Shelter director fearful for stolen kittens

Three baby kittens were reportedly stolen from a local cat shelter last Friday, and the shelter director is fearing for their lives.

Mary Draayer, director of Cats Off Broadway animal shelter, said the missing kittens are only about six weeks old and in need of intravenous hydration and antibiotics to stay alive.

“It’s just heartbreaking to think someone would come in and take these three little kittens,” Draayer said. “They were so little, so fragile, that now — a week later — they’re probably dead.”

Two of Draayer’s volunteers discovered the kittens missing around 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, when they returned to the shelter after a day of fundraising in Albert Lea’s Northbridge Mall. According to Draayer, the kitten-napper only had about a five-hour window to take the animals, since she and the volunteers were at the shelter at noon that day.

“Whoever stole the kittens is not a nice person,” Draayer said.

She suspects the culprit is someone who knows her schedule and routine, because he or she entered through the back door, which is always open for her two volunteers to enter. The back door was left open, and one of the volunteers found some of the cats in the backyard and down the street, Draayer said.

Along with the three kittens, four cat beds, a kitty heating pad and at least 10 bags of kitty litter were also reportedly stolen. Draayer estimates the total loss at around $300, including the cost of adoption for the kittens.

She added that Cats Off Broadway has been struggling to bring in donations this year, so the loss is bad timing.

Although Draayer fears the worst for the missing kittens, she is still hoping to locate them and nurse them back to health. Two of the kittens are long-haired, black and grey females and the third is a white and orange male.

If anyone has any information about the missing kittens, they can call the Law Enforcement Center at 437-9400 or Cats Off Broadway at 434-9092.

Police Chief Brian Krueger said the matter is still under investigation.

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