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'She used 8 of her 9 lives,' Clinton County community saves life of cat in leg-hold trap

Kozue and her new mom Megan Roth
Posted at 11:25 PM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 23:25:15-04

CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. — Last Tuesday, the Capital Area Humane Society received a call from the Clinton County Animal Control about a cat in a leg-hold trap. Her name is Kozue, and she's had quite a journey to where she is today.

"A citizen found the kitty and was obviously very concerned as soon as they saw her, that she was in terrible distress," CAHS President and CEO Julia Willson said.

Clinton County Animal Control removed the leg-hold trap. The jaws had gone down to the tendon.

When CAHS got her, Willson said Kozue's leg was clearly infected. They had to do emergency surgery to amputate the leg.

Although Kozue lost her leg, she got to keep her life.

"It blows my mind how something so horrible could happen to a sweet, sweet animal, and then, they still strive," CAHS Adoptions Counselor Megan Roth said.

Really, it was Kozue's tenacity and will to live that saved her.

"I'm just in awe of how she survived that terrible—you know, being caught in the trap and just having this amazing, sweet personality where she wants to snuggle," Roth said.

"She's very fortunate that she was found in this condition," Willson said. "A lot of animals with significant injuries like this will go into hiding out of instinct to protect themselves."

Willson said they see cases like Kozue's about once per year.

"These traps cause significant injury that are life-threatening for these animals," Willson said.

Part of the problem in this case is the trap may have not been staked down.

"It should've been staked down," Michigan Department of Natural Resources Officer Kevin Bunce said. "If you look at the chain itself, those are typically wired off. You can see some wire and what not, but a lot of people will actually stake those into the ground. That way, the animal itself can't be moving from one location to another."

The other part of the problem is the trap did not have any identification attached, which is also technically illegal.

"Depending on where the trap was set, it could've been set legally. It could've been placed in an area that was on private property or what not," Bunce said. "It, at one point, may have had a tag, but in its current state...It's kind of hard to build a case when you don't have anybody of interest."

Regardless, this story has a happy ending. Kozue went home with Roth, her new mom, Wednesday night.

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