Man who rescued neglected Persian dragging 5 pounds of matted fur has died aged 68

You might remember the well-publicised story of the white Persian cat (Persian-mix?) who was seen dragging around behind him 5 pounds of filthy, matted fur. The photograph is memorable. I doubt whether anybody has seen anything quite like it. The neglect of this cat was extreme. It looked as if the cat was dragging a carpet around behind him. This story unfolded around 12 months ago. Jumping forward the story continues with the sad passing of the man who rescued the cat.

Bill Caprio and the neglected Persian cat before and after rescue
Bill Caprio and the neglected Persian cat before and after rescue. Photos: Anti-Cruelty Society
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The cat, whose name is Sinbad, was spotted by a meter reader who reported the matter. Mr Bill Caprio, a humane investigator for 12 years with the Anti-Cruelty Society was dispatched to the home where the Persian cat lived. Mr Caprio was known to be an incredibly diplomatic person who was able to convince the owners of animals to give up their pets with a minimum of resistance.

He discovered Sinbad at the home as described, in a diabolical state. He rescued the cat and Sinbad was rehabilitated and ultimately adopted by a gentleman whose name is Elliott Serrano who in fact had fostered him. I wrote about the story about a year ago.

Mr Caprio had a 30+ year career as an employee of Chicago Animal Care and Control. He was an inveterate animal rescuer over more than 40 years. The Chicago Sun Times reports that Bill Caprio had helped countless animals including dogs, ducks, a pig and a rooster together with foxes and a baboon and of course this Persian cat over the years of his cat and animal rescuing.

Bill sadly died of cancer last Sunday at the Château Centre in Willowbrook according to the Chicago Sun Times. Bill was a widower. The Animal-Cruelty Society said:

“Chicago’s animal welfare community lost one of its heroes”.

Bill’s sister said:

“He saved many animal lives.”

“He would take them outside for walks and just comfort them,” said Dotty Cowles-Newton, a field services manager with the Anti-Cruelty Society. We are told that in his final days he wanted to know more about Molly, a sick cat found in 2018 in an alley. In one of the last conversations that Cowles-Newton had she was able to tell him that the cat had been adopted and she brought him a picture.

Bill Caprio was affectionately known as “Uncle Bill” by his co-workers. It appears to me that Bill put a positive spin on a lot of what he saw. He appears to have tried to turn a negative situation into a positive one and was never judgemental of people who had failed to care for their pets adequately.

A former Anti-Cruelty investigator, Simon Harries said:

“If ever there was a guardian angel for animals it was Bill Caprio.”

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2 thoughts on “Man who rescued neglected Persian dragging 5 pounds of matted fur has died aged 68”

  1. I remember the cruel case of the neglected Persian cat. Mr Bill Caprio was a truly compassionate human being. He is an example of the amazing difference one person can make in the world. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends at this time. 😥💜💜☮️

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