Burglar breaks into Maryland animal shelter, releases 18 cats

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Orange cat from Maryland_1551177131712.jpg.jpg

A burglar broke into a Maryland animal shelter in Cumberland and released 18 cats that were to be spayed and neutered. 

Police said the burglary happened at the Allegany County Animal Shelter on the 700 block of Furnace Street sometime between Saturday night around 9 p.m. into Sunday morning.

Further investigation determined that the suspect forced entry into the building that housed the cats. 

“Several of them had run under the building and were hiding, so we set traps and actually caught a cat that wasn’t one of ours to start with but is now,” said the Allegany County Animal Shelter Executive Director, Tina Rafferty. 

So far, 17 cats have been retrieved.  The one missing is a male light gray tabby named Kota- staff said he was last seen wearing a rainbow collar. In the meantime, staff are left wondering why anyone would do this.

“The cats that were housed in the building were adult or teenage cats and not young kittens.  I’m not sure if the younger kittens had survived the night if they were released like that,” Rafferty said.  

The Allegany County Animal Shelter is the first of two no-kill municipal shelters in the state of Maryland. There were no reported injuries. 

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Allegany County Crime Solvers or the Cumberland City Police at (301) 777-1600.

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