Police Rescue A Sphynx Cat Covered In Gang Tattoos From A Mexican Prison

Published March 2, 2023

The young feline was found in the prison following a mass break-out, and police believe it may have belonged to a notorious gang leader.

Sphynx Cat Standing

Twitter/RapplerPolice rescued the Sphynx cat from a Mexican prison after it was mistreated by gang members.

Police in Mexico recently rescued a Sphynx cat covered in gang tattoos from a prison in Ciudad Juárez, and now the newly-liberated feline has found its forever home.

The one-year-old cat was discovered when authorities were sweeping the Cereso 3 facility after a violent prison break. According to KVEO-TV, several heavily armed individuals rushed the prison’s visitor gate on New Year’s Day and killed three guards.

The armed group then made their way to the area where Los Mexicles gang leader Ernesto “El Neto” Alfredo Piñón de la Cruz was kept and broke him out of his cell. Police believe the men were also members of the Los Mexicles gang.

Ultimately, 10 guards and seven convicts were killed in the prison break. El Neto initially escaped, but he died in a shootout with police just days later.

After the violence and uproar, prison guards searched the empty cells and found several items of interest: television sets, drugs and alcohol, and even a mechanical bull. The most interesting discovery, however, was a young Sphynx cat covered in gang tattoos.

Authorities found the cat among nine other animals, but it stood out to police immediately.

The unnamed cat has tattoos on both sides of its body. The most notable design is the phrase “Hecho en Mexico” or “Made in Mexico” on its side. The slogan is commonly used by the Los Mexicles gang, which is affiliated with the infamous Sinaloa cartel, according to the New York Post. In fact, the cat may have actually belonged to El Neto himself.

Hecho En Mexico Tattoo

Twitter/Reuters“Hecho en Mexico” or “Made in Mexico” is tattooed on the side of the Sphynx cat.

After finding the cat, authorities immediately brought it to an animal shelter for a check-up. Luckily, veterinarians found that the feline was relatively healthy.

“The cat is very sociable and is in great shape,” Cesar Rene Diaz, the ecology director for the city of Juárez, told Reuters.

After further examination, veterinarians said that they believed the prisoners gave the cat at least one tattoo without anesthesia while it was conscious. Prisoners most likely held the cat down during this process.

According to Daily Mail, veterinarian Diego Poggio noted, “The issue of the tattoos, as established by our regulations, is animal abuse, as any mutilation or unnecessary marking is considered obvious abuse. It is a situation that causes a lot of stress for [cats] because they have very sensitive skin.”

Despite the pain that the cat may have gone through, the animal seemed to be in good spirits. After vets determined that the feline was healthy, they began looking for its new home — and there was no shortage of interest.

Rescued Sphynx Cat

Twitter/ReutersAnimal rescue workers described the cat as “very sociable.”

Hundreds of people around the world expressed a desire to adopt the cat. The city of Juárez even had to create a special committee to weed through applications. They ultimately decided it would be safest for the cat to send it out of the country, and its new owner — who has not been identified for security reasons — lives in the United States.

At last, the one-of-a-kind cat will be able to settle into its forever home, free from the life of prison, gangs, and painful tattoos.


After learning the story of the tattooed Sphynx cat in Mexico, discover seven places that have been completely overrun with cats. Then, learn about some of the most brutal gangs in the world.

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Amber Morgan
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Amber Morgan is an Editorial Fellow for All That's Interesting. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in political science, history, and Russian. Previously, she worked as a content creator for America House Kyiv, a Ukrainian organization focused on inspiring and engaging youth through cultural exchanges.
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Cara Johnson
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A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.
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Morgan, Amber. "Police Rescue A Sphynx Cat Covered In Gang Tattoos From A Mexican Prison." AllThatsInteresting.com, March 2, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/tattooed-sphynx-cat. Accessed May 23, 2024.