So much for the season of good will.
Lawrence police today reported that $3,399 in cash and checks was taken between 5:30 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday in a burglary at the Lawrence Humane Society Inc., 1805 E. 19th.
"As far as I know, we've never been robbed," said Roma Tesch, manager of the animal shelter. "It kind of hurts your feelings to know that somebody would rob a non-profit organization."
Police reported that someone broke a window and entered the building. The burglar or burglars then pried open a cabinet and took a cash box containing cash and 95 personal checks.
Tesch said checks made up the majority of the loss. Most checks were for spaying and neutering, which costs $50 for dogs and $35 for cats.
When an animal is adopted from the shelter, the customer pays the humane society for spaying or neutering and is given a certificate to use at a veterinarian's office. The vet returns the certificate to the shelter for payment after performing the operation.
Tesch said two weeks' worth of checks were stolen. Over the past two weeks, she said, "we've done a lot of adoptions."
In an attempt to recoup the loss, she said, employees are calling customers who wrote the checks and asking them to send new checks.
She said employees want humane society customers to deduct stop-payment charges from their new checks.
Tesch said she is hoping to recover a third of the loss by calling the customers who wrote checks during the past two weeks. The rest will have to come from either donations or the shelter's general operating fund.
Tesch said she was stunned by the robbery.
"I've been too trusting," she admitted. "I guess we're going to have to start being more careful.
"This is something we thought would never happen."