Donors are fuming after an animal welfare charity was robbed in broad daylight on New Year's Eve.
Outpawed, a cat shelter in Wellington, was holding a sausage sizzle in Petone when its donation bucket was stolen.
The charity said on Facebook it was "devastated" most of the day's fundraising had disappeared along with the bucket.
Many disgruntled donors contacted the charity to express their disappointment, but the charity says it will "take every measure to prevent this from happening again".
"To those people who have said we don't deserve help if we were stupid enough to take our eyes off our bucket, we don't need to be told. We feel bad enough as it is," Outpawed said.
"Although no excuse, we were absolutely run off our feet. When we realised what had happened we felt physically sick and we knew we had let ourselves down."
The charity said it will take better care at future events.
"To those of you whose donations were lost, we are so, so sorry. We never meant for this to happen and we have certainly learnt from this incident."
New donations came flooding in after the robbery, to the delight of the charity.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you. This community has given much more than we would have lost...not sure we deserve such kindness," the charity said.
Outpawed currently has 170 cats in its care and the donations will go towards medical costs.