Tahlequah Daily Press

May 10, 2013

Dumping, trap use harming animals

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Recent complaints about people dumping unwanted pets in the Stick Ross area, and another report of a cat allegedly caught in a trap, indicate the animal abuse is still prevalent in the Tahlequah area.

Tahlequah resident and cat owner Terry Reed said in recent weeks he let his cat, Garfunkel, out of the house one evening. After a long period of absence, he discovered the cat at his back door with a serious injury to its rear right leg. Flesh was exposed and self-inflicted bite marks were present on the animal’s leg, Reed said.

“It was like somebody took a piece of sandpaper and rubbed the skin away,” said Reed. “I took him to the vet the next day, and he told me [Gar’s] back leg was completely dead. It was cold. He grabbed on to a piece of skin with some forceps and [Gar] didn’t even flinch. He told me he had to amputate it.”

Reed, who lives on Jamestown Street, doesn’t have evidence to confirm the injuries were caused by the cat getting its leg caught in a trap. But he’s spoken with several other animal owners in the area who noted similar injuries to dogs and cats over the years.

“[Garfunkel] had about four bite marks on his leg where it appeared he was going to start eating his leg off,” said Reed.

“What precipitated the thought of a trap is my neighbor told me to look out for a certain individual, and I can’t prove that he did it. She said [this individual] hates cats because they eat birds. She said she lost her cat and found it in his backyard, in a cage covered up with a blanket. She heard it meowing. I haven’t been in his backyard yet, but I’ve called him.”

Reed said the neighbor wouldn’t answer his phone for three days, but eventually called Reed back to state that he didn’t own dogs or traps, and that he couldn’t help Reed in any way.

Since the leg amputation, Garfunkel is said to be healthy and doing fine.

“He’s actually a lot better. The cat acts like it never really happened,” said Reed. “I’m hoping it was some stupid kids, which did go through my mind. If it is some stupid kids, I want to spread the word and hopefully their parents will speak to them.”

Reports of animal cruelty and pet abandonment can be made to the Humane Society of Cherokee County, and information on steps to follow when dealing with dumped animals can be found at the HSCC website, or www.HumaneCherokee County.org. Click on “Rehome a Pet” to learn the steps to help locate a home for an abandoned animal, said HSCC Volunteer Lou Hays.

For more information on HSCC or to report suspected animal cruelty, call the shelter message center at (918) 457-7997 or visit www. facebook .com/HumaneSocietyof CherokeeCounty.

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