Cats’ lives running out after getting tossed out on I-310

June 22, 2009 at 9:11 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

For the past two weeks, Jamie Scaffidi has made several grisly discoveries while driving on I-310 - dead cats on the side of the road. And the only way those cats could have gotten on the interstate is by being thrown or dropped out of vehicles, according to Animal Control Director Angie Robert.

“I have seen six to seven dead cats on the interstate and it seems they are being thrown out only on the bridged sections,” Scaffidi said. “They have no chance for survival and this could become very dangerous for other drivers as well since no one ever expects a cat to dart into the highway in front of them on an interstate bridge.”

Scaffidi did find one cat that was still alive, though its outlook was grim. However, that didn’t stop Scaffidi from stopping to pick it up.

“It was still alive, but it had been hit by a car,” she said. “Its head was up and it was trying to stand.
“I pulled my car onto the side lane, put my flashers on, backed up to it and grabbed it.”

Though Scaffidi said that experience could have gotten her killed, it was worth it because she was able to bring the hurt animal to a vet and have it put down humanely.

Although this seems like something that would rarely occur, it’s not. Four years ago, Robert said someone left a box of kittens on top of the Hale Boggs Bridge.

“Two of them fell off, but one lived,” Robert said. “A man got out of his car, grabbed the kitten and brought it to us.
 “We were able to save it and give it a good home.”

Last year, a similar incident took place. This time, someone left a kitten on the bridge, and though it fell off, it landed directly under the bridge in a small area where it was able to survive. Another Good Samaritan stopped his vehicle, rescued the kitten and brought it to Animal Control.

Robert is shocked that anyone would decide to get rid of cats on such a dangerous highway and says that the only possible reason could be malicious intent.

“That’s the only reason someone would throw cats out there,” she said. “We are right here under the bridge and we will happily take any cat or any other animal that someone doesn’t want.”

Even if the animal is sick, Robert said it would be much more humane to have it put to sleep.

“We don’t want them to have to die on the interstate.”

But they have been, and it’s hard to stop.

“It’s almost impossible because someone has to see someone do it, get the license plate and then testify,” Robert said.

Scaffidi is hoping that someone will do just that.

“This is a very hateful and cruel crime that must be stopped,” she said. “I am in the hopes that maybe if enough people hear about this that people will keep a look out for it and get a license plate.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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