Late one evening in 2015, everything changed for Officer Gretchen Byrne of the Coral Springs Police Department. While taking a coffee break on the night shift, a stray cat wandered up to her. Clearly very pregnant and needing help, she knew she couldn’t just ignore the feline. She was able to catch the mama, taking her to the station and then home with her at the end of her shift. And with that, the Cat Cop was born…
Now in 2018, Officer Byrne’s nickname “Cat Cop” has officially stuck.
She has helped save dozens upon dozens of kittens and cats found while patrolling. Luckily she is able to keep them in cages in a corner of the woman’s locker room where they are safe. Here at least others are willing to keep an eye on them until her shift is over and they are off the streets.
She uses her Instagram page to post pictures, videos and stories of the rescued fur-babies, helping her to find purrmanent homes. With over 41 thousand followers, hopefully many more cats can find deserving fur-ever families!
Because many of the rescued felines are so young, she spends her lunch breaks bottle-feeding kittens! But she doesn’t keep all the joy for herself. Knowing many dispatchers and officers experience stressful days, why not bring them a bit of kitten therapy to help them smile!?
In April of 2016, the department proudly shared Officer Byrne’s achievements on their Facebook page.
“We want to take an opportunity to highlight the humanitarian efforts of one of our officers, Gretchen Byrne. We had several stray felines who took up residency here at the Coral Springs Police Department. Officer Byrne self-initiated a plan of action in caring for, and placing these resident felines. She arranged through her own personal contacts to arrange placement with shelters and temporary foster homes. She did this on her own time, making several trips to collect four cats and a litter of kittens.”
One of the people that she has teamed up with through animal rescue is Beth Stern, the wife of Howard stern, radio, TV and onscreen personality. Both Sterns are avid cat lovers and animal activists, helping Officer Byrne place numerous cats though the star’s public reach.
However it’s the everyday reality of cat rescue that brought Officer Byrne’s actions to the forefront of the departments praise.
“When a severe storm passed through the City of Coral Springs, Officer Byrne prevented a litter of kittens from drowning in the police department parking lot. Due to the outcome and positive impact Officer Byrne made on these innocent felines, she has been recommended to receive a Community Policing Award for her actions. We appreciate Officer Byrne and her commitment to animals!”
Never giving up on the felines in her care, she is dedicated to helping all of them; kittens or cats, special needs required or just some good ol’ fashioned kitten cuddling to help them survive.
Please remember to Spay/Neuter your pets!