At the Finger Lakes SPCA in Auburn, donations pay for the food, the veterinary care, the blankets , the heat and everything else. A significant piece of the money to pay the bills comes from donated bottles and cans that people drop off in bins in the SPCA parking lot. The bottles and cans add up too. The SPCA's Executive Director says the donated bottles and cans usually bring in eight to ten thousand dollars each year. The bottles and cans also attracted some unwanted attention on October 19th.
" When we left the shelter one evening our bins were full . When we arrived at eight the next morning they were totally empty ," said SPCA Executive Director Carol Russell.
Russell says there was about $75 dollars worth of donations in the bins. The SPCA also has surveillance video of a man stealing bags of cans and bottles out of their bins in the middle of the night on October 19th.
The man made multiple trips on a bicycle between 12:15am and 12:50am. Russell and the volunteers at the SPCA say it's frustrating to watch donations intended for the dozens of dogs and cats at the shelter taken away by a thief.
" They need the best we can give them and the donations help us do that ," said Russell.
The SPCA has added new security precautions and now locks the donation bins every night.
Catherina Meyers and her two daughters bring recyclables to the SPCA every Friday. Meyers said she couldn't believe someone would steal from the animals at the SPCA.
"I think it's horrible. I mean people are donating their five cent refunds to feed these animals that have no home and for someone to steal that from the SPCA is horrible. That's pretty low," said Meyers.
Russell says police have not been able to identify the man in the video. Some volunteers also said they are concerned that the man or his family may be in desperate need of financial help.