An animal rescuer in Spring, Texas, was shocked to find a cat chained and padlocked to a tree in the woods.
Janet Zimmermann was walking through the woods in search of a lost dog when she began hearing a cat’s cries, reports ABC 13. She followed the cries and discovered the cat with a metal chain wrapped tightly around his neck.
“It was no accident,” she said. “Someone did this to him. Maybe as dog or animal bait, maybe as a Halloween sacrifice. I was shocked — stunned."
Zimmermann rushed to free the cat, cutting through the underbrush where the chain was attached and picking up the animal with the chain still around his neck.
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“I went to a hardware store, and we used bolt cutters to get it off. It was wrapped so tight around his neck it was hard to do,” she said.
The cat was rushed to an animal hospital, where Dr. Barry Schmitt said he was surprised to find that the cat was friendly and in good health.
“I can't imagine how I'd behave if I had gone through that,” Schmitt told ABC 13.
The cat, which was subsequently named Forest, is now up for adoption. Zimmermann said she believes their paths crossed for a reason.
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“I believe he's here for a purpose,” she said. “He puts a face on animal abuse."