Monthly Archives: September 2021

Man Died After Waking To Rabid Bat On His Neck

A tragic story out of Lake County, Illinois, is more horrifying than a Halloween tale. In mid-August, a man in his 80s woke up and found a bat on his neck. Though the bat was captured and tested positive for rabies, the man declined post-exposure rabies treatment.

His decision proved to be fatal. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, approximately a month later, the man began to experience symptoms consistent with rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and difficulty speaking. Not long after the symptoms started, the man died.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike commented on the deadly case:

“Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease. However, there is life-saving treatment for individuals who quickly seek care after being exposed to an animal with rabies. If you think you may have been exposed to rabies, immediately seek medical attention and follow the recommendations of health care providers and public health officials.”

Though rabies is rare, thousands of Americans receive post-exposure treatment for the virus each year. Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister said:

“Sadly, this case underscores the importance of raising public awareness about the risk of rabies exposure in the United States. Rabies infections in people are rare in the United States; however, once symptoms begin, rabies is almost always fatal, making it vital that an exposed person receive appropriate treatment to prevent the onset of rabies as soon as possible.”

According to the department of public health release, wildlife experts located a bat colony INSIDE of the deceased man’s home. Experts recommend that anyone who finds themselves in close proximity to a bat take steps to ensure that they are safe. It is advised to call an animal care and control official to remove the bat for rabies testing and visit a doctor or health care center to discuss the need for preventative treatment.

Humans who have been exposed to rabies almost always die if they do not obtain post-exposure rabies treatment.

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An Owner’s Special Request Gives Dying Dog, Maggie, One Last Snow Bank To Roll In

A story out of Salt Lake County, Utah, has touched the hearts of dog lovers. According to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, in late September, a resident reached out to the Salt Lake County Ice Center with a special request for their dying dog, Maggie.

Maggie, a St. Bernard, had cancer and her owners wanted to give her one final gift before their final good-bye; that gift was a snow bank for her to roll in.

The request was granted by the county recreation department, who wrote:

Today, our staff shaved some extra ice, loaded it into bins and buckets, and the owner took the snow home, to Maggie’s backyard, where she enjoyed it with her family.

Saying good-bye is never easy, but Maggie’s people found a beautiful way to give her a special experience in her last moments, while creating a lasting memory. The story has resonated with dog lovers who understand just how hard it is to go through that final farewell.

Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation shared their condolences:

Sending our love and condolences to Maggie’s family. We appreciate the unique privilege of providing her a little heaven on earth.
#PeopleParksPlay #MaggiesSnow

Those of us with Animal Victory share ours as well. Rest easy Maggie.

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Actor Dave Bautista Adopts Abused Puppy, Offers $5,000 Reward To Find Her Abuser

Actor Dave Bautista, a former pro-wrestler who went on to become an actor portraying a Marvel superhero, has adopted an abused puppy and he is offering a $5,000 reward to find the person responsible for hurting her.

In mid-September, the three-month-old puppy was picked up by a good Samaritan, who saw her eating garbage at the “Home Cemetery.” The pup, dubbed Sage, was taken to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay where shelter veterinary staff prepped her for surgery to remove a heavy, metal chain from her neck.

Bautista saw the puppy’s story on social media, and he knew right away that she was meant to be his. The shelter shared the exciting news with social media fans who had been following Sage’s story:

We are so excited for Sage! She went from eating trash in a cemetery with a chain embedded around her neck to starting an AMAZING new life with Dave and 2 new Pitty siblings!🐾 Thank you Dave for choosing to adopt!💕

On Instagram, Bautista announced his offering of reward money to find the person who hurt his pup:

ATTN Tampa Bay: I will personally hand $5000 cash to the person who gives information leading to the arrest and conviction of the sick piece of shit responsible for this. In addition @humanesocietytampabay is also offering $1500 .If you know anything please contact @humanesocietytampabay or @safek9

On September 24, Bautista shared a video to Instagram letting everyone know that Sage is now Penny Bautista, and he promised that she will never be abused again. He went on to say that she will be living “her best puppy life ever.”

Congratulations to Bautista AND Penny!

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Devoted German Shepherd Raced To Get Help When Her Owner Had A Stroke And Fell

Gainesville, Florida – When Ellie’s owner, 68-year-old Lothar Weimann, suffered a stroke and fell, she instinctively sprang into action. The seven-year-old German shepherd has mobility issues, but they didn’t stop her from opening three gate latches and running to a neighbor’s house to bark for help.

Weimann’s neighbor, 51-year-old Dan Burton, could see that Ellie was agitated, so he followed her back to her home to see what was wrong. There, he found Weimann “out of sorts.” Realizing that the man had suffered some sort of medical event, Burton called 9-1-1 for help.

Weimann was transported to a hospital where it was confirmed that he had a stroke, and that he was also dealing with undiagnosed heart problems and diabetes. After being released from the hospital, Weimann embarked on a healthier lifestyle, and lost 25 pounds.

But he is still dealing with the residual effects from the stroke, including balance issues that make walking his dogs difficult. Thankfully, because of Ellie’s efforts, he is still alive and able to be with his faithful companions.

Weimann told Fox News:

“A dog is always a very honest, very true kind of character. I will always say that dogs are the better humans. It’s good to have them around. If you have a dog, you have a companion for life.”

(Stock image of a German shepherd via Pixabay free images)

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Black Labrador Retriever Injured By Alligator While Protecting Her Duck Friends

A black Labrador retriever, named Beauty, is lucky to be alive after being attacked last week by a large alligator in Panama City Beach, Florida. Beauty’s feathered friends, Cress, Downey, and Dot, were by the bank of Lake Powell, where the gator was lurking.

Of course, the faithful dog was close behind. Beauty’s owner, Misti Roberts, told WJHG News, about her pets’ unlikely bond:

“She is just super sweet to them, it’s not like you would think with a duck and dog.”

But on this day, when Roberts called for Beauty, it was quickly apparent that something was wrong; she said:

“And then I realized she couldn’t get up the stairs, so I ran down and then obviously there was just blood everywhere and I realized she had been hurt.”

Beauty was rushed to VetsPets, where Dr. Gerrie Barr sprang into action to assess her injuries. Dr. Barr discovered that Beauty’s leg was fractured, and he determined that she needed to have surgery. Days ago, Roberts said that Beauty made it through the “difficult, long” surgery, and she is expected to be able to return home in a few days.

She also commended her pup for saving the ducks:

“This is our precious dog, Beauty! She was attacked by an alligator Monday while trying to protect our pet ducks. It was a terrifying experience.”

Beauty’s veterinarian acknowledged the dog’s heroics as well, saying:

“They are her buddies, there is no question about that. Give her credit for saving their lives.”

Good job Beauty!


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Shelter Finds Ailing Puppy By Recycling Bin; Left In Box With Note Reading ‘FOUND HELP ME’

On the morning of September 17, staff at the Kentucky Humane Society discovered an abandoned puppy who had been left in a cardboard box with a note written on the outside. The shelter said:

On the morning of Friday, Sept. 17, Kentucky Humane Society staff member Warren went out to the recycle bin and found a cardboard box with “FOUND HELP ME” written on it.

The abandoned pup had been taped inside of the box, which had air holes punched in it. Staff was brought to tears by the puppy’s pitiful condition. The shelter explained the extent of the puppy’s neglect:

“even our most seasoned team members to tears: an emaciated and miserable looking animal was staring up at them. The young dog’s inflamed skin was raw and swollen from infection, he was missing almost all of his fur, and he was bloody from the sores that covered his thin body. He was so weak from demodectic mange and malnutrition that he could not even stand on his own.”

They continued:

He weighs only 15 pounds but has his adult teeth, so his growth may have been stunted from lack of nutrition. We checked our security camera and found a man fleeing from the area where the puppy was found around 12:30 a.m. on Friday.

The puppy, dubbed Liam, is facing more than horrible neglect malnutrition and mange…the shelter announced on Tuesday morning that he has tested positive for parvo, which can be deadly even in the healthiest of puppies. Liam has a long road ahead of him, but the shelter is doing its utmost to get him through.

You can follow his progress at this link to the Kentucky Humane Society’s Facebook page.

(Images via Kentucky Humane Society)

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Rescuers Come Together To Save Beagle Stuck In A Drainpipe

On Monday, rescuers came together to save a beagle who was stuck in a drainpipe in Jefferson Township, Ohio. Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) humane agents learned that the dog was trapped in the drainpipe around noon.

The Fayette Regional Humane Society explained what led up to the discovery:

While two Suburban Propane employees were traveling down Moon Evans Road located in Jefferson Township in Northwest Fayette County, they found a beagle dog roaming on the side of the road. When they stopped to check for an identification tag on the dog, the men heard the sounds of another dog barking from the inside of a drainpipe in a ditch and called for help.

Humane agents and Fayette County dog shelter wardens responded to the location and found a beagle who was wedged inside of the 120-foot drainpipe, along with a groundhog. The animal welfare agency said that the animals were “nose to nose.” The groundhog was able to move, but the beagle was hopelessly stuck.

Those who first responded to the area did not have the equipment necessary to free the dog, so they called for extra help. Members of the Jefferson Township Fire and EMS, engineer’s office, and township, all showed up to lend a hand, and Center Pizza ensured that the rescuers had food while they worked.


Brad Adams, chief humane agent, said:

“I cannot thank all of the men and women from the fire and ems as well as the guys from the engineer’s office and the township for jumping right in to assist. The rescue wouldn’t have been as successful or as quick without everyone involved, and because the guys from Suburban Propane were caring enough to stop and check on a loose dog, they were also instrumental by being a voice for an animal in need.”

The rescuers were able to reach the beagle; the pooch seemed to be none-the-worse for wear from the ordeal, and was returned to its owner. As for the groundhog, it appeared to be in good shape too, and it was able to get out of the drainpipe after the commotion dissipated.

The shelter thanked those involved in the team effort:

Dana Kellenberger, EMS Chief
Jeff Warner, Assistant Fire Chief
Jason Beatty, Firefighter
Devon Jenkins, Firefighter and EMT
Jon Adams, Firefighter, and Paramedic
Cassandra Bethel, EMT
Charlie Milstead, Firefighter and EMT
Larry Detty
Eddie Rueppel
Owner, Management, and Staff

(Images via Fayette Regional Humane Society)

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13 Gorillas At Zoo Test Positive For Covid – Officials Believe They Got Sick From Vaccinated Staff Member

There is a Covid-19 outbreak among gorillas at Zoo Atlanta, and it is believed that the primates contracted the virus from a vaccinated staff member with the animal care team.

The zoo issued a release about the troubling situation, writing:

While it cannot be known with certainty how the gorillas acquired the virus, the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams believe the infections originated with a COVID-positive care team member. The team member is fully vaccinated, was wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and was asymptomatic on the day of reporting to work.

The gorillas were tested after staff observed “coughing, nasal discharge, and minor changes in appetite in several members of the gorilla population.” A presumptive diagnosis of covid-19 was made after oral, nasal and fecal samples were tested and sent away for analysis. So far, 13 gorillas have tested positive, and all 20 gorillas at the zoo are being tested and monitored.

Sam Rivera, DVM, Senior Director of Animal Health commented on the situation:

“We are very concerned that these infections occurred, especially given that our safety protocols when working with great apes and other susceptible animal species are, and throughout the pandemic have been, extremely rigorous.”

The zoo outlined the safety measures that were in place where the primates got sick:

The infections occurred in an area of the Zoo where COVID safety protocols are already at their most stringent. The use of PPE when working with great apes was already a standard practice at Zoo Atlanta due to their susceptibility to many of the same illnesses experienced by humans, including the common cold and influenza. Although masks and gloves were already worn by the Gorilla Care Team when team members were inside the gorillas’ indoor areas or preparing outdoor habitats, additional preventive measures, such as N95 masks, Tyvek® suits, modified cleaning protocols and increased ventilation in the gorilla building, have been instituted. Team members never share the same physical space with the gorillas, and all interactions take place on opposite sides of a barrier with social distancing in place where practical. Team members also adhere to strict PPE protocols and social distancing guidelines among themselves, and PPE being used by the Gorilla Care Team is the same as what would be seen in human healthcare environments.

The significance of this outbreak

Why should everyone be concerned about this outbreak? Because it impacts the outcome of this pandemic. explains the significance of viruses that have animal reservoirs, specifically with regards to eradication:

Some diseases have an animal reservoir, meaning they can infect other species besides humans. Yellow fever, for example, infects humans, but can also infect monkeys. If a mosquito capable of spreading yellow fever bites an infected monkey, the mosquito can then give the disease to humans. So even if the entire population of the planet could somehow be vaccinated against yellow fever, its eradication could not be guaranteed. The disease could still be circulating among monkeys, and it could re-emerge if human immunity ever waned.

You can read more about vaccines and human versus animal reservoirs, at this link.

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Officer Picked Up Wandering 16-Year-Old, Matted Dog – Then Shelter Found Pooch A Home


Recently, a police officer discovered a bedraggled, old dog wandering in Richardson, Texas. The officer picked up the stray pooch and got him to the Richardson Animal Shelter where staff went to work to rid his body of matted fur, overgrown nails, and a flea infestation.

The shelter learned that the “stray” dog was 16-years-old, and that he DID have an owner, but that person did not want him anymore. Mary Lovell, with the animal shelter, told WDTN News:

“We got in touch with the owner, who didn’t want the dog back. He said the dog was 16 years old and he’s had him since he was a puppy. The dog is completely deaf, and had known nothing but the yard he lived in his whole life, so he was reasonably timid in our care.”

Thanks to the shelter staff, Marty was washed, trimmed and dressed up for a social media shoot, and their efforts paid off – Marty found a home.

A woman with a soft spot for seniors saw Marty and fell in love! On September 9, the shelter alerted Facebook fans to the good news, writing:

Look 👀 who got adopted! Happy tails Marty!


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Doctor Who Beat His Dog With A Hammer Will Be Sentenced On Felony Charges

A doctor, convicted of multiple counts of felony torture of an animal, will be sentenced next week in Dearborn County, Indiana. 58-year-old Joseph Stubbers III was convicted of the animal cruelty charges in July; the charges stem from a July 2019 incident when he attacked his own dog, Cooper, with a hammer.

Stubbers beat Cooper in the head with a hammer, and then shot the dog with a handgun, causing Cooper to lose an eye. Stubbers claimed that the five-year-old dog had attacked him, biting him on the arm, and that he used the hammer to stop the “attack.” But bite wounds were not observed on his arm by responding deputies.

As reported by Local 12 News, a neighbor who witnessed the incident said that,  “he saw Stubbers hitting Cooper the dog with a hammer so much it was causing the dog to actually vomit.”

Those who knew Cooper described him as a “gentle giant.” The injured dog was turned over to a local veterinarian, and animal welfare agencies for care.

Stubbers is the owner of Fairfield Primary Care; prosecutors have alerted the medical board about the charges that Stubbers has been convicted of.

Sentencing has been moved to September 14 in Dearborn Superior Court II.

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If I Close My Eyes, Will It Go Away?

The following is an editorial written by Penny Eims many years ago.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?

Gassing chamber use in parts of the United States to kill cats and dogs at animal shelters.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?

Heart-sticking of cats and dogs at some animal shelters in the United States.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?

Owners chaining their dogs, forgetting to feed them, or give them water. Many abused, most forgotten.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?

List after list after list of adoptable cats and dogs scheduled for euthanasia at over-crowded shelters.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?

Of course, the answer is no, but too many people do not want to see or hear about the horrors that happen to society’s unwanted, or neglected pets.

Too many good pet owners are content to live in their own bubble of contentment; enjoying their own well cared for cat or dog, but closed off to the horrors that befall the unlucky cats and dogs all around us.

If we close our eyes to abused children – the abuse does not stop. If we choose not to see the homeless or the hungry, their need does not go away.

I would encourage you to please get involved in some way. There are multiple ways for everyone to be involved.

Sign a petition that supports the end of heart-sticking and gas chambers for United States animal shelters.

Choose a local shelter that you visit and take photos for the flier – it’s easy and it helps.

Foster a homeless cat or dog – do not be one of the people who states that it is too hard to foster because you will be sad when the dog or cat is adopted. Because the harsh reality is that it is much harder to know that a dog or cat that you could have fostered was instead destroyed at an over-crowded shelter.

Adopt your next cat or dog. Do not buy your next pet from an irresponsible breeder or a pet store. Help stop the breeding madness that has taken over our society.

Spay and neuter your own pets. Do not contribute to the unwanted animals who are dying day after day.

Donate to a local cat or dog rescue, or to your local animal shelter. Visit to find a shelter or rescue near you.

Report cases of neglect or abuse when you see it.

If you drive by a house with a dog chained to a tree, suffering through the elements without shelter, food or water – please pick up the phone and call animal control or the police and report the problem.

Don’t close your eyes and pretend that it will go away.

Help the rescue organizations who have taken in society’s cast-offs, or the abused dogs who have no one else to care for them.

Contact a local dog or cat rescue and find out if you can donate items, or perhaps help with transporting animals in need to/from foster homes, vet appointments, or even on cross-country road trips. Rescues are desperate for people that are willing and able to help. Once you try, you will realize just how easy it is to make a difference.

Bearing witness to animal cruelty is not an easy task, but closing your eyes to the problem will not make it go away.

Please do your part, in some way, to help those cats and dogs who do not have a voice. Please do not close your eyes.

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Zookeeper From ‘Tiger King’ Found Dead

Erik Cowie, one of the zookeepers from the Netflix documentary series, Tiger King, was found dead in an apartment late last week. First reported by TMZ, law enforcement in New York City confirmed that the 53-year-old man was discovered on Friday, “face down in the bedroom of a residence.”

Cowie worked at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, alongside Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, who is currently in federal prison serving a 22 year sentence for trying to hire people to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

Cowie testified against Joe Exotic, telling jurors that Exotic had killed five tigers, and stated that he wanted to see Carole Baskin dead.

The cause of Cowie’s death has not yet been determined, but TMZ reports that he was a “heavy drinker” and that “a large bottle of vodka was found at the scene.”

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Dog Rescued From Cave In Indiana Nature Preserve

On September 4, people exploring caves in Indiana’s Dewey Hickman Nature Preserve, made a shocking discovery. Deep in the pit of a 30-foot cave was an emaciated dog. The dog, dubbed Dewey, was rescued thanks to the good Samaritans.

The Harrison County Animal Control recounted how Dewey was saved:

The cavers rappelled down and were able to lift the dog out of the cave. The cavers believe that the dog now named Dewey may have originally been caught by his collar on a branch as he fell, as there appeared to be scratch marks about halfway down the shaft. We believe the dog was eventually able to wiggle free and dropped to the bottom of the cave.

The shelter believes that the dog may have been stuck inside of the cave for at least two weeks given the amount of weight he lost. The shelter explains:

Dewey is very thin and his collar is very loose, leading us to believe he had been in the cave long enough to drop a significant amount of weight.

They believe that an overturned turtle shell, which collected rain water, may have provided Dewey with the hydration he needed to survive.

On Monday morning, the shelter alerted Facebook followers to good news – it appears that the dog’s true owner has been found:

We believe we have found Dewey’s owner. His name is actually Hawkeye!! We will keep you all posted! We cannot thank the news media enough, without the news coverage we would not have been able to find the owner!!

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Terrified Dog Rescued From Beneath Collapsed Shed

A terrified dog, tethered to a chain and trapped beneath a collapsed shed, was rescued on September 1. The Louisiana SPCA posted photos of the trapped dog, and recounted the situation, and rescue effort.

The animal welfare agency writes:

Yesterday our team and Humane Rescue Alliance officers who volunteered to help here after Hurricane Ida were able to make an amazing rescue! While we were out in the field responding to calls of abandoned animals a resident flagged us down and led us to a dog trapped underneath a collapsed shed!
Our teams rushed to the scene, where they found a scared dog chained inside of the shed and tangled under the debris.

The rescue teams believes that the dog had been trapped beneath the shed since Hurricane Ida hit the area on Sunday. Amazingly, despite being trapped beneath the shed, the dog escaped injury – the shelter staff writes:

We carefully lifted the shed enough so we could guide the dog out from underneath and free him from the chain. Thankfully, and perhaps miraculously, the dog was not injured.

The neighbor, who alerted the rescuers to the dog’s presence, helped name the dog Bubbles. Once freed, the pup was extremely affectionate. The animal welfare agency said:

Bubbles was super friendly and sweet and became almost immediately affectionate toward his rescuers. Bubbles was transported to our shelter in Algiers to cool off and recover while we work to locate his owners.

Bubbles is one of many pets left stranded by the hurricane. Anyone hoping to support the Louisiana SPCA can do so by making a donation to them on their Facebook page.

(images via Louisiana SPCA Facebook page)

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Deputies Save Exhausted Dogs Who Were Stuck In A Swimming Pool

On August 24, deputies in Douglas County, Georgia, saved two exhausted dogs who were stuck in a swimming pool. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office shared video of the rescue effort with Facebook followers on September 3, along with an explanation of what happened.

The law enforcement agency writes:

Sometimes to protect and serve requires going the extra mile. That’s just what Deputies Michael Aziz and Elias Johnson did on August 24th. They responded to a dog case at approximately 7:40 p.m. where they found 2 dogs treading water in a pool. The dogs could not get out and looked exhausted.

The deputies did not think the exhausted dogs would be able to make it long enough for animal control officers to arrive, so they took matters into their own hands.

The agency explains how the deputies improvised:

Dep. Aziz used a blanket to pull the first dog out of the pool and saved the second dog by pulling it out by the collar. Thanks to Deputies Aziz and Johnson these beautiful Huskies will be just fine.

It is unclear if the dogs that fell into the pool live at the residence, or if they wandered in and got stuck. But the dogs are safe thanks to the quick thinking of Deputies Aziz and Johnson.

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Persistent Rescuers Capture Cat With Duct Tape Roll On His Neck

A friendly cat, who managed to get himself into a big of a predicament, was rescued thanks to the persistent efforts of the The Quad Cities Animal Recovery Team. The team was alerted to the presence of a cat in LeClaire, Iowa, who had a duct tape roll around his neck.

On September 2, the rescue group recounted the effort to help the cat, writing:

We decided today that we were not going home without him. We tried trapping almost all day with no success. Then late tonight, he was out meowing away but bypassed the trap. We spent over an hour trying to get him to come to us but he just kept doing circles around us 10 feet away while rubbing on everything that came into his path and flipping over as if he wanted belly rubs. 😐

It took hours for the team to finally convince the kitty to go inside of the trap that had been set. The rescuers write:

We decided to try the trap again. He kept going only to behind it and trying to fight for the food through the bars with no success. He went to the front and rubbed his head on the trip door and closed it without him in it. 🤦🏼‍♀️ We continued trying by hand, and he continued doing circles. Three hours in, he finally went into the trap and after a very nerve wrecking minute, he tripped it!

Fortunately, the rescue group believes that nobody tried to purposely harm this cat; they explain:

We can confidently say that he most likely got the roll stuck on his own head. Aside from him not fully working with us and making his own head a bit bigger by turning it, it was relatively easy to pull off. He very much enjoyed neck scratches after that and was purring away while held! As soon as we let him down to roam in the house, he finds a spot to hide.

The cat is receiving his vetting, and for now, living in a foster home. The group will hold him for a short time to see if an owner comes forward; if not, someone has already spoken up and offered him a forever home.

Find the rescue group on Facebook here.

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