Last Thursday evening, a person walked into the Massachusetts SPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center with a tiny kitten in a sticky situation.
The 4-week-old calico kitten had wandered into a glue trap meant for rats and mice. At 12 ounces, she was underweight even for such a young cat.
Her hindquarters were covered in glue. Her tail was glued to one leg and her back legs were glued together, said MSPCA spokesman Brian Adams.
The person who surrendered the kitten would not disclose the owner’s identity, but since the feline was obviously in big trouble, MSPCA staff decided to get busy with the business of saving her life. They started with a 30-minute scrub-down.
The staff at the adoption center examined her immediately and cleaned the glue as best as they could with dish detergent, Adams said.
The kitten, whom the staff named Elma — after Elmer’s Glue — will need several more washings to remove all the glue.
We are thankful that Elma was found before this inhumane trap cost this four-week-old kitten her life, said MSPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center director Amanda Kennedy. Our staff worked late into the night to remove the toxic glue from Elma and unglue her tail from her leg. Following her recovery we hope to have her available for adoption within the next month. We also want to remind the public that traps are not selective and can harm pets.
“It was lucky [Elma] was discovered,” Adams said.
Glue traps are known to catch and slowly kill their victims by immobilizing them, causing them to starve, dehydrate, or suffocate and endure injuries from trying to get free.
“We view these traps as inhumane, because they are designed to provide a slow death, kill an animal and they are indiscriminate about what they trap,” Adams said.
Elma is being nursed back to health by MSPCA staff, who are hand-feeding the kitten with a syringe.
Because of her age and low weight, Adams said, Elma will not be put up for adoption for at least a month.
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