A cat was rescued last week from a trap that isn’t allowed by law.

On June 17, Gale Samaroby noticed that a feral cat seen on Annie Street in Taylor had come into her backyard. That alone wasn’t unusual for Samaroby since she knows the cat, which was born about five years ago. Samaroby has fed her twice per day. The feline has been named Lilly.

“I’ve seen her ever since she was a little baby,” said Samaroby, who noted that Lilly’s mother was also feral. Lilly was the sole sibling of a litter of cats still roaming the area.

However, the Taylor resident noticed something different this time when Lilly came around dinner time. The cat was dragging a restraint described as a rusty snap jaw trap along with her. It was clamped onto her back foot.

After Samaroby went inside to call for help from local authorities, she went back outside to discover the cat gone.

“She had to suffer with that trap on her foot from about sometime in the afternoon — 3, 4, 5 o’clock — until about 11 the next morning,” said Samaroby.

The next morning, animal control supervisor Sandy Perio came by and started looking for Lilly.

“The officer, Sandy, found her under an out building in my neighbor’s backyard,” said Samaroby. “She had gone under the building and had gotten the trap over a floor joist. So, she was trapped by the trap and the trap was anchored into the floor joist and wouldn’t move. I don’t know how Sandy got her out, but she did.”

Lilly was taken to Graef Veterinary Hospital, where her foot was saved from amputation.

“I heard from the animal shelter the same day that the cat was doing fine. She was on pain medication and antibiotics,” said Samaroby. “They were going to keep her a while.”

Since the trap was rusted and Lilly’s neighborhood includes vacant properties, the cat might’ve ran into an unfortunate, deadly antique. However, if the functional trap was recently placed for any reason, citizens should note that Texas Penal Code 42.092 prohibits a person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cruelly treating an animal. “Animal” has been defined to include feral cats.

Locally, Taylor’s ordinance on animal control notes that all feral cats that are fed as part of a trap-neuter-return program shall not be deemed to be running at large. Neutered feral cats have been given a means of being identified by others.

“Feral cats, they have their left ear clipped off the tip, so they’re very easy to identify even from a distance that they should be protected by law from being harmed,” said Samaroby.

Even if a cat or other animal is a pet and property of an owner, Taylor’s ordinance includes that unlawful restraint of an animal is partially defined that an owner may not restrain an animal outside and unattended by use of a restraint that causes pain or injury to the animal.

As Lilly recovers, Samaroby’s future includes a new venture. As soon as Perio left with Lilly to the hospital that day, Samaroby was inspired to drive to the City of Taylor Animal Shelter to sign up for volunteer work.

“I was so moved out of intense gratitude,” said Samaroby. “I filled out all the paperwork, and I’m waiting to hear back.”

For more information on animal control and the animal shelter, visit https://www.ci.taylor.tx.us/404/animal-control.

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