AN ANIMAL sanctuary has hit out at a 'low-life' thief who cut the strap from a collection box and stole the donations.

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary fell victim to the thief at the Wallingford Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday, where it had a donkey enclosure to appeal for donations.

The thief slashed through a tough plastic strap that was securing the box to the enclosure, and made off with it with the money inside.

In a post on its Facebook page, the charity, based in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, said: "We always enjoy attending Wallingford events as everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

"Unfortunately someone spoilt the day.

"A message to whatever low-life took it - we hope you are proud of what you did and that your actions will come back to bite you!"

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The charity cares for abused and ill-treated donkeys and other animals, and said in a further post that it 'desperately' needs donations to keep them safe during the cold winter.

Stuart Mclaren, who helps to run the centre, wrote: "I feel sorry for those people who were kind enough to put some money in that box."

He said the thief would have needed a knife or sharp pair of cutters to hack through the plastic strap. 

Commenters branded the thief 'shameless' and 'shocking', with one writing: "This is absolutely disgusting, how low can people get?"

The sanctuary has thanked its 'brilliant, kind and generous' supporters for their response.