Lucky Cats: CM Levin and BARC Save Abused Cat with Kittens On The Way

CM Levin with Cat at BARC 01
Council Member Stephen Levin brings cat he rescued on the BQE to BARC shelter on March 30th.

Imagine this: it’s the Thursday evening rush hour on the BQE and you see an injured cat struggling in a high traffic zone. What do you do?

If you are Council Member Stephen Levin there’s not much of a question: he got out of his car picked the cat up off the street, got bitten and scratched in the process, and brought the cat back to his car.  Fortunately, the councilman had help from a nearby highway patrolman who directed traffic away because, “There was no way the cat could possibly get off the BQE for a ways,” said CM Levin.

CM Levin with Cat at BARC 02
Two weeks later on April 14th, Rescued Cat, now named Loretta, gets a medicated bath for her wounds.

This was especially true when the cat’s condition came to light, which Mr. Levin didn’t know at the time.  The cat turned out to be pregnant, and shot in the hip, in addition to signs she’d been horrifically abused for a long while, not to mention any injury suffered when she was thrown from the car that brought her to the BQE. Her foot was stuck in a storm drain when Councilman Levin found her.

The councilman dropped the cat off at Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC), a not-for-profit, no-kill, privately run animal shelter which opened in 1987. Then he headed to Methodist Hospital where he was given antibiotics and tetanus shot for the wounds on his hand, and finally made the meeting he was on his way to in the first place, getting there only a half-hour late.

“The abuse Loretta has suffered is absolutely horrific and I can’t imagine how a person could be so cruel. I’m thankful that Loretta is now getting lots of medical attention and is being taken care of by the great people at BARC.”

“It’s not something you see every day.  After they anesthetized her, they noticed other things going on, other signs of torture. She was missing some skin and some spots around what they call the ‘gloving’ on the back leg. She had burns,” said Vinny Spinola, founder of BARC, on hearing the veterinarian’s diagnosis.

Loretta will need surgery to remove the bullet and may also require corrective spinal surgery, but that won’t happen until the kittens are born.  As of this writing (April 21, 2015) there are no kittens yet but they should arrive any day, and Loretta is doing well. She is having daily medicated baths to treat her wounds and on April 7th she finally began to eat on her own.  BARC gives many thanks to all the people who have donated and continue to donate to her care and the shelter.

If you’d like to help BARC help Loretta and/or the other animals it cares for go to their website to find out how to donate, volunteer, or adopt:

Also they have an Amazon Wish List set up to help them with needed supplies (you can google “BARC AMAZON Wish List” or go here:

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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