Thieves target animal shelter in Claiborne County

Thieves target animal shelter in Claiborne County

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By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

TAZEWELL (WATE) - This summer construction on the new Claiborne Animal Shelter was complete. Even though funding has not been found yet to open it, the building was filled with all the supplies to do so.

On Thursday night, someone decided to steal from the shelter.

"The washer and dryer were in here," explained Liza Martz, the secretary for the shelter. "It's a gas dryer."

The first thing they noticed missing was a donated commercial size front-loading washer and dryer that had just been installed Thursday.

The thieves then broke into a closet in the back of the building.
    
"They also took several boxes of hypodermic needles donated to us to use in our spay and neuter clinic that will be opening up pretty soon," said Martz,

Everything stolen is worth thousands of dollars.

"It absolutely made me sick," said Ann Bowling, a county commissioner and a shelter board member. "We've worked hard on this, and so many people in our community contributed to it."

The shelter was named after Bowling's late husband, Glenn, in July. He had devoted much of his time in getting the shelter complete.

Bowling says she feels the intruders knew their way around the building. They hopped the fence, and broke into a side door. Once they got inside, they used a dolly from the back of the shelter to take the washer and dryer out the front doors. They put the dolly back when they were done.
    
"They didn't just steal this from the shelter they stole from the community because this is a community project," said Martz. "There were kids who had lemonade stands to give us money to get the shelter built. There were people who donated cinder blocks because they didn't have money to get it built, so that's who they stole if from."

Bowling says they plan to install a security system soon.

If you have any information on this theft, please call the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department at 423-626-3121.

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