LUNENBURG (CBS) – It is a case of abuse that brought a long-time animal control officer to tears.

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“I know that things are tough, but make a call,” Kathleen Comeau said as her eyes began to water.

Sunday night, Comeau got a call from a man who had made a terrible discovery near his mailbox on Elmwood Road.

“He saw the bag there and he went over there to examine it and he was probably going to get rid of it because it looked like trash and there was an animal in it,” she said.

Someone put a male cat in a trash bag with a litter box and left it on the side of the road. From what she saw when she got there, she believes the animal was alive when dumped.

“He tried to get out because his little head was coming out of the bag but he didn’t make it,” she said. “He must have asphyxiated and didn’t have the strength.”

Comeau has a passion for animals which is evident at her Lunenburg home.

“They ask for very little and they give a lot,” she said.

She owns a grooming business, raises bulldogs and horses and as the animal control officer of 35 years, takes in strays when necessary. That is one reason this case is so upsetting.

“They can just pick up the phone. I mean I live here. My number is my house,” she said. “I mean I never restrict people from coming here or calling me.”

The Lunenburg incident is the second case of an animal being abandoned outside in recent days.

In Ashland, a 7- month-old Maltese dog with a broken left paw was abandoned at the Metrowest Cat Shelter in Ashland.

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Snowball was abandoned in Ashland. (Photo courtesy: Animal Rescue League)

Snowball was abandoned in Ashland. (Photo courtesy: Animal Rescue League)

Left outside the building in a crate after dark, the owner left a note stating: “I am sorry to do this but I am leaving this dog here [because] unfortunately, I have no money to care for him. His vaccines are not up to date and I believe his left foot is fractured.”

Ashland officials reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston to provide the orthopedic surgery necessary to fix the dog’s paw. Officials are calling the dog “Snowball.”

Naomi Johnston is helping Snowball recuperate in Boston. She urges any pet owner to reach out to a shelter before abandoning their animal.

“I mean honestly it breaks all of our hearts just because it doesn’t have to happen,” Johnston explains. “We’re here, you can call us; we’re not out to judge people for abandoning their pets. We understand.”

In Lunenburg, Comeau is now offering her own reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case. The Lunenburg Police Chief says he’ll pursue felony animal cruelty charges against whomever left the animal to die.

Neither can fathom how anyone could be so cruel. “I have a hard time believing it’s Lunenburg because in Lunenburg, the people are very caring about animals. I’ve never had a problem,” she said.

But she does want the person responsible, wherever they live, to know one thing for sure.

“I just don’t want them to think that they can dump an animal and just get away with that. I just want them to know that I’m looking,” she said sternly.

Anyone with information can call Lunenburg Police at 978-582-4531 or Animal Control Officer Kathleen Comeau at 978-345-4957.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is asking for the public’s help to offset the costs associated with Snowball’s care and rehabilitation. Please make a donation by calling (617) 426-9170, extension 615 or by visiting

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WBZ-TV’s Bobby Sisk and Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.