‘It makes no sense’: Janesville community angry after Humane Society break-in

‘It makes no sense’: Janesville community angry after Humane Society break-in

Janesville police are looking for a man who broke into the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin early Thursday morning.

“The cool thing about this job, everyone would agree, is every day you get to show up to make a difference,” said Brett Frazier, executive director at the shelter.

Before the day could get started Thursday, the animals living at the shelter saw a crime that put their normal routine on pause.

“It’s always an unsettling feeling when you walk in someplace and it’s different than it should be,” Frazier said. “By the time police were here, we had people waiting in the parking lot who should have been feeding cats and dogs, cleaning kennels and cages.”

Instead, he said a staff member came in about 7:30 a.m. to find broken glass.

“It was a pretty big mess, a real smash-and-grab,” Frazier said.

Security footage shows a man breaking the front glass door to enter the building after 4 a.m.

“We’re looking for a white male, riding a bike, wearing a hooded sweatshirt,” Sgt. Rob Perkins of the Janesville Police Department said, adding that a similar incident occurred at Rockport Pool in Janesville around the same time. He said it’s unclear whether they’re connected.

A police report said the suspect took cash drawers from the nonprofit organization, all of which were empty.

“He’s not a good burglar,” Frazier said.

An iPhone is missing, however, and the suspect did leave behind damage to the building.

“We run on donations,” Frazier said. “This is the kind of thing you don’t plan for.”

“It’s something I think we’ll never understand,” said Janesville resident Barbara Smith, who also owns The Thinking K9, a dog-training business. “How can you comprehend someone breaking into a not-for-profit that helps animals of all things, you know? It makes no sense.”

Smith stopped by to drop off cash donations. She collects them regularly at her business, but she wanted to bring something positive after the burglary.

“I’m sure we won’t be the last ones in here or the first ones bringing things in to uplift them, so we can be in a better place than we were before this,” she said.

Frazier said an area business offered to replace the broken glass door for free.

Despite a scare from the intruder, he said the main witnesses of the crime are doing just fine.

“He was here for money and only money,” Frazier said. “So the cats were probably concerned he hadn’t fed them or scratched their ears, they like that in the morning, but other than that, everyone was happy and healthy.”

Perkins said police are also looking into a number of thefts from businesses and motor vehicles in the city, so it’s always a good idea to lock up.

Anyone with information can call the Janesville Police Department at 608-755-3100.

Those interested in helping out the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin can go here.