(SNOW HILL, Md.)- Drenched in frustration, several people took to the streets of Snow Hill, the heart of Worcester County, to voice a concern that some say pulls at their heart-strings.
Protesters, Thursday night, had one message: "Worcester County Taxpayers Want Humane Treatment for Cats!" It was a message paraded on large poster boards. Local animal lovers and a Washington, D.C. based animal advocacy group teamed up to protest the euthanizing of "Oliver" the cat.
Oliver freely roamed an area in West Ocean City, Md., where a separate cat, which tested positive for rabies, also lived.
Red flags went up; and neighbors say Animal Control Officers went on a "witch hunt," searching for cats that were possibly exposed to the rabid cat.
The investigation led to a so-called "rabies round-up." Dozens of traps were installed and patrol was increased in the Ocean Village community.
The efforts netted several animals: a raccoon, an opossum and some cats. Oliver was included, neighbors said.
Now Community Cats Coalition, a non-profit organization aimed at stopping the overpopulation of more unwanted litters, is sounding the alarm.
Susan Coleman, the director of Community Cats Coalition, claims "after a week of many phone calls, we were told that the cat was going to be killed!"
Refusing to take this loss sitting down, Coleman stood. She stood with dozens of supporters by her side that say "the rabid cat that was found near the colony was never part of the colony."
She tells WRDE by providing rabies vaccines to colony cats protects not only the cats but the public by providing a firewall of protection.
"Oliver is now going to have his life ended simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Coleman said. "Animal Control and the Health Department are wielding their power of authority with a huge sledgehammer and it must stop."
To see if there's any truth to the strong allegations, WRDE reached out to both the Worcester County Health Department and the spokeswoman of Worcester County Kim Moses. Moses is out of office, according to county officials, and no one would speak on the matter until the next County Commissioners' Meeting. As for the Health Department, my email went unanswered.