Embedded Collar Removed from Stray Cat’s Neck in Boston


Nickie can finally breathe easy.

On Thursday, veterinarians at the MSPCA-Angell shelter in Boston surgically removed a collar that had become embedded in Nickie’s neck.

The abandoned kitten was found with the horrible injury in the streets of Dorchester. After spotting her several times, a Good Samaritan scooped up Nickie and brought her to MSPCA-Angell.

Dr. Cynthia Cox, director of shelter medicine for the MSPCA, was the first to meet Nickie at the shelter. Nickie, a stray in the streets but a divine feline at the vet, gave Dr. Cox a friendly and gentle greeting. But beneath the cat’s sweet smile lay an agonizing wound. The vet quickly discovered that the collar Nickie came in with was so embedded in the cat’s neck that new skin had started to grow over the accessory. 

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“This unfortunately is an injury we’ve seen before,” Dr. Cox, who surgically removes collars from one or two cats every year, said in a statement. “This was a very serious case: The skin had grown around the collar and we had to cut all the way around her neck to free her.”

In addition to causing serious injury to Nickie’s neck, the tight collar also prevented the cat from eating the little food she could find as a stray.

Under the care of the experienced hands of Dr. Cox, Nickie’s collar removal surgery went perfectly. The kitten was also spayed while under anesthesia for the collar operation, so she is all ready to be adopted once she is fully healed.


While Nickie’s injury was gruesome and deep, the shelter expects her to make a full recovery and to be ready for a forever home within the next week or so.

While the collar found on Nickie indicates that she probably belonged to someone, no one has come forward to claim her. If an owner does come forward, the shelter has made it clear Nickie won’t be going back into their care.

RELATED: Family Throws Stunning Senior Cat Lavish Quinceañera 

“It’s inexcusable for any animal to suffer so unnecessarily and if an owner could be identified, that person could be facing felony animal cruelty charges,” MSPCA adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger said.

Instead, Nickie, who is getting sweeter by the day as her injury heals, will go to a new home. If you think you are the perfect fit for this furry fighter, email adoption@mspca.org for more info.

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