CONOWINGO — Volunteers that care for a feral cat colony on Mt. Zoar Road were successful in catching a pair of kittens orphaned earlier this week when the mother cat was shot and killed.

“I don’t know who could do such a thing,” said Jamie Caudell, one of the small army of volunteers who come daily to a patch of forested ground across from the Conowingo Boat Launch and feed the cats.

Several of those volunteers, including CAtGUy Animal Rescue have pooled their money and offered a $400 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party.

“We appreciate and value the public speaking up when they see something,” said Abigail Bingham, director of Cecil County Animal Services. “Animal cruelty will not be tolerated in this county.”

Caudell found one of the cats, whose name was Chloe, and took it to her veterinarian. X-rays located the bullet that killed the animal. It was Chloe that was the mother of the kittens.

“I’m having her cremated,” Caudell said. Before that, however, Bingham is having the bodies of both cats necropsied.

The other victim was Limpy.

“Limpy was always the first to meet us,” Caudell said. He was also the last to leave his post, watching as the volunteers left the park after a feeding session. “We found Limpy at the gate. The kittens were still with Chloe’s body.”

It took another few days to round up the young cats, estimated to be about two months old. At the first attempt they went into the trap baited with food but even their combined weight was not enough to trip the door so the kittens escaped.

On Thursday Lynn Osborne arrived and found the kittens curled up together in one of the insulated houses left by volunteers.

“They were out here playing when I first came out,” Osborne said. “I came back after lunch and they were in the box.”

The kittens will not return to the colony but rather, the volunteers will find indoor homes for each.

Those still in the colony will remain there, the volunteers said. Most have been either spayed or neutered and the health of each is monitored. This colony began with nearly 20 cats, but through TNR the numbers dwindle as the cats die. At the same time, the tight community does not allow new cats into their fold so the colony will not get bigger. CAtGUy Animal Rescue is one of a handful of organizations dealing with feral cat colonies in Cecil County.

Bingham was happy to learn of the reward and hoped it would help with the investigation.

“We just want to find the person who carried out this heinous act,” Bingham said.

Cecil County Animal Services can be reached at 410-441-2040.

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