Po’ Kitties cat caught in trap returns

Published 10:51 pm Monday, November 18, 2013

Miss Kitty’s leg in the trap that caused the need for amputation. (photo submitted)

Miss Kitty’s leg in the trap that caused the need for amputation. (photo submitted)

Leg amputated Monday

by Leah Justice

A Po’ Kitties cat made it back to her caretaker’s home in Gowensville, S.C. on Saturday, Nov. 16 with a trap on her leg after being missing for three days, according to Po’Kitties volunteers.
“Miss Kitty,” as the cat is called, was taken to Landrum Veterinary Clinic, where on Monday, Nov. 18 she had surgery to remove her leg.
Po’ Kitties’ Dana Mayer and Emmy Summers said it was a miracle the cat was able to free herself to make it home.
“Traps are barbaric, and Miss Kitty suffered greatly before she was found,” said Summers.  “She faces surgery now, and life as a tripod or three-legged cat.  Yet she is one of the lucky ones, she made it home, and her caretakers took immediate steps to help her. She will lose her leg, but hopefully not her life.”
Miss Kitty was stable Monday afternoon following surgery to amputate her leg and was expected to go home Tuesday, Nov. 19 to her caretakers where she will recover indoors.
Trapping was a hot topic in Polk County earlier this year when commissioners petitioned the state to make the trapping of furbearers legal during trapping season. Many Polk residents, including Po’ Kitties supporters, petitioned against changing the law. The state later approved the trapping of furbearers in Polk, Rutherford and Cleveland Counties, which were the only counties in North Carolina where trapping was not legal. Other residents and N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission officials said that furbearers such as beaver and coyotes have become a nuisance in Polk and trapping needed to be legal.
Commissioners for months heard from both sides of the issue, with residents for trapping saying Polk County has had a rise in rabid animals and coyote activity. They said the problems had increased so much so that the state passed a rule that people can spotlight coyotes at night to kill them. Beavers are also a problem, some residents said, especially in areas including Lake Adger where beavers were damaging trees and causing erosion. Wildlife officers also said that because steel trapping was not legal, organizations that trap animals such as Po’ Kitties could not legally trap cats without the law being changed.
Po’ Kitties, which is an organization through Foothills Humane Society that spays and neuters feral cats and returns them to their colonies, told county commissioners that cats and other animals get  injured by the furbearer traps.
Trapping is legal in both North and South Carolina in season when a trapper obtains a license, places their name and address on the traps and has written permission to trap on someone else’s property. A trapper also has to check the traps every 24 hours in most circumstances.
“When you hear that traps are humane and that pets never get caught in traps,” Summers said, “you can see for yourself it’s a lie.”
The trap in Miss Kitty’s case was not labeled, but the caretakers were going to try to find a label. It is not known where the cat was trapped.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, it is lawful to trap furbearing animals and coyotes in South Carolina from Dec. 1 of each year to March 1 of the following year with a valid Commercial Fur Harvesters License. Depending on the animal, however, some trapping is legal year round, such as for beaver in cases where damage has been done.
Trapping seasons in North Carolina vary per area. According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, from Dec. 1 – Feb. 28 trapping is legal with regulations in and east of Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, Greene, Lenoir, Duplin, Pender and New Hanover counties.
From Nov. 1 – Feb. 28 trapping is legal in all other counties as well as the listed seasons. Coyotes may be taken in areas where fox trapping is allowed by state statute. From Nov. 1-March 31 trapping is legal statewide for beaver, but landowners whose property is or has been damaged may take beaver on their property anytime by a lawful method without obtaining a permit.
Both states also have certain traps that are legal and certain that are not legal.

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