(With Updates!) Cat Abandoned Near Shelter Ends Up Buried And Trapped In Snow Filled Carrier

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The overnight temperature in Rock Falls, Illinois, barely reached into double digits Tuesday into Wednesday morning. It was in these bleak, frigid hours that an unknown person decided it would be a great time to get rid of an unwanted kitten. They inhumanely locked the small grey tabby cat in a pink topped carrier and simply set her in front of a local animal shelter. If this wasn’t bad enough, the winter landscape was covered in snow.

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails

Cold and terrified, the unfortunate events of the evening weren’t over for the feline. 

Sometime throughout the night, snow plow trucks had come through the area. It is believed that the cage was clipped and tossed further into the growing snow banks. The carrier was found across the street from the Happy Tails Humane Society, just a small corner visible in the snow. 

When Donald Czyzyk, the Director of Shelter Medicine for Happy Tails, approached the building on Wednesday morning, the pink speck in the snow caught his attention. Realizing it was the corner of a carrier, he couldn’t believe there would be an animal inside. Donald dug through the snow mound, retrieved the carrier and peered inside the snow filled compartment.

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails 

He was shocked and heartbroken to see a grey ear and two sad eyes peering back at him! 

Rushing inside with the case, 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. 

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails

She immediately began snuggling and requesting love from her hero, absolutely thrilled to be rescued. 

He named her Winter. 

Video screenshot courtesy of Happy Tails

Once warmed up and happily fed, Winter was given a thorough checkup. 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)

Video screenshot courtesy of Happy Tails

They think Winter may have been abandoned by someone that didn’t want to, or couldn’t, afford to treat the fleas and skin condition. Instead of taking her to a vet, or even the Happy Tails clinic that offers low cost care, leaving her to the elements was their decision. Just a horrible risk when so many other options are available. 

This morning, Winter is doing much better. 

They are treating her fleas and keeping a close eye on her for any after effects of the incident. The sweet girl loves getting attention and is likely starting to feel like herself again. She absolutely loves head scratches!

Winter the Snow Miracle is doing good this morning.Donate-Volunteer-Adopt

Posted by Happy Tails on Thursday, January 24, 2019

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 have raised $1,000 and are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the abuser. If they are unable to find the guilty party, 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. 

Video screenshot courtesy of Happy Tails

UPDATE 2/4/2019

Once Winter was warmed up, she absolutely loved the attention and care she was receiving at Happy Tails. She made friends with the other kitties who were blossoming from the love they were all receiving. 

Winter and Luna have stories of survival. Winter was found in a snow packed carrier near the front road of the shelter. Luna was found by the shelter mailbox with frozen pads. They are resilient and we are glad we could help them.

Posted by Happy Tails on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Beautiful and lucky 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

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails

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. 

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails

We were absolutely correct in predicting that it wouldn’t take long for the sweet girl to find the purrfect family!

On Sunday, February 3rd, Winter met her furever mom, Krista. Winter was ready for a family and from the look on Krista’s face, she was warmly accepted into hers. 

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails

Congratulations to the all and 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! 

Photo courtesy of Happy Tails


Related Story: (NEW Update!!!) Police Officer Watching Lunar Blood Moon Eclipse Finds Kitten Buried In 3 Foot Snow Drift

Related Cole & Marmalade Video: Cats First Experience With Snow


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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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. .

    • YES!!!!! 👍👍👍
      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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. What a sweet little lady she is! How someone can be so incredibly cruel is beyond my understanding!

    God bless the rescuer!

  8. 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.

  9. 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. =/

  10. 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!!!!

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Written by JessiCAT

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