On a hot May day in Wrentham, Massachusetts, five neonatal kittens and their mother were carelessly tossed on the side of Interstate 495. The month old siblings were inside a plastic crate, left there by Alex T. Rodriguez, 32 of North Easton. Temperatures were over 80 degrees and the babies quickly became dehydrated. The crate door was open and the mother cat ran off.
A Good Samaritan who happened to be driving along the stretch of road saw the carrier and stopped. She was utterly shocked at what she found inside and immediately rushed them to the authorities. The Wrentham Police Department shared the photo of the rescued kittens on their Facebook page in the hopes of finding the perpetrator.
The shared post reached far and wide and ended up leading to numerous witnesses coming forward.
When one woman saw the photo, she received quite a shock. Arriving home, she found that her recent litter of kittens and their mother was missing! When she questioned her long time boyfriend about her kittens, he stated he’d found a person in a nearby town who took the feline family.
Her boyfriend’s name…Alex T. Rodriguez.
She contacted the police as soon as she realized the familiar looking kittens from the post were her missing litter! Officers were able to obtain a search warrant and retraced Rodriguez’s path using the GPS in his work vehicle. He later admitted that he had dropped the animals off on the side of the road while on the way to a plumbing job.
While the courts built their case against Rodriguez, “The 495 Five” kittens were taken into foster care.
King Philip Animal Rescue, a “non-profit organization with a current focus on feral, stray and abandoned cats”, welcomed the kittens on May 29th, 2018. Too young to be adopted out, the kittens would remain with a foster family until they were old enough to be fixed. Mother and daughter team, Kathy Dahlstrom and Annette Oliveira, were the caring foster women who opened their hearts to the deserving kittens.
“They have been treated for fleas and syringe fed KMR kitten formula and are now snoozing peacefully.”
Over the next week, the rescue was flooded with supporters sending care packages, donations for vet bills and pre-adoption applications. They received over 140 applications for the tiny babes! All the kittens were healthy, eating wonderfully and turned into absolute snugglers.
Names were carefully determined and fit purrfectly for the sweet kittens.
“The kittens are all named after people that have made a positive impact on our world. We have Diana (Princess Diana), Gloria (Gloria Steinem), Maya (Maya Angelou), Martin (Martin Luther King), and Gandhi.”
As the kittens were thriving in foster care, volunteers with the rescue knew they couldn’t give up on finding their mama. Sadly, to date, they’ve been unable to find her but remain hopeful.
“We are still searching for their mother so we are asking all of you to keep your eyes open for her.
We have reason to believe she is dark gray and short-haired – just like her babies. If anyone sees a cat wandering around that fits this description please reach out to us immediately. We would really love to give her the same happy ending that her babies received.”
July 2018 brought new beginnings for the adorable kittens as they finally met their fur-ever families.
Fourteen year old, Julia DeWitt had wished for a kitten for years, even expressing her desires in a PowerPoint presentation! When her parents Eileen and Chris saw little Maya, they knew she’d be joining their family. They couldn’t be happier about it and Julia is thrilled with her new fur-baby!
Diana will surely be the reigning princess in her new home with Dave and Elyse Anderson. She does have a slew of cute new cat and dog siblings to share her domain with. The Anderson’s have 2 other rescue cats and 2 rescue dogs…the BEST breeds! <3
Lucky lady Kim Wyman received the best birthday surprise from her husband, Barnstable Police Officer, Doug Palmer. Office Palmer’s plan to secretly adopt little Gloria played out purrfectly and the sweet girl joined their family, which includes a new kitty sister.
Over the next week, both kitties Martin and Ghandi were also welcomed into loving families. The only thing that changed about these “brothers” is that they are actually “sisters”, found out during their first vet visit! To be fair, it’s VERY difficult to sex kittens under a month of age.
Finally, just before the end of 2018, Alex Rodriguez had his day in court…the hot seat.
The Wrentham District Court found him guilty on 5 counts of animal cruelty, sentencing him to 2-years probation. Not quite enough in our opinion…especially since if he is follows the rules of his probation, the case could be dismissed! Boo.
Court records indicate, “he admitted police had sufficient evidence to find him guilty on animal cruelty charges.”
One of the conditions is that Rodriguez isn’t allowed to own any animals during the probation period. That is, except the cat that his girlfriend already has. (I’m pausing to stifle my anger).
The couple have 3 children and are still apparently together. Rodriguez previously had a drunk driving charge later dropped and another unknown charge on his record. There is no information on if the mama cat was a family cat, used for breeding, or a stray taken in.
Rodriguez gave no reason as to why he did what he did…but in reality, there’s no excuse for animal abuse.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!