BELGRADE — A cat caught in a man-made trap in Gallatin County is bringing out the best of the community.
"When animals are left to their own devices, you never know what they are going to get themselves into," says Holly Cruger, a veterinarian at Foothills Veterinary Hospital.
"Trapper" was found on a back porch off of Thorpe Road near Belgrade, dragging his hind legs.
"He came in, he had some pretty open wounds that looked like he was tied up or trapped on his back legs, which is where I think we got the name 'Trapper'," Cruger said. "Tiny Tails has taken on this case to do everything we can to make sure that he's got the best chance he can have."
A Gallatin County animal control officer took the cat to Foothill Veterinary Hospital in Bozeman, where he spent the night.
"One of the infections was so deep, I did not think that it would even have the chance to heal," said Cruger.
And that surgery? Already, the cat has had to lose one of his legs.
"He's in better shape today than he was yesterday," says Diana Stafford, director and founder of Tiny Tails K-9 Rescue in Manhattan.
Stafford and her volunteers are working to help build Trapper’s road to recovery. "We try to do our best to make sure that our community animals get health care when they need health care," Stafford says.
Diana’s group is made up of all volunteers, working to foot Trapper’s medical bill. The cat’s story reached them quickly, and they raised around $1,500 in a single day.
"Our community is amazing," Stafford says. "We do a lot of crying. All of our volunteers do. There's only so much we can do."
The veterinarian watching over Trapper says he has a difficult road ahead and could lose his other rear leg.
Stafford, Cruger, and the community are rooting for him.
"If you see an animal in need, please, please tell someone," Dr. Cruger says.
"Everybody loves an underdog and this little guy, this little cat is right now an underdog," Stafford says.
Tiny Tails is already planning a series of fundraisers to help animals like Trapper with their own financial needs.
You can find a full schedule and list of upcoming events on their website.