A long-standing guide dog donation box has been stolen from the Country Grocer in Cobble Hill. (Submitted photo)

Donation dog for the blind stolen from Cowichan grocery store

Bolt cutters used in theft

The guide-dog donation box that was located at Country Grocer in Cobble Hill has been stolen.

The donation box, which collects money for the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind organization, has been a familiar sight at the location for 13 years, but during the last week of February, the box, very recognizable as it is the shape of a dog, was stolen.

Steven Doucette, the donation dog coordinator for the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind said it was a brazen theft as bolt-cutters were used to remove the chain that secured the dog in the store.

“There is no liability for the store, as they are kind enough to support the charitable program, so we are on the hook for the funds lost plus the $200 it will cost to replace the dog,” he said.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, a national, non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1984 to provide Canadians with greater mobility and independence through the use of professionally trained guide dogs, operates solely through donations, and the donation-dog program is an important way for the organization to raise money in this area.

Doucette said the Shawnigan Lake RCMP are investigating the theft, but no matter the outcome, the charity will be subject to the loss.

He asked that if anyone finds the donation dog in the community, damaged or not, the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind would like to get the model back.

“You may email events@guidedogs.ca or leave a message at 604-270-2432,” he said.

“If you would like to help offset the loss, you can donate to Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind at www.guidedogs.ca.”

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