A BREAK in at an animal shelter has caused thousands of pounds of damage but the “despicable” burglars were foiled in their attempts to make off with a safe.

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Staff at Wood Green Animal Shelter in Heydon have praised police, who reacted quickly to the break in at the centre, on Chishill Road.

Gay Baxter, centre manager at Wood Green Heydon, said: “It happened in the evening. They broke in at the back of the building, but they were captured on our closed circuit television cameras.

“We think they were attempting to get to the safe, but they were interrupted before they could get to it.

“It has caused a lot of damage to our back door, and they’ve broken several locks and things like that. But we were really impressed with the police response, they were on the scene very quickly.”

A spokesman for Wood Green said that, though nothing was taken in the raid, repairs to the centre would cost thousands of pounds.

The charity’s chief executive, Dennis Baker, added: “Although no money was stolen, considerable damage was done and the cost of repairs will be significant.

“This was not mindless thuggery, but a deliberate, despicable act to steal money from a charity.”

Cambridgeshire Police are investigating the incident, which took place between 9.50pm and 10.50pm on Thursday, December 20.

A police spokesman said: “To target a charity is a particularly low act. Money which was due to be spent on the care of animals will now have to be used to pay for repairs.

“I would urge anyone with any information to call police.”

The site of a former pig farm, the Heydon shelter was purchased by Wood Green in 1954. It rehomes stray and unwanted cats and other small pets.

The hefty repair bill comes at a bad time for the centre, which is currently dealing with a record number of cats.

Anyone with any information on the incident can contact Cambridgeshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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