Levin honored by PETA for daring cat rescue in Brooklyn

Vets found a bullet, burn marks

April 7, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Councilmember Stephen Levin with Loretta, the abused cat he rescued on the BQE. On Monday, PETA announced it was awarding a Compassionate Action Award to the councilmember. Photo courtesy of BARC Shelter
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The kudos keep rolling in for New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin for his daring rescue of an abused and terrified cat – now named Loretta — on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) on March 27.

Now People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is awarding a Compassionate Action Award to the councilmember. Levin will receive a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan chocolates from PETA for his bravery, a spokesperson for the group said.

“Council Member Levin went to extraordinary efforts to make sure that this cat escaped a life-threatening predicament and made it to a safe haven,” PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien said in a statement. “PETA hopes his kindness and tenacity will inspire others to stop and help animals in need.”

Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights-Williamsburg) noticed the animal walking along the BQE as he was driving during rush hour.  After exiting, he re-entered the highway in the opposite direction to search for her. Braving busy traffic—and bites and scratches from the terrified cat – the councilmember drove her to the no-kill BARC Shelter (Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition) in Williamsburg, where doctors discovered she was pregnant — and had been abused and shot.

Loretta’s kittens will survive, vets say, but Loretta will need multiple surgeries to pull through. BARC has mounted a fund drive for her. (Visit www.barcshelter.org or call 718-486-7489 to donate.)

After leaving Loretta in BARC’s hands, Levin drove over to Methodist Medical Center in Park Slope for shots and antibiotics.

“We cannot tolerate any type of animal abuse in our society and I want to thank PETA for bringing awareness to this issue,” the big-hearted councilmember said on Monday. “It’s an honor to receive this award, but most of all I am thankful that Loretta is now being cared for by the wonderful people at BARC.”

 “The Councilman is a very brave man,” said Vinny Spinola, founder and owner of BARC Shelter. “He put himself into danger with the traffic on the BQE and the injured animal.”


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