The Panda Project: A Community Cat is Honored in a Campaign to Protect Animals

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A campaign to protect animals and save them from acts of cruelty honors a community cat named Panda. Organizers are asking animal lovers to spread the word, saying, “The Panda Project began with a cat.  Who knows where it will end…”

We shared the story of Toronto neighbors caring for their local community cats, then finding one of them, Panda, shot by a pellet gun, on November 30, in  Caregivers Rally Round to Get Help for Wounded Colony Cat. Panda was dragging is hind legs after the shooting due to a pellet that had hit his spine. Neighbors paid for initial treatment and looked into getting Panda surgery.

Panda’s injuries were such that he would remain incapacitated. Those who knew him made the difficult decision to have him euthanized.

Rather than let the matter rest on that sad note, those close to the situation chose to honor Panda’s memory with The Panda Project, a campaign to protect community cats, to educate the community and police about violence toward animals, and to work to increase penalties for those who intentionally hurt animals.

John Young set up an Indegogo page for fundraising and awareness for The Panda Project, a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

The Facebook page was launched on November 29, when there was still hope that Panda would live and recover. A video with him moving his legs a little bit was uploaded on December 4, as a sign that there was encouracement. By December 7, though, Panda was gone.

The Panda Project is in the process of launching the campaign, and is using social media to gather funds and to establish a platform where they can be heard. They are paying for Facebook ads, despite a limited budget, in a effort to quickly expand their reach.

We would appreciate it if those readers so inclined would go and “Like” the Panda Project Facebook, and then share the page. It’s a simple act to help get a worthy project off the ground.

Here is what John Young has written at Indegogo. He explains the project and how it came about:

“My name is John Young.  I am a physician, psychotherapist, filmmaker and animal lover, living in downtown Toronto.  On November 27, 2012, I discovered Panda, a community cat looked after for years by neighbours and by myself, in great distress and unable to move his hind limbs.  I assumed that he had been hit by a car.

“But he hadn’t.  He had been shot.

“Sadly, one of the pellets severed Panda’s spinal cord; if he were to have lived he would have had never regained use of his hind limbs, nor normal bladder or bowel function.  This would have been no life for a cat who had lived his entire life outdoors, avoiding contact with people.

“But as tragic as it is, Panda’s story has had one major positive effect:  it has mobilized a community of activists, advocates and supporters who want to work together to ensure that stories like Panda’s aren’t repeated.

“This will take time and effort as we move towards setting up a charity whose aims include: protecting community cats and other animals from human violence; educating the community and police about violence against animals being a precursor to violence against humans; working with local, provincial and federal agencies to increase enalties to those who do violence against animals

“In order to continue in our efforts to achieve these goals, we need some seed funding to help pay for such things as legal advice; acquiring copies of the video news files that reported the story, to maximize online impact; ongoing costs for setting up and maintaining Facebook advertising, hosting our website and blog; stationery, printing and postage for mailing; and other costs that we have not even considered yet.

“Any amount you are able to contribute will be most appreciated. If you can’t afford to donate, but would like to get involved in some other way, you can always contact us via Facebook (The Panda Project Toronto), Twitter (@Panda9Lives), our Blog ( or email ([email protected]).  Also, be sure to check out the Indiegogo share tools on the site.

“And spread the word.  The Panda Project began with a cat.  Who knows where it will end…”

John G. Young, M.D.

December 14, 2012
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Indegogo: The Panda Project

Facebook: The Panda Project

Twitter: @Panda9Lives


1 thought on “The Panda Project: A Community Cat is Honored in a Campaign to Protect Animals”

  1. This is a great way to honour poor Panda! We need to work to strengthen animal cruelty laws wherever we live. At the moment most animal abusers get off with what amounts to a slap on the wrist for most crimes. We must also lobby for low- or no-cost spay and neuter clinics to reduce the number of ferals like Panda, because w/o dedicated caretakers like those of Panda’s colony, especially in colder climates these poor animals can suffer a great deal, not to mention produce countless more who will suffer too!

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