The kennels, worth £450 each, were intended to be part of a larger fundraising shipment to Cyprus to be distributed to 40 different rescuers across the Mediterranean island. After the theft, the team behind animal charity Take Away the Tears want to make the equipment “too hot to touch” so the criminals will “hopefully” feel pressured to return it.
Sue Nuttall, co-founder of Take Away the Tears, said the gray fiberglass shelters “are of no use to anyone except as kennels,” adding that she was “ashamed” that the promised delivery couldn’t be delivered as expected.
She added: “It’s a very sad world for someone to steal under these circumstances.
“They were marked ready for loading, so these people knew they were stealing from a charity. You are the scum of the earth.”
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A container containing over 100 animal cages, 150 plastic beds, 91 boxes and 166 bags filled with leashes, collars, toys and bedding, as well as 180kg of cat litter and 50 pieces of rubber-backed carpet and mats was sent to Cyprus last week – but without a kennel.
One of them can accommodate two large dogs and is divided in two, while the other is designed for three and divided into three.
Both were marked for delivery to Rescue and Rehome Cyprus and SPDC in the capital Nicosia, bearing the Take Away the Tears logo and a label reading ‘Donated not for resale’.
Speaking to ChronicleLive, Ms Nuttall said: “We know the vehicle, we know exactly what it is and we know exactly when the thefts took place. It’s all on video surveillance and you can see the kennels being stolen. What we don’t have, unfortunately, is the registration number.
“We also know that everyone who took them is within a 15 minute radius of the warehouse as the van they used wasn’t big enough to hold both kennels so they drove in, loaded it up, drove away and came back within 30 minutes. That means wherever they dropped her off, it’s within fifteen minutes.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We are investigating the theft of two kennels from a property on Bellingham Drive, Benton, between 12.30pm and 1.15pm on April 18. Investigations to identify those responsible are still ongoing.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police via the Tell Us Something page on their website or by calling 101 and crime number 046696X/22.