WEST OCEAN CITY – The Worcester County Humane Society in West Ocean City fell victim to a burglary this week when an unknown suspect or suspects broke into a storage facility and a van on the property and wiped out the facility’s supply of pet food and other goods.
Worcester County Humane Society staffer Kristy Haley said this week most of the stolen goods had just been brought to the facility by a volunteer who travels to Petco headquarters in New Jersey once a month and purchases a vanload of supplies and returns them to the facility near the airport in West Ocean City at his own expense.
The Maryland State Police responded to the scene on Monday and an investigation continues, although Haley said she holds out little hope the perpetrators will be caught. Haley said dozens of large bags of dog and cat food, litter and pet toys were stolen during the robbery, which was likely no easy task given the size and amount of the goods stolen.
“I just don’t know how somebody could have come in here and stolen every last bag of the food and other supplies we had stored here,” she said. “It had to be a huge task. We’re talking about a truckload of stuff here.”
Although she couldn’t put a price tag on the stolen goods, Haley said most of the food and other items stolen were of a high quality.
“The food and other supplies we had stored there are good quality and can be expensive,” she said. “It’s the type of food you would buy from your vet or another high quality outlet. It wasn’t the cheap stuff. Most of it came from Petco and our volunteer who brings it to us each month.”
For the local humane society that relies heavily on donations and contributions from the community, the loss of the supplies in the alleged burglary can be devastating. Haley said the number of animals currently housed and cared for at the facility is a bit of a moving target, but she estimated there were about 40 dogs and over 100 cats, many of them newborn kittens, at the facility. In addition, some of the food and other supplies stolen would have been directed to individuals and families in the area who need a little help from time to time in caring for their pets.
“We were certainly surprised by this,” she said. “To have our supply wiped out definitely puts us at a disadvantage. In addition to taking care of our own animals, we do give food and other supplies to people who find themselves in a tight financial spot who need a little help taking care of their pets until they get back on their feet.”