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Thank you for your support of PETA's Emergency Response Team as it works tirelessly to respond to hundreds of calls and e-mails every week about animals who desperately need help.
Last month, while checking up on some of the many animals our team has helped in a deeply impoverished rural North Carolina community, one of our fieldworkers came across an awful sight. Living in among a group of feral cats were several kittens suffering from grave medical conditions, including a terrified, almost-blind gray kitten in misery from severely ulcerated and bulging eyes and a tiny white kitten whose painful neck wound had gone untreated for so long that it had become infested with maggots. Had our team not been there to see that these animals eventually received a merciful release from their suffering, they would have died slowly from infection, stumbling about, scared, and in pain.
Such was also the case for a wily gray-and-white cat who was discovered wandering in a California city late this summer. Life on the streets had left him fearful of humans, and he skillfully dodged all attempts to help him. Ultimately, it was his weakness from a raging, untreated cancer consuming both of his ears and who knows what other parts of his internal organs that led to his capture and a peaceful release from the misery that had driven him to claw frantically at his ears and neck until they were bloody.
While we may never know who or what was responsible for the horrific injury sustained by the large tabby cat found in one Los Angeles neighborhood, it's certain that the intense pain that he endured as a consequence of having the skin torn off his tail was tremendous. A PETA caseworker arranged for this dear cat to be trapped and taken off the streets.
Feral and semi-feral cats are often fearful of humans, and they are ill-equipped to survive on their own. PETA caseworkers have helped with countless instances such as those cited here, in which cats who are abandoned outdoors with only a daily serving of food, or less, suffer from infected wounds and injuries, contagious diseases, extreme weather conditions, or severe parasite infestations or have been poisoned, shot, and even tortured by cruel people who consider them a nuisance or are just having a "bit of fun." Some of these vulnerable animals suffer as a result of well-intentioned—but misguided—efforts to "trap, neuter, release" or feed feral cat colonies in dangerous areas or on the property of people who hate cats and wish them harm.
We can all help by ensuring that the cats who share our homes are spayed or neutered and never allowed outdoors, thereby preventing the creation of "new" feral cats. But if you see free-roaming cats, please don't assume that they belong to someone or are adequately cared for. Investigate carefully to be sure that they are all right. They may be lost or abandoned and in urgent need of care, shelter, or medical treatment. Your local animal shelter and animal control department may rent or loan box traps that can be used to capture cats humanely so that they can be taken to a reputable open-admission shelter, where those who are lost will have a chance to be safely reunited with their guardians or placed for adoption, and those who are sick or injured can be treated or, if it's best for them, euthanized.
Thank you for supporting the Emergency Response Team and for everything that you do to help cats, dogs, and all other animals who count on the help of caring souls.
Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, PETA's cruelty caseworkers stand ready to respond to calls about animals in need.By making a generous gift today, you'll be helping PETA offer a lifeline to abused, injured, and neglected animals who have no other hope.
The dangers faced by cats left outdoors—exposure to disease, vehicles, attacks by wild animals, and more—are too great for the vulnerable, trusting cats we share our homes with or for any cats. Check out PETA.org for great tips on keeping the cats in your life happy and healthy indoors.
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This e-mail was sent by PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 USA.