Local residents come to aid of stray kittens

BETHANY - The arrest last week of a New Haven man charged with the robbery of a Bank of America branch sent a Bethany woman and her friend scrambling last weekend.

When an arrest warrant was served on Robert Herman, who was living in a motel on Pond Lily Avenue in New Haven, police, were surprised to find upward of 13 felines in his motel room.

Those animals were quickly removed to the New Haven Animal Shelter.

But Herman was also looking out for numerous felines that were living in the woods surrounding his motel. These felines are considered strays - and according to state statutes do not have to be accepted at municipal animal shelters.

When Karen Portlock, long known for her willingness to help animals in need, learned of some kittens that had been sighted she and a friend immediately went into action and caught six kittens.

Portlock said she was concerned for the animals as their food source (Herman) was gone.

She was able to rescue five tiger stripped kittens and one black feline believed to be around 5 to 6 months of age.

“This guy (Herman) was more responsible than most people I know,” Portlock said adding that in his car he carried two cat carriers and a trap.

“He went over and beyond what most people would do for their animals. The ones he kept inside where all spayed and neutered except one,” she said.

Portlock said when she first learned of the strays she thought they would be able to turn them over to the New Haven Animal Shelter but then learned they would not accept them because they were considered ‘strays.’

Portlock said she has incurred more than $700 in expenses with the kittens. They have all been tested for feline leukemia, have been spayed/neutered and have received their rabies and distemper inoculations.

The kittens, Portlock said, are quite friendly for having been living outdoors and can be handled and enjoy human companionship. And now the young felines are in need of homes. One of the kittens is missing a paw but seems to have no ill effects from the missing stump.

Anyone interested in adopting the young felines is urged to call Portlock at 203-804-1646. If you would like to assist with the veterinary bills checks can be sent to Beacon Valley Animal Hospital, 772 Prospect St., Naugatuck, CT 06770 Att. Karen Portlock.