CHARLESTOWN — The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who dumped a box with 14 kittens stuffed inside on Indian Cedar Drive last Saturday.
Charlestown Animal Control Officer Kathy McA’Nulty said she received the news of the reward from SPCA Director E.J. Finocchio Tuesday morning. “I did initially contact them, giving them the heads-up on the situation and asking if there was anything that they could do, and that’s what he offered, which was really cool,” McA’Nulty said.
The kittens were tightly packed in two layers inside the sealed cardboard box, which was left at the side of the road. A nearby homeowner heard them crying and called the police, who brought the kittens to the town’s animal control center.
“The staff member who was here and our volunteer, Mary Crevier, got them all out of the box, and she said they were all panting and wet from sweat,” McA’Nulty said.
“Those cats were left for dead, that’s definitely for sure, unfortunately. Those cats would not have lasted. That many cats in a box of that size, it’s like being in a hot car. They would have definitely just died, and maybe that was the person’s intention.”
The kittens are being treated with antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection, and a couple of them have badly ulcerated eyes. They were evaluated Monday at the Wood River Animal Hospital by veterinarian Sam Lester. McA’Nulty said that despite their weakened condition, they are still purring and even have enough energy to play.
“They’re obviously in very poor condition, but they have extremely good attitudes,” she said. “They’re purring and they’re playing, but they do have the upper respiratory, some have ulcerated eyes, but they are being treated, so hopefully within a couple of weeks they should heal up and be ready for adoption after they get spayed and neutered.”
The kittens with eye injuries will be evaluated and treated by a veterinary ophthalmologist. The animal control center welcomes all donations to help with the kittens’ care.
“We need scoopable cat litter, we need canned kitten food, and dry kitten food as well, and bleach, we always need bleach,” McA’Nulty said. “Anybody who wants to donate towards the vet care of these animals can make a check to “Friends of Charlestown Animal Shelter.”
Charlestown police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call the police department at 401-364-1212 or Charlestown animal control at 401-364-1211.