The broken window at Bellevue Veterinary Hospital in Parksville on Jan. 20. (Cloe Logan photo)

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Parksville’s Bellevue Animal Hospital is still assessing the damage following an early-morning break-in at their office on Monday.

Power lines were cut, a window was broken and items were stolen from the building.

Honey Johnston, office manager, said they are still assessing what is missing, and how much repairs will cost. So far, they know at least a laptop was taken.

“They had cut the power to the building, which is kind of bold and unusual I think for theft in this area,” she said. “They had taken the power boxes right off the side of the building,” she said.

The hospital is already back up and running, after only being closed for a short time on Monday. A window remains broken and a portion of their waiting room closed, but appointments are back on schedule.

“BC Hydro was the first on scene, they were really awesome and they came and the RCMP followed shortly after and they got everything hooked back up for us fairly quickly,” said Johnston.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Animals scared but unharmed after break-in at Parksville SPCA branch

Johnston said she assumes the culprits were trying to disable their alarm and camera system by cutting the lines, but said they were able to capture some of what happened. The footage has been given to the RCMP.

Johnston said it was lucky they had no overnight animals as patients, as an event like this would be unquestionably terrifying for them.

“We tend to not have too many overnight patients, so thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened.”

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said the investigation is still underway.

“It looks like they didn’t get past the reception desk,” he said. “We have sent the forensic identification section there to process the scene.”

“[We’re] pretty upset that someone would vandalize the clinic, you know it’s just kind of hurtful and concerning,” said Johnston.

However, Johnston said the community has made the experience easier, with the number of residents reaching out and offering to help making a big difference.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

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