$15k in equipment stolen from dog rescue groupBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
September 13. 2017 11:56PM
MANCHESTER — The president of a New Hampshire nonprofit that works to reunite lost dogs with their families says she and her staff are ready to “continue their mission,” after thieves broke into a storage shed this week and stole an estimated $15,000 in equipment.
“They broke us for a night — but only for a night,” said Holly Mokrzecki, president of Granite State Dog Recovery in Manchester. “We are right back to work, helping make sure these dogs have a home.”
Granite State Dog Recovery (GSDR) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works with police departments, animal control officers, shelters, veterinarian offices, and rescue groups across New Hampshire to locate lost dogs and bring strays to safety.
The all-volunteer organization, based out of 40 Grand Ave. in Manchester, rents a storage unit at 113 Mammoth Road to house all of its supplies. Mokrzecki said volunteers visit the storage unit “four or five times a week,” and when volunteers were there Sunday, “everything was fine.”
“We went there around 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the door was damaged and equipment was missing,” said Mokrzecki.
Mokrzecki estimates the thief or thieves stole an estimated $15,000 worth of equipment from the shed, including 30 trail cameras, 35 packages of lithium batteries, tools used to construct, operate and deconstruct traps used to locate and catch missing dogs, as well as a mechanism — valued at $7,000 — needed to trigger a drop net that helps volunteers safely catch the dogs.
“I don’t know what they are going to do with it,” said Mokrzecki. “They left behind the drop net and poles you use with it. They probably want it for the five cents of copper they’ll get out of it.”
Mokrzecki said GSDR’s traps were left behind.
“We’d probably be over $20,000 if they hadn’t,” said Mokrzecki.
Volunteers “took the night off from rescuing dogs” Tuesday to move all the traps and remaining supplies out of the storage shed and into “a more secure location” off-site.
“The lock and door haven’t been fixed, and we didn’t want them coming back for the rest,” said Mokrzecki on Wednesday. “We couldn’t chance it.”
Mokrzecki said she doesn’t believe GSDR was targeted specifically, because “seven or eight other” storage units at 113 Mammoth Road were also broken into. Manchester police confirmed that GSDR reported the theft, and their department is investigating.
In 2016 a thief broke into the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford and stole over 500 pounds of dog and cat food and 15 pounds of dog treats. A GSDR trap and camera, on loan to Animal Control Officer Cathy Sullivan of Claremont, was reported stolen out of Newport on Sunday. The trap had been set to catch a lost sheltie, according to Mokrzecki.
GSDR posted a message about the Manchester break-in on its Facebook page Wednesday.
“As a non-profit we rely on donations..and the equipment that was taken was donated by you via monetary and product donations,” reads the post. “We apologize that your generosity was taken advantage of. Someone, somewhere knows SOMEONE that might know who may have done this. As your eyes help us keep track of lost pups, we now ask for your ears to stay open and if you hear anything about the theft, to reach out to us.”
Mokrzecki said anyone wishing to make a donation to help GSDR replace the stolen items can do so through the organization’s website at www.granitestatedogrecovery.com, or send checks to Granite State Dog Recovery, P.O. Box 4581, Manchester NH 03108.