Vice President of Media Strategy, NAVC
It was a despicable act — a kitten that had been completely encased in hardened spray foam insulation was left to die in a garbage can.
Sadly, some animals have a rougher start in life than others, one that includes animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. That’s the case for the Oregon kitten who has since been named Lucky McFoamy. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, on May 3, 2019, a garbage collector was emptying a trash can in unincorporated Washington County, Oregon, when he noticed the contents were not emptying. He took a closer look and found a kitten hanging upside down from its back legs, covered in spray foam.
“The driver knew the cat was still alive because he could hear it whining,” reported Brian van Kleef, deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “A whole team of his coworkers came together and rescued the cat. They cut it out, using razor blades to cut some of the foam off the kitten’s face, and brought it to the vet.”
It Takes a Village
Lucky was transported to the Hillsboro Veterinary Clinic, where he was treated by Dr. Diane Healey, chief veterinarian for the clinic, and her veterinary team. “He obviously had not been there too terribly long, or he would have suffocated,” Dr. Healey told us at the time. “The head was covered, the face was covered, the legs were stiff, he couldn’t move them. Thank God for the guys who brought him in because it was a matter of timing. Who would do that? This is a sick person who needs a lot of help.”
Lucky made a full recovery. Originally, van Kleef reported that Lucky would be returned to his owners, but it was determined that he’d be better off finding a “forever home” and was taken to the Bonnie L. Hays Animal Shelter.
This is an animal cruelty story with a happy ending, though. The shelter posted on social media that Lucky McFoamy has been adopted by a woman named Denise. The adoption took place in June 2019, but TVN has just learned about it.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has not found the criminal who left Lucky to die in the trash can.
Ending Animal Abuse
According to the Humane Society of the U.S., cases of animal abuse are not compiled by state or federal agencies, making it difficult to calculate just how common they are. The agency believes that the number would be “shocking” if it cases were tracked. Fifty states have enacted animal cruelty laws that also include felony provisions since 2014.
On January 1, 2016, the FBI added cruelty to animals as a category in the Uniform Crime Report, a nationwide crime reporting system commonly used in homicide investigations. The data generated will help create a clearer picture of animal abuse and guide strategies for intervention and enforcement. Data collection covers four categories: simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (such as dogfighting and cockfighting) and animal sexual abuse. Only about a third of U.S. communities currently participate in the system.
Animal cruelty includes intentional, malicious acts of harm and less clear-cut situations where the needs of an animal are neglected, says the Humane Society. Violence against animals has been linked to a higher likelihood of criminal violence and domestic abuse — 71% to 83% of human abuse cases also affect animals; women entering domestic violence shelters report that their partners hurt or killed the family pet.
Read our original report on Lucky’s ordeal.