the police on 105 and quote the event number 220425-3670.