Animal cruelty is an unforgivable crime.
Meet the Naples Cat Alliance shelter, a non-profit charity founded in 2013 that tirelessly helps find homes for injured and rescued cats. In 2017, the rescue was given a cat with all four of its paws painted purple and the story unravels from there. They quickly discovered the significance of the purple paint and the trauma this cat probably went through in the previous months. Florida resident Megan Sorbara founded the Naples Cat Alliance shelter and knew what she was seeing but couldn't believe her eyes.
Cats with purple paws are used as bait and literally thrown into the mix during dogfights. The color coding allows the attendees to bet on the various animals in the fight. The cat was later named Mr. Purple Paws and fortunately has a happy ending despite being color-coded with marker and handled by what we can only assume was one or more animal abusers.
For more information, visit the Naples Cat Alliance Facebook page.
Why Do Some Cats Have Purple Paws?
Rabbits, cats, and kittens are all used in the dogfighting ring and sport. It is suspected that Mr. Purple Paws was stolen from his home as this is the case with many of the cats given to rescues with purple paws and a purple marking on their head.
The Naples Cat Alliance posted on Facebook the day "Mr. Purple" came to them from Clewiston Animal Control:
"Being in animal rescue, you hear and read about a lot of terrible things being done to poor innocent animals. And then one day, the victim of one of these terrible things shows up at your door. I consider myself pretty hardened to a lot of stuff, I have dealt with a lot of injured, emaciated, neglected and abused animals but this one really got to me. By all accounts he looks good, good weight, nice coat but the purple paws tell the story.
Dog fighters use markers to color the white parts of cats and kittens so they can bet on which color will die first. They are "color-coded" and then thrown to packs of dogs, while these sick barbarians place their bets. This is cruelty at its worst. It seems as Mr. Purple Paws was able to escape before he entered the ring."
One key learning is the discovery that it isn't just dogs that are impacted by dogfights. Can dogfights get any worse?
This slideshow tells the story best.
Many no-kill shelters like the Naples Cat Alliance shelter take in special needs animals looking for their forever homes. Anyone hoping to rescue a cat should also consider becoming a foster family as this allows shelters to take in even more animals and helps make pet adoptions go smoother.
If you hope to save a cat and adopt, don't forget about veterinary care for your new family member. Most rescue groups have relationships with vets or in some cases vets on staff and can answer questions about any trauma a cat with purple paws may have encountered.
READ MORE: Breeder Pleads Guilty for Having Dogs 'Debarked,' Faces 2 Years Probation for Animal Cruelty