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Crushed by a Car

Below is an excerpt from a letter that was posted on various public listservs. We do not know if this poor animal was an owned pet permitted to roam freely or a pet that accidentally escaped or if this animal was a stray or feral cat. This account clearly and sadly illustrates what death is often like for animals that live and die outside. We include this story here so you consider whether the actions of individuals and organizations that endorse TNR are performing acts of compassion or condemning animals to an inhumane and tragic death.

We also ask that you take a second look on the road for animals that may be in need as did the kind gentleman who wrote this letter. If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, please contact the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (or your state DNR) for a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators or click on this link:

Due to the extent of the injuries, this cat had to be euthanized.

At 1:00 PM I was driving on the busy street of Washington Avenue in Belleville, going toward Nutley when I noticed an animal lying in the road ahead. Upon passing by it I realized it was a cat! My heart just broke. I looked in my rear view mirror to see if he was moving, because it didn't look as if the animal had been run over again and again. I turned around to check out the situation and right as I was pulling up I noticed the animal's head was in a different position. "Oh, God", I thought. I approached the cat and saw him moving, gasping, drooling blood. I got up close and saw that his face was swollen, he was bleeding from the mouth, ears, and neck, but when I got closer, he tried to run away- further into traffic. But he didn't get far. It was obvious at least one of his legs was broken. I got a blanket I had in my car and went out into the street and grabbed him up and took him to the Nutley Animal Hospital a few blocks away. After waiting about 45 minutes they told me that they believe he has at least one broken leg, perhaps a broken pelvis, and a jaw broken in two places. They hadn't yet taken X-Rays of his internal organs. I cringe just to write such things, but the sight of it was so much worse. This broken animal in my arms, looking up at some grief-stricken stranger covered in blood and trying to console him. I was shaking for hours afterward and I can't stop wondering how he's doing and whether or not he's gonna make it. I give him so much credit. I don't know how long he was hanging on there in the street but he still had the life in him to try to get away from me- twice. I guess I wouldn't want anyone touching me if I were in that condition, either.

Name withheld.

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