Thieves return for pet rescue stash at volunteer’s home

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At just 7 weeks old, Henry the kitten has had a rough go of it.

He was born with a damaged right paw.

“We took him to the vet to see if anything could be done and our vet said it would probably have to be amputated,” said Julie Beukema, Henry’s foster mom and a volunteer with Mosh Pit animal rescue.

Beukema says not to worry — Henry will find a home.

“He’ll do great. There’s lots of three-legged cats,” Beukema said.

Mosh Pit Rescue in Grand Rapids has been around about three years and they specialize in fostering animals with serious medical conditions.

When dogs and cats need treatments that can easily run thousands of dollars, Mosh Pit fosters the animals, pays for the care and finds them a good home.

“One way we help save for those is through collecting pop cans from the public,” Beukema said. “We have volunteers that are willing to return them. We’ve raised a lot of money to help save animals.”

Over $5,000 has been raised so far this year.

Friday night, Beukema had the latest collection lined up along her driveway. Early Saturday morning, her Ring doorbell let her know someone was in her driveway. Moments later, most of the can were gone — in all about $100 worth.

“It would have paid for a couple of vet visits,” Beukema said.

Frustrated, Beukeman posted the video on Facebook, hoping someone might know who the suspects are.

“I haven’t had a problem for almost two years of doing this. Then all of the sudden, they just must have known they were here and decided to help themselves,” Beukema said.

She was able to move the cans that were left behind to a more secure location. But that didn’t stop the thieves from coming back.

Not just once, but twice early Monday morning. First on foot at about 3 a.m., then on a bike at about 6:45 a.m. They walked through a gate to the backyard.

This time, nothing was taken, except for Beukema’s peace of mind.

“I was scared the first time it happened, but then I thought well, hopefully it’s just a once off situation and they won’t come back,” Beukema said. “Sure enough, they did.”

The video has been turned over to the police. Beukema is not as angry as she is disappointed.

“I try to help humans, too,” Beukema said. “And if this person had needed help, if they had just come to ask me, if he had needed food, I would have given him food.”

If you recognize the two suspects, give the Grand Rapids Police Deparment a call at 616.456.3400.

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