The Great Outdoors? Not for Cats!

Some animal shelters manipulate their euthanasia statistics by instituting policies that leave animals to struggle for survival and die painfully on the streets. So-called “trap-neuter-release” (TNR) programs—or, more accurately, “trap-neuter-reabandon” programs—may allow limited-admission shelters to spin their intake and euthanasia numbers, but they do nothing to protect cats from the horrors that befall them when left outdoors to battle harsh surroundings, sickness, and sadistic people.

Countless cats who are left outdoors without protection die from infected wounds and injuries, as even small abscesses and common urinary tract infections can become raging and deadly for unsocialized cats who cannot be handled and treated. Cats outdoors are vulnerable to contagious diseases, parasite infestations, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, attacks by dogs and other predators, and being hit by vehicles. Cruel people often poison, shoot, burn, drown, or otherwise torture and kill cats.

Right or wrong, many property and business owners do not want cats on their property. Not everyone loves cats or wants them climbing on their cars, maiming or killing birds, or digging in their gardens. When animal shelters refuse to accept cats (as more and more so-called “no kill” facilities are doing), property owners often take matters into their own hands and resort to cruelty, both intentional and unintentional.

So many people become upset by roaming cats that legislation was introduced in Wisconsin and Utah to make it legal to stalk, hunt, and kill domestic cats! The bills failed, thanks to an outcry from animal activists and compassionate citizens, but that these bills were introduced at all should serve as a wake-up call for those who claim to care about cats—they are not safe outdoors.

Because of the many deadly hazards that cats face outdoors, responsible guardians allow their feline companions outdoors only when on a leash, in an enclosed area (such as a screened porch), or closely supervised.

Below is just a sampling of some of the horrible fates that have recently befallen stray, feral, and free-roaming cats. Countless others have died frightened and alone under porches or behind dumpsters, without anyone ever noticing what became of them.

August 2021/San Diego, California: NBCSanDiego.com reported that a homeless cat described as a “community cat” had been found injured after being shot with an arrow. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where she died. Authorities were asking anyone with information to contact them, but no suspects were identified.

 August 2021/Southampton, New York: Patch.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been “found caught in a hunting trap with a bullet lodged in her hip.” One of her back legs was reportedly “badly broken.” She was taken to an animal adoption group, which was trying to raise $7,600 for medical treatment, including the amputation of the leg. No additional information was available.

 August 2021/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh.CBSLocal.com reported that a man had been charged with cruelty to animals after a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was found shot to death in a resident’s yard. The cat reportedly “had a large wound on [his] backside, and police say a necropsy revealed that [he] was killed by a pellet from a pellet gun. . . . According to the criminal complaint, [the suspect] admitted to firing near the cat to scare [the animal]. [He] told police he was on his back deck when he saw the cat walking around a flower bed. He said cats coming onto his property became a problem after his wife was growing vegetables and flowers and she was upset.”

 August 2021/Centralia, Washington: Chronline.com reported that a man had been charged with cruelty to animals and was “accused of intentionally killing a kitten” who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision “‘because [the animal pooped] in his garden.’ . . . When questioned by police, [the suspect] allegedly admitted to killing the cat and reportedly said ‘he was tired of cats coming into his yard and getting under his house, and that this would send a message to all the other cats,’ according to court documents.”

 August 2021/Ardmore, Oklahoma: KXII.com reported that several cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had gone missing in a neighborhood. The owner of one of the cats said that she saw her cat being stolen after a car drove by her home a few times: “A large husky man jumped out of the passenger vehicle and grabbed her off my concrete slab and turned west.” Another cat in the area reportedly went missing around the same time. Authorities were reportedly notified, but no suspects were identified.

 August 2021/Gillette, Wyoming: County17.com reported that authorities were asked to investigate after a severely injured cat was left outside an animal shelter. The investigation reportedly determined that a resident found his cat injured and then asked friends to take the animal to a veterinary hospital. According to the report, the cat was in such bad shape that euthanasia was necessary and “the investigation did not determine the injuries were intentional. No further action was taken.”

 August 2021/Prescott, Arizona: ABC15.com reported that authorities had responded to a call and found two apparently homeless kittens dead in a parking lot. It reportedly appeared that the animals had died from blunt force trauma. Two live kittens were also found in the area and “were severely dehydrated, thin, and covered in urine and feces.” They were taken to an animal hospital for treatment. According to the report, “Police say three or four boys were heard making noise in the parking lot … around midnight the night before.” They were investigating.

August 2021/Mullins, South Carolina: SCNow.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. Two people had reportedly been exposed to the virus and were referred to their health-care providers for post-exposure treatment. No additional information was available.

August 2021/Greenville, South Carolina: FOXCarolina.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. According to the report, “Five people had potential exposure to the virus by this cat.” No additional information was available.

August 2021/Key Biscayne, Florida: IslanderNews.com reported that a group doing business as KB Community Cats that sterilizes and reabandons homeless cats said that it had found a home for a cat named Lion. A spokesperson for the group reportedly said, “Lion was fostered as a kitten then adopted by a resident who signed paperwork saying they’d keep him indoors and [provide him with] proper medical care and food. But the new owner soon after abandoned Lion, leaving the cat to fend for himself for food, drink and protection from the weather. Pleas to the adopter were ignored. Over Memorial Day weekend, Lion was badly wounded on his face and eye. Residents reported seeing teenagers in golf carts laughing, screaming, and using air guns to shoot birds, squirrels, and wandering [companion animals], like Lion, who is friendly and would have run toward any human thinking he’d be fed. Our volunteers rushed over to find Lion badly wounded. We made arrangements to take him to a veterinary ophthalmologist. The adopter was notified and he came to claim Lion, saying he’d get the necessary medical treatment. He did not. Instead, he said he gave Lion [to] a friend, who put [the cat] in the cage and abandoned him in Kendall. Lion has not been seen since then. It pains us to think about how much [he] has suffered, alone, scared, in a small cage in a strange place, with such a severe wound in his face and eye. . . . Lion is not the only cat [who] has suffered on Key Biscayne. Another cat [who] lived on Mashta Island was confirmed shot, paralyzed, and later died. There are two more cats missing. And there are numerous reports of young kids in Key Biscayne spitting on cats and kicking them.”

August 2021/Mullica Township, New Jersey: Patch.com reported that a homeless cat who was found “in distress” had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. According to the report, the two people who found him were “advised to speak with their healthcare providers about the potential need for post-exposure treatment.” No additional information was available.

August 2021/Gloucester, Virginia: GazetteJournal.net reported that an apparently homeless cat had bitten a person before the animal died or was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. The person required post-exposure treatment. No additional information was available.

August 2021/Burbank, Washington: Union-Bulletin.com reported that power company workers had found a homeless cat burned on the ground under a blown transformer. He was taken to a humane society, where medical staff found that he had been electrocuted and required weeks of treatment. According to a spokesperson for the group, his “hind end ‘kind of fell off. The part of him that was sitting on the electrical box got totally fried.’” He was expected to survive.

August 2021/Edinboro, Pennsylvania: GoErie.com reported that at least five cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found dead in a neighborhood where a kitten had been found convulsing. A skunk had also been found dead in the area. The kitten and an adult cat were reportedly receiving medical treatment for suspected poisoning. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. YourErie.com later reported that “the total number of cats found exhibiting signs consistent with the ingestion of a poison is up to 12 cats/kittens.”

July 2021/Bismarck, North Dakota: KXNET.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found with a steel-jaw trap clamped onto a leg. An “animal impound liaison” reportedly said, “You could see his bones sticking out of his legs.” He was taken to an animal hospital for treatment and was expected to survive. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Monroe County, Pennsylvania: WNEP.com reported that a Pocono Lake resident said that he saw a vehicle run over a kitten. “‘She was in a puddle on the side of the road, and I just picked her up. And then she bit me,’ he said. She lost a leg and most of her right ear.” He said that he couldn’t find a veterinary hospital to treat the animal and kept her overnight in a crate. The next day, an animal adoption group admitted the kitten for treatment. She was expected to survive.

 July 2021/Spartanburg, South Carolina: WSPA.com reported that a veterinarian “said that within the past week, he ‘saw a cat that was indoor-outdoor, went through his cat door and had burns on the bottom of his feet from going out on his own and getting on the pavement.’ The recovery process from that kind of injury, he said, can take months. Animals whose paws are burned could have permanent nerve damage, he said.” No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Roseburg, Oregon: CBSAustin.com reported that a homeless cat and three kittens who had been found after they’d sustained burns in a wildfire in California were taken to an animal adoption group in Oregon. A spokesperson for the group reportedly said that a veterinarian had found that the mother cat’s “paws were burned all the way down to the tendons which is extremely painful.” She and her kittens “have permanent scarring on their ears from the burns.” They were expected to survive.

 July 2021/Louisville, Kentucky: WLKY.com reported that two dogs who were allegedly allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had killed several cats and a dog, who were apparently also allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised. One resident reportedly said, “I had three [cats], now I have one. The dogs got ahold of two of them.” Another said, “I keep finding bodies. Last week, I found three bodies including two cats and a dog behind my house in a neighbor’s big field.” Another resident reportedly said, “I get a call from my neighbor at 3:30 saying one of my cats is under his deck and it does not look good. I rushed home and grabbed [the cat] and drove him to the vet, he dies in the parking lot.” According to the report, authorities “said they have identified the dogs and cited the two owners.”

 July 2021/Prattville, Alabama: AlabamaNews.net reported that a homeless cat had been euthanized before testing positive for rabies. According to the report, the animal was “seen acting aggressively towards a nearby resident’s cat. The person got scratched by the rabid cat while trying to separate the animals.” No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Indianapolis, Indiana: WISHTV.com reported that a kitten who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision or escaped from his home had been abducted from his family’s yard. Video surveillance footage reportedly showed “[t]wo young-looking males … bending over and playing with the black kitten. They speak to each other, look around, pick up the animal and walk off.” Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

 July 2021/Hollywood, Florida: Miami.CBSLocal.com reported that three people were facing criminal charges after a kitten, who was apparently homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, was shot with a pellet gun. According to the report, video surveillance footage captured the attack, in which “a suspect shot a kitten with a pellet gun and two other suspects aided in trying to dispose of the animal. The kitten was paralyzed from the hips down after being shot and [had] to be euthanized.” No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Hillsborough Township, New Jersey: Patch.com reported that a homeless cat had been found ill or injured. According to authorities, she “was unusually small and appeared to be a kitten. However, it was discovered that [she] had been nursing, so [she] may have had kittens.” The animal died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. Authorities searched the area for kittens but found none. No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Provo, Utah: KSLNewsRadio.com reported that when firefighters were putting out a brush fire, they heard an apparently homeless kitten crying. The animal “was reportedly smoking and quickly washed off with water then assessed for burns and injury.” A spokesperson for the fire department reportedly said that the kitten “was singed, with burn marks on [her] head and back.” She was taken to a public animal shelter for care.

 July 2021/Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland19.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been missing for more than three months before he was found at a residence where a man was hoarding animals. The cat’s owner reportedly “said when he walked into his neighbor’s home, he couldn’t believe the conditions. ‘Oh, it was like at least two and a half feet of garbage. … There was about I’m gonna estimate like 500 to 1,000 flies in there. It was like fly galore; as soon as I walked in like 15 hit me in the face .… Just horrible conditions. The room that [the cats] were in it was just cat feces everywhere.” Another neighbor reportedly said, “There’s been a lot of cats missing in the neighborhood, and they wound up in his house. … A lot of the cats that come out of his house are dead.” Authorities were called and reportedly seized “11 cats living in filthy conditions,” including the cat who had been missing, who was returned to his owner. Authorities were investigating and said that the suspect “has been in trouble with the law before for violating multiple … Cleveland health codes.”

 July 2021/Chewelah, Washington: Q13FOX.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot in the head with a .22-caliber bullet. The cat’s owner reportedly said, “Moments after she let him out, she heard what sounded like [fireworks] but turned out to be gunshots.” She then saw him “crawling home on [his] belly with blood gushing everywhere.” He reportedly survived but was “blind and deaf [on] the side of his face that was struck.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

July 2021/East Tawas, Michigan: WBKB11.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been missing for eight days before he was found on the owner’s porch with an arrow through his neck. The cat’s owner said that a neighbor confessed to the shooting. “She gets on the phone and she says yea your cat was over here like normal and was getting into it with one of my cats and it looked like [he] had rabies so I shot [him].” The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment and was expected to survive. Authorities were investigating. MLive.com reported that the owner described the cat as “as an outdoor cat who functions as a mouser” and that, when he was found on the porch, “[h]e was barely alive. … His blood was coagulated and he had flies and maggots in his ears. He was warm to the touch from infection.” His owner planned to keep the animal indoors. “I will not let him outside at all,” he said. According to a later report, the neighbor was charged with cruelty to animals.

 July 2021/Paragould, Arkansas: KAIT8.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found by authorities with an arrow through his body. He was taken to an animal adoption group, which transferred him to a veterinary hospital. A spokesperson for the group said that it was found that “the arrow barely missed his heart … breaking his ribs.” He was receiving treatment. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

 July 2021/New Iberia, Louisiana: KATC.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found dead under his owner’s home with a bullet wound to his side. The cat’s owner reportedly said that the animal had returned home with a bullet wound to his head approximately one month before. He received medical treatment and recovered from the first gunshot. Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

 July 2021/Westmoreland, Kansas: TheMercury.com reported that authorities had arrested a man charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly shot and killed a neighbor’s cat, who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the cat’s owner didn’t see the shooting but “saw the cat sprinting away before the cat collapsed on the side of the road.” The case was reportedly under investigation.

 July 2021/Marion County, Florida: WESH.com reported that authorities had arrested a 13-year-old boy on a cruelty-to-animals charge after he admitted to torturing and killing a neighbor’s cat, who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the boy said that he took the animal home after he saw the cat outside. He “told officers he put the cat in a trashcan and trapped [the animal] for several days before he hit [the animal] with a pole. The boy tried to stab the cat but [the cat] bit him. At this point, he put the cat in a trash bag and slammed [the animal] into the pavement until [the cat] died. ‘After the cat was deceased, [the boy] then proceeded to throw the animal into the yard of a nearby home, where he believed dogs would further mangle the body,’ a report states.”

 July 2021/Tampa, Florida: ABCActionNews.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had sustained severe injuries from being abused by two children. According to the report, another child said that he was a witness when “two eight-year-olds repeatedly tossed the cat by her limbs in the air and slammed [her] on the ground. The cat appeared dizzy and was unable to walk.” According to a local animal adoption group, the cat sustained “a broken femur and her limb needed to be amputated.” Authorities were investigating. No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Columbus, Ohio: ABC6OnYourSide.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found injured. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that he’d been shot with a high-powered pellet gun, shattering a leg, which had to be amputated. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. ABC6OnYourSide.com later reported that a second cat whom the same owner allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot in the throat. No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Lamar, Colorado: LamarLedger.com reported that authorities had been notified by a resident that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was attacked and killed by two dogs, who were also roaming unsupervised. A door tag was posted at the owner of the dogs’ residence. No additional information was available.

 July 2021/Tucson, Arizona: KGUN9.com reported that an apparently homeless kitten had been found covered in pieces of cholla cactus. He was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital for treatment then transferred to a pubic animal shelter. He was expected to survive.

 July 2021/Newport News, Virginia: WTKR.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

June 2021/Billerica, Massachusetts: WHDH.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot in the foot with a BB or pellet gun. A neighbor reportedly found the animal unable to walk and “howling in pain.” She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was believed that the leg would have to be amputated. Authorities investigated but identified no suspects.

 June 2021/Ford City, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh.CBSLocal.com reported that four cats who were apparently homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found dead on a resident’s property. According to the report, one of the bodies was found on the property line, two were found in the driveway the next day, and one was later found in the backyard. Authorities investigated, and one of the bodies was reportedly taken for a necropsy. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Vacaville, California: SanFrancisco.CBSLocal.com reported that after a vegetation fire had been extinguished, a firefighter “heard the faint whimpering of two injured kittens.” The animals were given emergency medical care and taken to a public animal shelter. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/San Diego, California: KUSI.com reported that a resident had spotted an apparently homeless cat with a large zip tie tied tightly around his neck. Authorities were called, and the cat was taken to an animal shelter, where he had to be euthanized because of the extent of his injuries. Authorities asked anyone with any information about the case to contact them, but no suspects were identified.

 June 2021/Moncks Corner, South Carolina: SCDHEC.gov reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. Seven people were exposed to the virus and were subsequently referred to their healthcare providers. One dog who was exposed needed to be quarantined. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Lansing, Michigan: WILX.com reported that a cat who’d been allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been heard “screaming” and was found bleeding from the leg. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that he’d been shot. The impact had shattered the leg, causing an infection that would require the limb to be amputated. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

June 2021/Makawao, Hawaii: HawaiiNewsNow.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had “disappeared from his home in Makawao in January and was found in Kihei in April.” When he was found, he was reportedly starving, having a seizure, and suffering from a nearly severed tail. It was believed that a neighbor had likely trapped him and abandoned him far from home. No additional information was available.

June 2021/Indianapolis, Indiana: WTHR.com reported that in March, a homeless cat had been attacked and killed by two pit bulls, who were roaming without supervision. A woman who had been feeding the cat witnessed the attack on her back porch. “One dog had one end of him, and the other dog had the other end, and they were just playing with him like he was a toy,” she said. “It was right outside the back door. I banged on the glass trying to get them to stop and let go, but one of the dogs ran off with him.” Her husband found the animal’s “mutilated body later that day in a nearby alley.” A neighbor reportedly told authorities that the same dogs had killed a cat in his front yard. Two small dogs in the neighborhood had also been attacked and killed by the dogs, and a third was badly injured. The pit bulls’ owner was known, and authorities were investigating.

 June 2021/Lafayette County, Mississippi: OxfordEagle.com reported that four homeless kittens had been found shot to death. According to the report, the shooter stated that “he was ‘putting them out of their misery,’ due to the condition in which they were found.” The sheriff also reported that no charges had been filed. One kitten was found alive and taken to an animal adoption group. No additional information was available.

June 2021/San Francisco, California: ABC7News.com reported that a woman who feeds a colony of homeless cats in the parking lot of a business said, “In the last year and a half, there have been four cats unrelated to each other that have had almost exactly the same injury to their legs.” She shared “video of cats limping with broken or severed hind legs … [one cat] was so badly injured [that his leg] fell off after they rescued him. Another cat had [his or her] leg amputated, and two more cats with severe leg injuries remain on the lot.” She said that raccoons, apparently attracted to the food left out for the cats, had also been seen with similar injuries. Anyone with information was asked to call authorities. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Cheboygan, Michigan: CheboyganNews.com reported that two cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot in a neighborhood. “One was shot in the leg and the leg had to be amputated,” a spokesperson for an area humane society said. “The other was shot in the head.” It wasn’t reported whether the animals survived. Authorities asked anyone with information to contact them, but no suspects were identified.

 June 2021/Mountain Home, Texas: JAMBroadcasting.com reported that a homeless kitten had been found “displaying unusual behavior” and that a resident who had tried to help the animal had been bitten. Authorities were called and picked up the kitten, who died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. The resident required post-exposure treatment. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Miami, Florida: WSVN.com reported that six homeless cats had died in two separate incidents after they were trapped in tented and fumigated buildings. The cats were reportedly friendly, homeless animals who’d been fed by residents before they died.

 June 2021/Jacksonville, Florida: News4JAX.com reported that two cats who were allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by two dogs, who were also roaming unsupervised. The attacks were captured on video surveillance footage. According to the report, another cat had also been attacked by the dogs several days earlier but had “survived with a badly broken leg after his owner shot at the dogs.” Authorities were investigating.

 June 2021/Toledo, Ohio: 13ABC.com reported that a man had been arrested and pleaded not guilty to accusations that he had shot to death a neighbor’s cat, who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the cat’s owner provided video documentation to authorities, showing that the accused “exited his home and fired a pellet gun at the cat multiple times.” No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Middletown, Connecticut: Patch.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found injured. She was taken to an animal shelter for care. No additional information was available.

June 2021/Volusia County, Florida: ClickOrlando.com reported that an apparently homeless cat died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

June 2021/Erie, Pennsylvania: BRProud.com reported that an apparently homeless kitten had been found “doused with gasoline” and taken to an animal adoption group. He was then transported to a veterinary hospital, where he was stabilized, although he was still suffering from some “neurological issues.” He was reportedly “unable to stand or correct himself and has a long road ahead of possible physical therapy.” No additional information was available.

June 2021/Gravette, Arkansas: NWAHomepage.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had returned home “biting on his back,” where a tick was found and removed. In the following days, he began “moping around and wouldn’t eat,” according to the owner. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where a veterinarian “opened his eyes and the white up in his eyes was hemorrhaged.” The owner further reported that “there was blood in his eyes and [the veterinarian] opened his mouth and his throat had swelled shut.” The cat was diagnosed with cytauxzoonosis, also known as “bobcat fever,” a tick-borne and often fatal parasitic infection. He received treatment and was expected to survive.

June 2021/New Hanover County, North Carolina: WECT.com reported that a homeless cat had been found shot to death with an arrow through his or her body in a resident’s yard. The resident reportedly said that he often fed homeless cats, but some neighbors were “upset because [the cats] are using their flower gardens for sandboxes and stuff like that.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

 June 2021/Clearlake, California: LakeCoNews.com reported that authorities had received a call from a resident who reported that she’d found an injured cat three days before and had taken the animal into her home. Police logs note that the cat couldn’t use his or her back legs and that  the caller believed the animal was dying. The animal control department was apparently notified. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Port Clinton, Ohio: OttawaCitizen.com reported that an apparently homeless and nursing mother cat had been found with a broken leg and that the bone was piercing the skin. She and her three kittens were taken to a veterinary hospital, where her leg had to be amputated. A veterinarian said that it wasn’t known what had caused the injury or how long ago the leg had been broken. The cat was expected to survive.

June 2021/Denver, Colorado: KDVR.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by two dogs, who were apparently being walked without leashes. The attack was captured on video surveillance, and authorities were investigating. No additional information was available.

 June 2021/Glen Cove, New York: NewYork.CBSLocal.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found crying and unable to move. She was taken to a veterinarian neighbor, who determined that the animal had been shot twice, and she underwent surgery. One of the bullets was reportedly found pressing against her spine, causing spinal cord damage and paralysis. It wasn’t known whether she’d be able to walk again. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

June 2021/Edwardsville, Pennsylvania: WNEP.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found at the back door of her owner’s home. The owner said that when the door was opened, the animal “came hobbling in with her leg dangling.” She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where the leg was amputated because it had been shattered by a gunshot. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

June 2021/Great Falls, Montana: KHQ.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found under a car, crying and unable to move. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that she’d been shot and that the bullet had become lodged near her spine. After receiving treatment, she returned home, where her owner said that “[h]er right side is weak but she is regaining the ability to walk slowly” and that “she has a long road ahead of her.” Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

June 2021/Yellowstone County, Montana: KURL8.com reported that a local man, Sean Robinson, had been arraigned “on two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and a misdemeanor theft charge.” Additional charges were pending against him in relation to “cats disappearing either after being given to [him] or from the neighborhood surrounding his residence.” According to the report, “an animal control officer initiated an investigation and gathered names and information regarding missing cats and suspected animal cruelty by Robinson.” Yellowstone County Assistant District Attorney Ingrid Rosenquist reportedly “informed Judge Ashley Harada that a search warrant of Robinson’s vehicle resulted in police recovering the bodies of one or two cats and the body parts of others.” The report also states that, according to Rosenquist, “Robinson would strangle and at times decapitate cats,” and that during an interview, “[he] reportedly told the detective that he … ‘has a thing for killing cats.’”

May 2021/Bellingham, Washington: BellinghamHerald.com reported that three cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had recently been found in the area dead and dismembered. A news release issued by a local humane society reportedly said, “Veterinary examinations conducted on the remains show injuries consistent with human involvement.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Rockford, Illinois: MyStateline.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been stolen by an unknown man. Surveillance footage reportedly showed a man exiting a vehicle and removing the cat from the owner’s porch. According to the report, “The security video shows the man walk up to the porch as he appears to be looking for something. He disappears off camera and then returns holding a small, black cat. When he reaches the sidewalk, he stops and looks as if he is inspecting [the animal]. Then he speeds off in his car.” Authorities were apparently notified, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Pocatello, Idaho: IdahoStateJournal.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had not returned home. Her owners reportedly said that a neighbor had admitted to trapping the animal and abandoning her at one of two area parks. It was later reported that the cat’s owners had offered a reward to anyone who could find her alive and that she was successfully reunited with her family. The reward money was paid. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Summertown, Tennessee: FOX17.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found badly burned. A spokesperson for an animal adoption group reportedly said that it was believed the cat had been set on fire intentionally and that he was “undergoing surgery at an emergency clinic … as vets attempt to save his leg.” It wasn’t reported whether authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Denver, Colorado: SpotOnColorado.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by a dog, who was also roaming unsupervised. The attack was apparently captured on video surveillance footage, and authorities were investigating. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Frostburg, Maryland: Times-News.com reported that authorities had arrested two teenagers and charged them with cruelty to animals after they allegedly killed a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. The animal’s body was reportedly “found at the top of a sliding board” at a playground in a city park. According to a spokesperson for the police department, “Officers examining the deceased cat observed injuries that appeared consistent with the intentional and malicious infliction of physical harm.” No additional information was available.

May 2021/Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore.CBSLocal.com reported that a homeless cat had been found dead and tested positive for the rabies virus. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Windsor, Pennsylvania: WGAL.com reported that a cat who had escaped from her home had been found injured. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was apparently determined that she’d been shot with a .22-caliber bullet and that one of her legs had to be amputated. Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Edinburg, Texas: ValleyCentral.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found by animal control officers “in rough shape as he had an ‘extremely enlarged anus,’ apparent gunshot wounds on his abdomen, holes in his ears from stab wounds, and had his papillae scraped off.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, and custody was apparently transferred to a self-professed animal “rescue” group. A spokesperson for the group reportedly said the animal was “slowly recovering” and was not expected to have sustained “any permanent damage to his rectum from the sodomy, however, he may suffer permanent damage to his stomach area due to the bullet wounds.” The group also reportedly said that “that other cats in the area have suffered the same fate.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. It was later reported that the cat had been released from the hospital to the same self-professed animal “rescue” group, doing business as Murphy’s Safe Haven, where he died, alone and without veterinary care, overnight. According to the report, when he was first found, the group had intervened and prevented professionals at a public animal shelter from painlessly ending his severe suffering. It was also reported that while “the cat did suffer from horrible neglect, veterinarians do not believe [he] had been sodomized or shot. KVEO is waiting to hear back from the Fayette County Vet Clinic but was told by the Mission Veterinary Hospital with the Fayette County Vet Clinic that they agree the cat was not sodomized or shot.”

May 2021/Gainesville, Florida: Gainesville.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found outside a self-professed “no-kill” public animal shelter that restricts intake. The cat, who evidently exhibited symptoms of rabies, was euthanized before testing positive for the virus. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Jacksonville, Florida: FirstCoastNews.com reported that at least four homeless cats who were fed “in a colony between a shopping center and a residential area” had been found shot to death. According to the report, a self-professed animal “rescue” said they had found “a pregnant cat … shot and paralyzed on the pavement. They discovered another cat shot and killed in a grassy area. A resident found another dead cat in his backyard, and someone shot and killed a fourth cat behind a convenience store.” A spokesperson for the group reportedly said that two other cats had “disappeared” and “[s]ome of the kittens on the property here have had their eyes blown out by water cannons being put along the property by some of the residents.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Freeland, Michigan: MLive.com reported that a homeless cat who was fed by a resident had been found covered with gasoline. An animal adoption group was reportedly able to capture the cat, who had sustained burns from the substance. A spokesperson for the group reportedly said, “His fur was coming out in clumps from his skin being burned from the fuel” and that the person who fed the cat recounted that “in the winter he showed up with [a] bloody ear. It was intentionally cut.” The spokesperson said the cat feeder was “so relieved he would be removed and never hurt again.” The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Milton, Delaware: WRDE.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found injured. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that he’d been shot with a pellet gun and sustained “multiple fractures to his back femur bone and had lost a lot of bone.” He underwent surgery in an attempt to save the leg. The veterinarian treating the cat reportedly “says he sees gunshot wounds in cats at least once a month.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Middletown, Pennsylvania: PennLive.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot. It was reportedly not known whether the animal survived. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Cambridge, Massachusetts: NBCBoston.com reported that authorities who responded to a call about a cat crying under a vehicle had found the animal “bound with masking tape and shot multiple times.” The cat, who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, had been found with his legs bound. He died at the scene. A necropsy “showed a large portion of the cat’s fur was missing, and that [he] suffered multiple BB gunshot wounds across [his] face and body, according to police.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. It was later reported that authorities believed that two similar recent cases could be connected. One cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had reportedly returned with burns, and another had returned injured after having “been shot multiple times with a BB gun.” Both animals survived.

May 2021/Davidson County, North Carolina: MyFOX8.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had attacked his or her owner. The animal died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. The owner was receiving post-exposure treatment. Animal control officers were reportedly “sent to the home where there are an undisclosed number of domestic cats.” No additional information was available.

May 2021/Victoria, Texas: CrossroadsToday.com reported that two cats who were allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot with a pellet gun. One of the animals reportedly “required surgery to remove the bullet. The second one [was] paralyzed from the neck down and was euthanized.” Two additional cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision in the same neighborhood were reportedly missing. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

May 2021/Palatka, Florida: MSN.com reported that volunteers with a nonprofit group that claimed to operate a self-described “community cat program” had found several mother cats dead in two separate counties. One volunteer said that others had found the cats “dead for no apparent reason. They haven’t been hit by a car. There’s no injuries. They become violently sick, and they die.” Another volunteer reportedly said she had found poison in food left out for cats. “From this one colony, we believe there have been five mother cats that have been poisoned,” she said. Another volunteer reportedly said, “Now I’m having to trap the kittens hopefully before they starve to death.” It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified. FirstCoastNews.com later reported that the group said that some of the “kittens have died, and almost 50 additional cats have disappeared from a colony.”

May 2021/Falls Church, Virginia: Patch.com reported that a resident had sustained injuries while confining a sick homeless cat. The cat was taken to an animal shelter and euthanized there after displaying neurological symptoms and tested positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

May 2021/Zuber, Florida: Ocala-News.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Orlando, Florida: FOX35Orlando.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had returned home with an injured leg. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that she’d been shot with a BB gun. A pellet remained lodged in her leg and reportedly couldn’t be removed because of its location. As a result, the cat will likely suffer from arthritis for the remainder of her life. An animal adoption group in the area had reportedly admitted another cat recently who had also been shot with a BB gun, causing injuries to a paw and the neck and leaving metal fragments in the body. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Newark, Delaware: News.Delaware.gov reported that a homeless cat had been observed “acting lethargic and presented with wounds of an unknown origin.” After biting two people, the animal died or was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. Both people bitten required post-exposure treatment. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Conroe, Texas: ABC13.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot in the head with a blow dart. According to the report, his owner said the “family first noticed something odd on their home surveillance video. After reviewing the footage, they said they discovered a projectile dangling from [the cat’s] head.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment and was expected to survive. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Spring Brook, Wisconsin: WEAU.com reported that 15 adult cats and kittens had been found shot to death. A spokesperson for the area animal shelter reportedly said that “it appeared someone had abandoned the 33 cats on the side of the road with a pile of cat food, then someone shot at them.” Eighteen cats and kittens who were found alive in the area were taken to the facility, which is a self-professed “no-kill” shelter with restrictive intake policies, according to its website. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. It was later reported that the bodies of two more dead kittens had been found in the same area. Six more live cats were also found and taken to the shelter, and two more live cats were seen but couldn’t be captured.

April 2021/Trenton, New York: CNYHomepage.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. Two people were exposed to the virus and required post-exposure treatment. No additional information was available.

April 2021/St. Rose, Louisiana: WDSU.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had returned home bleeding from his jaw and mouth. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where X-rays showed that he’d been shot with a pellet gun. The projectile had reportedly entered his upper jaw and exited through his lower jaw. His owners were raising the funds needed for the animal’s treatment. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Tulsa, Oklahoma: KTUL.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot to death by a neighbor. The cat’s owner said he heard gunshots before finding the animal dead in a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor allegedly admitted to shooting the cat with a pellet gun. Authorities were investigating.

April 2021/Buena Vista, Colorado: TheMountainMail.com reported that a homeless cat had been found hiding in a chimney when a home was inspected. She was taken to an animal adoption group, where she was admitted “covered in soot and ash and very dehydrated.” After she was cleaned up and treated for dehydration, workers reportedly found that she had “partially” given birth to a stillborn kitten. She was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital, where she underwent surgery in an attempt to deliver a second kitten alive, which was unsuccessful. She was spayed and was reportedly receiving periodic treatments for dehydration. She was expected to survive.

April 2021/South Portland, Maine: NewsCenterMaine.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by two dogs, who were also roaming unsupervised. Authorities were called and reportedly said they were in contact with the dogs’ owner. No additional information was available.

April 2021/St. Paul, Oregon: PamplinMedia.com reported that a cat who was adopted from an animal shelter had been allowed to roam outdoors without supervision before he returned home injured. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that he had been shot with a pellet gun and required surgery. The cat’s owner said that about six months earlier, another one of the family’s cats, who was also allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, had been shot. That cat was also taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that a “projectile fired from some sort of air rifle had hit him in the back, and the resulting paralysis was too much; movement was difficult and he couldn’t go to the bathroom. After a week he had to be put down.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Union Bridge, Maryland: BaltimoreSun.com reported that a homeless cat who had been fed by a resident started to act “strangely” before attacking a child. The animal died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Johnson City, Tennessee: WJHL.com reported that a cat who was apparently homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found dead in a parking lot. The animal had sustained “severe head trauma,” and the legs had been bound with duct tape. A screwdriver was found near the body, which had apparently been used in the killing. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Cincinnati, Ohio: FOX19.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had returned home injured. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where X-rays showed that his pelvis was broken in three places and at least four BB pellets were lodged in a leg. He was receiving treatment. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Las Vegas, Nevada: KTNV.com reported that a man and his son had been arrested after allegedly killing a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, authorities viewed video surveillance footage and said that “they saw both father and son along with the family’s 3 dogs [corner] the cat. The arrest report says the cat was hit several times with a bat, then shot with a BB gun, then a .22 caliber gun.” Authorities reportedly said the cat’s body was then “left in a dumpster not far from the home.” Both men were charged with cruelty to animals, among other charges.

April 2021/Ellicott City, Maryland: CapitalGazette.com reported that a homeless cat had bitten someone and then died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Ross Township, Pennsylvania: TNOnline.com reported that a homeless cat had been found injured. The animal was apparently taken to a veterinary hospital and was “unable to use [his or her] rear legs after being treated for [the] injuries.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Louisa County, Virginia: NBC12.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot with a pellet gun. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Watsonville, California: KION546.com reported that two cats who were homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot with a BB gun at an apartment complex. One of the animals died, and the other survived after receiving medical care. SantaCruzSentinel.com later reported that a third cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision in the same area had been shot. According to the report, the cat was falling over and unable to stand when he entered a business. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that he “had three BB gun pellets lodged in his body, the most recent and potentially fatal shot piercing his chest cavity and quickly filling his lungs up with blood. Pellets in his elbow and forearm were older, according to the vet.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. GoodTimes.sc later reported that two additional cats in the area had been shot. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Fort Walton Beach, Florida: NWFDailyNews.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had “returned home with what appears to be a .22 caliber bullet wound.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he was being treated. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/El Paso, Texas: KTSM.com reported that a man had been arrested after beating an apparently homeless cat to death. According to the report, the man had allegedly beaten the animal “against a pole and the ground over and over.” He was charged with cruelty to animals. No additional information was available.

April 2021/St. Rose, Louisiana: HeraldGuide.com reported that a cat who had escaped from his home had returned “bleeding profusely from his face and in obvious pain.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was determined that he’d been shot in the face, likely with a .22-caliber bullet. According to his owner, “[t]he roof of his mouth was blown open and tissue torn away. They closed that up so when he does begin eating again it doesn’t go into his nasal cavity. The mandible was shattered, and there was no healthy bone left to attach a plate to. They had to remove the bottom portion of his jaw on one side where the bullet exited. The tissue under his tongue was also torn away and had to be grafted and closed up.” The report said that he was facing “several weeks of heavy sedation, medication and a feeding tube.” It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

April 2021/Plantation, Florida: WSVN.com reported that a homeless cat had been found at a construction site “splayed out on her belly after suffering a possible attack.” She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where she died. It was suspected that she’d ingested a “toxic substance.” Three kittens found in the area were taken to an animal adoption group. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Evansville, Indiana: USNews.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had become stuck in a tree. The owners of a bar reportedly paid a tree service to rescue the animal. According to the report, the cat was beyond the tree service worker’s reach and “was too tired and scared to move, so [the worker] used a saw to cut the limb the cat was on. The cat plunged about 70 feet (21 meters).” The animal was reportedly receiving veterinary care for dehydration and weakness. No additional information was available.

April 2021/Fredericksburg, Virginia: Patch.com reported that a cat who was “believed to be part of a feral cat colony living in the area” had bitten a person. He or she died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. Local health authorities reportedly warned that other cats in the area could have been “exposed and infectious with rabies.” No additional information was available.

March 2021/Orangevale, California: Sacramento.CBSLocal.com reported that a homeless cat who was referred to as a “community cat” had been found shot and injured. According to a resident who had been feeding the animal, when he was found, he “was limping worse than normal because he had a previous injury.” The cat was reportedly called “Limpy” because of an untreated “injury to his front leg that makes him limp. It healed together like a peg leg is what the vet said,” said a spokesperson for an animal adoption group that was raising money to pay for the animal’s needed surgery. X-rays had reportedly found a small-caliber bullet or pellet embedded in a rear leg. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Mount Pleasant, Michigan: TheMorningSun.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found near an apartment complex, injured and with a blowgun dart in his side. He was taken to an animal adoption group, which transferred him to a veterinary hospital, where the dart was removed and “another gaping wound” was found on his body. Both wounds were sutured closed, and the cat was expected to survive. Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Sulphur, Louisiana: KPLCTV.com reported that an apparently homeless cat, described as a “neighborhood cat,” had been attacked and killed by a pack of five dogs, who were roaming outdoors without supervision. A resident said that she believed her cat, who had been allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, had also been attacked by the dogs. Her daughter reportedly found the cat badly injured and brought him indoors. The owner said that he was “in bad shape” and unable to move. No additional information was available. Authorities were able to impound three of the dogs and said that their owner would be cited. At the time of the report, two of the dogs remained at large.

March 2021/Washington County, Maryland: HeraldMailMedia.com reported that a homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Frederick County, Maryland: WFMD.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Niagara Falls, New York: IHeartRadio.ca reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found injured on a road. According to the report, he was dehydrated and lethargic and had no identification. He was taken to an animal adoption group, where “two foreign objects were detected by X-ray lodged in the cat’s body resembling ammunition typically fired from a pellet gun.” He was receiving treatment. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Scranton, Pennsylvania: FOX56.com reported that a rabid fox had “attacked numerous feral cats” and that “[i]t’s likely that several of the feral cats exposed to the fox will come down with rabies in the near future.” No additional information was available.

March 2021/Spring Township, Pennsylvania: PottsMerc.com reported that a homeless cat had been seen running in a neighborhood with a steel-jaw trap clamped onto a leg. Authorities were called but were unable to capture the animal, who eventually tried hiding under a resident’s porch. Three days later, he was captured by volunteers with a nonprofit group and taken to a veterinary hospital, where two of his toes had to be amputated and he was given antibiotics, pain medication, and intravenous fluids to treat dehydration. It was reportedly legal to set such traps in the state. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Chattanooga, Tennessee: WRCBTV.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been “killed from an apparent gunshot wound.” The animal was killed in the same area in which a homeless dog had recently been found dead in a puddle with multiple ligatures after he or she had been strangled to death. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Tucson, Arizona: KGUN9.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found bleeding with a metal rod sticking out of his chest. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where X-rays revealed that he’d been shot with a blowgun. Because the owner couldn’t afford the surgery and treatment needed, the cat was surrendered to the hospital. Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Cut Bank, Montana: KXLH.com reported that a cat who had been adopted from a self-professed animal “rescue” had been “left in a shed for three days during a freeze. The result was the loss of his left hind paw and half of his tail that had be amputated due to frostbite.” He was again in the custody of the “rescue,” which put him up for re-adoption. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Galax, Virginia: WFXRTV.com reported that “a semi-feral gray cat with neurological symptoms crawled onto a resident’s porch.” The animal had reportedly acted aggressively when approached and attacked a dog who was chained on the porch, unable to escape. The cat died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. According to the report, the cat “shared a living environment with two other outdoor cats,” who had likely been exposed to the virus. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Marble Falls, Texas: DailyTrib.com reported that a homeless kitten had been found on a resident’s property. Authorities were called and apparently captured the animal, who died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

March 2021/Saginaw, Michigan: WNEM.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been missing for four days before he was found at the bottom of some stairs outside the home, unable to move his hind legs. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where X-rays showed that he’d been shot in the spine, and remained under treatment. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified. MLive.com later reported that the cat had to be euthanized because of the extent of his injuries.

March 2021/Colorado Springs, Colorado: KKTV.com reported that a cat who had escaped from his home had been found bleeding and injured outside. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where X-rays revealed that he had been shot with a .22-caliber bullet and had fractured a leg, which would likely have to be amputated. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Haines Township, Pennsylvania: WeAreCentralPA.com reported that a kitten who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been shot by a neighbor. The animal was taken to a veterinary hospital, where a leg had to be amputated. A veterinarian reportedly told authorities that “X-rays showed that the kitten was shot by a BB gun, and the injury shattered the bones of [the] right leg.” A neighbor reportedly admitted to police that he had shot the kitten because the animal was stalking birds at a feeder on his property. He was charged with cruelty to animals, and a hearing date was set.

March 2021/Galax, Virginia: WDBJ7.com reported that a homeless cat had been hit by a truck. A good Samaritan reportedly took the animal to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that he’d sustained “a broken jaw, causing him to lose his baby teeth. He also had a hole in his side and his diaphragm.” He underwent surgery and spent weeks in recovery.

March 2021/Cincinnati, Ohio: FOX19.com reported that a cat who had escaped from his home had been found hours later “barely alive. According to the family, someone had tied a retractable dog leash around the cat’s neck and then wrapped the leash around a tree, causing him severe head trauma.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment, including “[s]teroids, pain medicine, feed[ing] him through a syringe …. They have to stretch his legs, rotate his legs, do physical therapy every four hours,” according to his guardian. It was not known “whether his brain function will improve.” Authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Radcliff, Kentucky: TheNewsEnterprise.com published a letter to the editor from a resident who said he had seen a homeless cat roaming the neighborhood “for about a week.” He had tried to capture the animal but was unable to. While walking his dog, he found the cat dead in a ditch by the road, “frozen in a drift of snow. Apparently, [the animal] had jumped from the bank into the ditch and sunk into the drift of snow and couldn’t get out. [The cat] must have suffered for hours before [he or she] froze to death.”

March 2021/Cottonwood Shores, Texas: DailyTrib.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by two dogs, who were also roaming unsupervised. According to the report, the cat’s owner said that she had “heard noises on her porch. When she opened the door to investigate, she saw two dogs attacking her cat. The dogs then lunged toward her, but she was able to close the door.” Authorities reportedly “issued dangerous dog and nuisance citations to the dogs’ owner.”

March 2021/Gilbert, Arizona: FOX10Phoenix.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been “shot, paralyzed and eventually died.” According to the cat’s owner, “neighbors knocked on her door saying [the cat] was in their backyard and not moving. ‘So we ran over there and we tried to make [him] walk and [he] was just paralyzed, you know, from the waist down.’” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where images reportedly “show[ed] some sort of projectile inside” of him, and he had to be euthanized because of the extent of the injuries. Authorities were asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact them, but no suspects were identified.

March 2021/Dallas, Texas: Lakewood.AdvocateMag.com reported that an apparently homeless kitten had been found dead and that he or she “appeared to have been strangled by a telephone cable.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Moncks Corner, South Carolina: Live5News.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. One person was reportedly exposed to the virus. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Des Moines, Iowa: SiouxlandProud.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been “found with his paws frozen to the ground and suffered injuries.” He was taken to an animal adoption group, where it was reportedly found that he’d “suffered injuries to his paw pads due to getting stuck. He had severe frostbite on his back paws, parts of his front paws, and part of his tail.” According to a spokesperson for the group, the animal required surgery. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Mount Washington, Kentucky: Courier-Journal.com reported that a homeless cat who was fed by a resident had been seen limping. The resident was unable to capture the animal, but she reportedly saw him again “[a] few weeks” later and was able to take him to a veterinary hospital, “where an X-ray showed a bullet had shattered the [humerus] bone in his front right leg.” He was transferred to an animal adoption group, where his leg was amputated. Authorities were reportedly asking anyone with information to contact them, but no suspects were identified.

February 2021/Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: OttawaCitizen.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found “near death … freezing on a [resident’s] porch.” She was taken to an animal adoption group, which reported that “[h]er body temperature and blood sugar were so low they couldn’t be measured …. She was emaciated and dehydrated with a wound to the tail and a badly broken hind leg.” Veterinary staff amputated the animal’s tail and leg, “which had a fractured bone piercing the skin.” No additional information was available.

February 2021/La Grande, Oregon: LaGrandeObserver.com reported that authorities had been called by a resident who reported that an injured cat, who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, had been found injured on a street. An animal control officer reportedly responded and transported the animal to a veterinary hospital. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Modesto, California: Sacramento.CBSLocal.com reported that a homeless cat had been found injured in some bushes at a park where a colony of homeless cats were fed. She was reportedly dragging her hind end, unable to walk. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that she’d been shot and “underwent emergency surgery to remove a bullet lodged in a muscle next to her spine.” According to the woman who found her, the bullet had “brushed over the top of her spine. There was a huge blood clot on the spinal cord and the spinal cord was bruised.” It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

February 2021/Honolulu, Hawaii: HawaiiNewsNow.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found with an arrow through their body. According to the report, “the arrow was removed” and the animal was expected to survive. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Cedar Springs, Michigan: FOX17Online.com reported that a homeless cat had been found “almost frozen to death next to a car.” He was taken to a veterinarian, who said that she “couldn’t get his body temperature to register, and our thermometers go to 90 degrees.” He was also “dehydrated, and his nose was full of pus. His left eye is pushed back so far that it doesn’t work, and the right eye was glued shut.” He was receiving treatment. His “[r]ecovery could take months,” according to the veterinarian.

February 2021/Princeton, Minnesota: FOX9.com reported that a homeless cat had been found “suffering frostbite and infections.” He was taken to an animal adoption group, where a spokesperson reportedly said that he had “likely spent many years fending for himself outdoors and has developed urinary and upper respiratory infections, frostbitten ears, and mangled teeth.” He was receiving treatment.

February 2021/Tempe, Arizona: PhoenixNewTimes.com reported that a homeless cat who was fed by a resident had been attacked and killed by two dogs who had escaped from a yard. The man who had fed the cat “scared the dogs off, walked back into his home, and grabbed his gun,” according to a police report. When the dogs returned, he fatally shot them. According to the report, “A responding officer wrote in the report that [the shooter] committed disorderly conduct, animal cruelty, and reckless display or discharge of a firearm.” No additional information was available.

February 2021/Fullerton, California: OCRegister.com reported that a homeless kitten had been found injured. He was taken to an animal adoption group where an X-ray found that both of his back legs had been broken and scar tissue had begun to form. He underwent surgery, including the placement of “eight pins to stabilize his legs.” No additional information was available.

February 2021/New Bern, North Carolina: NewBernSJ.com reported that an injured, bleeding homeless cat had been found after she’d apparently been abandoned at the location of a “managed colony” of homeless cats. According to a woman who fed cats at the site, “She was bloodied from injuries, wobbled from weakness when she walked, and covered in fleas and parasites that caused her stool to be bloody …. A third of the cat’s tail seems to be missing and ends in a knot. [H]er teeth were in such bad shape that most would have to be pulled.” According to the report, the woman said “she will try to find donations” to pay for the cat’s needed treatment.

February 2021/Folsom, Louisiana: BRProud.com reported that a homeless cat had been found with “a gruesome injury to her face.” She was taken to an animal adoption group “in obvious pain,” where a spokesperson reportedly said that veterinary staff had “completed the first of several possible surgeries to close the wound and her open sinuses, and reconstruct her nose.” It wasn’t known how she’d been injured. She was reportedly “not the only cat to come into the shelter this week in critical condition.” No additional information was available.

February 2021/Levittown, Pennsylvania: LevittownNow.com reported that a cat who escaped from his or her owner’s home was “acting a bit off” when the animal returned. According to the report, “[t]he next day, the owner noticed the cat was not back to normal and found two pellet gun wounds under [the animal’s] medium-length hair.” The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he or she had to be euthanized because of the extent of the injuries sustained. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

February 2021/Albuquerque, New Mexico: KRQE.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been abducted and thrown from a moving vehicle. Surveillance footage showed a woman getting out of a black van and picking the cat up from the owner’s driveway. A witness apparently later saw the cat being thrown from the window of a black van on the freeway. A good Samaritan found the animal on the side of the freeway and transported him to a veterinary hospital, which later transported him to a public animal shelter from which he was picked up by his owner. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Sacramento, California: Sacramento.CBSLocal.com reported that a cat who had been abandoned then apparently adopted by someone who described him as “an outdoor cat” had been taken to an animal shelter by a good Samaritan. An examination revealed that he had been shot with a crossbow and that the bolt remained embedded in his abdomen. He underwent surgery to remove the projectile, and authorities reportedly returned him to his owner, who said she would keep him indoors. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

February 2021/Portland, Texas: KRISTV.com reported that authorities had arrested a 17-year-old boy after a video was posted on social media that showed him abusing a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the video showed the suspect “slamming a cat to the ground with two hands. The cat was able to get up and run away.” The cat was later found, and her owner was identified. She apparently didn’t sustain any permanent physical injuries. The suspect was charged with “cruelty to a non-livestock animal, which is a third degree felony.” No additional information was available.

February 2021/Omaha, Nebraska: KETV.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found in the snow with his head trapped in a chain-link fence. Authorities were called and cut the fencing to take the animal to a veterinary hospital for additional care and treatment. He was recovering at an animal shelter.

February 2021/Cherry Hill, New Jersey: NJ1015.com reported that a homeless cat had been found injured in a roadway. A woman who had reportedly “been trying for two days after a snowstorm to catch a feral cat she thought was bleeding” was struck and killed by a car when she tried to move the cat from the road. The cat’s condition and whereabouts were not reported. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Abilene, Texas: BigCountryHomepage.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had apparently been found dead after becoming caught in a steel-jaw or snare trap. Authorities were reportedly patrolling the area for additional illegally set traps. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Ukiah, California: UkiahDailyJournal.com reported that authorities had received a call reporting that an injured cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found in a roadway. An officer reportedly responded and took the cat to an animal shelter. No additional information was available.

February 2021/Fairport, New York: 13WHAM.com reported that an apparently homeless kitten had been attacked by a dog. She was taken to an animal adoption group where veterinary staff reportedly found that her jaw had been broken in two places, she’d sustained a large puncture wound to the face, and blood was collecting in her right eye, which ultimately had to be removed. She remained under treatment.

February 2021/Topeka, Kansas: KSNT.com reported that a cat who was described as an “outdoor cat” had been found limping. He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that he’d been shot with a .22-caliber bullet and his leg had to be amputated because of the extent of the damage sustained. It wasn’t reported whether authorities had been notified, but no suspects were identified.

January 2021/Lynn Haven, Florida: MyPanhandle.com reported that two cats who were allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been attacked and killed by two dogs who had apparently escaped from a neighbor’s yard. One of the fatal attacks was captured on video footage from a doorbell camera. Authorities were notified, and the dogs were deemed dangerous. Their owner had seven days to appeal the case. No additional information was available.

January 2021/Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada: CapeBretonPost.com reported that a homeless cat had been crying at a resident’s door for an hour. Noticing that the cat appeared to be very thin, she eventually let her inside. The resident said, “As soon as I opened the door she saw the dog’s water dish and ran right to it. She drank all his water and then started going to town on his food.” She also noted that “the pads of her paws were in bad shape and appeared frostbitten. ‘They were all black and scabby,’ she said. ‘The wounds on her paws also look months old. There’s some wounds with fur growing through them … [and] [h]er first two bowel movements were full of grass. That’s all she was obviously eating.’” The resident and her fiancée had to fundraise to be able to get the cat needed veterinary treatment and planned to keep her.

January 2021/Blasdell, New York: WKBW.com reported that a homeless cat who was fed by a homeless man had been found injured. The man said that he found the cat “bleeding from his neck. It became clear that the blood was dripping constantly and he needed help or I thought he would die.” The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment, which an animal adoption group agreed to pay for. No additional information was available.

January 2021/Dayton, Kentucky: FOX19.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had returned home “injured and bloody.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that he’d been shot with a .22-caliber bullet. According to the report, “The bullet went through [the cat’s] body, according to his owner, which broke some bones. He may never walk the same again.” He received treatment and was expected to survive. The owner planned to file a report with authorities, but no suspects were identified.

January 2021/Cleveland, Ohio: News5Cleveland.com reported that a homeless cat had been found in a resident’s yard “dragging her back leg and not eating well.” She was taken to an animal adoption group, where veterinary staff reportedly “diagnosed her with a diaphragmatic hernia—a condition that allowed her abdominal organs to move into her chest cavity.” She underwent surgery and was expected to survive.

January 2021/New York, New York: NYPost.com reported that a homeless cat who was “part of a managed feral colony” at a city housing project had been attacked and killed by two pit bulls who were set upon him. A resident reportedly saw from his window that the cat “had run up a tree to escape the canines but the dogs’ owners, a young couple who looked to be in their 20s, were using a large stick to knock him down. ‘As soon as the gentleman knocked the cat off the tree that’s when he let the dogs go like ‘get ‘em’ exactly just like that,’ [the witness] recalled. ‘The cat was screaming, [he] was trying to defend [him]self against two pitbulls as best as [he] can.’” The witness went outside and found the cat “clinging to life” with his jaw “hanging from his mouth.” According to the person who “managed” the colony of cats at the property, “six cats are currently missing and another three were recently found dead in conditions similar” to those of the cat who was attacked. Authorities were notified, but it was unclear whether they were investigating.

January 2021/Boca Raton, Florida: BocaNewsNow.com reported that it had received calls and e-mails alleging that “a group of ‘community cats’ was missing .… One of the emails we received stated ‘they are well fed, micro chiped (sic) and vacinated (sic) and now missing.’ Then the messaging became aggressive and accusatory.” A later report said, “A small group of West Boca Raton residents says the cat it cared for … was shot in the face or head and dumped in a canal near Sacco Drive.” Authorities reportedly investigated. An animal control spokesperson reportedly “said the cat could have been mauled by an alligator, attacked by another animal, or just fell into the canal and drowned.” No additional information was available.

January 2021/Scottsville, Virginia: AugustaFreePress.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found injured. Reports to authorities had reportedly “included that the cat may have been injured by hot water.” The animal was taken to an animal adoption group and treated for “injuries, including a cut above the eye socket.” He or she was expected to survive. No additional information was available.

January 2021/Grand Valley, Colorado: GJSentinel.com reported that a homeless cat who was fed by a resident had sustained injuries to her ears that the resident thought may have been frostbite. She was taken to an animal adoption group, where “a veterinarian … diagnosed cancer. Her ears were amputated and a spot was removed from her nose.” No additional information was available.

January 2021/Fresno, California: KMPH.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found “staggering across the porch, covered in blood.” He was taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was found that he’d been shot in the face with a pellet gun. He underwent surgery to remove a badly damaged eye. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were notified, but no suspects were identified.

January 2021/Fort Knox, Kentucky: Courier-Journal.com reported that a homeless kitten had been found injured inside a vehicle’s engine compartment, a common place for cats to seek safety and warmth. She was taken to an animal adoption group, where she reportedly underwent “a surgery addressing the large tear from her lip to her jawline.” It was believed that she’d been injured by the engine’s fan belt after the car was started. She was expected to survive.

January 2021/Summerville, Pennsylvania: ConnectRadio.fm reported that authorities had received a report about a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision “possibly being shot by a pellet gun near a home.” No additional information was available.

January 2021/Clear Spring, Maryland: Baltimore.CBSLocal.com reported that two cats had to be euthanized after they were found badly injured. A resident reportedly found a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision injured and took him to an animal shelter. According to the report, “The shelter veterinarian determined the cat was shot. His injuries were too severe and he was euthanized.” Authorities later received a report about an apparently homeless cat who had been shot. According to the report, “Officers found the gravely injured cat and she was later euthanized. She was shot twice.” Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

January 2021/Newport News, Virginia: WTKR.com reported that a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had died or was euthanized before testing positive for rabies. No additional information was available.

January 2021/Louisa County, Virginia: CBS19News.com reported that a man had been “charged with torturing and maiming a cat” who had been allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the cat’s owner “says she was at home when she found two hunting dogs near where she lives. When she called the number on the dogs’ tags, the owner showed up. When asked if he had caught anything, the hunter and his companions allegedly … show[ed the cat’s owner] a photo on their phone of a dead cat. The cat belonged to the woman.” A preliminary hearing date was set. No additional information was available.

January 2021/Ephrata Township, Pennsylvania: PennLive.com reported that an apparently homeless cat had been found dead in a resident’s yard with a “carbon crossbow bolt arrow” through the body. Authorities were investigating, but no suspects were identified.

January 2021/Sterling, Virginia: LoudounTimes.com reported that authorities had arrested and charged a man who had allegedly shot a cat who was homeless or allowed to roam outdoors without supervision. According to the report, the animal had been shot “with a pellet gun, resulting in multiple injuries and fractures and eventually leading to the cat’s euthanasia.” No additional information was available.

January 2021/Quebec, Canada: DailyMail.co.uk reported that a homeless cat had been found in the snow pawing at a home’s window. The homeowner called an animal adoption group, and the cat was taken to a veterinary hospital. A spokesperson for the group reportedly said that he suffered from “rotten teeth, frostbite, a bite wound (he was bleeding somewhere on his body), fleas, worms, [and] he had diabetes and [a] skin allergy. … His blood work was very bad and he had to stay hospitalised a few days so he could be stabilised.”

Take a look at even more reasons never to let your cat outside unattended, and pledge to keep cats safe indoors.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind