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Cat Saved From Turkey Earthquake Adopted by Rescuer's Family in Virginia

Newsweek 3/30/2023 Anders Anglesey

A cat pulled from rubble in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey has found a new home, according to animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Alex Cutshall, a PETA fieldworker from Virginia, flew to Turkey following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria in the early hours of February 6, local time, leaving thousands of people dead and causing widespread destruction.

When Cutshall arrived, he found the cat in a building that he said had been left tilting like Italy's famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Cutshall managed to coax out the frightened feline with the help of a rescue team.

After naming the cat Pisa, it quickly became clear that they would not be able to find his family, if he even had one, as he was not microchipped.

As a result, Cutshall decided to bring Pisa home after PETA had him cleared for travel. He said the cat purred the entire way to Virginia.

"Pisa was so scared when we first found him, surrounded by crumbling buildings, his world in pieces, and with nothing to eat, Cutshall told Newsweek. "There was no question he had to come home with me.

"Today, our whole family is showing Pisa he's safe and loved, and he's enjoying life, from cuddling with the kids to playing with our two dogs and even bringing energy back to our elderly cat."

Following the earthquake numerous animal welfare organizations pledged to help in Turkey and Syria.

Pisa in rubble in Turkey. The cat was taken to Virginia to live with a new family. PETA © PETA Pisa in rubble in Turkey. The cat was taken to Virginia to live with a new family. PETA

The International Fund for Animal Welfare committed $50,000 to launch relief work in both countries to rescue animals and provide treatment to them.

Jennifer Gardner, IFAW's disaster resilience manager said in February: "We know rescue efforts in such devastating circumstances are a monumental task and this is only a drop in the bucket."

PETA's global compassion fund is used to help rescuers quickly respond to emergencies, including the earthquake.

In a press release, a PETA spokesperson said: "Rescue teams in Turkey have climbed into collapsed buildings to find injured animals, whisked starving animals off the street, and even used a crane to reach a cat who had been stuck in a fourth-floor apartment for 12 days, desperate for food and water."

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