|Purred: Tue Jul 10, '07 11:03pm PST |
|HERE IS AN UPDATE FROM THE LOCAL PAPER:
(07-10) 16:48 PDT SANTA ROSA -- Two 15-year-old girls who were arrested on suspicion of trying to burn a kitten alive were charged today in Sonoma County Juvenile Court with felony cruelty to animals.
The girls, whose names were not released, stole cages of trapped feral cats from a resident's porch in the Apple Valley neighborhood of Santa Rosa on June 19, according to prosecutors and animal care officials.
The felines were going to be spayed and neutered by Forgotten Felines before being released. Five kittens and their mother were released, but the girls allegedly poured an accelerant over one of the 8-week-old kittens while it was still caged and set it on fire. The kitten suffered third degree burns over 45 percent of its body, losing its tail, the tips of its ears and much of the skin on its back, but it survived, animal care officials said.
"I've been a veterinary nurse for 25 years and I've never seen anything like this in my entire life," said Tina Wright of The Animal Hospital of Cotati, which has been caring for the kitten. "By that I mean both the brutality and the extent of burn."
The girls were arrested Friday and, if convicted, they could face up to three years in juvenile hall, said Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua.
"Animal cruelty will not be tolerated," Passalacqua said in a written statement. "Understandably, the public is distressed over the maltreatment of innocent animals."
Wright said the kitten, named Adam by the hospital staff, is scheduled for surgery Wednesday to graft skin from its side onto its back. But Adam does not seem to be fazed, Wright said, friskily batting toys around and scratching the curtains just like a normal kitten.
"He doesn't have his tail anymore and he has several more surgeries to go, but he seems happy, he plays," Wright said. "He doesn't have any idea that anything is wrong with him."
Dr. Katherine Hinkle, a veterinarian and owner of the hospital, has opened the facility up to care givers and well wishers and dedicated much of her staff to Adam's care.
The other cats have not been found.
E-mail Peter Fimrite at firstname.lastname@example.org
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