WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington woman says her cat has been near-mutilated by a local group who tries to control the feral cat population.
Meribeth Pearsall's cat Roy came wandering home Tuesday like always, but he was missing half of his ear and had an incision in his stomach.
"They work with cats every day. This is their mission. This is their goal, yet they're collecting tame cats. This is a house cat, he's indoor and outdoor, but this is a pet,” cat owner Meribeth Pearsall said. “They collected him. They tried to fix him as a female. They can't tell the difference between a male and a female cat? I'm astounded by that."
Pearsall says Friends of Felines is to blame for her cat Roy’s current state. Friends of Felines is a group of volunteers dedicated to controlling Wilmington’s feral cat population. Pearsall says she's seen the group catching cats in her neighborhood for the past couple weeks and their website says they "tip" the cat's ear once it's fixed. Pearsall said she was livid when she found out her one-and-a-half-year-old male cat, which was neutered as a kitten, had been cut into as if he was a she.
"They catch wild cats. They catch cats that you can't approach that are the hissing, spitting, hairs on their hackles is raised,” Pearsall said. “That's not this cat."
Pearsall admits Roy does not wear a collar, although it is required by New Hanover County. She claims Roy is obviously tame and taken care of. When the group told her they only deal with wild cats, she was confused as to why Roy was caught at all.
"I do not have a problem with what they do. That's a good cause,” Pearsall said. “I think they need to be more careful with it."
Pearsall said she wants to make sure no other house cats end up like Roy, and she wants Friends of Felines to pay for a check-up to make sure her beloved pet is ok. Pearsall said Roy is in pain and having a hard time moving around.
We tried contacting Friends of Felines multiple times to hear their side of the story but have yet to hear a response.