STAFF at the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Ringmer were shocked to discover the premises had been burgled when they arrived for work on Wednesday.
The raider had broken into the charity’s wishing well and money spinner and taken the contents which, although regularly emptied, are estimated to be in excess of £320.
Both receptacles were damaged and locks will need to be replaced. adding to the cost of the loss.
Nigel Mason, Raystede’s Chief Executive, said: “I don’t care if it’s one pound or a thousand; it’s despicable to steal and even more so from a community charity.
“We receive no statutory funding and rely totally on the generosity of the general public to support our work”.
He continued: “The summer holidays are our busiest time for raising donations at our site. We are free to enter and attract many thousands of visitors, who in turn donate in good faith to our cause.
“We know people are struggling to keep their pets in the current economic climate and the demands on our services have dramatically increased.
“It makes this mindless theft even more distressing. I would urge anyone that may know who did this to immediately report them to the police – they will have a significant amount of loose change to try to dispose of.”
It is believed that the theft took place around 11pm on Tuesday night. Images of the thief have been picked up on Raystede’s extensive CCTV system and given to the police.
To make a donation to Raystede during this particularly challenging time, please visit www.raystede.org or phone 01825 840747.