THE Port Lincoln RSPCA staff and volunteers were left shocked and disappointed after the premises was broken into earlier this week.
Intruders broke into the building on Windsor Avenue - between closing on Tuesday afternoon and opening on Wednesday morning - taking a safe which contained about $1500 worth of donations.
Two of the centre's cats also went missing as a window was left open, but were found a short time later.
Manager Julia Churchett said while she was grateful there was no property damage and that none of the animals had been harmed it was a "kick in the guts".
"It is just really disappointing for us to know that there is someone in the community who decided to steal from us," she said.
"We work really hard for any money we get, fundraising can be really difficult and it's also had a profound affect on our volunteers."
Ms Churchett said some of the volunteers had told her that it felt like a personal attack.
"To me it doesn't seem random," she said.
She said she reported the break-in to police on Wednesday morning and they had been to the centre to dust for finger prints.
Ms Churchett said in addition to losing money that would have helped care for animals at shelter, the RSPCA was no facing the cost of extra security measures.
"That money would have paid for 10 cats to be desexed, or five to six months worth of kitty litter," she said.
Anyone interested in assisting the RSPCA can donate online at rspcasa.secure.force.com/donate or by calling in at the Port Lincoln shelter at 22 Windsor Avenue.