Animal shelter's '˜mutilated' cat Facebook post causes uproar

A Facebook post made by a local animal shelter about a cat with missing ears has caused uproar after animal cruelty was ruled out.

Monday, 30th May 2016, 4:48 pm
Updated Monday, 30th May 2016, 6:53 pm
The photo published by the Rainbow Rehoming Centre claimed Leah the cat had been found with its ears cut off and had been mutilated. However, this photo was taken after a local vet had removed the cats ears because of a suspected infection.

The Rainbow Rehoming Centre posted images of the cat, called ‘Leah’ on Facebook on Friday morning claiming the cat had been “found badly injured” and had been “mutilated.”

People reacting to the story were led to believe the cat had its ears cut off on purpose and Animal Rights Action Network (A.R.A.N.) had put up a reward of £2,500 to find those responsible.

The Rainbow Rehoming Centre has since removed its original post, which included graphic images of the cat’s bloodied ears.

The local animal shelter posted a messaged entitled ‘Update on Leah’ on Facebook on Saturday afternoon.

“We have consulted with our vets and there is no evidence that animal cruelty was involved in this case.

“We would like to thank those in the Ballynamore area that cared for both Leah and her kittens which resulted in Leah receiving the veterinary treatment she needed,” said the statement.

A relative of the elderly couple who looked after the cat contacted the ‘Journal’ yesterday morning to express her anger at Rainbow Rehoming Centre.

“I can’t believe this,” said the woman.

“My mother and father are in complete shock about what happened.

“This is a stray cat that my father had been feeding for the last six months. My father hasn’t been well and he is blind so we took the cat to the Rainbow Rehoming Centre - the cat’s ears looked to be infected - they had not been ‘mutilated’ as has been claimed by the Rainbow Rehoming Centre.

“The story on their Facebook page is completely misleading and I intend to contact the Charity Commission because people have donated to the animal shelter on the back of this story. I didn’t want to have to contact the ‘Journal’ about this but, despite contacting Rainbow Rehoming Centre several times, they have not apologised properly,” maintained the woman.

One Facebook user called on the animal shelter to issue a full explanation as to why the original Facebook post was so misleading.

“Rainbow Rehoming Centre need to rectify this. People are still donating and thinking the original claim that this cat was abused still stands.

“A lot of people are very, very upset about this.”

The ‘Journal’ contacted Rainbow Rehoming Centre on a number of occasions yesterday but, at the time of going to Press, they had not replied.