The overnight temperature in Rock Falls, Illinois, barely reached into double digits during some winter storms. But it was in these bleak, frigid hours that an unknown person decided to abandon an unwanted kitten. So they inhumanely locked the small grey tabby cat in a pink topped carrier and simply set her in front of a local animal shelter. And if this wasn’t bad enough, the winter landscape was covered in snow.
Cold and terrified, the unfortunate events of the snow filled evening weren’t over for the feline.
Because sometime throughout the night, snow plow trucks had come through the area. It is believed that the unseen cage was clipped and tossed further into the growing snow banks. The carrier was found across the street from the Happy Tails Humane Society. And just a small corner was visible in the snow.
Donald Czyzyk, the Director of Shelter Medicine for Happy Tails, arrived at the building the next morning. During his approach, the pink speck in the snow caught his attention. Realizing it was the corner of a carrier, he couldn’t imagine there would be an animal inside. Donald dug through the snow mound. He retrieved the carrier and peered inside the snow filled compartment.
And a grey ear and two sad eyes peered back at him through snow caked bars.
Rushing inside with the carrier, he carefully set to rescuing the cat from the freezing tomb. So as not to scare the little girl further, he scooped out snow, reassuring the cat with a soothing voice it would be okay. It broke his heart further when out came a sweet as can be, approximately one-year-old cat.
She immediately began snuggling and requesting love from her hero, absolutely thrilled to be rescued.
He named her Winter.
Once warmed up and happily fed, Winter was given a thorough checkup. But then they discovered that she was suffering from fleas and had developed flea allergy dermatitis. This is when an animal is allergic to a compound in the flea’s saliva. So not only was she dealing with horrible fleas, she was suffering further with the dermatitis.
“If left untreated, the associated severe itching and inflammation can lead to excessive scratching and chewing that will serve to damage the skin. Secondary bacterial or fungal infections are common as a result of skin trauma. [And] localized inflammation caused by the allergic response and will invariably lead to more scratching and chewing while potentially compounding the allergic reaction.” (http://www.vetstreet.com)
Winter may have been abandoned by someone that didn’t want to, or couldn’t, afford to treat the fleas and skin condition. But instead of taking her to a vet, leaving her to the elements was their decision. It was a horribly unnecessary risk when so many other options are available. Because even the Happy Tails clinic offers low cost care!
However, the next morning Winter was clearly doing much better.
They treated her fleas and kept a close eye on her for any after effects of the incident. The sweet girl loved getting attention and was likely starting to feel like herself again. And she absolutely loved head scratches!
She’ll be up for adoption once she is fully recovered and spayed. From the comments on their Facebook post, I don’t think it’ll take Happy Tails long to find a warm and loving home for Winter. Followers of their page are already offering their homes up to the strong survivor.
In the meantime, they raised $1,000 and offered a reward to find the abandoner! If they are unable to find the guilty party, they have a backup plan. The funds raised will go to the shelter for the many other animals in their care.
If you have any information, please contact the shelter directly.
~HAPPY TAIL UPDATE~
Once Winter was warmed up, any frost left on her little body…and big heart… melted right off. She absolutely loved the attention and care she was receiving at Happy Tails. She made friends with the other kitties who were all blossoming from the love they were receiving.
Winter almost seemed to know that she was saved from a tragic fate. Volunteers captured this touching photo where she’s almost gazing out the window in a deep contemplation. Regardless, if she was just entranced by glittery snow, it’s just as touching a photo. <3
But without the attentive eye of Donald and the support from the shelter workers, volunteers and donations, she wouldn’t be here to view the beauty winter holds.
Most importantly, we were correct in predicting that it wouldn’t take long for the sweet girl to find the purrfect family!
Only a short time later, Winter met her furever mom, Krista. From the look on Krista’s face, she was warmly accepted into their family!
Congratulations to everyone that helped add many more chapters to Winters story! They are still looking for information on the person who abandoned her in the chilly weather. Please reach out if you have any information!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
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why. why to leave the cat in snow. if you care as little as to leave your cat in the cold, you won’t be hurt by the look rescue workers will give you when you bring the carrier INSIDE. why on earth would anybody leave a locked carrier in a snow.
breaks my heart.
is it a simple cruelty? just pleasure in hurting an innocent creature? argh 🙁
Humans are the cruelest, most barbaric species on earth! There are good people, but mostly the good clean up the mess made by the bad. And animals always, always are on the losing side. Vegan for all animals!
Yes! Vegan for all animals❤️Always and forever!
I hope that somewhere, a young child’s heart isn’t broken because their beloved pet has disappeared. There’s a special place in hell for people who abuse animals. There is ALWAYS a better alternative than dumping them!
Whoever did this should be locked in a small box outside their own house. Place it so they can see the warm cozy inside but not get to it. No blanket, shoes, coat, or anything other than a thin shirt and thin pants. Make sure the sprinkler system is on and can spray inside to all areas. Temperature should be well below freezing preferably in the sub-teens. .
I agree with you Jerry ?
Whatever is done to harm an animal in ANY way or form should be the abuser’s punishment … NO MERCY!!!
Makes me so angry! We have a stray hanging around and it is very cold here in Missouri right now, but he won’t let me bring him in. So I fixed him a box with several blankets on the front porch.
Makes me so angry! It is really cold here in Missouri right now and we have a stray that won’t let me bring him in. I fixed him a box with blankets for the front porch.
See if you can get some hay or straw from a local farm to put in there… Blankets can sometime draw warmth away from a cat’s body. Look online, there are some great DIY stray cat shelter instructions. 🙂
Be sure to use STRAW, not hay!
What a GORGEOUS sweetheart kitty! I cannot imagine how Winter survived! What a cruel & inhumane act!!! Cats & all pets just want to be loved. They can be your best friend & I believe them to be little ANGELS from GOD.i hope the one(s) who did this is caught & prosecuted! What a survivor you are Winter! GOD bless you.
What a sweet little lady she is! How someone can be so incredibly cruel is beyond my understanding!
God bless the rescuer!
Thank you so much for sharing Winters story. She has touched many hearts. She is very resilient and will be adopted soon. The shelter continues to seek information from the public to hold who ever did this accountable.
Winter is a friendly girl, not afraid of people, and she was left in a proper carrier, in front of an animal shelter.
Those things tell me that Winter was loved by someone who likely could not afford to properly care for her, and so gave her up. Apartment rentals that charge $100 per month per me– if pets are even allowed– are on the increase, and so will abandonment of animals.
Not everyone can face the cost, and the self-recrimination, that comes with surrendering a pet. Could you?
Those who abuse animals must be prosecuted. Education and support of well-meaning owners, and ignorant landlords, will help a lot more animals than persecution and prosecution.
And yes, widening your Circle of knowledge and compassion to include cows, pigs, chickens, and lobsters will prevent a lot more suffering than “pet laws” ever will.
The issue here is that it is COLD outside. In the least, they very well could have left her in an inside location or acted as if they had found her as a stray, bringing her to the local shelters/animal control. =/
God bless her she’s here for a reason I’m just glad that it ended well!!!! Be praying that they find whoever did this to her!!!!
God bless the people that take these precious animals in.