Charity barking mad at lead theft damage

Anne McLean outside the hall.
Anne McLean outside the hall.

THE HEAD of a pet rescue charity has hit out at the mindless thieves who caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to its premises in Leslie.

Help Fife Animals’ base in the High Street was badly flooded after approximately 40 metres of lead flashing was stolen from its roof last week.

As a result, Anne McLean, the charity’s chairwoman, told The Gazette she and volunteers have been busy trying to repair the damage and clean up the mess inside the hall - instead of focusing on the charity’s important work of helping to rehome unwanted pets.

This is the second large lead theft to happen in the Glenrothes area in recent weeks. At the start of last month Crosbie Matthew’s premises on Church Street had 50 to 60 metres of the material stripped from the building.

Mrs McLean said: “We would like the thieves to know just how much damage they have caused. They have taken all the lead flashing from our hall roof allowing the heavy rain to come straight through and badly flooding our meeting room. Lots of vital paperwork has been destroyed and our desk, chairs and carpet are beyond repair. We will have to buy a new carpet as well as carry out repairs to the roof.

“Do these thieves realise the donations we receive are supposed to be used to help unwanted pets in Fife - not to undo their mindless actions? This has been absolutely devastating for us.”

When Mrs McLean discovered water leaking into the hall’s meeting room last Tuesday, she just thought some tiles had come loose.

But after taking a closer look, it was found the lead along the entire length of the extension - which houses the meeting room - had been removed.

Mrs McLean said fortunately volunteers have rallied round: “If we had gone through our insurance it would have cost more than £1000 to fix the roof and replace the items ruined by the flooding,” she explained.

“But we have decided to go for a cheaper alternative to lead flashing because if we put that back on it will just be stolen again. The members have rallied round so we are now going to probably spend about £300, which is a lot cheaper. We also have to replace the carpet and do repairs to the ceiling. But we are very grateful for the help we are getting as we wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.”

Help Fife Animals uses the hall for dog training classes as well as fundraising events, animal-related workshops and educational visits from schoolchildren.

Fife Police are investigating the lead theft and anyone with information is asked to contact them on 0845 600 5702.