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Cat Sanctuary owner Clare Baumberg condemns collection box thieves who stuck at Animal House Veterinary Surgery

By Mercury reporter

The owner of a cat sanctuary has condemned the actions of two heartless thieves who swiped a collection box raising money for vulnerable moggies.

The brazen pair walked into Animal House Vet Surgery in Deal and used a lighter to burn through a rope attaching the box to the front desk before walking off with it.

It contained money for the Kingsdown Cat Sanctuary, which has homed some 4,000 animals since it opened 23 years ago.

Kingsdown Cat Sanctuary's collection box was stolen from Animal House Veterinary Surgery in Deal. Clare Baumberg with two of the cats the good cause protects

Owner Clare Baumberg says funds collected help pay for vet bills, food and caring for the cats.

“Nobody gets paid anything here, it’s all voluntary,” she said.

“Every penny counts.

“The type of people who did this are mean. The man actually burned through the rope the box was tied with.”

She added: “We’ve re-homed thousands of cats and we still need homes. We wouldn’t be needed if everyone was responsible.”

Police are hunting the pair, believed to be a man and a woman, who carried out the shameless deed on Friday, June 30, between 11am and 11.30am.

Aimee Reppin, practice manager of the surgery in London Road, says they usually collect between £100 and £200 in the box. “They came in and within about 30 seconds they had burned through the rope with a lighter and taken the box,” she said.

“They must have come in before to have a look around as he brought a lighter with him.

“It’s a very busy surgery but they did it so quickly no one saw it happen.”

She added: “We are quite trusting of everyone. It’s a shame the box had to be tied down in the first place, it was always a bit of a joke, but one had been stolen before.

“It’s really disappointing. Fortunately things like this don’t happen very often.”

She said the surgery has put £100 back in the box for the sanctuary.

“It’s not the money though; it’s the fact somebody could do this,” she said.

“Clare is a big member of the cat community. She goes out to collect cats, makes sure they’ve been treated, she has them in her home and she doesn’t get paid for it.

“The collection box helps her do that.”

Police spokesman Natalie Hardy said officers are currently reviewing CCTV and continuing inquiries.

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