As part of an ongoing rescue operation, the Regional Animal Protection Society has saved a cat who has spent about a year with a rope wrapped around her head and shoulder. The cat, who has been named Brooke, was fortunate to have no permanent nerve damage.
In total, five adult cats and three kittens have so far been rescued from an industrial site on Shell Road in Richmond. But the organization is asking for public assistance to complete the still-urgent objective of saving at least five more cats in the colony.
An on-site video camera captured a harrowing scene in which a kitten was chased by a raccoon. When RAPS staff didn’t see the kitten for several days, they feared the worst. A celebration erupted when the baby, now named Ensalada, was trapped and is now safe.
“The only safe situation is for all these cats to be trapped, spayed or neutered and cared for at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, where they will receive all the care and attention they need,” says Valerie Wilson, assistant manager of the RAPS Cat Sanctuary.
These cats have clearly been part of what is called a “semi-managed” or poorly managed colony, says Wilson.
“This means that people have been feeding the animals, but not providing the healthcare and safe housing that they need,” she says. “There has clearly been breeding – but the population is not growing. That means the animals are likely being killed.”
Some humans in the area were deliberately interfering with the trapping process, believing that the stray or feral cats were fine where they are. People at one company have realized what is best for the cats and are now assisting in the operation.
“Cats and kittens in these situations are never OK,” says Wilson. “Their life expectancy is short and their quality of life is negligible. They must be rescued and given the protection, veterinary care and safe housing they need.”
Cats already rescued have a range of physical conditions and are receiving care as required at the RAPS Animal Hospital. They are SNAP tested for FIV and FeLV, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and given any and all care they need. Kittens are likely to be socialized and find forever family homes, as may some adults. Those whose experiences do not permit domestication will live forever at the “Kitty Club Med” of the RAPS Cat Sanctuary. Cost of care, averaging $260 per cat per month, amounts to thousands of dollars for the life of the cat.
“The older a cat is when it is trapped, in most cases, the harder it is to become socialized enough to live with a family,” she says. “But there are exceptions. Already, Brando, who came to us completely feral is now coming out of his shell and enjoys some attention but is still a little bit shy.” We are sure that once he has completely healed, he will be able to be adopted into a good home.
Brooke, which the name given to the cat who lived with a rope attached to her, according to witnesses, for as long as a year, is remarkably docile and adores attention. (See videos!) Wilson suspects the cat was tied to a fixture by a human and escaped.
RAPS is depending on our community to come through with the financial resources to help us provide these animals with the immediate and long-term care they require.
In addition to raising awareness of the importance of trapping these animals – and encouraging people to leave traps alone if they find them – we are asking for financial support to complete this rescue operation and give these cats the help they need.
Lifetime care of these cats will cost upwards of $40,000 and we are asking the public to help us with at least $10,000 of the costs. Current fundraising for this rescue operation is at approximately $2,500.