She’s know as the “cop who loves cats.” Officer Gretchen Byrne, a compassionate animal-lover with Florida’s Coral Springs Police Department, is responsible for saving dozens of cats and kittens from the streets. Officer Byrne started her cat-saving quest about two years ago after encountering a hungry, pregnant cat on one of her night time patrols, reported People Pets.
Byrne knew that the cat would last long on her own, so she brought her back to the department. From there, the ball started to roll…not only did the officer start to notice more and more stray cats (and kittens) trying to survive alone on the streets, but people began to reach out to her for help when they encountered stray cats.
Officer Byrne found herself caring for the strays and taking in newborn kittens who needed to be bottle-fed. Byrne became a one-woman rescue…feeding cats, getting them veterinary care, paying for altering (all out of her own pocket) and then using social media to find them homes.
Byrne utilizes Instagram (@bocaratona) to get the homeless felines into their forever homes and she has garnered quite the following (23,000 and counting!).
Byrne’s good deeds have not gone unnoticed by her employer. In April 2016, the Coral Springs Police Department acknowledged Byrne’s humanitarian efforts on Facebook:
We want to take an opportunity to highlight the humanitarian efforts of one of our officers, Gretchen Byrne. We had several stray felines who took up residency here at the Coral Springs Police Department. Officer Byrne self-initiated a plan of action in caring for, and placing these resident felines. She arranged through her own personal contacts to arrange placement with shelters and temporary foster homes. She did this on her own time, making several trips to collect four cats and a litter of kittens.
According to the department, Officer Byrne even connected with animal-advocate Beth Stern (wife of radio personality, Howard Stern), and that connection led to the placement of several cats, as well as Howard Stern bringing her cat-saving efforts to light on his morning talk show.
There’s no end in sight for this determined cat cop – she told the Daily Mail, “It’s a lot, but if I wasn’t doing this, there would be an abundance of cats on the streets. I will do it for the rest of my life.”
Follow Officer Byrne’s efforts on Instagram here.
(Images via Instagram and Pixabay)
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