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Woman rescues kitten, worries it may be put down

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 10:27:31-04

A Cape Coral woman said she spotted a kitten on the Midpoint Bridge as she was heading to work, so she pulled her car over to save it only to have it taken away by Animal Services. She said the officer told her it may be put down.

Jessica Nelson is an animal lover with five rescue dogs at home. When she saw the kitten on the Midpoint Bridge, she said she immediately had to save it.

"It weighed less than two pounds and was shaking up against the barrier," she said.

She said she pulled her car over in the spot where emergency crews make U-turns to try to rescue the kitten.

"So I wasn't blocking traffic," she said.

She said another man pulled over, picked up the kitten and gave it to her. As she was running back to her car, the kitten nipped her.

"It doesn't hurt at all, there's no stinging or tingling, anything like that," Nelson said.

She already had a crate in her car and put the kitten inside, but before she could lock it, the kitten got out.

"The kitten ended up crawling really quickly under my car seat and into my (steering) wheel well area," she said.

She was afraid to start or move her car, so she called police. The officer couldn't get it out, so he called animal services, who got the kitten out.

"She said she had to take it and it had to be held for a ten-day hold, but more than likely it would be put down because it nipped me," Nelson said.

She said the kitten only bit her out of fear, and the bite wasn't significant.

Four in Your Corner reached out to Lee County Domestic Animal Services. It said the kitten was put on a ten-day quarantine because of the bite. It also said cats without identification are put up for adoption or transferred to another agency, unless unadoptable due to health or behavior issues, or the shelter is at capacity.

"Here I am thinking I'm going to save this cat, I'm going to get it. And now it's 'Ok well, congrats, you saved it from the side of the road, but now we're going to take it, and it's more than likely going to be put down,'" she said.

Florida Highway Patrol said they never condone getting out of your car to rescue an animal because it puts your life and other drivers at risk. FHP said if you ever spot an animal in the roadway, be sure to slow down and brake -- only if you can -- to avoid hitting it. They also said to be cautious of swerving into other lanes, stay buckled up, and contact animal services or law enforcement to handle it.