VOLUNTEERS have vowed not to be disheartened after thieves stole cash from their charity shop.

Ryedale Dog Rescue (RDR) is holding its annual pop-up shop in Malton until Saturday, April 27 to raise funds.

However, last week volunteers helping in the shop found money had been taken from their purses.

Dianne Illingworth, one of the helpers, said: “I would just like to say ‘thank you very much’ to the person who found it necessary to steal from the purses of some of the volunteers working in the shop today.

“It appears your need is greater than ours. This has been a valuable lesson to us and has really tainted what had, so far, been a good fundraiser for the rescue.”

Dianne said following the theft the volunteers had felt very disheartened.

She said: “We really did hit a low point that day, but since then so many people have called in and wished us all well and many have made donations to the rescue. I would just like to say that our faith in human nature has been restored.”

Dianne added: “Thank you to everyone for their support and all I can say is keep dropping in to either spend or bring new stock.”

RDR was formed in 2005 and became a registered charity in January 2007.

Originally set up to rehome abandoned and unwanted animals within the Ryedale area, it soon began to help dogs in the East Riding of Yorkshire area and beyond which were facing the threat of unnecessary destruction and desperately needing help.

From humble beginnings homing 12 dogs in its first year, it now homes about 80 dogs per year and recently rehomed its 1,000th dog, who would have otherwise faced the threat of unnecessary destruction.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers and raises all its own funds.

Rosie Stephenson, from the charity, said: “I was both sad and mad when I heard about the theft as our volunteers all work so hard and people kindly donate things only for someone to think they can just take what doesn’t belong to them.

“I said to Dianne and team to keep smiling, think of the dogs as they won’t let you down its humans that do.”

The pop-up shop is open 9am to 5pm until Saturday. Donations can be made at the shop or go to ryedaledogrescue.com