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Neighborhood Stunned After House Cats Mistakenly Euthanized

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A makeshift sign posted in front of a house on Waterview Drive in Worcester County, Md. Some residents of the street say their neighbor rounded up housecats and brought them to the local animal control where they were euthanized.
Bryan Russo
A makeshift sign posted in front of a house on Waterview Drive in Worcester County, Md. Some residents of the street say their neighbor rounded up housecats and brought them to the local animal control where they were euthanized.

Some residents of a small Eastern Shore neighborhood in Maryland are calling Worcester County officials "cat killers," after a number of house cats mysteriously disappeared. But the county is making no apologies.

Waterview Drive is nothing short of a quintessential coastal neighborhood: a winding, no-outlet road past a handful of houses with boats docked out back leading to a pristine panoramic view of one of the Worcester County's many coastal bays.

But when you turn around and go out of the neighborhood, one of the first things you see is a number of makeshift plywood signs tagged in red spray paint in bold letters with messages such as "U killed my pet" and "cat murderer." 

The signs are all pointed toward one neighbor's house, and that's because, according to residents, this person trapped their house cats and turned them directly over to animal control.

"I can't imagine trapping cats and not seeing where they belong before euthanizing them," said Canille Davies, director of the Worcester County Humane Society.

Davies says the county animal control's decision to put down at least three of the seven missing cats from Waterview Drive was made too quickly and without merit.

"A de-clawed, spayed, 16-year-old cat? No way is that going to hurt anybody," Davies said.

County officials say they followed policy, and claim they did attempt to find out if the un-collared cats had homes before euthanizing the ones they say were either wounded or aggressive.

But this is not the first time Davies has heard about a situation like this in the county, she said.

"I don't let my cats out, because I'm afraid of what could happen," she said.

And for residents of Waterview Drive, many are left wondering in hindsight if there was a more humane or even neighborly way to handle this situation.

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