Meet Pisa: Cat Freed From Rubble Following Earthquake in Turkey Finds New Home With Rescuer

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As work to rebuild Turkey ramps up after last month’s devastating earthquake, one little cat who survived the disaster is now rebuilding his life with a PETA rescuer who found him hiding in the rubble. As told in a new video, PETA fieldworker Alex Cutshall, who flew from his home in Virginia Beach to Turkey to help rescue as many animals as possible, found the cat in a dilapidated building that tilted just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That’s how he got his name—Pisa—and a new home 8,000 miles away with his rescuer.

In the video, Cutshall recounts how he and the plucky rescue team coaxed the terrified cat into a carrier. They soon learned that Pisa wasn’t microchipped, giving them no way to locate his family, if he even had one. So PETA had him cleared for travel, and he took to his new guardian’s lap on the flight home to Virginia, purring the entire time—the loudest purrs Cutshall says he’s ever heard.

Photos are available here.

“Pisa was so scared when we first found him, surrounded by crumbling buildings, his world in pieces, and with nothing to eat. There was no question he had to come home with me,” says Cutshall. “Today, our whole family is showing Pisa he’s safe and loved, and he’s enjoying life, from cuddling with the kids to playing with our two dogs and even bringing energy back to our elderly cat.”

PETA’s Global Compassion Fund helps rescuers respond to animal emergencies around the globe at a moment’s notice. Rescue teams in Turkey have climbed into collapsed buildings to find injured animals, whisked starving animals off the street, and even used a crane to reach a cat who had been stuck in a fourth-floor apartment for 12 days, desperate for food and water (video here). More animals’ stories are available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s lifesaving work, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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