A stray cat with what appears to have been badly infected or damaged ears was taken to an animal rehoming center where a vet associated with the center amputated a large part of each ear (see photo) whereupon the photo went viral on social media as the charity claimed the loss of the cat’s ears was due to abuse by thugs. This resulted in a reward of £1,000 being offered by a local newspaper to find the thug or thugs who did it and then a further reward was offered of £2,500 by the Animal Rights Action Network, who stated that it was…
“imperative that any community faced with a sadistic and violent act like this take measures to find the culprits and bring then to justice.”
The charity said about the photo:
“The cat’s ears were like this when the cat was found. The left ear had the rest of the ear hanging off by a thread which was dead tissue and fell off when being cleaned.”
What happened next is that the people who had taken the cat to the charity became upset at what they saw as misleading information being put out by the charity.
The person who handed the cat into the rehoming charity said the cat had not lost her ears as shown in the picture when she was handed in. She said that her elderly father had been feeding the cat but became too infirm to carry on. She said the cat’s ears were in poor condition but not removed as shown in the picture at the time she was handed in. The woman said:
“This has been very stressful for my father and the family. We would like the charity to clarify the issue publicly. She did not look like that when I handed her over. Those photos are from after treatment.”
I suppose what she meant was that her family could have been implicated in the claimed cat abuse.
Not long after things changed dramatically and the charity made a sharp U-turn in saying on Facebook:
“Leah is currently receiving the treatment needed for her ears and both Leah and her kittens are doing extremely well. Sadly the treatment resulted in the removal of the remainder of her ears.
We have consulted with our vets and there is no evidence that animal cruelty was involved. We would like to thank those in the Ballynamore area that cared for both Leah and her kittens which resulted in Leah receiving the treatment she needed.”
The charity have removed the FB posts.
So there it is: confusion abounds. This has the appearance of a mix up rather than an attempt by the charity to publicise their work in hyping up this cat’s condition and the cause or am I being too generous? It is interesting nonetheless.
The charity, the Rainbow Rehoming Centre, were not available for comment when approached by the newspaper which had offered the reward. I presume that both rewards have been withdrawn.
The cat has been named Leah.
Source: Belfast Herald.