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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Brave Orange Tabby Cat Dubbed Hopalong Cassidy Loses a Limb to a Leghold Trap in British Columbia

A beautiful orange tabby shorthair cat from Ellison, British Columbia lost his right leg to an old leghold trap earlier this month. The cat, nicknamed Hopalong Cassidy, was discovered dragging along the trap by an employee of a golf course who immediately rushed it to Dr. Marco Veenis of the Okanagan Veterinary Hospital.

Unfortunately, the leg was so damaged that it had to be amputated. The kindhearted groundskeeper was left devastated by the ordeal.

Based upon the severity of the damage to the leg, it is estimated that Hopalong had been dragging around the steel trap with him for two to three days and officials consider it a miracle that he even survived. Although he must have been in excruciating pain, the brave little cat still had enough presence of mind in order to drag himself to a place where he could be found.

The surgery, which normally would have cost around $1,100 was significantly discounted by Veenis and paid for by the SPCA's Biscuit Fund which was set up to cover emergencies such as this. Ellison is a rural community about twenty minutes outside of Kelowna and approximately 112 kilometers north of Seattle.

Hopalong was initially taken to the Casorso Road Shelter while the SPCA attempted to locate his owners. (See photo above of him with the attendants.)

It is believed that the two to five year old cat once had a home but that he had been fending for himself for sometime. Although he is timid and frightens easily, he nonetheless appears to find human voices soothing.

Since his previous owners did not come forward, Hopalong was recently adopted and his new family has changed his name to Tiger Woods since he was found at a golf course. Although he is still getting used to being around people again as well as having to learn to walk on three legs, Hopalong will hopefully now be able to find the happiness that he so richly deserves.

Meanwhile, the SPCA continues to search for the owner of the leghold trap. "I don't understand how someone could put a trap like that out. Whether it's a cat, a raccoon or a gopher, it's hideous, painful, and ugly. I can't believe it could be accidental. It was an old, old trap, but they still had a helluva time getting it off," Kathy Woodward, a constable with the Kelowna SPCA told The Daily Courier.

Leghold traps and their even deadlier cousins, body gripper traps, should be outlawed. Not only are they inhumane but they seldom work properly. Instead of ensuring quick and painless deaths as they are advertised to do, they most often yield agonizingly slow exterminations where their victims eventually succumb to either blood loss, infections, or predation.

These kinds of traps are not fit to be used against even wild animals. Worst still, there is always the chance that someone's companion animal will either be killed or maimed by one of them.

Photo: Kelowna SPCA.