Trooper the cat: one year later

Frank Gale
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STEPHENVILLE  One year after a cat, since named Trooper, was rescued from a driveway in Stephenville Crossing where he was frozen to the ice, his notoriety continues.

Dolores Samms, left, and Gwen Samms with Trooper the Cat

Gwen Samms, manager of the animal shelter operated by the Bay St. George Society for Care and Protection of Animals, said Trooper has become a mascot for their society and continues to be an inspiration to people in different parts of the world to do animal rescue or raise finances to help it along.

She said the animal shelter has heard from people in Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States and England who have been inspired by Trooper’s story.

Hundreds of animals have been saved, the shelter says.

After rescuing him from the driveway in Stephenville Crossing, Samms went to Prince Edward Island for Trooper’s life-saving surgery at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown where he had his tail and leg amputated.

His will to live, despite what he went through in that driveway, is what inspired his name. His health continued to improve in the weeks and months that followed.

After returning home, Dolores Samms, Gwen’s sister and an active volunteer with the Society for the Care and Protection of Animals, took Trooper into her home where he has been living since.

Several events relating to the Canadian rock band Trooper have made it an exciting year for the cat Trooper, who first received a care package from the band in hopes it would help him recover. Money raised with the items will be used by the society in Stephenville. The group sent a cat t-shirt bearing the logo "Raise a Little Hell" — one of the band’s signature songs — an adult t-shirt with the band's logo, and an autographed photo and a CD.

Then, in late July of 2012, Trooper the cat went by Luxury Limo to the band’s concert when they performed in Pasadena.

“It was all really exciting for Trooper and us (Samms’ sisters),” Gwen Samms said.

Dolores said Trooper continues to receive gifts from people around the world, including things like cat treats, toys and beds.

Gwen said, since his recovery, Trooper’s been on a mission as a spokescat for the Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program for stray cats.

Through this program, stray cats are trapped, taken to get spayed or neutered, and returned back to the area they came from and placed with caretakers. This program cuts down on unwanted kittens needlessly brought into the world.

Gwen said Maryanne Shaeffer, a resident of Enid, Oklahoma, has been a driving force behind the TNR program by organizing a number of fundraisers so the local association can continue with the program.

She said the association is planning several fundraisers to carry out a TNR program on a colony of feral cats in Stephenville Crossing that it believes Trooper was a part of.

Gwen said anyone wishing to help can contact the society at (709) 643-2811, or by mail at SCAPA, P.O. Box 222, Stephenville, NL, A2N 2Z4; or visit SCAPA on Facebook at SCAPA No Kill No Cage Animal Shelter.

To check out Trooper’s anniversary video go to:



Organizations: Atlantic Veterinary College, St. George Society for Care

Geographic location: Sweden, Australia, Canada United States England Stephenville Charlottetown Little Hell Pasadena Enid, Oklahoma

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Recent comments

  • david
    February 12, 2013 - 13:56

    How update on Troopper the Cat. Is there anyone at these newspapers interssted in digging a lttile bit into that completely incredible, still unfolding, quite dangerous, much more newsworthy drifting Orlova SNAFU? No? Just more birthday announcements then?

  • Helen Smith
    February 12, 2013 - 11:54

    Gwen and Dolores are such inspirations to the rest of us. They have both given so much of themselves to save so many lives. Since reading Trooper's story, I too have gotten involved in helping animals who need us. It is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Trooper we all love you!!!!

  • theresa locke
    February 12, 2013 - 11:44

    Such an inspiring story.Wish people would spay or neuter their pets,it would save so much heartache...

  • Gwen Samms
    February 12, 2013 - 08:32

    The is the correct link to the video .

  • Linda Sheppard
    February 12, 2013 - 06:41

    I am so very pleased to see Trooper in the news again..he has changed my life since last Febuary..I was not into cat rescue, but his story just pulled at my heart strings...and I have been helping his Shelter in Stephenville, Newfoundland ever since...fundraisers, auctions, fostering and finding homes for all the kitties at the shelter..Troopers facebook page has almost 4000 fans now worldwide..he has brought together a network of animal lovers that now make it their mission to save as many animals as we can...Happy anniversary Trooper..and great job Scapa...good luck with spaying and neutering all the stray cats in your area...hope people do donate to this cause...

    • Rodney
      May 08, 2014 - 19:57

      Glad to hear Trooper is doing well. I was one of the people who donated money to Trooper over a year ago via PayPal. My tabby cat is called Trooper too but in the fifteen years he only needed surgery once on the inside of his mouth. My cat was lucky that we met when he was a new kitten in the neighbourhood.