It has been a traumatic ordeal at Animal Rescue Organisation, fondly known as ARO by the community in Ottery, Cape Town. Staff are still reeling from shock after a group of six armed men gained access to the administration office under the pretence of being prospective customers.
The criminals armed with a 9mm pistol and shotgun rounded up all the staff while they cleared out and damaged property before getting away with office and clinic computers, cell phones, and personal belongings of the staff. They ripped out all the cabling to the switchboard and security cameras. The costs to recoup what has been taken and damaged is excessive for an animal welfare to replace.
Over and above the costs, the staff have been left feeling vulnerable and scared for their safety. This has no doubt been an exceptionally traumatic experience for everyone at ARO. With the help from Trauma Counsellor, Karen Day, our staff will continue to receive the necessary support.
“It is unthinkable that an organisation that dedicates all its efforts into helping sick and suffering animals in the poorest communities could be a target!” said Teagan Schwerin, Head of Fundraising and Communication at ARO.