Hundreds of dollars in donations for a raffle fundraiser helping homeless animals were swiped just days the event, the director of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter said.
“She worked tirelessly for the past few months gathering this stuff and in an instant it was all gone,” said Chris Barbaro, who works at the Branford animal shelter.
A volunteer had collected restaurant gift cards, signed cookbooks and other donations from local businesses to be raffled off this Saturday at “Woofstock."
Proceeds from the raffle support the animal shelter’s medical fund.
“It’s to get them back to a healthy place and get them into homes, get them adopted,” shelter director Laura Burban said.
Burban said the devoted volunteer spent several months collecting the raffle items in Branford and New Haven.
“And she collected about $1500 worth of items,” Burban said. “And unfortunately she put them all in a box and left them outside her front door for one of our staff members to go pick up and it was gone.”
Barbaro said his stepdad discovered the box was missing when he went to pick it up Monday around lunchtime.
“My stomach sank, like I just felt awful like of course this happens the week of, you know, why now,” Barbaro said.
“Once this happened it was a little shocking because it’s a little difficult to put all of this back together which takes months to prepare for,” Burban said.
The shelter shared what happened in a Facebook post.
“We hoped if we put it on Facebook they would realize this is for homeless animals I’ll just drop it off and leave it, but that didn’t happened unfortunately,” Burban said.
Instead, in the last 24 hours, Burban said there has been an outpouring of support from people dropping off new gift cards and making donations.
“I didn’t expect so many people to come out and be like I’ll give a gift card or I’ll help in this way, so that was happily surprising,” Burban said.
The raffle will go on as planned this Saturday afternoon at Woofstock on the Branford Town Green.
“Words can’t describe how humbled I am,” Barbaro said. “It’s just amazing to see what people can do in the matter of just days.”