Marines receive PETA award for cat rescue in Afghanistan

15 Jul 2010 | Shakira Croce

For joining with two of his fellow Marines to rescue homeless cats in Afghanistan, sending one of the cats—KeyKey—to safety at his parents' Davison home and preventing the birth of more unwanted cats by having KeyKey neutered, Lance Cpl. Chris Berry will receive a Compassionate Action Award from PETA.

The group has also offered to reimburse the Marines for the cost of sterilizing KeyKey and his buddy Kiki (who is now living at Marine Cpl. Brian Chambers' home in Pearland, Texas).

The three Marines will each receive a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from PETA for evacuating the cats from a war-ravaged and unfriendly environment overseas. While stationed in Afghanistan, Berry, Chambers and Lance Cpl. Aaron Shaw found several homeless cats, and the Marines fed, sheltered, and provided medical care for many of them.

"We salute Chris and his friends, who were deployed in a war zone thousands of miles from home and still made time to save animals who needed their help," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "War zones are a nightmare for animals, too, but thanks to these Marines, Kiki and KeyKey can look forward to a life filled with all the love, care, and security that they deserve."

Spaying one female cat can prevent thousands of births, and an unneutered male cat can create limitless litters of kittens. Approximately 8 million cats and dogs end up in animal shelters every year, and half of them must be euthanized for lack of a good home. Millions more never make it to animal shelters and must fend for themselves on the streets, where they are often subjected to abuse, suffer from starvation or disease or are struck by cars.

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