Ram raid on Leeds cat rehoming centre sparks ‘fantastic’ show of community support

Deputy manager Catherine Hubbard pictured at Gildersome Cats Protection.
Deputy manager Catherine Hubbard pictured at Gildersome Cats Protection.
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A community has rallied around a much-loved cat rehoming centre after it was ram raided by thieves.

An online campaign has raised more than £500, while dozens of cheques and small donations have been handed in to Gildersome Cats Protection.

Meanwhile 25 cats have been rehomed from the unit so far this month after it emerged that intruders snatched almost £4,000 from the charity-run centre.

It comes more than a week after two thugs rammed a security gate and used sledgehammers to smash their way into the building on Thursday September 1 at around 12.45am.

Among the items stolen was a £2,500 donation left to them in someone’s will. No cats were harmed during the incident.

Centre manager Diane Mulcahy said: “Our main concern is the cats – it always has been and it always will be.

Deputy manager Catherine Hubbard pictured with a door damaged during the raid on Gildersome Cats Protection.

Deputy manager Catherine Hubbard pictured with a door damaged during the raid on Gildersome Cats Protection.

“But the support has been absolutely fantastic. We didn’t realise we would have such a great response.”

She added that the charity is still counting the cost of the break-in, which led the facility to close to the public for a day as its staff cleared the debris.

Cats Protection had to fund a full-time security guard due to delays in getting damaged windows boarded up, while repairs and replacement doors and carpets should be installed in the next two weeks.

Ms Mulcahy added: “We just want to see those people brought to justice. This in itself took three minutes to do and it will take a month to put it right.”

West Yorkshire Police confirmed that no arrests have yet been made but anyone with information that may aid police is urged call 101.

To donate to the charity visit justgiving.com/CPGildersomeSep2016.

20 April 2012.....        B wing at HMP Leeds

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