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Humane Society says community support takes sting out of theft
Director grateful for backing after donations taken; thieves still at large
David Weber and Lorene Castillo take their dog Baby Blue to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia Thursday afternoon to get an identification chip implanted. Recently two men broke into the shelter and stole a large donation box full of money.

When Julie Edwards, executive director of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, heard there was a break-in at the shelter, her first concern was the animals.

“My first thing when our adoption center director called me early that Monday morning was ‘Are all the animals there?’” she said. “We didn’t know for a long time, because we had to wait for police to clear the building. But that was my main thing. We can always find a way to replace money.”

In the early hours of March 28, two men threw a brick through a front window of the Humane Society’s adoption center and stole a doghouse-shaped donations box full of money.

The doghouse was custom painted by local artist Fox Gradin. Humane Society employees expect it contained hundreds of dollars in donations.     

No animals were taken, and police have been working with footage and evidence left behind at the scene to find the men responsible.

In the meantime, Edwards said the community responded to the news with an outpouring of support.

“It’s really been overwhelming,” she said. “The community — and not just the local community, but the whole Atlanta area because it was picked up by all the major Atlanta stations — has sent both notes and donations, which has been awesome.”

The Humane Society’s Facebook page shared a note of thanks to the community after the incident with a few notes of support, including “I hope the thieves are captured. Thank you for all you do to rescue innocent animals,” and “So sorry humans are so inhuman. Hope this helps you with your great work.”

Edwards said the shelter has now recouped everything taken, plus the cost of repairing the window.

“It’s really great to know we have a community that cares so much for animals,” she said.

Edwards said she “wished” to see the perpetrators caught, but has not heard any leads for about a week.

“We had a couple leads right up front, when the police were showing the video of the suspects,” she said. “But none of them panned out.”

Several groups and individuals have offered to replace the donation box, according to Edwards.

“Right now, I’m talking with the Gainesville Jaycees, who have been great supporters of ours,” she said. “I think they’re going to build us a new one, and we’re going to figure out a way to permanently attach it.”

More information on the Humane Society can be found at Edwards thanked all those who have supported the nonprofit over the last few weeks and over the years.

“It’s been really great, and we do appreciate the support so much,” she said.

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