All West Glass staff use tape to temporarily stabilize the broken glass. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Vandals cause damage estimated at $3,000

“It was just malicious, stupid, drunken behaviour” - Thwaites

Staff at Kitimat’s only veterinary clinic had a nasty surprise when they walked into work on Thursday last week.

Three of the clinic’s tall windows, which measure roughly 1.7 metres by 0.8 metres, had holes in them, big shards of glass lying on desks and the floor, the rocks that caused the holes lying among the debris.

While two of the windows are located in the reception area, it’s the third window in the surgery that caused the most disruption to the clinic.

“With the window smashed we don’t have a sterile clinic in which to operate,” said long-time Kitimat veterinarian, Dr Howard Thwaites.

“It was malicious and whoever did it has no idea of the consequences of their actions. People just don’t think.”

He said this is only the second time in the clinic’s 11-year history that anything like this has happened. The first incident was many years ago and was likely the result of a dispute over an unpaid bill.

“As it is we are barely keeping head above water. This was totally unnecessary and it creates extra work for us when we could be filling our day with necessary things,” said Thwaites, who had to come in on his afternoon off to arrange for the replacement of the glass.

He said the culprits were most likely late-night revellers – he has worked late before and has been at the clinic when the pubs let out after closing time.

“I try not to be here at that time of the morning,” added Thwaites.

He said the double-paned windows will take about two weeks to be replaced and estimates the damage to be in the vicinity of $3,000.

“In the meantime we will have to board up the windows, which will make surgery that bit more difficult,” said Thwaites.

He said the RCMP came around on Thursday morning and a case has been opened.

Asked whether he had considered installing metal shutters, Thwaites said: “Over my dead body!”

“I know this wouldn’t have happened with metal shutters, but it makes it look like we’re on lockdown.”

He said if anything he would consider installing bulletproof glass should this happen again.

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Two of the rocks that smashed through the windows.

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