Megan Sorbara, founder of Naples Cat Alliance, has taken in tons of cats with heartbreaking stories. So when she received a photo of a cat with purple paws from Clewiston Animal Control, she immediately knew the awful truth behind the seemingly innocent color.
“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,” Sorbara wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Sorbara knew that the cat — whom she’d aptly nicknamed Mr. Purple Paws — had most likely been used as bait in a dog fighting ring. Somehow, he’d escaped before being picked up by animal control, who took him to Naples Cat Alliance.
“By all accounts he looks good, good weight, nice coat but the purple paws tell the story,” Sorbara explained. “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. He was picked up as a stray by Clewiston Animal Control and transferred to us last night. I can only hope more were able to get away but my real hope is that the perpetrators of this heinous ‘sport’ be found and prosecuted.”
“For all he has been through, he is very sweet, gentle and social,” she added. And because of that, she was able to put him up for adoption right away. It only took a week for Mr. Purple Paws to find his forever home, where he was given a new name and a second chance at life.
Now, with a loving family, his cruel past will fade away with time — just like the purple color on his paws.