Discarded Fish Hooks Pose Danger For Feral Cats

Cats Become Entangled In Fish Hooks After Going For Bait

Abandoned feral cats living by the water's edge are running into another problem: discarded fish hooks.

"They're going after bait left behind by fisherman… bait that at times still has fish hooks in it," said Josh Hirschmiller of East County Animal Rescue.

A kitten that was just a few weeks old swallowed a fish hook which became lodged in her throat.

"It was terrifying to the vet at first because it was right next to the carotid artery, [which is] right by a lot of nerves and right by a lot of other things that could have been damaged," said Debbi Flint, who runs cat organization Rescue House.

Flint is helping that kitten named Minnow recover.

Audry Stratton, who tries to feed the feral cats at the water's edge as often as she can, told 10News, she often sees cats tangled up with a fish hook.

"When I first came down here, I saw a cat with a hook in its leg and it was really swollen around the area," she said, "I haven't seen it since so I have no idea if it's still alive."

Hirschmiller estimates there could be as many as 250,000 feral cats throughout the county.

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