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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Saint John Warns People to Keep Cats Inside

NB Telegraph-Journal | Saint John
As published on page B3 on October 28, 2005

Incident prompts Animal Rescue League official to issue warning to cat owners
Kitten rescued after being tortured

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

A tiny, traumatized kitten is recuperating at the Animal Rescue League after being tortured.

And the incident has the executive director encouraging cat owners to keep their pets indoors.

Tape had been wrapped around the kitten's tail from end to end and gauze wrapped around each of its hind legs, said Mike McNulty, receptionist and animal attendant.

The gauze was tied so tightly over the terrified kitten's tail that it couldn't go to the bathroom, he said.

"When I got it all off, he had to go so bad it was just running right out of him."

Some of the kitten's ginger-coloured fur was ripped out when the tape was removed and some had to be trimmed away to clean him up, said Mr. McNulty.

A white flea collar was so tight around its neck it was almost choking. And it was starving. "He's really thin. You can feel the bones."

The male kitten, estimated to be about three months old, was dropped off at the ARL by a man on Thursday afternoon.

He said a group of kids had been torturing it near the Carleton Community Centre at Marketplace West, said Mr. McNulty.

"I was a kid once and I did some silly things, but a thought like that never crossed my mind," he said.

"Kids are kids, but that's sick.

"It makes me mad."

Executive director Janet Foster said the incident is just another reason why cat owners should keep their pets indoors.

"They're safer inside," she said. They're less likely to be attacked by another animal, to pick up a disease, to get hit by a car or annoy neighbours.

And they live longer too, she said.

Under the city's bylaw, cats are not allowed to run loose and they're supposed to be licensed, noted Ms. Foster.

The kitten, being called Carleton by ARL staff, was not licensed, so there's no way to track down his owners, she said.

He's looking for a new home.

Ms. Foster hopes any child who witnesses an animal being tortured will tell their parents or report the incident to the ARL by calling 633-1228.

"Every thing on this planet deserves to be treated with respect - from the smallest bug up to the largest animal."

Photo Cutline:

(Peter Walsh/Telegraph-Journal)
A three-month-old kitten was starving and had lost some of its fur before being taken to the Animal Rescue League.
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