Cat Rescued With 49 Others From Hot Car Becomes Target Model

In June 2022, nearly 50 cats were found crammed into a hot car at a rest stop near Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Their owner, who’d been living in the car with the cats, agreed to surrender them to local animal shelters. One of the cats, Hercules, escaped and was found severely injured, with a fractured jaw and covered in maggots.

Nicole Perreault, a veterinarian, took care of Hercules and provided him with much-needed medical treatment. Despite the cat's horrible condition, he seemed determined to survive. Once Hercules was strong enough, he was taken in by Jill LeBrun, a pediatric nurse, who fostered and then later adopted him.

Recently, the feline became an unexpected sensation when a pet talent agency chose his photo for Target's store-brand merchandise. His image, with his tongue hanging out, has been featured on buckets of cat litter at Target stores, much to LeBrun’s delight. Hercules' journey from a terrible situation to fame is a testament to his resilience and to the kindness of the people who’ve helped him along the way.


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