Executive Director Sabine Stull called it "disappointing" Sunday that during the night someone would steal three rolls of fencing from Animal Ark Rescue.
"This really hurts because we are struggling at it is," Stull said of the shelter on Sacerdote Lane in Columbus.
The fencing is going to be used to build an area which will give the animals more room to run around.
Stull said the shelter currently has about 68 dogs and 30 cats for which it is trying to find a loving home.
Mary Underwood, a volunteer who arrived at 8 a.m. Sunday to feed the animals, discovered the theft.
"I just could not believe it," Underwood said. "It is discouraging. People take stuff just because they can."
She said it was about 300-400 feet of fencing and that the material had been donated. It had been left covered up outside.
Animal Ark Rescue is still trying to raise about $2,800 to get the fencing installed.
Only about $500 of that has been raised.
Stull said that the thieves did not get away with all of the fencing.
"We will still be able to build," she said.
Stull said the shelter opened in 2011 and this is the first year at this location, former home to the Muscogee County Humane Society.