by Elisa Black-Taylor
Victim of cat trapping
I'd like for everyone reading this to take a good look at the picture I'm using for this article on cat trapping. This poor soul, who is a 2-4 year old gray and white male cat, sits in a shelter in Gaston County, NC. He's a victim of cat trapping and is scheduled to die on February 21, 2012.
What makes this story so cruel is that everyone involved possibly KNOWS who owns this cat. The story has it that the officer who came out to get the cat after it had been trapped, along with the person doing the trapping, are both condoning catnapping. I believe this because the officer allegedly tried to talk the trapper out of sending this cat to the shelter.
Cat trapping is done using the same type of traps used by TNR. The major difference is this is a one way trip to the shelter. Once a cat goes inside and springs the trap, it's taken to the shelter (usually an intake facility), where it's held for a period of 5 days awaiting someone to claim the cat as a lost pet. At the end of this time period the cat may be euthanized, adopted out or rescued.
There are also cruel cat trappers who simply kill the cat and dispose of the remains. Common practice in the old south was to trap an animal in a cage and then drown it.
Readers, do NOT think your cat can't become a victim. The law is usually on the side of the homeowner where the trap is being set. In other words, if a homeowner doesn't want your cat on his property, it's legal to humanely trap the cat and take it to the shelter.
I have a foster in my care right now who's still limping after being caught in an inhumane trap. One of those spring loaded ones that can cause loss of limb or even death. Alto is healing nicely and didn't deserve this.
I've even heard of law enforcement telling residents to "shoot it" when referring to a trespassing cat. This wasn't said in a joking manner. I have friends who live in the next county, both are cat owners. Each of them has a cat who has had to have a leg amputated in the past few months due to gunshot wounds to the leg.
Whether it's trappers or shooters, our rescue refuses to allow our own cats the freedom of the great outdoors. We lost a dog to shooters back in 2007. We just couldn't prove who shot her.
I'm not writing this to make readers paranoid about allowing their cats outdoor privileges. I just want everyone to be aware there are more dangers out there than hit-and-runs and wild animals.
If you have a neighbor complaining about your cat, you'd better take it as a threat or your cat could disappear.
Which is what I'm afraid has happened to this poor cat at the Gaston, NC shelter.
I rescue out of Greenville, SC, and I've seen the victims of cat trapping come in while I was at the shelter on a rescue. Some traps would have more than one kitten.
I would like to add the age of the cat trappers I ran into at the shelter was over 60 years old. Perhaps older citizens are less tolerant of stray cats in this country. I don't know. I only know that out of the dozen or so trappers I've met, all were well on their way to being senior citizens and all were male.
Readers, if you must allow your can outdoor access, please be very cautious. Know your neighbors and their feelings about cats crossing onto their property. I have an aunt who freaks over cat pawprints on her car. If a neighbor complains you should take it seriously.
Should your cat disappear, contact the shelter immediately and put up lost flyers and go door to door. Do it quickly because cats are only held a short time before being euthanized.
Have any of you been a victim of cat trapping? And please, if anyone has any idea on how to help this poor cat get back home we're all open to suggestions. I sent a message saying I'm willing to foster him if he can get the 100 mile distance to me. We can't let this big boy die just because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.