When this tiny kitten was taken to an animal shelter in San Jose, California, he was impossible to miss—a cruel person had apparently dyed him a bright bluish purple, which earned him the name Smurf. Underneath Smurf’s indigo coat, there was something even more sinister—deep puncture wounds pointing to a painful past.

A veterinarian who treated him suggested that the puncture wounds all over his body may be a result of being used as a live chew toy for a larger animal.

While the Internet has fallen in love with Smurf, who is now being treated for his injuries, there are countless other animals who have been abused and need a safe place to go. PETA’s rescue team helps animals like these every day, and we’re calling on people who were touched by Smurf’s case to turn their anger into support for local open-admission shelters (also called “open-door” shelters) that accept abused cats and dogs like Smurf—most of whom never make the news—and never turn away any animal in need. 

How to Help Cats Like Smurf

  • Never purchase a cat (or any other animal) from a pet store. Kittens in pet stores often come from facilities called “kitten mills” or from breeders. They are rarely given proper care, and their mothers were most likely impregnated repeatedly and treated as nothing more than money-making machines. 
  • If you or your parents are ready for the commitment and financial responsibility of adding a cat to your family, adopt one from an open-admission shelter. Adoption gives animals a second chance at life and the opportunity to find happiness and love.
  • Always spay and neuter. There simply aren’t enough homes—or even enough spaces in shelters—for all the animals born in the United States. Having your animal companion spayed or neutered is the single most important thing you can do to end the suffering of homeless animals.
  • If you aren’t ready to adopt, there are still ways to help. You could volunteer at your local animal shelter or donate supplies. Many shelters have wish lists on their websites and are in need of items like toys, food, and used towels and blankets.
  • Spread the word. Share this story with your friends. Together, we can help animals like Smurf! 

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