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ONLY ON 3: House cat confused for stray sent home with clipped ear, stomach incision

READ MORE: House cat confused for stray sent home with clipped ear and stomach incision

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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


You're joking...

No collar, no tattoo and wandering the neighborhood...hmmmmm, I'd say be glad Roy was picked up by the group, as opposed to Animal Control. Sorry, no sympathy for you or your cat.

cat mutilated by surgery

Well I feel that the owner is just as much at fault. The cat should have been collared and this would not have happened. Everyone says the cat was friendly. Get a friendly cat in a trap and it will freak out too. There is a law in New Hanover county......was the cat even current on his rabies shot or even registered with NH Animal Control. Yes I feel for the owner. I myself take care of a colony of cats....and with the economy the way it is ...I am constantly finding friendly cats that were dumped due to people losing there jobs or they just don't want them anymore. Friends of feline does a fantastic job helping this community. I wish they had a program/organization that did this in Brunswick county. The animals just run loose and constantly add to the population explosion.
If you want your animal to live longer keep it in. I have a few cats and I would never put them as a outside cat. Most people just don't want to clean a litter box.

Have you ever tried keeping a cat indoors?

Every cat I've ever had started out as an indoor cat. Until they became so crazed that they stopped at nothing to get outside. Cats are curious...they want to go outside and explore. And collars are dangerous for cats. The last thing my kids need to see is Socks' limp dead body hanging from a tree by his collar. I wonder if the lady that picked up Roy has been fixed. Heeeeeere laaady laaady laaadyyy...

I feel the need to give a description of my cats to Friends for Felines. That way they don't try and castrate our beloved "Miss Sprinkles".

Buy a safety collar. Then,

Buy a safety collar. Then, you won't have to worry about anybody's limp, dead body hanging unless you put them there. :)

There are safe ways to have outside time for cats It's just easier for owners to open the door and then blame the neighbors when their cat is attacked in the neighbors' yard. And btw, I hope Miss Sprinkles does get spayed, if she hasn't been by you already. There's enough kittens dying in shelters do to irresponsible pet owners as it is. :)

FOF mixing up the gender is inexcusable. But so are those who leave their animals out in the elements with no identification and then get upset when they are assumed homeless.

People who don't have

People who don't have collars on their cats and say their dangereous use that as an excuse, and shame on them for not wanting to protect a member of their family by doing something that would identify them. As for indoor cats, I have them and they have a good happy and "long" life. At least when their sick I can get them to a vet before they go off into the woods and die. I hope your Miss Sprinkles is a male seeing as you cannot castrate females!!!! You kids are curious, you going to let them run loose, think about it

Not True

All my cats have been house cats and they loved it. They were never "crazed". Did you have yours sprayed or neutered? If not, I could understand it.

Outdoors is very hard on cats or any animal. It's a tough life, and most outdoor cats don't live to be as old as indoor cats. Just saying....

"outside cat"

I guess when outside cat owners care to follow the law, I'll start caring about what happens to their cat. If a pet accidentally gets out is one thing, but I don't have much sympathy for anything that happens when an owner purposely lets their cat roam the neighborhood.

Poor little cat

I don't understand why everybody is blaming Ms. Pearsall. Maybe she should have had a collar on Roy. I have 4 cats, 3 inside and 1 outside. He doesn't wear a collar, he would have it torn off in two minutes. He won't go in the house, and anyway, if he did, the two boys would jump on him. He has been neutered, and he doesn't roam all over the neighborhood, he stays in my yard, or the woods close by. Roy was probably close by Ms. Pearsall's house. The FofF had no business picking him up. Could they not tell that he was somebody's pet, and was well fed and taken care of? Did they not care. If they can't tell the difference between male and female, and that the cat had already been neutered, they don't need to be in that business. And I think it was irresponsible of them dropping the cat off after surgery and just letting him find his own way. He could have been hit by a car, or a dog could have attacked him, or another cat could have attacked him. And that business of cutting half his ear off--was that really necessary? One of my cat's had part of his ear cut off when he was a baby-he was under the car and I didn't see him and he got caught under there and I dragged him for a few feet. Now he acts as if it bothers him, or it hurts. I would sue those people if I could, and try to put them out of business. They are irresponsible. And I think they should pay for the cat's check up after they so cruelly treated him the way they did.

1. Roy was trapped in

1. Roy was trapped in someone's yard that requested spaying and neutering therefore he was permitted to be trapped he was wondering
2. This loving cat was probably trapped Saturday night and released on Monday so I wonder if this loving cat was missed?
3. If Roy had a full stomach he probably would not have entered the trap
4. If one of my animals had what appeared to be an injury on it I would not wait to take it to the vet - I wonder if Roy has been to the vet yet and if he was in so much pain than why was he pictured being held upside down?
5. I wonder if Roy had a license? and a recent rabie shot? and has regular vet check ups
6. Unless you have experience in trapping animals you have no idea on whether the animal is tame or feral - they are unpredictable when it comes to being caught.
7. If people would be more responsible when it comes to cats and dogs and get them spayed or neutered than we wouldnt have all the unwanted animals that are in the world today - thank God for the volunteers and shelters!
8. FOF traps and releases - they don't spay and neuter the animals themselves

1.Roy is a neutered male, so

1.Roy is a neutered male, so complaints about his owner not being responsible enough to neuter him are nonsensical, and the rest of your speculation about Ms. Pearsall's alleged irresponsibility is completely baseless, founded in nothing except the fact that she's nervy enough to complain about the incompetence of the Friends of Felines volunteers and veterinarian.

2.Friends of Felines attempt to SPAY a neutered male. How exactly you think this is a logical, reasonable thing to do, rather than a demonstration of carelessness and incompetence, is beyond me.

The only way to ensure your

The only way to ensure your pets safety is to keep them inside if they are not being supervised or leashed. Pets can be run over, attacked by stray dogs, attacked by other animals, etc. Your pet is your responsibility not your neighbors.


Pets can also get heartworms (from mosquito bites). It's a terrible way to die, and no owner should have to see their beloved pet expire this way.

Not the only reckless act.

The very nature of the methods that Friends of Felines uses is reckless. In my neighborhood at least they put piles of food out beside busy streets in addition to the traps or to lure the cats closer to the traps. Several years ago we raised a kitten we found in our yard. Had her neutered and collared but she was an outside cat. We have several acres and any time we called she came from our property. However one morning we found her dead in the road directly in front of one of FoF's food piles. I applaud their intent but their methods could use some work.

Incidentally I did not know about the NHC code and would have never guessed it's existance considering the amount of outdoor cats that seem to be everywhere.

all I have to say is...

Roy has a thumb.
I have a cat, who in a thunderstorm got caught in the bush outside the house by his collar. I called and called for him and shook his bag of food, and he did not come. The next morning I found him wet and tangled under a bush. He was too frightened and freaked out to think calmly and release himself (which I am kind of sad about, I always thought he was a genious).
Needless to say, he is no longer permitted to wear a collar.
I feel he is too cunning to be caught in the first place. Poor Roy must have been kind and loving to everyone, which means he really did not deserve this!!!
But I do worry that what will get my dear cat, is the selfish people speeding through these cramped streets as if they were the only lives that matter.
We could all use a little more COMMON courtesy.


keep your cat inside, same laws apply for cats and dogs. They should gather all cats roaming the streets and NOT release them.

get him to your own vet

You better get him to your own vet right away. God knows what they removed thinking it was a uterus if they couldn't even recognize that he has a penis!

Poor kitty

I think this lady is right to want some compensation, but it also illustrates the danger of letting your pets roam free with no collar to identify them. There is a hug difference between feral felines and housecats and the Friends of Felines should have noticed this right away. I hope Roy recovers! PLEASE keep him indoors.

Mutilated cat

They should be held HIGHLY responsible for the damage they have done to her pet. Friends of Felines have overstepped their boundaries.

Why was Roy caught?

Helllo??? McFly?? Cat was roaming freely without a collar in spite of the law! Yeah, they screwed up by misidentifying the gender, but you are a direct contributor to that screwup. Maybe they should pay the bill, but maybe they should also report you to Animal Control for flaunting the law.


I live in the same neighborhood as Ms.Pearsall and I have seen the group go through the neighborhood a few times. I would just like to say this, and I hope this organization reads this carefully. I adore my pets, both cats have been spayed and neutered as kittens. This group will have severe problems on their hands if my cats come to the house cut up and missing a piece of their ear. There will be MAJOR repercussions for them if this does happen. Just wanted to make that completely clear. They also need to look harder at their employees IQ and their basic knowledge of cats if they are getting genders mixed up, never corrected, and still surgically operating on them. Big mistake...

Don't let your cats roam

Don't let your cats roam free and you won't have to worry about it.

Well, if your cats stay on

Well, if your cats stay on your propertey you won't have to worry then right? There are laws in this county and if you don't follow them YOU are responsible. I will make sure that YOU be held accountable for this as well.

Sure thing

Easy solution there Chris, keep your cats in your own home. I don't want them in my yard, on my vehicles or in my trees. Maybe you will have the MAJOR repercussions if I catch your cats in the trap I have. I won't try to call the owner if listed on the tag (if they even have a collar) but will call animal control and turn them over to them. Then you get to pay the rescue fine. Keep them inside. Is that clear enough for you?

Maybe she should be fined

Maybe she should be fined for not putting a collar and tag on "Roy". If he is so beloved, she should keep him in the house or at least know where he is and what he is up to.


I understand her frustration but lady- put a collar on your cat! I personally think it crazy to let your animal run around outside anyway. I think a good lesson to be learned is if you don't want something bad to happen to your animal- KEEP IT INSIDE. Its always a chance you take when you let your pet run wild. And to make a non-profit organization that is trying to do good deeds pay for your cat to see a vet is in my opinion a little ridiculous. They made a mistake and need to be more careful for sure but so did you when you let your cat run around without a collar.

This is abhorable.

This is veterinary malpractice. Who is the veterinarian that performs the surgery on these cats??! He/she should be made public and should also be put through an education course on the reproduction system of male and female felines. Although her cat should have had a collar on, even if he did have one on, those idiots still would've thought he was a girl! That poor cat. The poor owner. Looks like I'm going to have to call Friends for Felines and give them a description of my 7 cats so they won't come and snatch mine up one day and try and cut the balls off of "Miss Sparkles."

Here is a crazy thought

Keep your precious cat inside your home. I don't want your little baby using my yard as a littler box. I don't want your cat walking on my vehicles either. I have never understood why cat owners think it is perfectly ok for them to let their animals roam free.

Same for dogs

I agree....but I think the same rules should apply for dogs. I have an inside cat. People in my neighborhood walk their dogs, and sometimes let them roam the neighborhood, and they pee all over my yard and in my highly prized flowers. Then their dogs come runnning at me and bark like they're going to tear me my own yard! ALL animals in New Hanover County should be on a's the law. Come on people...

Ms. Pearsall should also

Ms. Pearsall should also understand letting her cat roam the neighborhood is a violation of NHC Code in the first place.

Sec. 5-9. Dogs and cats running at large prohibited; fine.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog or cat to allow it to run at large off the premises of its owner.

Perhaps she'll take this as a lesson learned and keep her pet confined to her property.

Pets by law need to wear tags!!!

This is not the fault of the friends!!!! This lady is entitled to nothing!!!!! I feel she should pay for the work friends did and the check-up for her cat!!! She should be fined for not having her pet licensed, if the pet is licensed then the cat should have had a collar!!!!
This could have been avoided with the collar!!! Plain and simple!!!
Follow the law!!!