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News Maryland Anne Arundel County Glen Burnie

Cat captured at Richard Henry Lee Elementary School

The long cat-tastrophe is over.

The feline that shut down Richard Henry Lee Elementary School in Glen Burnie Friday was captured by Animal Control Tuesday morning.

Over the weekend there was no movement detected by motion-sensitive cameras, leading school officials to believe the cat had left the building and that it was safe to reopen the school Tuesday, Principal Christopher Wooleyhand wrote in a letter to parents.

"Well before students arrived this morning, however, two of our second-grade teachers discovered cat urine and fur in a classroom supply closet," Wooleyhand wrote.

The teachers made that discovery around 7:30 a.m., Anne Arundel County Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said. The school then notified animal control, which confined the cat and took custody around 9 a.m.

Mosier said he has seen deer chased into schools and classroom pet snakes get loose, but that this was something new.

"We've had a lot of animal incidents at schools in the eight years I've been here and this is the first cat one," he said.

Animal Control supervisor Robin Catlett said she can't yet say what will happen to the cat, which agency employees have dubbed "Stephanie." She said that adopting her out is possible, or euthanasia, if there are safety concerns. It all depends on what is discovered during monitoring, Catlett said.

"We're going to assess the cat, but it's had a tough weekend, so we're going to let it settle down," she said.

The cat, a domestic shorthair tortoiseshell with white markings, was scared during the 30-minute capture by Animal Control officers, Catlett said.

Classes have resumed and students have returned to the classroom where the cat was found, Mosier said.

"I can't say enough about the way parents and students handled the situation on Friday," he said. "(It was) just phenomenal in understanding what was going on and why we had to close school on Friday when we did."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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