STEPHENVILLE One year after a cat, since named Trooper, was rescued from a driveway in Stephenville Crossing where he was frozen to the ice, his notoriety continues.
Gwen Samms, manager of the animal shelter operated by the Bay St. George Society for Care and Protection of Animals, said Trooper has become a mascot for their society and continues to be an inspiration to people in different parts of the world to do animal rescue or raise finances to help it along.
She said the animal shelter has heard from people in Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States and England who have been inspired by Trooper’s story.
Hundreds of animals have been saved, the shelter says.
After rescuing him from the driveway in Stephenville Crossing, Samms went to Prince Edward Island for Trooper’s life-saving surgery at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown where he had his tail and leg amputated.
His will to live, despite what he went through in that driveway, is what inspired his name. His health continued to improve in the weeks and months that followed.
After returning home, Dolores Samms, Gwen’s sister and an active volunteer with the Society for the Care and Protection of Animals, took Trooper into her home where he has been living since.
Several events relating to the Canadian rock band Trooper have made it an exciting year for the cat Trooper, who first received a care package from the band in hopes it would help him recover. Money raised with the items will be used by the society in Stephenville. The group sent a cat t-shirt bearing the logo "Raise a Little Hell" — one of the band’s signature songs — an adult t-shirt with the band's logo, and an autographed photo and a CD.
Then, in late July of 2012, Trooper the cat went by Luxury Limo to the band’s concert when they performed in Pasadena.
“It was all really exciting for Trooper and us (Samms’ sisters),” Gwen Samms said.
Dolores said Trooper continues to receive gifts from people around the world, including things like cat treats, toys and beds.
Gwen said, since his recovery, Trooper’s been on a mission as a spokescat for the Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program for stray cats.
Through this program, stray cats are trapped, taken to get spayed or neutered, and returned back to the area they came from and placed with caretakers. This program cuts down on unwanted kittens needlessly brought into the world.
Gwen said Maryanne Shaeffer, a resident of Enid, Oklahoma, has been a driving force behind the TNR program by organizing a number of fundraisers so the local association can continue with the program.
She said the association is planning several fundraisers to carry out a TNR program on a colony of feral cats in Stephenville Crossing that it believes Trooper was a part of.
Gwen said anyone wishing to help can contact the society at (709) 643-2811, or by mail at SCAPA, P.O. Box 222, Stephenville, NL, A2N 2Z4; or visit SCAPA on Facebook at SCAPA No Kill No Cage Animal Shelter.
To check out Trooper’s anniversary video go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE8fy3aWUYO&feature=youtu.be.