North Kansas City Police Nab PETA Award for Rescuing Kitten From Highway

Bella the Highway Kitty Now Lives With the Officer Who Saved Her

For Immediate Release:
January 9, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

North Kansas City, Mo. – A Compassionate Police Department Award is on its way from PETA to the North Kansas City Police Department, which sprang into action on December 20 after callers reported that a kitten was stranded on a highway barrier at the junction of I-35 and I-29. Officer Jason Smith found the kitten, enlisted other officers to control traffic, and—as his bodycam footage shows—retrieved the kitten and brought her back to his patrol car. He and his family adopted the cat and named her Bella, and she even has her own Instagram page.

“Thanks to Officer Smith and the other compassionate officers of the North Kansas City Police Department, this tiny kitten was spared a terrifying death on the highway,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “She’s now safe and sound at home with her new family, and PETA hopes her story will inspire everyone to come to the aid of animals in need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that cats should never be let outdoors unattended. Those who are allowed to roam outside may contract diseases such as feline AIDS, be hit by cars, be harmed by cruel humans, or end up in dangerous predicaments like Bella’s.

The North Kansas City Police Department will receive a framed certificate, a letter of congratulations, and a box of vegan cookies—with some extra ones for Smith, who is vegan.

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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