Long Island’s own Cat hero, John Debacker, is a rare, kind soul who goes into sewers, abandoned structures, and just about anywhere to save animals. In 2021,he saved an opossum dangling from a power line and jumped into a pond to save a bird stuck in a fishing line. Then, he saved a squirrel trapped in a gutter. In between, he’s trapping and saving multiple feral cats and kittens no matter how difficult and messy the job.
Long Island’s Own Cat Hero
In Debacker’s work with nonprofit Long Island Cat/Kitten Solution, he skilfully caught 16 feral cats at one time! It may be all in a day’s work for the group’s superstar, who thinks nothing of trapping over 45 cats in a month.
“NEW RECORD: 16 cats in a single pull at a Bellmore colony, breaking my previous record of 13 at an Oyster bay colony.”
Following capture, each cat would receive care and be sterilized as part of trap, neuter, return efforts. Since 2008, the rescuers have spayed or neutered more than 10,000 cats and kittens.
Thus, the population of feral cats won’t keep going up, and kittens won’t continuously require saving. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of cats needing care and homes at any given time.
After caring for so many cats, the costs are astronomical, relying entirely on donations. According to the rescue’s Facebook page, they say “Long Island’s own Cat Hero,” Debacker, has taken on many of the costs himself.
A Cat Hero Who Saves Kittens From the Sewers
Wherever kittens need rescue, Debacker goes, and that includes saving them from the sewers. From the moment of their rescue, he shows long-term interest in where the cats end up in life.
He even followed up on the story of a kitten he rescued more than three years ago from a sewer in Bellmore.
Volunteers from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter reached out to Debacker about a distressed kitten. Due to his advanced experience and know-how, he saved the cat.
“I was able to quickly and safely secure the kitten, where a nearby homeowner eventually adopted her. 💗 Here she is [fully] grown-up, still living a happy and healthy life. 💗”
In another case, Debacker trapped a family of kittens with their mom. As a result, the whole family was adopted together.
“Meet Josie, Joie, and Joy!
Adoptions are great, double adoptions are even better, but a triple adoption is beyond amazing!
That’s what happened with one Jericho family after the foster couldn’t part with them, so she ended up adopting the entire family. 💗”
Saving ‘Skinny’ from Behind the Walls
In August 2021, a cat named Skinny got stuck in the walls of a home for seven days. So, Debacker came to help, leaving food and setting up cameras to watch for Skinny.
One morning at 3 a.m., the homeowner heard Skinny meowing and realized he had been under the floor the entire time! Unfortunately, Skinny couldn’t find a way out until Debacker and the homeowner went to work.
“With the new holes this morning, [Skinny] found a way out and was cornered in the basement until I was able to safely contain him in a carrier,” wrote Debacker.
Judging by the holes in the pictures, the cat didn’t have to be so skinny to get out.
Then, the cat rewarded his rescuer with a bite. Fortunately, the Cat Hero came fully prepared.
“He bit me good, but I advised the cat that I had kevlar on, and there was really no point. With that being said, he walked right into the carrier and gave up peacefully.
Skinny had some adventure but hopefully will stay out of trouble now.. 💗”
Thus, the Cat Hero accomplished another successful mission after much risk and effort.
In response, a follower said:
“John, you have the most heartwarming stories to tell. You’re a lifesaver early in the morning and late at night – unbelievable! Heart of Gold. Thank you. ❤”
Truly, this guy does have a heart of gold, saving cats wherever and whenever they need help. After seeing a few of his ongoing efforts to save animals, we think he and his crew are pretty amazing.
Making Sewers Safer for Cats and Other Animals
Today, Long Island and their Cat Hero are trying to make the sewers in the area safer for animals. To help, you can sign the Change.org petition started by Debacker to add nets and screens to all sewer drains.
“Animals falling into sewers and unable to get out have become too common – way too common!” the petition states. “Not every animal that falls in will survive, and many have drowned. It’s such a simple solution to add screens or netting to all sewer drains that are open so only water can fall through.”
So far, the petition hopes to reach the initial goal of 1,000 signatures. So, please sign if you want to help Long Island’s Cat Hero help save more cats from the sewers. For more stories of bravery from Long Island’s Cat Hero, follow Long Island Cat/Kittens Solutions, Inc.