Wednesday, October 28, 2009

KVUE reports animal clinic burglarized and target of malacious harassment

KVUE reports:

A non-profit Austin animal clinic says it's the target of malicious harassment -- and is offering a reward to anyone who helps them find the person who has repeatedly broken into the clinic over the last month..

"Somebody out there is after us," says Missy McCullough, executive director of the Animal Trustees of Austin. "We're not sure what's going on."

The clinic has been broken in six times over the last 29 days, costing the Animal Trustees more than $6,000 to replace stolen equipment, repair broken property and upgrade security.

"It's just outrageous," McCullough says.

An on-site portable office has been hit four times, including after it was moved behind a locked fence.

"Even when we put burglar bars on it, they brought bolt cutters and cut through the burglar bars and broke the window," McCullough says.

The thief, or thieves, has broken windows, stolen a laptop and lab equipment and vandalized offices. During one break-in, the burglar left the clinic's refrigerator open, which contaminated more than $2,500 in vaccines and medical tests that had to be destroyed.

"This person is kind of escalating," she says. "They keep getting bolder and bolder. Almost every week, at least once a week, we've been broken into...It's become a very costly thing for us."

The clinic provides low-cost veterinary care.

McCullough says the $6,000 the break-ins have cost in repairs and upgraded security could have been used to spay and neuter more than 120 animals.

"We've got to find this person and find out why they're doing this to us and hopefully stop this, so we can get on with our work here," McCullough says.

Clinic workers say they think the same person is responsible for all the break-ins, but say they have no way of knowing for sure.

The clinic is offering a $200 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

McCullough is asking that anyone with information call police or call the clinic at 512-371-1968.

Most Recent Comments: 1
LanaC 5 hours ago wrote:

It looks like this person on Craigs list is furious with ATA.

In the future, ATA, if you want information from the public it might be more helpful to publish an email address. My limited experience with telephoning in tips nets someone who has no clue what you are referring to when you call, and no idea how to prioritize information that is useful.

Anyway, my guess is whoever posted this post on Craigs List would be able to give you information about the vandalism.

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