Mar 20, 2016 6:32 PM

NH community offers outpouring of support to Bedford animal shelter after robbery

BEDFORD - Early Sunday morning, police responded to the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire where employees say more than 500 pounds,or roughly $700 worth, of donated dog and cat food was stolen.

The bags were taken from a screened-in pantry just outside of the building after the screens were ripped and a lock broken.

"This is food that's donated to us and then we donate it back to the community. It's our food bank food, so this is for families that have no other way of feeding their pets," Monica Zulauf, CEO of the shelter said.

Locals from the area commented on the robbery, sharing their confusion and shock at the situation.

"It's beyond comprehension, I mean dog food? It just doesn't make any sense," Kristen Cottle, of Bedford, said.

"It's animal abuse. A lot of animals don't have any food and they depend on this place; they depend on donations," a Wilton resident, Marina said.

However, the employees of the shelter never expected what would happen next after posting about the incident online.

"This is all social media so you know we put it out, some of the other media outlets put it out. It's getting shared, it's getting tweeted. It's got a life of it's own now," Zulauf said.

The power of social media brought the community together in just hours, with the parking lot packed until the doors were closed for the night and the rooms filled with newly donated pet food.

"It's amazing, it's really wonderful. It's New Hampshire, this is New Hampshire," Zulauf said.

In the end, the shelter received far more than what they lost, and the Animal Rescue League focused on the positives.

"It feels like it's the end of 'It's a Wonderful Life' where everyone is coming in," Zulauf said. "I'm blown away, I am absolutely speechless."

Surveillance video shows a man arriving at the property at approximately 1:35 a.m. in a dark colored sedan. He is seen wearing jeans and a blue sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the Bedford Police Department at 603-472-5113.

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