MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Humane Shelter on Columbus Road was broken into twice on Thanksgiving weekend, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
Christina Ballantyne, shelter director, said she is thankful no animals were hurt during either incident. A lock box was broken into, and a laptop computer and animal medications were stolen.
“They did go so far as to steal all of our donations jars that had one dollar bills, five dollar bills and change,” said Ballantyne.
There was also damage to the building. A door was kicked in, Ballantyne said, and a cabinet broken up. The perpetrator[s] also discharged all of the fire extinguishers within the building. Ballantyne said, “Luckily they didn’t let off the fire extinguisher in the area where the cats are.”
Ballantyne said security at the shelter is being reviewed. In the event the culprit was someone previously associated with the shelter, the locks have been changed and a limited member of keys distributed.
“We’re trying to raise the money right now to get an alarm system installed and to purchase a better safe,” she added. “I definitely want to take care of the animals, to make sure the next time somebody doesn’t come in and actually hurt the animals.”
Capt. David Shaffer said officers are continuing to follow leads and interview persons of interest.