Animal charity staff have said they are “disgusted and appalled” after heartless intruders ransacked their store and urinated in before they fled.
The thieves targeted donation boxes and stole a substantial amount of cash from the tills at the RSPCA shop on Market Street in Wigan town centre.
But financial gain wasn’t enough for the thieves, who left the premises in ruin after they tore off cupboard doors, pulled signage from the walls and even went as far as to relieve themselves on the floor on the way out.
The mean-spirited act would have been caught on camera, but the culprits also snatched the business’s entire CCTV unit in the process.
Richard Pearson, a van driver who works at the premises making deliveries, discovered the mess made in the early hours of Monday morning, and alerted manager Alison Dooley.
Staff noticed that metal bars covering a window at the back of the shop had been removed, and that the burglars had put through double-glazed glass to get in.
Ms Dooley, who has been working at the store for 13 years, said: “Nothing has ever happened like this before in my entire time working here.
“The first thing we noticed when walking in was the smell.
“It was absolutely disgusting and had us questioning ‘who would think of doing such a thing?’
“It is a disgrace what they did, and me and the other staff and volunteers are absolutely gutted - not for ourselves but for the animals we raise this money for, so that they can be treated.
“We rely a lot on donations, so when something like this happens it is a real kick in the teeth.
“None of the stock was taken, but they’ve tipped the place upside-down and thrown everything about in order to get at all the money.”
Customers took to social media to voice their anger at the news, which was announced on the store’s page to notify regulars that it was closed for the day.
One comment read: “Robbing a charity shop, that must be the new low!”
A fund-raising appeal is now being started by the store in order to get the shop back on its feet, and police are still investigating the incident. Further details on how to help will be published later.