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For Immediate Release: 04/16/12

Crushed Family Cat Is Latest Reported Trapping Victim

Born Free USA, a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, estimates that for every targeted animal trapped by commercial and recreational trappers across the United States, an estimated two non-targeted animals are caught — often family cats and dogs. Such traps are set to fuel the cruel fur industry, while others are set by those who mistakenly believe a trap can solve a wildlife “nuisance” situation.

The latest non-target victimed reported to Born Free USA is a resident of Mount Airy, NC. Myra Combs’ family cat J.J. was caught in a body-crushing Conibear trap on a neighboring property. The animal and trap were taken to a veterinarian, who had to cut off the trap and treat J.J.

According to Monica Engebretson of Born Free USA, “Amazingly, J.J. survived but is still in considerable pain. J.J is one of thousands of non-targeted animals captured by indiscriminate body-crushing traps. The trap that caught J.J. was allegedly set with the intent to kill a woodchuck who was deemed by a neighbor as a problem. Many cats and dogs do not survive the trauma or often need a limb amputated. Most suffer severe injuries requiring costly veterinary treatment and lengthy rehabilitation. Born Free USA has set up a Trapping Victims Fund to help with the costs many families have to contend with to save their beloved pet.”

Combs told Born Free USA, “Seeing firsthand the torture and cruelty of these traps, I wholeheartedly believe they should be illegal. No one with an ounce of compassion could argue that Conibear traps are humane if he or she had witnessed what I saw.”

Born Free USA is working with Combs to urge the city of Mount Airy to prohibit the use of body-crushing traps and, at the very least, prohibit the use of Conibear traps on land.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, “Millions of fur-bearing animals are barbarically killed each year in these traps set for recreational and commercial purposes, fueling a highly unregulated industry that dates back to the 1600s. And while cats, dogs and endangered species have always been non-targeted victims of this industry, over the past four months we have seen a record high in reports from the public. These traps are set in common areas where people are hiking with their pets, and children are playing. This is not only a tragedy for the animals, but a frightening public safety risk that must stop.”

Born Free USA receives hundreds of heartbreaking reports from victims who have seen their cat or dog severely injured or killed in these traps, and keeps an online database of incidents at www.bornfreeusa.org/database to help bring attention to this public safety issue. The Born Free USA Trapping Victim Fund was established in 2011 to assist with the veterinary costs involved when companion animals are caught in traps.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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