Bridget Sustains Horrific Injuries after She Slips and Tumbles into a Strand of Razor-Wire Fencing Inhumanely Strung Between Two Buildings
"The vet bills will be quite extensive. It's (Bridget's injuries) pretty gruesome."
-- Sheila Choi of Fuzzy Dog and Cat Rescue
A twelve-week-old kitten named Bridget had the misfortune to discover firsthand just how dangerous razor-wire fencing can be to members of her species when on June 21st she became impaled upon a strand of it inhumanely strung between two buildings in Cypress, California. Although it is unclear exactly what happened, her rescuers theorize that she accidentally slipped and fell into the wire while crossing between the two buildings. (See photo above of her after surgery.)
More than likely the deadly wire would have become her tomb if it had not been for twenty-one-year-old Randi Custodio of the 9100 block of Julie Beth Street who heard her plaintive cries for help and summoned the Orange County Fire Authority. Drenched in blood from head to tail as the result of multiple deep wounds to her paws, abdomen, back, and elsewhere, Bridget was rushed to VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital in Cerritos. (See photo below of the damage done to her abdomen.)
Surgeons at the facility shaved away most of her fur and sutured her gaping wounds before fitting her with an Elizabethan collar in order to prevent her from gnawing at the incisions. (See bottom photo.)
It is going to take considerable time for her wounds to heal and fur to grow back but the good news is that she is expected to make a full recovery. At last report, however, she was still in intensive care at the hospital.
Fuzzy Dog and Cat Rescue of Santa Monica generously has agreed to be responsible for both Bridget's steadily increasing $1,300 medical tab as well as her future placement. "The vet bills will be quite extensive," Sheila Choi of Fuzzy told The Orange County Register on June 21st. (See "Kitten Rescued from Razor Wire, Seeks Home.") "It's (Bridget's injuries) pretty gruesome."
Anyone able to spare a few dollars in order to help Bridget recover and to find a new home is encouraged to contact Fuzzy Rescue either by telephone at (310) 883-5681 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since statistics of this sort are not compiled, it is impossible to say how many cats and other animals are injured and killed by razor-wire fencing each year. What little information that exists is, consequently, anecdotal. For example, actor Rodney Bewes's six-year-old cat, Maurice, has been impaled several times in recent years on razor wire strung around George Harrison's mansion, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
In addition to nearly killing Maurice, the deadly wire has cost Bewes thousands of pounds in veterinary bills and forced him to alter both his work and travel plans. Also, at least three other cats from the tony neighborhood have been injured by the razor wire. (See Cat Defender post of January 11, 2010 entitled "Razor-Wire Fencing Surrounding George Harrison's Mansion, Friar Park, Is Taking a Heavy Toll on Cats from the Neighborhood.")
Contrary to whatever the owner of the buildings on Julie Beth Street and Harrison's widow, Olivia Trinidad Arias, may believe, neither Cypress nor Henley-on-Thames are located in war zones and as a consequence razor-wire fencing is totally inappropriate. Besides injuring and killing cats, these types of fences are public eyesores that bring disrepute on both neighborhoods.
After a protracted political and public relations battle, Arias finally saw the light and recently removed the razor wire from around Friar Park. (See Daily Mail, June 27, 2010, "Ex-Likely Lad Rodney Bewes Wins War with Beatles' Widow over Razor-Wire Fence That 'Nearly Killed' His Cat.")
It is unclear why the landlord in Cypress felt the need to string razor wire between the two buildings unless Julie Beth Street is located in an especially high-crime area. Regardless of the rationale, the landlord should follow Arias's example and remove the dangerous wire.
If either he or she is not amenable to reason, animal cruelty charges should be brought against either him or her for what was done to Bridget. The landlord additionally should be held liable for Bridget's veterinary bill.
In order to avoid such life-threatening injuries in the future, politicians in Cypress for once in their lives should demonstrate some compassion for cats by outlawing the installation of razor-wire fencing. It is superfluous in that there are so many humane alternatives available.
For example, regular fencing could be made taller and fashioned in such a way as to make scaling it impossible. Besides, alarms, security cameras, dogs, and private guards are a far better method of securing valuable property than razor wire.
Photos: KTLA-TV of Los Angeles.