When I started Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog one of my goals was to build an online community of support for pets with special needs. Little by little I’ve been hearing from pet parents and organizations who want to share their story about a specially-abled dog or cat. Last week Katherine Head, one of the founders of Unchained Activism For Animals, contacted me about how the animal rescue group, which is run entirely by teenagers, is trying to save the life of a one-eyed cat named Trooper.
Trooper is one of eleven stray cats that live outdoors in a neighborhood in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The teen rescuers of UAFA discovered him while they were helping homeowners in the community trap the cats and find new homes for them.
The teens are dealing, maybe for the first time, with the realities and tragedy of stray cats that are left to manage on their own outdoors, without being fed consistently and facing the dangers of other animals and even humans who do not want them around.
“Life has not been a cakewalk for this cat,” said Katherine. “He is covered in scars and healing wounds. It also appears that his left eye is missing. We haven’t been able to tell yet for sure if it’s salvageable, but it doesn’t look good. It is obvious, however, that he needs to be seen by a veterinarian.”
While the teenagers are trying to be realistic that poor Trooper’s health issues could be life-threatening, they also made him their number one priority and are working hard to trap him and get him to a veterinary clinic. They are hopeful this will take place in the next couple of days, although feral cats can be very sly about avoiding traps.
The group is also being realistic about the financial cost that will be associated in getting veterinary care for Trooper so the teens started a fundraising campaign for him. They’ve held bake sales, online crowd funders and even solicited a donation from a local elementary school Student Government Association. To date they have raised $848.39 for Trooper’s care.
In addition, they’ve started a YouCaring page for Trooper and his ten cat buddies so that funding will be available to take care of all the cats once they are rescued.
The plan for Trooper is have him examined by a local veterinarian in Hanover and then go into foster care with Katherine. If all goes well he will be in her arms by the end of the week.
“I plan to drive to Hanover from where I live in Maryland to collect 5 of the cats, including Trooper,” said Katherine. “I will be fostering them until they find adoptive homes. We plan to find them wonderful, forever homes, and then start fostering the remaining cats as room becomes available.”
The members of UAFA
UAFA is a young group and still small in size, but the efforts they are taking to save Trooper and the other stray cats is gigantic. They are facing the same challenges that the largest of rescue groups deal with when it comes to rescuing feral cats and I think they are doing a great job. It makes me very happy to know about their commitment to homeless animals and especially their dedication to those that are sick and disabled.
Unchained Activism For Animals (UAFA) is an all teen-run animal rights and rescue organization. Their mission is to grow a group of young adults who advocate for the welfare of animals through community service, education and fundraising. The group has successfully completed several campaigns, including the rescue of Jasmine, a slaughter-bound horse and the trap-neuter-return efforts for a colony of community cats.