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Brave Boy Stands Up to Bullies and Rescues Abused Cat

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Update: Jackson is doing great in his new home!

Jackson, the cat who was saved from a gang of abusive children by a brave young boy named Wendell, is doing great in his new home!

Jackson’s adopters, Jen and Joe, had previously rescued another kitty who had been the victim of abuse. They sent us an update on just how much Jackson has become part of their lives.

"Jackson has proven to be the best thing to have happened to us!” says Jen. “Jackson is a constant source of laughter and love for us, and anyone he encounters! Any time someone comes to our home, Jackson greets them with such love he just makes everyone around him light up!"

Jackson has proven to be a very playful cat that loves peering out windows and watching television. His favorite show, according to Jen, is Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor. “When we start an episode, if he's in another room, he'll come running in when he hears the theme song start.”

She adds, “I can't say enough what a blessing it is, having him in our lives! Though he gets tons of attention and love from us, we are hoping to get another kitty in the coming months, and may be making another trip to North Shore Animal League.”

We look forward to seeing you again, Jen and Joe!

Update: Jackson has been adopted!

Jackson, the cat that was saved from three bullies by a young boy named Wendell, has been adopted! Joe and Jen who adopted Jackson already have one special-needs cat of their own named Forest. "I rescued Forest from abusers over 14 years ago. I heard about a cat being tormented in an apartment complex where my sister lived." Jen went to investigate and found Forest under a tree, malnourished and in very bad shape. "I took him to a vet who said he had cigarette burns and had been beaten more than once. He was a big guy and got emotional when he said this was one of the worst cases he had seen in his 35 years as a vet." Forest was nursed back to health by Jen and Joe. Forest recently lost his feline friend Bailey and had seemed very sad, so the couple started looking for a new companion for him. "I had been following the story and I was so happy to hear I could adopt Jackson! I'm still processing it all. I now feel like this was meant to be. I thank Wendell so much for saving Jackson. He will be loved by us forever," said Jen. Read the full story below.

Jackson is among 17 felines transported to the safety of North Shore Animal League America

It’s no exaggeration to say that bullying is truly an epidemic—and sadly, humans aren’t the only ones who suffer.

After hearing so many heartbreaking stories of animal abuse, it’s uplifting to hear a very different tale: the story of Jackson the cat (pictured right) and his hero Wendell, a 10-year-old North Carolina boy who put his own safety aside and bravely stood up to a group of bullies, rescuing an innocent cat who was being tormented.

It all began early last month, when 10-year-old Wendell Overton noticed a black-and-white stray cat in his neighborhood. In a real-life example of what true empathy means, Wendell took it upon himself to do something for the sweet Mutt-i-gree® (any dog, cat, puppy or kitten in need of rescue), asking his mother, “If I can get my hands on him, can I save him?”

On the night he was finally hoping to rescue the cat, Wendell came upon a frightening and dangerous situation. He saw three boys throwing the cat in the air, spraying him with an energy drink, and trying to run over him with their bicycles. Courageous Wendell confronted the tormentors, telling them he was taking the abused and injured cat with him—no matter what.

The bullies relented, and Wendell brought the cat, whom he named Jackson, to the Roanoke Island Animal Clinic for treatment. Jackson made a full recovery and was transported to the Outer Banks SPCA, where the staff took loving care of him.

When the shelter became full to capacity, they needed to find homes for Jackson, along with 16 other cats, as soon as possible, so North Shore Animal League America came to the rescue, working with the Outer Banks SPCA to bring Jackson and the other lucky felines (a few of them are pictured left) to the safety of our New York headquarters.

Outer Banks SPCA board member Margaret Cunzio drove the cats from North Carolina to a location about an hour from our Port Washington facility, where our rescue team met up with the group. Our team drove back to our campus, where Jackson and all the cats were greeted with lots of love.

Thanking this brave young boy, the shelter said: “Wendell and Jackson’s story has touched so many hearts already. Words cannot express our gratitude, and I can only imagine how grateful Jackson must be! Thank you both for being heroes. It is truly people like you and Wendell who make the world a better place.”

The rescue was part of our national humane relocation program, which is made possible through both established and emerging collaborations with shelters nationwide. As with all our rescues, the 17 Mutt-i-grees were evaluated medically and behaviorally as soon as they arrived, and those who are not already spayed or neutered will receive this all-important procedure.

Jackson and his fellow felines, which range in age from older kittens to about four years old, will be available for adoption at our Port Washington, NY headquarters on Thursday, April 4th.

“All of us at Animal League America are deeply touched by the bravery and compassion that Wendell demonstrated toward this innocent, abused animal,” said Joanne Yohannan, Senior VP of Operations. “His heroic actions embody the spirit of rescue that we hold so dear, and reveal that one person can truly make a difference.”

Yohannan also applauded John Graves, Director of Outer Banks SPCA, and his team for their hard work to rescue animals in need. “Outer Banks SPCA is one of the many municipal shelters across the country that does everything they can to save innocent animals,” she said.

Are you ready to be a hero to an animal in need of a permanent, loving home? To find out about all the wonderful Mutt-i-grees available for adoption in Port Washington and around the country, please click here.


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