toronto wildlife centre

Someone robbed the van that a renowned Toronto charity uses to rescue wild animals

In yet another unfortunate reminder of how awful human beings can be, a well-known local charity that rescues and cares for animals in distress is facing a multi-thousand dollar loss after some a-hole broke into their van and stole the equipment inside.

Volunteers at The Toronto Wildlife Centre — which is very active online, using its platforms to share the touching stories of local fauna under the team's care — shared their heartbreak over the incident on social media Wednesday, detailing what happened when they were robbed late last week in the Downsview area.

On Friday evening, someone broke into the organization's rescue van and got away with more than $6,000 in equipment, technology, cash and a credit card used to pay for supplies for animals in need.

"We understand these are very difficult times, but there are no words to describe the upset and shock of knowing some individuals are capable of stealing from a charity and the kind donors who give so generously to help wildlife," the team wrote on Facebook yesterday evening.

"This comes at our most hectic time of year, when our rescue team is busy all day, every day saving wild animals in distress. We can only hope these people are caught, and that this doesn’t happen to anyone else."

The post adds that a police report has been filed, and that though they are taking the issue through insurance, what was stolen is likely gone for good — things that are integral to rescue operations but wouldn't be much use to the average person, such as a thermal imaging camera to find creatures in hiding and a custom dry suit to capture animals trapped on ice.

And though TWC was the victim of such a dishearteningly heinous act, it appears that the community is responding with nothing but love and support, which helps.

"We are so incredibly touched by the outpouring of support from animal lovers like you who would like to give to help cover this loss... so touched to see the kindness and support given to help wildlife," the group wrote in a new update, along with a link to where those interested can donate.

The hundreds of comments on the post, too, share the volunteer-run charity's discouragement.

"Just donated. This is just despicable and sick. So sorry for what happened. Thank you for all you do to help animals," one commenter wrote.

"So sorry to hear. You do such important work! Know you are appreciated by animal lovers everywhere," another added.

Many are also vowing to keep an eye out on resale website for the very specific items that were taken.

Hopefully with all of the attention the crime has garnered, the perpetrators are caught and the equipment returned so that the organization can continue helping the city's most desperate critters.

Lead photo by

Toronto Wildlife Centre

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