What are professional animal trapping companies doing with the cats they trap? After following several cases of cats ‘disappearing’ after being trapped, I thought this a good discussion article.
What’s happening in NC and SC (and most likely other states as well)
There will always be people who don’t like cats and don’t want them on their property. Unfortunately, it’s legal for a resident to hire someone who traps cats for a living to set their traps and remove the cats from the property.
What happens next is causing concern in both North Carolina and South Carolina. I’m sure other areas may have similar stories.
The problem occurs when the trapper finds a cat who obviously has a home. The cat may even be wearing a collar. You’d think the trapper would take his catch to the local animal shelter or humane society. That’s not what’s taking place. Cats are being taken out of the area and either released to another area or perhaps even killed.
When asked about where certain cats in certain states are released, the trapper refuses to give any information. Even when rescue groups step up saying they’ll take any cats trapped.
How the law reads on animal abandonment and animal cruelty in North Carolina (SC is the same almost word-for-word. Article 47 states
§ 14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section.
(a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(a1) If any person shall maliciously kill, or cause or procure to be killed, any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony.
(b) If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony.
(c) As used in this section, the words “torture”, “torment”, and “cruelly” include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word “intentionally” refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word “maliciously” means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive.
The situation in North Carolina
There’s currently a certain store in the Gastonia area who called in a trapping company. The cats were trapped and now they’re gone (but not to a shelter). The information being spread on what happened to the cats is heartbreaking:
“I am hearing the cats are trapped by a Class B animal dealer and trapped for a lab that supplies animals for experimentation. They kill them and sell their bodies. Now I don’t know about you but this gets deeper the more I learn. Our cats are being collected to be killed.”
The situation in South Carolina
The trapping service trapped six pet cats wearing collars. He has admitted to releasing the cats in another area.
I’ve mosaiced out the name of the trapping company because the man who owns it has been screaming “lawsuit” for libel and defamation of character since the rescue community was made aware of his abandonment practices.
Trapping is legal, abandoning cats is not
It’s legal for these trappers to operate their business IF they take the trapped cats to a shelter. It’s illegal for trapped cats to be abandoned to left to survive on their own or to be sold. Some of these trappers are brazen enough to set traps on the property where a cat is allowed to roam free. I’d suggest a property owner who comes across a trap to deactivate and remove it. Better yet, donate the trap to a rescue or TNR caregiver.