ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Three people were caught on surveillance cameras taking more than 30 bags of dog and cat food from an Illinois animal shelter.
Gateway Pet Guardians said the food was worth more than $1,200.
They said all three people drove different cars. An employee confronted the thieves and they took off almost hitting a woman carrying her dog in the parking lot, Gateway Pet Guardians said.
"I looked up and noticed a man and a woman picking up food from our stock, when I came out and confronted them, they quickly ran around the building," said program director Jill Henke.
Henke said when she confronted the suspects they initially said the thought the pet food was free. When she told it was not free, she said the suspects fled.
The shelter distributes the food to its foster families caring for dogs and cats waiting to be adopted.
“Our organization works hard to ensure low income pet owners have the resources they need to care for their pets,” Henke said. “It’s obviously disappointing that anyone would steal from a non-profit animal shelter.”
The organization had just received a huge donation of dog food from Purina. The food was meant for volunteers, such as one woman who is currently fostering some dogs.
UPDATE: October 11 at 9:00 p.m.: Purina donated pet food to replace what was stolen. The food was delivered on Friday.
Employees also told News 4 that donations were made online. The funds will go towards the cost of veterinary care for adoptable pets.