In May, news broke of a stray cat from Paterson who was beaten to death by a group of elementary school students in an alley outside their school.
Now, a group of Wayne middle school students and their teacher are working to start a nationwide movement against animal cruelty in the cat’s honor.
Lisa Klink, a special education teacher at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School in Wayne, said she remembers learning about Quattro the cat through a friend’s post on Facebook and seeing the story on TV.
“It was just heartbreaking and I kept thinking, this is in my backyard,” Klink told Patch.
According to reports, Quattro – a name he was given because he was beaten outside School 4 in Paterson – was allegedly brutally beaten with stones, sticks, and bricks by a group of students all under 10 years old on May 7. Quattro’s eye was destroyed, and his leg and skull broken in the attack, the NY Daily News reported.
Though he was rescued from the attack by two boys and taken to Chance at Life Cat Rescue in Hackensack where he was treated for eight days, Quattro succumbed to his injuries from the attack and died on May 15, the report said.
“This happened so close to where I teach, that it really affected me. I knew that this could have happened anywhere, and that I needed to do something, I just wasn’t sure what,” Klink said.
The following day at school, she canceled her lesson plans, and instead taught the students about animal cruelty, and shared with them Quattro’s story.
“The kids really couldn’t believe it,” Klink said.
“They wanted to do something.”
So, the teacher made up a paw print design, and had her 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students decorate them, and write messages against animal cruelty on them. The paws were laminated and linked into a 30-print long chain that the class donated to Chance at Life.
Since then, the entire school has gotten involved, with each middle school student creating a pledge paw. Klink and her coworkers recently compiled a 700-paw long chain that will be donated.
“Now, we are trying to get this to spread,” she said.
Klink has started a Facebook page – Quattro’s Paws for Hope. So far, it has over 1,200 likes.
“I uploaded a downloadable template on the page, and instructions explaining what we did,” Klink said.
“Now, teachers from around the world can download the template and use it in their classrooms. It’s a way to teach about animal cruelty and keep the memory of Quattro alive.”
Klink said she hopes to make the chains an annual event each May in Wayne, and will encourage other teachers around the globe to do the same.
“Slowly but surely, I am getting in photos and messages from teachers all over the place who are doing this with their classes. It’s really been amazing.”